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Cats - indoor or outdoor? - Page 2

post #21 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post
It's very unnatural for an animal (human included - think of how YOU would enjoy being kept against your will indoors for your whole life) to be inside for it's entire life... all day, all night.

For those of you with strictly indoor animals, do you at least take them outside for a walk on a leash or in an outdoor run?? I understand your views on protection (for the cat & also for the birds, trees, etc) but not allowing them outside, ever, is cruel as well as unnatural.

If someone posted that they had an "indoor dog" & had it poo/pee in a box & never let it outside - even though it tried to make a run for the door every time it opened - people here would be up in arms about animal abuse, etc. I don't understand the difference. I'm not accusing animal abuse here, just would like to understand the difference b'c I don't see one.

Then again, some people also think that clipping a bird's wings & stuffing them into a cage is a nice life for the bird...
Yep, Zuki has a harness and a long leash. Sometimes I let her off leash when I am outside with the dogs throwing the ball (she likes to play ball too, this cat thinks she's a dog), BUT, she does come when she's called, so I feel Ok about it. And I certainly don't let her kill birds, scratch trees, or pee in the neighbors garden. In fact, I don't let her leave our yard (hence the coming when called part). When she makes a run for the door and I don't let her outside is when I'm unable to take her outside and supervise. My dogs show interest in walking out the front door when it's open, but I don't allow that either.

But I would not call my cat an indoor/outdoor cat, and I what is working for her may not work for other cats.

Quote:
If someone posted that they had an "indoor dog" & had it poo/pee in a box & never let it outside - even though it tried to make a run for ythe door every time it opened - people here would be up in arms about animal abuse, etc.
People would not be up in arms about never allowing a dog to run out the front the door and roam the neighborhood. That's what we're talking about here - people letting cats ROAM. Nobody is talking about clipping a cat up and taking it outside on a leash when they are referring to their "outdoor" cats. I would have absolutely no objection what so ever to someone preventing their dog from bolting out the front door in the fashion similar to what my cat does. My cat gets no more "freedom" then my dogs. They're always leashed and/or under my direct supervision in circumstances where they are controllable. Period. I don't think that's cruel, or abusive.
post #22 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post
It's very unnatural for an animal (human included - think of how YOU would enjoy being kept against your will indoors for your whole life) to be inside for it's entire life... all day, all night.
I agree. My kitty lives indoors about 90% of the time, but at least once a day, she loves to go out into the yard so that she can roll in the grass and take a nap in the sun. Sometimes when DD and I go for a walk, she follows us around the block. When I leave the house, she usually bolts and heads outside. She has a perch on the front porch where she hangs out, and sits waiting for me to come home.

On 2 occasions (when we lived in apartments), she was an indoor-only cat. She always spent all of her time scratching at the window and staring outside. In our last apartment, we had a little balcony, so she was able to sit on the balcony for her fresh air. When she is allowed to spend some time outdoors, she is happier and healthier (and less destructive on my furniture!). She is also very much a content pet. I could not imagine her without a family to love, she loves to snuggle up with her humans...so I have a hard time buying the argument that if a cat has a desire to be outdoors, then they're not meant to be a pet. I think that it's possible to do both.
post #23 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
So guinea pigs should go outside too? And rats? And ferrets?
Whenever we've had smaller, caged pets, we've taken their cages outdoors on nice days for some fresh air. I don't see that as unreasonable at all.
post #24 of 313
Quote:
Then again, some people also think that clipping a bird's wings & stuffing them into a cage is a nice life for the bird...
True that.

Quote:
We have some very dedicated bird owners on the board, and I'm sure they'd object to the way you've described bird ownership. You can have an indoor bird with wonderful quality of life.
They can object all they want. Isn't going to change my opinion though. IMO it's inherantly cruel to clip a birds wings and keep it locked inside all the time, even if it does have time out of the cage. Birds are not nearly as healthy mentally or physically when they are kept inside and their wings clip. They are meant to fly. It's healthy for them to fly.
post #25 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
Whenever we've had smaller, caged pets, we've taken their cages outdoors on nice days for some fresh air. I don't see that as unreasonable at all.
And none of us have said that "indoor cats" can't go into outdoor enclosures or for a walk on a leash. But we've emphatically said that you don't let a cat run out a door into the wild blue yonder any more than you let a rat or a ferret do that.

Those of you who insist that cats should be allowed to be out under their own recognizance, how do you answer the environmental concerns? And from a "it's not fair" perspective, don't the small mammals and birds that actually belong here have a right to live without an introduced predator that they have no defenses against?

