Indoors only = stressed, mentally unstable cat!!!!!
About 10 months ago, we got a kitten at the local animal shelter to 'replace' our 15 year old cat who had just recently passed away (and, who, by the way, enjoyed the outdoors).
Upon the advice of the so-called 'experts' who claim that all cats should be kept indoors, we decided to make her an indoor-only cat. Honestly, this cat imposed a reign of terror on ALL of us.
She was constantly wired and stressed. She almost NEVER slept. She jumped at the slightest noises. And she always trembled and breathed heavily, like a neurotic human being. Furthermore, she would constantly run around the house wild, jumping up on things, and knocking stuff down. And, to top things off, she had a REALLY bad personality. She would not hesitate to use her claws on us. And, on a few occasions, I would even have to push her away, as she came darting at my face in a threatening manner. NOT GOOD! Seriously, I was seconds away from getting rid of her on MANY occasions.
But one day, it all stopped. She calmed down and actually started to sleep. She stopped running around in a wild, frenzied manner. And she actually became quite a sweet little kitty. So what changed? You guessed it. We started letting her outside. At first, she was somewhat apprehensive of the outdoors. But now she LOVES it. And we now know that, whenever she starts to act 'wild', she wants out (she will always head right for the door under these circumstances).
After seeing this transformation of her personality, I just cannot see keeping a cat indoors as anything but the dumbest idea on the planet. Unless, of course, the cat is perfectly happy being in a 'kitty prison'.
Okay, so you say that outdoor cats are at increased risk for getting run over by a car or contracting a disease? Well, guess what? The same thing is true for humans. If we just locked ourselves inside our homes and NEVER went out, we would not have to worry about such things as swine flu, getting mugged, getting into a car accident, or getting bonked on the head by the occasional stray meteorite. We would be 'safe'. But is that any kind of life worth living? I don't think so. And, just like our kitty, we would certainly be at increased risk of developing a mental condition like depression and/or anxiety (and I would take the risks of the outdoors ANY DAY before a lifetime of depression and anxiety).
Cats are MUCH like humans (and other animals) in the sense that they love and NEED fresh air, exercise, and the freedom of the outdoors. Sorry, but keeping a cat imprisoned in a house is just animal cruelty. How many of you folks who disagree would with me would like to not be able to go outside yourself? I don't think many would.