Sometimes, YOU don't get to choose!

by Jane
(KY)


Maybe it's because they were born outdoors and lived outside for their first 6 weeks, but I have never been able to convince my cats that they want to be "indoor only" cats.

Picking at the screens, yowling at the door, picking at the carpet in front of the doors…you name it, when they want to go out, they know how to get their point across! Matter of fact, the same goes for wanting to be let back in! If I don't get up and let them in fast enough, they start scaling the screen doors, knowing that that will make me jump out of my chair and run to the door!

As for danger, of course there are dangers outdoors, but my cats manage to live life on the wild side even when they're in the house--trying to jump onto the hot woodstove, or the kitchen stove, or the top of the kitchen cabinets, or balance on the top edge of the doors…good grief, they're worse than the kids!

Nobody's actually tried swinging from the ceiling fans yet, but I've seen one sitting on the dining room table contemplating the logistics ;-)

We live in a rural area, and our house is quite far off the road, so traffic is not much of a concern for us. The cats love to go out and climb trees, or follow us around while we work, and Tater even loves to get into the canoe and go fishing with my husband.

If we go for a walk down the road, we are quite the comical sight: 5 people, one dog on a leash, and two cats stalking us from about 15 feet behind, running from tree to tree, hiding behind them like they think we don't know they're following us…oh, and two goats standing at the fence bellowing because they wanna come too.

We love our cats and want the best for them, and, just like children, believe that they need plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and trees to climb…Dangers? Yes, but they're animals, and you have to let them be animals...

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Dangers within the home.
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Jane,

Thank you very much for your post and great photo, your cat looks like she or he is waiting for an unsuspecting human to pounce on!

You give some very good reasons as to why you allow your cats outside.

Yes, we mustn't forget that there are also dangers within the home, and cats having the curiosity that they have can get themselves into hot water ( or a hot woodstove.)

Thanks very much again for your submission.

Larry (Editor)

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Jack and cowboy - inside or outside cats? which one? This is my opinion

by krystle
(salem,or)

Well my husband and I just bought two black cats from a shelter about a two months back. We were told by the shelter "You need to keep them as indoor cats.". We had to agree to keep them indoors...

But it is up to us because we bought them!

Anyways we have had them be inside the whole (almost) two months. Today (Thanksgiving Day) we let them outside with a collar and tags and a jingle bell. They seemed to like being outside a lot! Then I had them come back inside and they have been staring out the window all afternoon!

They love the outdoors because that is where they are meant to be, no matter the dangers or risks.

It is SELFISH to say "oh I don't want them to get hurt or attacked" even though it may be a loving thing or a thoughtful thing to think. Even if you have never let your cat outside or never plan on letting them outside, you will always be able to notice how bored they are or how they look out the window - longing for nature!

Eventually my cats will be indoor and outdoor cats. I definitely will be worried about them when they are outside, but at least they will be a lot more happy rather than staring outside through the window or staring at the wall.

I know that outdoor cats are much happier than indoor cats, if you really care, you would let them be outside. I know that people say that cats live longer being inside but they aren't living their lives like they should be! They are animals!
It just seems right!

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I'm not saying it is wrong.
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Krystle,

Thank you very much for your submission and congratulations on your two new feline friends.

The response that I gave to another recent post - Stressed Cat would fit well with your post, so I won't repeat it here.

Remember that I'm not saying it is wrong to allow a cat outdoors.

One thing that I forgot to mention in my reply to the other post is that there is a third way. Cat enclosures allow your pet to experience the smells and sights of the outdoors but still protect them from harm.

An enclosure does not give a cat complete freedom of course.

Are outdoor cats happier? Is it cruel to keep a cat indoors? What do other folks think . . . let's have your comments.

Thank you very much once again Krystle.

Larry (Editor)

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Tragedy hit us on Tuesday...might review our indoor/outdoor routine

Hi,

We got two lovely kittens (2 brothers) 7 months ago, both turned 9 months on 28th November. We had both of them neutered, vaccinated etc as soon as possible and introduced them to our garden at about 4 months old for very short period of times and always supervised.

However, Mr.T and Biskits soon became more explorative and started to wander to our neighbors' garden and in the neighboring fields - never very far though, maybe due to being neutered. we were a bit worried for their safety at the start but became more relaxed about it as they seemed to always be within a few minutes of the house. My husband and i both work during the day out of the house, so the two lads would stay indoor and get around an hour of fresh air and exercise in the evening... They would both come back after a few minutes when called and would stay in for the night then.

All was well until last Tuesday. I put both Mr.T and Biskit out as usual around 5pm. Biskit came back as normal after 30 minutes but no sign of Mr.T. he would however always have been the longest out though... however, when he didn't come back by the time we were finished for the night, we were starting to get seriously worried... to cut a long story short, my husband found him by the side of a little country road not far from the house, the following day - he had been knocked down by a car.

We have been heartbroken since, and Biskit seems to be looking for his brother around the house or by the window. I think we learned the hard way and will now keep Biskit indoor as much as possible and only bring him outside on a leash, if it's not too late for him to get used to it... i still believe cats are happier when left outdoor but the dangers might be too high for their own good. Mr.T was so much part of our family we are so sad..

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Very Sad.
by: Anonymous

That is so sad, I'm very sorry that happened.

Don't give another thought to keeping your other kitty in the house. I have had many cats and they all have been house cats and all quite happy.

If you have two or more they are happier still but even a cat alone can accept life indoors.

Bisket will be happy if you give him a little time each day.

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I'm so sorry
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi,

I'm so sorry to read of your loss of Mr.T. I can fully sympathize, I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a beloved cat that way.

Cats do so enjoy the outdoors and it is difficult to come to the decision to keep them inside. But I truly believe that you have to take the dangers of the outside world into account.

I don't think that it is too late for Biskit to adapt to a leash, and it is a good way for him to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Thank you very much for sharing with us.

Larry (Editor)

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