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#1 Old 02-28-2016, 02:10 AM
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Kittens !

I am currently sharing my dining room with two very rambunctious kittens. We got them home on Friday evening and as they are rescue kitties (with poor socialisation) we're introducing them room by room.

However even in the two days they have been here they've come on enormously. From running away to milling about at a distance. Currently I'm sitting with them while they play and monitoring how much they eat. The male kitty will have to be watched ... he will eat all the food (his and hers).

However they are now super interested in the living room - there's a glass door - and we had initially thought we'd let them acclimatise in one room for a week or so. We had been under the impression that they would be hiding a lot. They are doing the opposite of hiding ... they are running around and mauling each other. But they are still skittish.

I've got a cat tunnel, cat climbing frame, scratching post and some toys in the room. The cat tunnel is most popular as is the clockwork mouse (it's been killed repeatedly). So lots of stuff to do and I spend hours in here playing with them.

I'm in two minds about letting them into the living room - as they are still so skittish. I'd like them to be a bit more confident about people (me and the fiance) first. They're not really approaching us for petting or company yet (but if I've got food they're a lot less skittish) and they do still scarper if you walk towards them.

Thoughts?

As a note my last cat was a lot more feral but also a lot more feisty ... and older.
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#2 Old 02-28-2016, 12:31 PM
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Based on my own personal experience with kittens, I would let them have the run of the house, because that's what I would prefer if I were them. I think they will become more confident and less skittish in their own time. Good luck.
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#3 Old 03-06-2016, 01:25 AM
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We've got kitten take over downstairs in the house now. But until I clear the last room upstairs (we're down to the last two rooms in the renovation project!) I'm wary of letting them zoom around upstairs. :-)
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#4 Old 03-06-2016, 02:54 AM
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Are there any other pets in the living room? If so maybe keep them separated a little longer, otherwise I would say just let them go for it!
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#5 Old 03-06-2016, 06:33 PM
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Are you fostering or adopting? In either case, kudos and congratulations!
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#6 Old 03-07-2016, 03:16 AM
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Adopting from the RSPCA (they were found in a box with their mum)

No other animals (apart from the fiance) in the house - so they have the run of downstairs. We've got foxes (they usually have cubs in the spring and get a bit bolshy) in the area so I want the kittens to be less kitten sized and a bit more muscular before letting them out! We have a small enclosed garden at the back and live on a quiet cul de sac (and back on to another cul de sac) so they're definitely allowed out eventually.
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#7 Old 03-07-2016, 06:30 AM
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Just be aware that even full grown cats who have experience fending for themselves will become fox food. If you do let them out, I'd suggest training them to come in before dusk by establishing that as feeding time, and then keeping them in at night.
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#8 Old 03-07-2016, 09:16 AM
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Adopting from the RSPCA (they were found in a box with their mum)

No other animals (apart from the fiance) in the house - so they have the run of downstairs. We've got foxes (they usually have cubs in the spring and get a bit bolshy) in the area so I want the kittens to be less kitten sized and a bit more muscular before letting them out! We have a small enclosed garden at the back and live on a quiet cul de sac (and back on to another cul de sac) so they're definitely allowed out eventually.
When we moved, we kept them in the house for a fortnight to get them comfy with the new space (they are real scaredy cats so needed lots of careful observation and attention).

After the initial house acclimatisation, on weekend mornings I then went into the garden to weed or read and kept a door or window open for them to come out if they chose (and do their business). I wanted them to see me in the garden, so they knew it was their garden too and I also gave them a lot of fuss and attention, to encourage them to stick around me somewhat in the garden.

When let out in the morning, they were left unfed (and a bit hungry) for a couple of hours, in order to encourage them to explore the garden (and immediate neighbours) a bit and return to the house for a late breakfast. We did this for two or three weekends before leaving them to roam unattended so that they got familiar with their new territory.

My last neighbours lost a lovely cat because although they kept him in the house for a fortnight, the first time they put him outside it was night time, they went out for a meal for the evening and then he never came back.