Now if you could train a cat to catch only starlings, that I might have some sympathy with...:
post #26 of 313
indoor all the way! my 20 year old kity was an indoor kitty and our 2 kittens will be as well. the kittens are still earning how to walk on leashes etc but my 20 yr old cat would walk with me on a leash and would hang out in our fenced in back yard with me when i was outside s she got her fresh air etc.
i honestly amd against cats being outside animals ONLY b/c of humans. i dont want to ever have to worry about my cat being tortured,beat,absued,run over etc,kwim?
post #27 of 313
When I was younger we always let our cats out. One never left the yard, one never went past the neighbor's house (they had a cat and didn't mind), and the other would roam around. Thankfully, none of them were hurt, but my parents did lose a cat from being hit by a car when I was a baby. Our male who used to roam was the best cat ever. He contracted FIV from being allowed outside . It's heartbreaking and horriying to watch that disease take it's course.

My parents adopted 2 more cats, a 1 yr old female who is scared if she gets out, and an 8 yr old male who is frantic to get out! He lived in a shelter his whole life and they had a room that was screened in, but allowed fresh air. He just has no comprehension that he can't just bolt and be safe. These 2 cats are not allowed outside!

I have 3 now and my 2 with the worst stories are not wanting to go out. They're curious when the door is open, but that's about it. The 1 we have that wants out just runs out, rolls around on the patio and waits for me to grab him. He's totally happy being held outside. That's all he gets. My backyard has a 6 foot block wall, so I'm not at all worried about holding him out there. We do have coyotes here, so there's no way I'm letting him out.

Not counting all the birds and rabbits cats kill outside, people either generally like cats or hate them. I'm so nervous of someone hurting a cat they just see outside because it's there. I've heard too many horror stories. Cars and cats scare the beejesus out of me too. OF course I also found my Sullivan under my hood, sitting next to my engine!
post #28 of 313
Our cats are indoors. If I let them outside, they could and probably would get lost, git hit by a car, eat something poisonous, be attacked by another animal, fall, or contract some disease. I've had my two sweet, affectionate cats for all of their lives and they are healthy and show no desire to go outside. Meanwhile, my brother-in-law's outdoor cat contracted FIV, a roommate's outdoor cat ran away and was never seen again, etc. My husband says this is the first time in his life he has ever had a cat for such a long time - they went through pets like they were going out of style because they let their cats outdoors. We had the same single pet growing up until he died of old age. If you let your cats outside, you are extending their territory and so they can become anxious with having to defend their territory from other animals. I know people say that it is cruel to let them outside - but outside is not their natural habitat anymore because they are now domesticated animals. The outdoors is a hostile environment for a cat to try to survive in and, sadly, outdoor cats just don't have a very long lifespan.
post #29 of 313
Cats should definatly be kept indoors, or in a suitable enclosure, same as dogs. I have two cats, they are both indoors only, one has no interest in going outdoors, one really does want to go out, but she gets into so much trouble. She does occasionaly bolt or sneek out, she has killed a few lizards, she even managed to kill a bob tail lizard who was 30 cm long by jumping on its head and making it smear everywhere. It is really bad for the environment and the local animals to have them outside, not to mention dangerous for them, there are some stray cats around here and she could get attacked, she has gotten stuck up a tree a couple of times, she could get run over, catch a disease, be caught and hurt by a human. It is irrisponsible and stressful to let them roam, i want to have my cats for a long time, they have a stimulating healthy environment indoors why would i risk it?
post #30 of 313
Our cat is 13. She goes outside whenever she wants. She used to hunt, but now that she is older, she doesn't any more. When we lived in the city, she wasn't allowed to go outside, but that was only a small portion of her life.

I have known some outdoor cats who died young, being hit by cars, poisoned - killed by things that pose dangers to cats. I have known outdoor cats who lived long lives. I let my cat out unsupervised because I know her, and I know how she will act. She stays close to home, always has. If I had a more adventurous cat, I would still let her out, but I'd keep a closer eye on her. I think it is unnatural to keep an animal indoors all the time.
post #31 of 313
PS - the world is a dangerous place, to cats and humans. Would you keep your children inside all the time to minimize their risk?
post #32 of 313
All of our cats have been indoor/outdoor. I would never force a cat to stay indoor all the time.
post #33 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd View Post
PS - the world is a dangerous place, to cats and humans. Would you keep your children inside all the time to minimize their risk?
If I'm not out there with them, holding their hands or sure that they are enclosed? You bet your sweet bippie.
post #34 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
If I'm not out there with them, holding their hands or sure that they are enclosed? You bet your sweet bippie.
How old are your kids? At some point, you have to let them go on their own. (I assume you agree with this, unless your last name is Bates. )
post #35 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Those of you who insist that cats should be allowed to be out under their own recognizance, how do you answer the environmental concerns? And from a "it's not fair" perspective, don't the small mammals and birds that actually belong here have a right to live without an introduced predator that they have no defenses against?
For starters, I'm against caging animals...I've had hamsters and rats, and a cockatiel at one point, but I would not, and could not ever buy another pet that requires a cage. I don't think it's natural, and honestly, the small animals at pet stores are just bred to be pets and spend their lives in cages, and I have serious issues with the ethics behind that. I also have major ethical issues with breeding dogs and cats for show or for pets.

