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outdoor kitties - your opinion - Page 3

post #41 of 71

We recently adopted a 5 year old cat from the shelter after my very elderly indoor only cat passed away right before Christmas. We have been staying in temporary housing, a tiny apartment, and much to the cat's dismay, he was not allowed outdoors there. I have an inkling that he was an indoor/outdoor cat in his previous life, because he really did not understand why he couldn't come and go.

 

Now, we are staying with my parents for a bit until we can find a house to buy, because we needed out of that tiny space, and the cat can come and go as he pleases, though we do insist he comes in at night because we have a lot of coyotes here. My parents live in a very rural area in the country, no busy roads, lots of woods to explore and even though I know there is a chance something could get him even during the day, he is a much happier cat for being aloud to spend some time outside every day. I hope that the home we purchase will allow him that same freedom, but I agree with the majority of the posters here - whether or not I allow him outside depends completely on where we live. Being pregnant, I am a little worried about the risk of disease with him being allowed to come and go, but I figure if I wash my hands a lot and leave litter box duty to DH, I'm probably okay. My OB agrees with that.

post #42 of 71

I hate finding cat poop in my garden or elsewhere in my yard.  That's my biggest complaint about outdoor cats.  I'd be concerned about them preying on wildlife in certain situations, but I suspect that in most areas they don't have an important effect.  I think it's most considerate to your neighbors to keep your cat inside (unless it really does just stay in your own yard all the time), but probably kinder to the cat to let it roam.  Its life may be shorter, but it will be more interesting.

post #43 of 71

If you properly set up your home and yard for a cat, they should be wonderfully happy and content.

 

Comparing keeping a DOMESTICATED pet cat indoors to a WILD lion in a cage is apples to oranges.

post #44 of 71
Haven't read the responses but dh is a biologist and won't have an outdoor cat because of the huge toll they take on bird populations. Cats are non-native predators which have been introduced in great numbers and wreak havoc on native birds. Even though you don't see the dead birds, your outdoor cat is part of the problem. The Audubon estimates that cats kill over a billion birds every year. More info:

http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/rouge_river/cats.html
post #45 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post



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



Not regularly, no. I had a pretty large vegetable garden years ago when I lived in Virginia, and the only place I ever saw a stray cat pottying was in a pile of raked leaves. The only unwelcome surprise I ever came across in that garden was a baby diamondback rattlesnake.

 

The only thing I have room and time for right now are a few tomato plants in the summer. Summers are short here. But I see cats running through the streets frequently, and nobody is really gardening in the middle of February, so it must be that they have other places to relieve themselves that they probably also use in warm weather out of habit.

 

My last indoor/outdoor cat went missing in 2006. We assume a coyote got her (yes, they're in the city, too....and we lived on the edge of a woodsy cemetery at the time). She was 15. Maybe she was just smarter than the average cat, but she never came home beat up or injured. She was spayed, flea-protected and vaccinated, and probably once a year would go roaming for 2-3 days at a stretch. All of my cats as a kid were indoor/outdoor, and they all lived to be at least 10yo and died from natural causes.

post #46 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

Haven't read the responses but dh is a biologist and won't have an outdoor cat because of the huge toll they take on bird populations. Cats are non-native predators which have been introduced in great numbers and wreak havoc on native birds. Even though you don't see the dead birds, your outdoor cat is part of the problem. The Audubon estimates that cats kill over a billion birds every year. More info:

http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/rouge_river/cats.html

That really doesn't bother me.  Our neighbor's outdoor cats hang around out birdfeeder and snag a few birds, but they mostly gets starlings and house sparrows, non-native species themselves.

 

post #47 of 71

For me, cats belong indoors as a safety issue. We had an indoor/outdoor cat when I was a child, and he lived to be 20 - but he had plenty of battle scars.  He got into fights, so one of his ears was nearly torn off, and the other ear fell victim to frostbite.  My sister lets her cats outside,  but 3 have disappeared off the face of the Earth and another one was killed by a "friendly" dog while he was just sitting on his own porch.  My poor little nephew saw it happen and is traumatized.

 

I do not deny that my one of my cats would love to be outside and makes a break for freedom if someone isn't quick to shut a door, but it is my duty as his owner to keep him protected.  Someday I may be able to invest in a screen room, but for now an open, screened  window is as close to the outdoors as my cats are going to get.

post #48 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

Haven't read the responses but dh is a biologist and won't have an outdoor cat because of the huge toll they take on bird populations. Cats are non-native predators which have been introduced in great numbers and wreak havoc on native birds. Even though you don't see the dead birds, your outdoor cat is part of the problem. The Audubon estimates that cats kill over a billion birds every year. More info:

http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/rouge_river/cats.html

 

"Non-native" seems to be an odd angle. Housecats aren't native to anywhere, they were deliberately bred. As to the bird angle, I tried to point out above that these broad-brush numbers (and the University of Michigan link above promptly refers to Stanley Temple of the "Wisconsin study") cannot be evaluated in a vacuum and are generally trotted out for ideological reasons.

