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outdoor kitties - your opinion - Page 2

post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post

Most people don't realize (or don't care) that the same leash laws that apply to dogs also apply to cats, so letting your cat out without supervision is against the law.



Leash laws are a joke in my town, so are laws against riding ATV's and snowmobiles thru the streets and parking semi trucks on your lawn, or if u are lucky like me people might park their truck on your lawn.  At first I was concerned about people around me finding my cats a problem, but at this point I really don't care.  I would reconsider if we lived in civilization.

post #22 of 71

I think it completely depends on where you live and your cat's personality.  I live in a big, busy, unsafe city.  I would never let my pets outside to roam.  We used to take them in the yard for a while and then ended up with a gigantic flea infestation and a lost cat for days.  Thank god he was okay. 

 

I see cats that have been run over by cars on the streets all the time.  It breaks my heart.  A good friend is the director of a no-kill cat shelter and constantly preaches about the perils of letting your cat outside in this type of environment. Illness is rampant, fights are common and the streets are just so busy.  Although house cats are 'meant' to be outside animals, I believe that we as humans have to do what we can to protect them from the evils that WE created - like streets crowded with cars and trucks.  

 

I lived on a farm for years and all of our cats were both indoor/outdoor pets.  Every so often a coyote would get one, but we had a hound dog who kept most wild animals off our property.  It was ideal for the pets - they truly had the best of both worlds!  I wish it could be this way for all of the kitties!

post #23 of 71

We are a ranching community and I actually don't know anyone who has an indoor cat. Cats around here are a live in the barn type of animal rather than a pet. We do have a couple of cats that sometimes ask to come in when it is really really cold outside, but that is pretty rare. If they stay relatively close to home they will be safe, but we have lost some over the years to coyotes and foxes.

 

These cats serve a pretty important purpose in my opinion by keeping the mice, ground squirrels, and other pests under control. All these things are damaging to our livestock and fields. The cats help prevent the problems.

 

I totally agree with keeping cats inside if you live in a busy area, but not everyone does, and not everyone has leash laws either.

post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post

Most people don't realize (or don't care) that the same leash laws that apply to dogs also apply to cats, so letting your cat out without supervision is against the law.

 

Depends on your local ordinances. This certainly isn't the case in common law. Similarly, the impact of bird predation depends on where you are; the data simply don't exist to make blanket generalizations (the ever-popular Wisconsin study has obvious problems; I've only just stumbled across this guy, but the posts I've read so far seem to be well focused on the actual body of research).

post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post

Most people don't realize (or don't care) that the same leash laws that apply to dogs also apply to cats, so letting your cat out without supervision is against the law.


Mmmmm...not really.  A general statement like this really holds no water, since "leash laws" are usually enacted at the county level, or even by city or town.  It's not like there's a federal leash law, or even 51 state (and DC) laws.  There are a multitude of local laws instead, and areas where there are none at all.  Our town has no laws regarding the restraint of cats.  Further, the term "leash law" is actually a misnomer because the many common pet laws prohibit dogs from running "at large", and make no mention of the need for physical restraint via leash.  In many areas, a dog under voice command, but otherwise leashless would not be in violation of the law.

post #26 of 71

People used to say the same thing about dogs, they are meant to roam, to be outside, to be free.  While they may love that, in our society I find it highly irresponsible to let cats or dogs roam free (in most city/suburb situations...farm life is different to a degree).  My cats go outside everyonce in awhile when I am right there to watch them.  I got complacent once because they literally never left the yard and started letting the one out a bit when I couldnt totally watch, yep got lost for 3 days.  If you are not out there 100% of the time and have a good recall, no its no ok

post #27 of 71

 

Quote:

why would you not allow or like outdoor kitties?

 

is it mainly for safety and using the garden as a giant litter box?

 

would u still keep her indoors. what am i missing here?

 

I do not like loose cats - mostly because 1. they drive my indoor cat nuts when they parade out in front of our house, 2. they pee and poop on our property, and 3. they are at much more risk of being injured or killed.  The ones around us are also intact - there are already waaaaay too many homeless cats out there.  It's so tempting to trap them, have them neutered, and set them loose again!

 

That being said, if I could cat proof fence my yard our cat would become and indoor/outdoor cat - he has inappropriate elimination issues and our vet has said in her experience letting them outdoors is the best option, but I can't in good conscience just let him out.  There's just too much traffic and neighbors too close for me to feel comfortable with that.

 

If I were in your situation, I'd be very tempted to let my cat outside while I was home, though I'd have to be comfortable accepting the additional risks.

post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

i need help understanding this. 

 

why would you not allow or like outdoor kitties?

 

is it mainly for safety and using the garden as a giant litter box?


Most cats travel an average of a 3 mile radius when let outdoors.  I don't feel that all those people should be responsible for cleaning up after my cat should he/she poop or pee, kill prey, destroy gardens, etc.  Plus the risk of disease and infections, and then your cat can transmit those diseases to other people's pets.  Then there is always the chance of your cat being injured or killed by a other animals, cars, etc.  I just don't want to take those risks with my cats. 

