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Indoor or outdoor-please help me decide

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by laurahair, May 3, 2011.


  1. laurahair

    laurahair PetForums Member

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    Ok background-
    my 2 older cats (7 yrs old) used to have outside access about 3 yrs ago, we moved next to a busy boy racer route type road so decided to keep them in. It was a struggle at times, but they seemed to adapt well in the end.
    A year ago we moved again, and now have a younger cat too (he is nearly 3). He has always been an inside cat.
    They have a large area downstairs with toys, posts, high hiding areas etc but we live in a quieter area now and are re-considering our decision to keep them as indoor cats.
    They are all neutered, insured, microchipped and healthy (ish, T has cystitis atm).
    We can't fit a flap so it would be window access.
    If we let them out we would want them in at night-time-is this realistic/sensible?
    They are moggies btw so potential theft isn't an issue ;)

    (the thing stopping me atm is that if T had been outside we might not have noticed his toilet troubles or got his blockage seen to in time.)

    i appreciate all views and opinions on this, thanks for your time if you've got this far :)
     
  2. lulubel

    lulubel PetForums Senior

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    There's no question for me - indoors. We keep dogs indoors, why should it be different with cats?

    My two are 12 years old this year, and have lived indoors all their lives. Sam goes out in his harness most days to sniff around, watch birds and whatever else cats like to do when they seem to be doing nothing, but Milly's never been bothered.

    They're very happy, healthy - and safe. I grew up in a house with cats who came and went as they pleased, but now that I've had indoor cats, I'd never let a cat out on its own again.
     
  3. Val001

    Val001 PetForums Senior

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    I have dogs now but have had cats for many years just moggies like yours and they always went out. Personally I feel that cats ought to be allowed their freedom as they are very independant animals and because of this I wouldn't like to keep them as indoor cats only. I do appreciate that if you let them out there is always the risk of accidents but I feel that they should have the right to roam and explore as is their nature. Obviously I would have them neutered first that goes without saying.

    There will be others on here that will disagree with this I know but this is my opinion for what its worth.

    Val
     
  4. Chez87

    Chez87 PetForums VIP

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    You are going to get very mixed views on this.

    If they are happy indoors, what is making you want to let them out? They have plenty of toys etc so why not keep them in?

    I have two moggies myself (one 10, one 10 months). The older one has been allowed out all her life, (she was with my mum before I moved out and took her with me) but I do try my best to get her in at night. On rare occasions she won't come in at night, but my OH wakes at 5am for work so she always comes in then.

    The younger 10 month old has only been going out for a month or so now, and I am more strict with him as he is young and doesn't have as much sense, he is ONLY allowed out whilst I am in the house, and I will make sure he isn't out for more than an hour at a time so he doesn't wander far. I keep calling him in this time and luckily (as yet) he hasn't gone far, maybe only one or two gardens over. I will also never let him out when it's dark, or getting anywhere near getting dark!

    It really is up to you to weigh up the options, you could also think about cat proofing your garden so they cannot stray. Or taking them out on harnesses. :)
     
  5. Amethyst

    Amethyst PetForums VIP

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    I would now keep cats indoors, though had a couple that were a nightmare to keep in over years. Maybe if we move to an exceptional area I would think about it, but probably not much more than that ...

    Maybe ask yourself if you would be happy letting your dogs wander outside alone, someone once asked me that and it put things into perspective a bit :eek:

    Good luck whatever you decide to do!
     
  6. ~Cookie~

    ~Cookie~ PetForums Member

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    For me it will always be indoor cats. I would just worry all night if she went out.

    I would hate thinking what could happen to her - kidnapped, being run over, abused by humans, attacked etc.

    Cookie has all the toys she needs and is happy being indoors.

    I keep my dogs indoor so why would i be any different with cats?

    And i would miss her if she went out!
     
  7. Amethyst

    Amethyst PetForums VIP

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    Indeed that is something to consider :)
     
  8. Val001

    Val001 PetForums Senior

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    There will be mixed views on this but I don't think comparing a dog to a cat is fair as they are totally different types of animal. Cats are independant, dogs are not.
     
  9. laurahair

    laurahair PetForums Member

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    Some interesting points raised, thanks. Fwiw i really don't think cats are comparable to dogs-i let my cats all over the sofa for example but wouldn't let a dog ;)

    i sort of feel a bit sorry for Lita, one of my older cats. She was a spectacular hunter and i feel that she is missing out on that particular activity; i just don't think our feathers on sticks and electronic mouse thing really re-create it.
    Aren't they a bit old for harness training at this point? It's not something i had considered but will look into it.
    In an ideal world i would cat-proof my garden, i searched the internet for various ways but as we live in rental accomodation it's really not feasible (hence the no cat flap thing either).
     
  10. Amethyst

    Amethyst PetForums VIP

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    But they are still very much at risk of theft and injury form cars and dogs, poisoning etc.
     
  11. Aurelia

    Aurelia PetForums VIP

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    Dogs used to independent like cats though ;) SO it's not strictly true is it?

    Indoor only all the way here. I've lost too many cats in previous years to ever risk it again.

    Not for my sake but for theirs! I don't want them to feel pain as a car rams in to them, or excruciating pain as rat poison works through their bodies ... or blow after blow from the foot of a sick and twisted human, or pain being ripped apart by another animal.