post #49 of 71

...or cats can be filling a void by taking the predator roles that were pushed out by human settlement.  Birds should be predated.  So should squirrels and mice and moles.  These animals are not the top of the food chain.  It's natural.  If it's not being performed by foxes and coyotes, then what's wrong with housecats filling that role?  Sure, it's not ideal, as cats aren't native, but it's also not ideal for suburban wildlife to have no predators.  I'm not a bird expert, but I certainly doubt that all the birds in my area are native themselves.

post #50 of 71

Keeping a cat indoors its entire life is depressing.  Walking a cat on a leash is only a small improvement because cats have an innate need for freedom.  I understand all the problems that people are listing when it comes to the environment, but I also think quite a bit of it is overplayed.  Cats typically don't kill many birds during their lifetimes, as a few people have mentioned...it's just not that easy for them.  The pooping in people's yards is a bit annoying, but it's really not the end of the world (and also makes great fertilizer).  Cats getting injured or killed is sad, yes, but at least they enjoyed a bit of freedom beforehand.  What good is having a longer lifespan if you spend it stuck inside your whole life staring out the window?  Also, some cats are smarter than others.  I had a purebred Siamese who would actually look both ways before he'd cross the busy street next to our house lol.gif  Very cautious & intelligent.  He would try to catch birds pretty much every day of his life but he was never quick or quiet enough (and he was a very fast, very sleek cat).  I don't know, it just seems to me that people are super anal about this these days...didn't used to be so extreme. 

post #51 of 71

I let my own 3 cats out into our fenced yard. I let them out ONLY when I am out with them. I do not allow them to hunt native birds. I have  a  BIG cat enclosure now  if there are issues with my own cats.

 

I think cat enclosures are a safe and responsible option if you can not control them.They get their outdoor time in a place where they are not causing issues.Letting cat free range to do *whatever* is not being a responsible pet owner or a good neighbor.

 

I am fine with people letting their cats out,BUT if their cats(or dogs) come in my yard they are fair game for me. I will do what I want with them within the law. I will not tolerate other peoples pets toileting in my yard,spraying their nasty scent,hunting,or harrassing my family, pets,  or chickens.

post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow_mandala View Post

Keeping a cat indoors its entire life is depressing.  Walking a cat on a leash is only a small improvement because cats have an innate need for freedom.  I understand all the problems that people are listing when it comes to the environment, but I also think quite a bit of it is overplayed.  Cats typically don't kill many birds during their lifetimes, as a few people have mentioned...it's just not that easy for them.  The pooping in people's yards is a bit annoying, but it's really not the end of the world (and also makes great fertilizer).  Cats getting injured or killed is sad, yes, but at least they enjoyed a bit of freedom beforehand.  What good is having a longer lifespan if you spend it stuck inside your whole life staring out the window?  Also, some cats are smarter than others.  I had a purebred Siamese who would actually look both ways before he'd cross the busy street next to our house lol.gif  Very cautious & intelligent.  He would try to catch birds pretty much every day of his life but he was never quick or quiet enough (and he was a very fast, very sleek cat).  I don't know, it just seems to me that people are super anal about this these days...didn't used to be so extreme. 


My mom has a purebred siamese (we think he is anyway, my dad found him at approx. 3mo after being dumped in a park), and he is the dumbest, least intelligent animal I've ever encountered.  He's a sweetheart for sure, loves people, and thinks dogs are afraid of him (when I was a kid our dog was afraid of cats, and my mom's cat knew it).  He knows what my parents cars sound like, and if he's outside he runs in front of the cars to "greet" my parents, he runs up to dogs to try and boss them around, and he also wants to catch birds but meows at them first which obviously doesn't work.

 

He's been indoors for a long time now, and now only goes outside when he escapes, and then invariably he wants to come back in b/c there aren't enough people outside to keep him company eyesroll.gif

 

My parents other cat is a scaredy cat, and also loves being an indoor cat where he can hide from all the scary noises and people and cars. 

 

I don't think keeping cats indoors is cruel, nor do I think letting them out is cruel.  If I ever have cats, they will likely be indoors, but thats b/c thats what works for me.  If I ever have a yard I might get a cat enclosure, but I'll have to think about that one.

post #53 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

I think cat enclosures are a safe and responsible option if you can not control them.They get their outdoor time in a place where they are not causing issues.Letting cat free range to do *whatever* is not being a responsible pet owner or a good neighbor.

 

I am fine with people letting their cats out,BUT if their cats(or dogs) come in my yard they are fair game for me. I will do what I want with them within the law. I will not tolerate other peoples pets toileting in my yard,spraying their nasty scent,hunting,or harrassing my family, pets,  or chickens.