As far as the environmental aspect, it's the least of my worries. I'll worry about the impact of outdoor cats on the environment when the meat and dairy industries stop destroying animals and the earth. Even when outside, my cat will still come inside the garage to use her litterbox. She's hardly a dangerous predator, unless you're a mosquito or a housefly that's made it's way into my house. A mouse or a bird could probably walk right up to her and sit down, and she'd either run away or completely ignore it. And regardless, as much as it makes me sad, many animals, cats included, are predatory in nature. In my perfect world, all animals would be vegetarian, but that's not reality. I don't get any more upset over a cat catching a mouse than I do over an animal in the wild preying on other animals.

As far as I'm concerned, my cat's healthy, she's safe, she's happy, and she's better off in the situation that she's in. If I thought otherwise, I'd re-assess the situation and find something more suitable to her well being. But her spending a few hours a day in my yard is really not hurting anyone.

As far as the allergy aspect, someone is far, far more likely to have an allergic reaction to pet dander when they are in an indoor environment with a cat or with someone who has cat dander on their clothing. When my nephews come to our house, we have to put the cats outside, both for the safety of the cats, and for the safety of the kids, who will chase the cats, open doors, and climb to get at them. My oldest nephew also has severe cat allergies, and can't breathe when the cats are in the house with him.

FWIW, I've had cats before who had no desire to ever go outdoors, and those cats have been 100% indoor cats. I have no issue with people who keep their cats indoors. I just don't believe that it is necessarily better.
post #36 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd View Post
PS - the world is a dangerous place, to cats and humans. Would you keep your children inside all the time to minimize their risk?
Well i wouldn't let my children roam around the neighborhood unattended, for pretty much the same reasons. Cats cant understand the risks, and the problems they cause.
post #37 of 313
Our cats wouldn't go outdoors if their lives depended on it. One cat came into our lives from an irresponsible neighbor (she kept lots of cats outdoors to help with mice in her barn...so she wouldn't feed them, and a starving kitten ventured into our yard to try to get to some dog food....once we brought it indoors, she's never wanted to go outside again) and the other was from a litter born on the college campus that I was able to rescue.
I can leave a door wide open, and they will look out the door, but have no interest in stepping outside.
post #38 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Those of you who insist that cats should be allowed to be out under their own recognizance, how do you answer the environmental concerns? And from a "it's not fair" perspective, don't the small mammals and birds that actually belong here have a right to live without an introduced predator that they have no defenses against?

Now if you could train a cat to catch only starlings, that I might have some sympathy with...:
Sorry, I missed this question.

This occurance is called The Circle of Life. Or Survival of the Fittest. Animals hunt, they eat, they die. I'd not restrict an animal to hunt, its a survival instinct. My cat is very good at it. I've seen him jump 6 ft in the air to catch a bird in mid flight. While we were amazed and impressed with our cat, we were sad and thankful for the bird.

I've had this conversation before in a similiar thread. I will not engage in flaming or name calling. I respect your right to your own beliefs, and I expect the same in return.
post #39 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
As far as the environmental aspect, it's the least of my worries. I'll worry about the impact of outdoor cats on the environment when the meat and dairy industries stop destroying animals and the earth.
No offense, but this is a horrible argument. You can't say that something is OK because something else is worse. I don't mean to pick on you but I feel compelled to point it out.

As far as the indigenous species argument goes... the mere fact that something is not native is not enough for me to condemn it. It's possible that humans migrated here - should we leave because we're not native? If you go back far enough, there is not much that is "native". It comes down to how well the species integrates itself.

IMO, cats integrate well as long as they don't become too numerous, and that's where humans come in.
post #40 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by battymama View Post
Well i wouldn't let my children roam around the neighborhood unattended, for pretty much the same reasons. Cats cant understand the risks, and the problems they cause.
I disagree - I think adult cats *can* understand normal risks, like cars, dogs, etc. If you have a neighbor setting out poison, then that's a whole different story.
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