Reluctant Indoor Cat Owner.

by Susan
(Australia)

The Youngest Cat - Poor Boy!

The Youngest Cat - Poor Boy!

These are interesting questions.

I am on the whole a believer that cats are healthier if allowed access to The Great Outdoors, being allowed to bask in the sun, eat grass, catch insects, climb trees, sharpen their claws where they like etc. I have always kept my cats inside at night in the hope that the wildlife would be less depleted that way and my pets would be safe, though cats catch wildlife in daylight hours, too. I've rescued birds and large lizards from my cats many times in broad daylight.

Now I live in a 'gated' community where my cats have to be totally controlled, or I can't have them. So I have become a reluctant Indoor Cat Owner. My cats are 14 and 17 years old and I do not want to be without them. They are my pets, and they are well-looked after.

The oldest one is blind now (well, he can see light and dark I think - he has cataracts). He obviously cannot be allowed free range anyway for safety's sake. He has stopped jumping though which means an ordinary fence can keep him in, so I let him out in the (minuscule) yard with me off and on. He stays by me most of the time (I am home all the time myself). So he is happy, I think.

I do feel sorry for my younger cat who loves a good wild romp over the fences and into the trees. He is more restrained indoors, thankfully, but he misses being able to go outside freely, I can tell. I play with him indoors, making silly toys and encouraging him to chase them and attack them and so on. I sometimes let him out inside a cage, where he can access the grass and the sun, but it really is a constrained life for him.

I feed them both raw chicken necks every second day and that seems to keep the hair balls down.

If I had my 'druthers my younger cat would be able to come and go at will, except I would still keep him inside at night so I know he's not killing, being killed or annoying the neighbours somehow.

So I guess my answer is that it depends on both the cat and the owner's needs, whether they are outside or inside pets :)

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Building a Run
by: Susan

That's a good idea and we have considered building a run. One day we will do that! It's a matter of time and finding the dollars....

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Reluctant Indoor Cat Owner
by: Kathy

I feel for you. I'm lucky enough to have 130 acres for my cats to play in. They only have to dodge the kangaroos. Is it possible to build an outdoor enclosure for your beautiful boy? They're not cheap but it does let him play in the sun.

Kathy
www.CatProblemsResolved.com

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Thank you!
by: Susan

Thank you for your suggestions, Larry, and your nice comments :D
I should have mentioned that I do take Cosmo my ginger cat outside on a leash and harness sometimes. He spends most of the time working out how to slip out of it! Lol! I guess that is exercise too :)
He's a pretty happy cat who has been with me since kittenhood (both of them have). I would not be happy either if he was roaming around frantically trying to find his way out of the house, so I guess we have a good balance. He also has numerous windows to look out.
A run would be nice and maybe one day we will be able to provide that for him.
I think your site is wonderful, by the way.

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The most important thing.
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Susan,

Thank you very much for submitting your story and your wonderful photo of your youngest cat.

Good for you for playing with him so he gets his exercise. It is indeed a shame that you have no choice as to whether you could let him out or not but judging from his photo he looks fit from the life that he has.

Would it be possible for you to have a 'run' built for him so he can at least enjoy a little time outside with your older cat. Or, perhaps a harness and leash? Not the same as being allowed to roam but he might enjoy it.

If not, it sounds like your cats are getting the love and attention they need with their life indoors, and that is the most important thing. Thanks again for your great story.

Larry (Editor)

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