Last edited by Spudulika; 03-07-2016 at 09:27 AM.
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#9 Old 03-07-2016, 11:22 AM
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We've got foxes (they usually have cubs in the spring and get a bit bolshy) in the area so I want the kittens to be less kitten sized and a bit more muscular before letting them out! We have a small enclosed garden at the back and live on a quiet cul de sac (and back on to another cul de sac) so they're definitely allowed out eventually.
May I ask WHY you're intent on letting them go outside? Sorry, but I'm 100% against the idea, and I'm rather vocal about it both in real life and online. There are MANY dangers outside, including but not limited to: humans who poison animals deliberately; animals that kill other animals; cars; pet thieves; vivisectionists; accidental poisoning; etc.

Cats can and do live perfectly happy--and SAFE and LONG--lives indoors. I hope you'll reconsider letting them out.
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#10 Old 03-07-2016, 12:39 PM
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May I ask WHY you're intent on letting them go outside? Sorry, but I'm 100% against the idea, and I'm rather vocal about it both in real life and online. There are MANY dangers outside, including but not limited to: humans who poison animals deliberately; animals that kill other animals; cars; pet thieves; vivisectionists; accidental poisoning; etc.

Cats can and do live perfectly happy--and SAFE and LONG--lives indoors. I hope you'll reconsider letting them out.
In Great Britain, it's generally considered cruel to keep cats indoors 24/7.


I'm not in G.B., and I am a believer in keeping them indoors, both for their own safety and that of birds and other small animals. I do recognize that many cats experience an enrichment in being allowed out on their own recognizance, but it does come at a high price. I compromise by having secure outdoor areas for them, where they can experience fresh air and sunshine without risk to themselves or other animals.
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#11 Old 03-07-2016, 01:56 PM
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May I ask WHY you're intent on letting them go outside? Sorry, but I'm 100% against the idea, and I'm rather vocal about it both in real life and online. There are MANY dangers outside, including but not limited to: humans who poison animals deliberately; animals that kill other animals; cars; pet thieves; vivisectionists; accidental poisoning; etc.

Cats can and do live perfectly happy--and SAFE and LONG--lives indoors. I hope you'll reconsider letting them out.
I've honestly never questioned the idea of letting cats out to roam. I guess it's a bit of a cultural default, pretty much everyone in the UK just does that with cats and always has done.

We find the US's desire to own guns equally weird. No-one in the UK wants guns to be freely available. Another cultural default that is almost universally accepted.
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#12 Old 03-07-2016, 06:38 PM
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I've honestly never questioned the idea of letting cats out to roam. I guess it's a bit of a cultural default, pretty much everyone in the UK just does that with cats and always has done.
But change has to start somewhere, right?

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We find the US's desire to own guns equally weird. No-one in the UK wants guns to be freely available. Another cultural default that is almost universally accepted.
I find it equally as weird as you do! Please don't think everyone in the US owns guns or wants them to be readily accessible because, really, not all of us do.
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#13 Old 03-07-2016, 06:45 PM
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In Great Britain, it's generally considered cruel to keep cats indoors 24/7.
They've obviously never seen my very spoiled, content, happy, healthy cats!

It took me years to convince my mother that cats should be strictly indoors. She had the very old-fashioned idea that they "need their freedom"--even though I, and my uncle (her brother, a physician), kept telling her about dangers like pet thieves who sell stolen pets to vivisectionists, etc. She FINALLY saw the light, and then attempted to convince her neighbor, a woman a few years older than she was, that she needed to do the same. Well, the neighbor didn't buy it...and then one morning my brother found the remains of her cat at the bottom of her driveway; a coyote had used him as dinner.

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I'm not in G.B., and I am a believer in keeping them indoors, both for their own safety and that of birds and other small animals. I do recognize that many cats experience an enrichment in being allowed out on their own recognizance, but it does come at a high price. I compromise by having secure outdoor areas for them, where they can experience fresh air and sunshine without risk to themselves or other animals.
Excellent!
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#14 Old 03-08-2016, 01:02 AM
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I live in the US and grew up always allowing our cats to go outside so it does feel like the more natural thing to do. That said, now that I have adopted a few rescues, I have promised to keep them strictly indoor. They seem pretty content and it certainly is way less worrisome for me, but I do think they would be a tad happier if they could spend some time out in nature. My dream is to one day have one of those awesome catios that you see online.

Something like this would be awesome.

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#15 Old 03-08-2016, 02:41 AM
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I'm at the opposite end of the opinion scale here. I won't turn the house into a little cat prison with an exercise yard.

My (strongly held) opinions are no doubt coloured by the fact I've always been around outdoor cats, as has my other half, and the only indoor cats I've met have been neurotic and unhappy (I've not seen it done well).