 

We have 3 cats, and they are all strictly indoors.  Two of them are under a year old (litter mate brothers) and while yes they can be playful at times, we have a lot for them to do in our house to keep them occupied.  Our other cat likes to go outside when it is nice outside (she doesn't like it when it's cold out) but all she likes to do is roll around on the concrete and eat a bit of grass (we don't use fertilizers, don't worry), but she gets the same satisfaction by going into the basement and rolling around on the concrete down there.  I don't think it has anything to do with "outside".  When she goes out it is only when we go out and sit right next to her.  She is NEVER allowed outside alone and she only goes out for a few minutes at a time.  I don't trust the boys not to bolt if we let them outside, so they haven't gone out yet. 

 

Even when we move to the country, we won't let our cats outside.  Most of the same dangers are still there, but now you just have a few additional predators to worry about (cats do not know property lines and will probably roam to other farms, so your dogs will not be able to protect them from predators there).  What dangers you lose from the city, you gain different ones in the country, so it all pretty much evens out. 

post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by NikonMama View Post

Most cats travel an average of a 3 mile radius when let outdoors.

 

Source? I'm finding housecat ranges quoted anywhere from one-twentieth of an acre for females to half an acre for males (undocumented), up to 69 acres (N = 10; Barratt 1997). By contrast, Jones & Coman (1982) report a top end of ~2400 acres for feral males in rural Victoria, Australia (N = 6). Even that is a radius of only 1.1 miles if my arithmetic is correct.

post #30 of 71

My 19 year old cat seems perfectly happy being 100% indoors, as she has been for her whole life. Sometimes she likes to look out the window, but we can leave the door wide open and she won't go out.

 

When we lived on a farm there was a barn cat, but she wasn't a pet. She was a farm animal, and she kept the rat and mouse population down in the barns. She disappeared at some point, and we assume she died but we never found her body. She was maybe 5...

post #31 of 71

I've never really understood the complaint that outdoor cats pee and poop in your yard. I mean, I'm sure they do. But I have lived in MANY neighborhoods, all where I have seen both stray cats and outdoor pet cats roaming, and I have never found cat poop anywhere in my yard. I have smelled cat urine from cats who spray, but that's not much different to me than catching a whiff of skunk. Unless they have directly sprayed on your house, it washes away with time and rain. Squirrels and bunnies poop and pee in my yard, too. Birds poop all over my car. Big deal.

 

Dogs, however....I've cleaned up many a dog turd off my grass, and I never see dogs running loose. So it must be that people allow their dogs to poop in my yard while they're leashed and don't bother to pick it up.

 

As for the leash laws that someone mentioned....Rhode Island doesn't have any state leash laws. It's by city ordinance. And Providence only requires that dogs be leashed. The only city laws regarding cats are identification, neutering, rabies shots, and no more than three felines per dwelling.

 

Dogs are leashed because they pose a threat to humans. Cats generally do not attack or people unless provoked, and even then they are not likely to maim or kill. I would not want my cat on a leash if a dog ran up to us. I would want my cat to be free to climb a tree or slither under the porch.

post #32 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

I've never really understood the complaint that outdoor cats pee and poop in your yard. I mean, I'm sure they do. But I have lived in MANY neighborhoods, all where I have seen both stray cats and outdoor pet cats roaming, and I have never found cat poop anywhere in my yard.

do you garden? regularly plant flowers or vegetables? have a flower/veggie bed? and still not find poop?

post #33 of 71

I have found cat poop in my yard wherever we lived.  And yes, cats will attack too, and there bites tend to be worse from bacteria etc.  My neighbors cat is actually very sweet but when I am working in the garden, the smells get him a bit nutty and he will bite...not aggressively like attack, but will draw blood and it hurts.  I have to grab him and remove him (though he can come back when he feels like it)  I also have two dogs who while they love my cats, they would definitely chase and possibly hurt or kill an outside cat.  I cant have them in the garden without being extremely cautious as that is where the cat hangs out...shouldnt be on me to do that.  

 

The main thing is they are domesticated pets..they are their owners responsibility, not the neighborhoods.  It is not hard or impossible to cat proof a yard or build an enclosure.  IMO that is part of owning one if you plan on letting the out unattended.

post #34 of 71

 

There's a large feral cat population in my area, and they regularly poop in my garden and sandbox. My county will do absoluely nothing about outdoor or feral cats, and there are no leash laws pertaining to cats. 

 

As a side note, if anyone is interested, for my strictly indoor cats I installed this cat veranda (http://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-PPA00-10774-Cat-Veranda/dp/B000LRH6CM) which allows them plenty of fresh air and sun. It's relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and my cats absolutely love it. 

post #35 of 71

We only had outdoor cats growing up, I learned never to get attached to them because they didn't last long. Only one made it more then a couple years, some never past kittens. A hawk got two kittens one time. I allowed out first cat out while I was in the back yard with it, unknown to me, it had climbed on the fence and what had been a friendly neighbor dog who lived with cats including this cat at one time, jumped up, dragged him off the fence and killed it right in front of me and my DD1. Needless to say my cats now do not go out period. 