    I don't want any of my girls to ever have to go through any of those things. It tears me in two if I picture their faces in those circumstances. Macabre? yes, most certainly. But it is also what happens!

    So long as you provide love and entertainment for them indoors, there is no reason they can't have a long and happy life. You could even build a run that fastens on to your house. Perfect for letting them out into to catch some of those lovely sun rays :D This is something we are going to be doing very soon for our girls.
     
  12. laurahair

    laurahair PetForums Member

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    I have just read elsewhere on here that the av life expectancy of outdoor cats is 2 yrs compared to 15 for indoor cats-if this is an accurate stat then clearly my cats have always been extremely lucky!
    Does anyone know how accurate this is? Because that is very scary and definitely leans me towards keeping them in.....
     
  13. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    There are a lot of factors to be considered when making a decision like this.

    Personally if I lived on a main road ( which I don't because having cats amongst other things has always influenced my choice of location ) I would definitely say no to outdoors. I'm including any road here because even with quiter ones with less traffic, parked cars can also pose a risk so it's important to limit access to the back garden if possible and this is where catproofing comes in!

    Ideally I do like mine to have outdoor access ( mind you in this year's snow they became virtually self-imposed house cats and didn't show the slightest inclination to go out but this is normally not the case ) and I suppose I'm very lucky in that where I live affords me that opportunity. They're also older cats and never venture very far from the property so another bonus in terms of risk assessment when they go out - unlike the time when one of them at 5 months old got stuck very high up in one of the giant chestnut trees in the back garden!!
     
  14. CandyApocalypse

    CandyApocalypse PetForums Member

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    Due to my recent experience, my cats will always be indoor only from now on. Not just the worry about roads, or other animals, or accidents in general, you have to worry about people too. I personally think most cats adapt, with a few exceptions and as long as you keep them active e.g. cat trees, playing with them, they don't suffer for being indoors.

    Plus the fact, some of my cats have had conditions that if they had been outdoors, would probably have been very bad indeed. My first male cat had feline oesteopathy, where necrosis sets into the bone of the pelvis and rots it away. If he had been outside when his pelvis finally broke, he never would have made it home. Another of my mum's cats was run down by a boy racer down a previously quiet street, my most recent cat that I have let outdoors was stolen by someone and sold to someone else, who we have now left him with so he isn't traumatised further.

    If it helps, I can say that the cats I've had that have been indoor only have never seemed unhappy at all, yes they sit in the windows, or scratch doors, but that is more because they can't understand why they aren't let into the room when they can go everywhere else and it can become a thorny issue for them.
     
  15. Aurelia

    Aurelia PetForums VIP

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    Well how accurate the figures are I'm not sure. But I can tell you that in the years when we lived down a quiet country lane we had several cats. The CPL deemed our place to be safe and insisted for the most part that they have outdoor access.

    None of those cats lived to die of old age. Every single one died before they reached even 5 years old. Lost to the road, poisoning ... even just vanishing.

    We gave up having cats in the end because we couldn't deal with the heart ache anymore. We felt we were doing something awesome by giving rescue cats a home. But in the end it didn't feel very nice.

    Then we met Aurelia, and now have 3 BSHs who live fun packed lives indoors. Never a dull moment in this house ... well maybe when they are asleep :p
     
  16. stigDarley

    stigDarley PetForums Senior

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    My 3 cats have a cat flap and have the choice to wander... I've hand reared one of them from 4 weeks old, and Lilly we got off some VERY dodgy breeder...they had a litter or babies and I got Angel.

    I've spent loads of time and effert with my cats so they are alittle loopy. They always come home every night and all get into my bed at the end. Then in the morning its cuddle time! They never miss that!

    Lily loves being able to go out and she visits all my neighbours who love her to bits and are very jelouse of what a beautiful loving girl she is! The other 2 don't like strangers!

    But everyone on my street knows they are my cats and if anyone so much as touches them I would kill them... this message having been relayed means my kittys are totally safe! They never go far!
     
  17. CandyApocalypse

    CandyApocalypse PetForums Member

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    Aww Aurelia, I never knew that, how sad for you. So glad you have your babies now :)
     
  18. lulubel

    lulubel PetForums Senior

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    I live in a place where people allow their dogs to roam as well as their cats, and those dogs seem to live the same kind of independent lives as cats do. They hunt, play, lie in the sun, and come home for dinner if they're hungry, then go back out and do it all again the next day. Unfortunately, they also get kicked, hit, poisoned and run over.

    Most people on this forum would probably say letting dogs roam is irresponsible ....
     
  19. kunzy

    kunzy Guest

    Indoor.

    See my sig.
     
    #19 kunzy, May 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2011
  20. canuckjill

    canuckjill PetForums VIP

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    my present cat ages indoor/outdoor cats are 16, 3 and 3 then the ones that have passed were 15, 13, 20 and sadly the 13 yr old was run over in my driveway by some numbskulls driving down my alley and purposely hitting her. I have found by the time they turn 15 they spend less time outside and the 20 yr old quit going outside altogether at about 16. I think the decision to let them out or not depends on where you live, if they have been fixed, and how you feel yourself about it.
     
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