I'm not going to let my needs control their life - and it would be monstrously cruel to keep them locked up inside. It's entirely unnatural because there is no way that anyone can create an environment that is varied enough that it would compensate for the experiences they would have out of doors. We do not have the space (or planning permission) to create a 'catio' - and I do not see it as a suitable substitute for actual exploration.

As with anything you have to take a view on what is acceptable risk and balance it against what is best for the animal, not what is best for your own peace of mind. I worry constantly that my cats aren't getting enough activity and stimulation while I am at work - I have shaved an hour off my working day to get home early and am taking two days off this week to ensure that they don't spend 5 days all alone (my fiance is away this week). When they are out I will worry that they are getting into scraps and about all the other dangers out there but I will also know that they are living full lives full of cat things.

Keeping cats exclusively indoors leads to inhumane practices like declawing (leading to huge problems later in life for cats) something that is virtually unheard of in the UK. Of course if you have a cat with FIV (or other infectious diseases) or with severe mobility issues you may have no choice but to try and create as comfortable and varied a life as possible for them inside, but it's hardly ideal.

All I can refer to is the story of Elsa - a childhood neighbour's Burmese cat. Elsa came to my neighbour as an adult indoor cat with severe issues. She hated other cats, she hated her people, she especially hated small children, she clawed, she hissed, she bit and she was destructive (scratching, smashing, shredding). About the only thing she didn't do was urinate inappropriately. Even though she was (appearance wise) a perfect Burmese who they had planned to breed show cats from - her behaviour meant they thought she should be put down. Our neighbour was her last shot.

Our neighbour's previous cat (Winston) had a fatal accident with a car and she took on the insane devil cat with some trepidation. Elsa arrived late one summer and after a few weeks they opened the back door to let her out. I won't say her behaviour changed overnight but I remember her as a cat who liked lap snuggles and would ride on my shoulder (a much better view from up there). I firmly believe that being allowed out, to have a life of her own, did a huge amount to make Elsa a happy cat and she no longer needed to lash out at her environment.
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#16 Old 03-08-2016, 08:22 AM
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IME, (and I have lived with a pretty insane number of cats throughout my life, always in the double digits at any given time) what creates neurotic cats is cats who grow up as only cats. (Not all turn out neurotic, but the only neurotic cats I have met have grown up solo.) It's why I am always happy when people adopt in pairs - it's so much better for the cats.

There have been very, very few cats in my life who haven't adjusted well to being indoor cats, and almost all of mine have been feral cats or discarded cats who have lived on the streets. None of them have become neurotic at becoming indoor cats. I've had only one who constantly tried to sneak out the door (which he did very effectively). He did fall victim to a predator.

In a perfect world, sure, I would give my cats the choice to roam. It's not a perfect world, though. I grew up on a farm, and the average lie expectancy of our cats was 0-5 years, with very, very few making it to five years - just two that I can recall in all the years until my parents died.

But, whatever you feel about the quality of the cats' lives, the fact is that cats, outdoors, are efficient little killers. People who let their cats out to kill birds are part of the reason so many people actively hate cats. Just read the recent thread on here where members are advocating the slaughter of tens of millions of cats in Australia.


As an aside - the declawing of cats in the U.S. is not as prevalent as you think. My vet, for example, does not perform declawing. don't know anyone who has declawed their cats. The attitudes toward the procedure have changed significantly over the last couple of decades.

P.S. I'm not saying all of this to change your mind. You sound as though you are doing your very best for these kittens, and I applaud your decision to adopt two. I just wrote this post because you were so dismissive toward those who have made different choices about letting their cats out, and I wanted to point out that it's not an easy, one-sided decision. As with so much, it's a decision where lives are at stake, and not just the lives of cats.

Last edited by Beautiful Joe; 03-08-2016 at 08:29 AM.
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#17 Old 03-08-2016, 10:55 AM
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My cat is an indoor cat. Everyone always makes such a big deal of pointing out how sweet and friendly and lovely he is. That he's the nicest cat ever. OK maybe I am biased but that doesn't mean it isn't true. :P
We spend time in the backyard together with me watching over him when he's outside.
Also I live in Australia near bushland. So being a responsible pet owner I feel it would be bad for me to let him roam around killing vulnerable native wildlife.
I don't even think declawing is legal here. Not sure. Never known anyone here who had their cat declawed. It's pretty messed up that someone would come up with the idea in the first place. Not that my kitty would need it anyway. I can literally hold him in the shower and he holds on, but purposefully keeps his claws retracted because he doesn't want to hurt me.