post #36 of 71

My cat goes outside for big chunks of the day. I have no problem with this--in the right setting. We live on 80 acres. He's basically an outdoor farm cat with inside privileges. I know he hunts. He is a part of the ecosystem he lives in, just like all the other animals, including predators. Just like I'm part of the ecosystem I live in and I eat deer and mussels and wild strawberries and cherries and lots of other things I didn't grow for my own use. I think cat care in a rural farm setting is very different than cat car in a neighborhood. I'm sure I would feel differently if I lived in a different type of place.

post #37 of 71

IMO the rationale about keeping cats indoors because they live longer is like saying we should keep lions in zoos for the same reason. I had an indoor only cat when I lived in a 3rd floor appartment. We moved to a ground floor with garden on a quiet street when she was 14, and it gave her a new lease on life. She had been old, slow and apathetic in the last couple of years in the apartment, she actually put on weight, started playing and even running again, once we moved and she began to go out in the garden. She never roamed far and died at 16 one night in the house.

 

Our current cat is a neutered male, indoor/outdoor. He is definately the roamer. He comes for walks with us all over the neighbourhood (un-restrained). He goes out at night, all seasons, I let him out before I go to bed and let him in the next morning. He will cry and scrape all night if you try and keep him indoors, as I have tried to do on a couple of particularly cold winter nights. He is vaccinated and flea-protected. He has disappeared for a couple of days and we have been worried for him, but he came back unscathed. Maybe one day he will not come back. DS knows it can happen, we will be sad and cry and miss him, but we will not mourn his having lived a cats life.

 

He may not make it to 16, maybe not even close but that is OK. He is a cat, not a human. He doesn't have a sense of future or lifespan, that is our own projection onto them. What he knows is now, his instinct telling him to go roaming, hunting, maybe even fighting. That is what a cats life should be, and I think its right to give it to him, given the "fair chance of survival" neighbourhood we live in now. As for pooping and peeing, I have flowerbeds and a herb garden, and all sorts of cats coming and going (indoor/outdoor is the norm for cats here), and yes I do find residues, but not in any sufficient quantity to fase me.

post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post

My cat goes outside for big chunks of the day. I have no problem with this--in the right setting. We live on 80 acres. He's basically an outdoor farm cat with inside privileges. I know he hunts. He is a part of the ecosystem he lives in, just like all the other animals, including predators. Just like I'm part of the ecosystem I live in and I eat deer and mussels and wild strawberries and cherries and lots of other things I didn't grow for my own use. I think cat care in a rural farm setting is very different than cat car in a neighborhood. I'm sure I would feel differently if I lived in a different type of place.



Exactly.

 

We do not have leash laws where I live. Our county ordinances state that if your animals leave your property, your neighbors have the right to shoot them. I mentioned earlier that if my cats stay relatively close to the house that they will be safe because of the dogs, but I don't expect them to always stay that close.

 

I aalways wonder when people are mad about outdoor/barn cats if they use any animal products. If you are 100% vegan than feel free to judge me up and down all day because we do not grow plants for human consumption, but if you are a consumer of animal products in any way shape or form...well my cats are keeping the cost of livestock production down. 

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by IxIa View Post

 

There's a large feral cat population in my area, and they regularly poop in my garden and sandbox. My county will do absoluely nothing about outdoor or feral cats, and there are no leash laws pertaining to cats. 

 


Just as a side note, in this country feral cats are protected by law. You cannot remove feral cats from any territory where they choose to establish themselves. Municipalities are supposed to sterilize them and then release them back to where they were found.
 

post #40 of 71

 

 

Quote:
 

I've never really understood the complaint that outdoor cats pee and poop in your yard. I mean, I'm sure they do. But I have lived in MANY neighborhoods, all where I have seen both stray cats and outdoor pet cats roaming, and I have never found cat poop anywhere in my yard. I have smelled cat urine from cats who spray, but that's not much different to me than catching a whiff of skunk. Unless they have directly sprayed on your house, it washes away with time and rain. Squirrels and bunnies poop and pee in my yard, too. Birds poop all over my car. Big deal.

 

I love cats.  I've had them all my life.   When I was a kid, we had outdoor cats.  The cats that I"ve owned have been kept indoors.  Our neighbors have about 5 outdoor cats at any one time.   They generally don't live past a few years.  They are forever using my gardens as their litterbox.  I resent it.  I hate finding cat poop when I go to plant, and I hate having them dig up my newly planted flowers and veggies.  I hate facing the smell whenever I want to sit on my own porch or enter my own house.  Disgusting.

 

One of the neighbor's new kitties was an extremely sweet little thing, who took a liking to us.  She was always on our front porch, and would stand at our French doors begging to come in all the time.  My kids loved her and would get so upset when I would tell them she had a home, and no, she couldn't come in.  I would get especially frustrated in cold weather, when the poor little thing would be on my front porch freezing.  I think the neighbors would have let her in the house (I don't see their other cats very often), but she wanted to be in ours.  We told her about the issue, but they insisted she wanted to be outside. The kids were especially upset when she disappeared for a few weeks.  We found the remains of her body, partially eaten.  This stuff does make me angry.

 

Squirrels and bunnies to not belong to anyone and are not anyone else's responsibility.  Cats are.

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