I have neighbors who have dogs who leave their dogs in the yard all summer long and we get to hear them bark incessantly at everything that drives by. And then there are people who don't let their dogs out unattended, but their dogs have been known to bolt out the door when nobody is looking and get lost for a bit. I think they are two different things and hope that you take into consideration that any pet that happens to be in your yard, might be there by accident. It happens with cats, too. Out of my three cats, only one has any interest in venturing past the front porch....and when the weather is nice he tries to sneak out sometimes, and has gotten out once when one of the kids didn't pull the screen all the way shut. Luckily, he stayed in the yard, but I'd hate to think that a neighbor would automatically assume him to be a nuisance and call animal control or shoot him with a BB gun.

 

I've noticed that people tend to assume the worst of others. Fundamental attribution error, and all that jazz....

post #54 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post

 

"Non-native" seems to be an odd angle. Housecats aren't native to anywhere, they were deliberately bred. As to the bird angle, I tried to point out above that these broad-brush numbers (and the University of Michigan link above promptly refers to Stanley Temple of the "Wisconsin study") cannot be evaluated in a vacuum and are generally trotted out for ideological reasons.



I'm confused by the bolded portion of your statement. What ideological reasons do you suppose I had for "trotting out" that link?
post #55 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post

"Non-native" seems to be an odd angle. Housecats aren't native to anywhere, they were deliberately bred. As to the bird angle, I tried to point out above that these broad-brush numbers (and the University of Michigan link above promptly refers to Stanley Temple of the "Wisconsin study") cannot be evaluated in a vacuum and are generally trotted out for ideological reasons.


I'm confused by the bolded portion of your statement. What ideological reasons do you suppose I had for "trotting out" that link?

 

I apologize for that coming off as a personal swipe. I was referring generally to the anti-TNR monomania of the American Bird Conservancy and company.

post #56 of 71

I have mixed feelings on the subject. We had an outdoor kitty for awhile (we tried her indoor only, but she would potty everywhere) and she did okay. We built her a little kitty house and she came and went. I eventually found her a home as a barn cat, though and she is doing really well there. We have four cats now (my outdoor cat's last litter) and they are exclusively indoor cats. Sometimes I would like them to be out though. I guess as PP's said, it depends on the situation. We live in the country, so outdoor cats are everywhere. My neighbor's cat used to come around our house, but he, one day, decided to attack my ds. He had scratches all over his face, torso and legs. It was terrible! When we see him, if we see him, we do what we have to to keep him away.

post #57 of 71

Build a cat kennel or walk your cat on a leash.  Let your PET cats roam and they pay the price for your irresponsibility as a pet owner

 

I value the native wildlife more than your wandering pet.

 

If your cat comes onto my property, I will take action.  You will get just one warning and your cat returned, if I recognize that the cat belongs to you. 

 

No second warnings or returns. 

 

S.S.S.

 

End. Of. Story.

post #58 of 71

I have cats and they are all indoor only for several reasons .

First of all , I have seen some of the horrible things , that can happen to cats , and if one of mine wouldn´t return home , I´d go crazy trying to find her .

Plus , I also agree , that a lot of cats do eat birds , probably not as many as some people would like us to believe , but considering how few of some types are left , each dead one is one too many , no matter how they get killed !

If I would ever let my cats out , it would be in a suitable enclosure in my yard , where they can enjoy the sun without being able to take off . 

Cats wander off , and eventually every cat will leave it´s yard , so saying "he will come back" is not a very reliable thing , since there may just be one time , when he doesn´t

Outdoor cats on average live many years less than indoor cats , they can catch all different kinds of parasites and diseases , they can get injured by other animals and people , so for me , it is never a question , every cat I will ever own will be an indoor pet ! 

post #59 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow_mandala View Post

Keeping a cat indoors its entire life is depressing.  Walking a cat on a leash is only a small improvement because cats have an innate need for freedom. 

See, now you are just projecting your own feelings on to the situation.  A cat who has spent it's entire life from birth inside doesn't know any different.  You think it would be  depressing.  That doesn't mean a cat would or does feel the same way. 

 

How do you know that domesticated cats have that innate need?  These aren't feral or wild cats, they are domesticated house cats. 

 

 

Quote:
The pooping in people's yards is a bit annoying, but it's really not the end of the world (and also makes great fertilizer).

...and spreads disease...no big deal. 

 

post #60 of 71

Both of my cats are indoor only, but my youngest cat, Angie (who is 10 months old), like to dart out the door every chance she gets to play with the branches that have fallen from the trees outside my apartment.  I recently started to leash train her, so she can go on walks like my older cat, Daisy.

 

The biggest concern I have with having an indoor/outdoor cat is they can bring in fleas.  I had a heck of a time getting rid of fleas last year, due to Angie running outside all the time.  If you are going to allow your cat to go outdoors, make sure they have a good flea medicine on them and make sure you also spray some home flea spray around parts of your house where your cat likes to hang out (or vacuum frequently). 

 

Jessie

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