When I lived with my parents we had cats (who hated each other) and spent most of their time outside. One of the cats, who was tough as nails, had more than one experience of being beaten up by another cat in the neighbourhood. And it broke my heart. We took her to the vet and he said she was depressed, apart from a few minor physical injuries, she wouldn't eat or move from one spot and just generally looked miserable.
I also knew a cat who was paralyzed and eventually had to be put down. They weren't sure exactly what happened, but thought it might have been from just jumping over a fence and landing wrong.

My younger sister worked at a veterinary clinic briefly. She often said that if she had a cat it would be an inside one. She had seen too many cats come in who had been hurt.

But like Beautiful Joe said. It's up to you. And it is wonderful you have adopted these little bundles of joy and want to do everything you can for them. I wouldn't judge you for it at all and I understand why you would want to let them roam around.
But please remember that cats aren't as indestructible as people seem to think they are.
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Last edited by SweetPotato; 03-08-2016 at 11:02 AM.
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#18 Old 03-08-2016, 12:09 PM
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I'm at the opposite end of the opinion scale here. I won't turn the house into a little cat prison with an exercise yard.

My (strongly held) opinions are no doubt coloured by the fact I've always been around outdoor cats, as has my other half, and the only indoor cats I've met have been neurotic and unhappy (I've not seen it done well).
It's a shame that you haven't seen it done well! You should drop by my house sometime. While here you'll see five extraordinarily happy, healthy, fit, content cats--none of which I'll ever find flattened by a car, eaten by a coyote, poisoned by some malicious human, or missing from a variety of possible reasons, like vivisectionists who pay people to steal pets.

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I'm not going to let my needs control their life - and it would be monstrously cruel to keep them locked up inside. It's entirely unnatural because there is no way that anyone can create an environment that is varied enough that it would compensate for the experiences they would have out of doors.
You're right! I cannot create, inside my house, a street with multi-thousand pound vehicles driving on it, nor can I create poison they might get into accidentally, and of course I don't invite coyotes or other predators into my home, so, yeah. As for "monstrously cruel," I can't imagine anything much worse than knowing that a cat I love has ended up locked in a cage somewhere in a lab, having horrific, painful, frightening things done to them, or ending up in the hands of some cruel person who likes to torture small animals, or dies a slow death after being poisoned or hit by a car.

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We do not have the space (or planning permission) to create a 'catio' - and I do not see it as a suitable substitute for actual exploration.
Cats are very adaptable. If given plenty of interesting things to play with, and explore, and climb on, and scratch, and lie on while sunbathing, they're very happy. They also live longer than cats who go outside.

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As with anything you have to take a view on what is acceptable risk and balance it against what is best for the animal, not what is best for your own peace of mind.
That's EXACTLY what I do! I would be doing the OPPOSITE of that if I let them roam outdoors. Like my mom's neighbor whose cat...well, her cat's remains...was found outside one morning, courtesy of a coyote. Or the cat I had when I was a child...that I found a few doors down after being run over by a car. Or the thousands of cats and dogs who end up in labs.

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I worry constantly that my cats aren't getting enough activity and stimulation while I am at work
Then you're not providing them with appropriate tools to keep them busy and engaged. My cats NEVER have that problem. Plus, because they have the best toy ever--each other!--there's always something to do.

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When they are out I will worry that they are getting into scraps and about all the other dangers out there but I will also know that they are living full lives full of cat things.
Which they can do just as easily indoors--without any of the risk.

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Keeping cats exclusively indoors leads to inhumane practices like declawing (leading to huge problems later in life for cats) something that is virtually unheard of in the UK.
Um, no. I currently have five cats--NONE of whom is declawed. Again, because I provide them with APPROPRIATE tools, there is no scratching of furniture or any other destructive behaviors.

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Of course if you have a cat with FIV (or other infectious diseases) or with severe mobility issues you may have no choice but to try and create as comfortable and varied a life as possible for them inside, but it's hardly ideal.
This is so incorrect I really don't even know how to respond. If you want to see something that's hardly ideal, I suggest going to a lab that conducts horrifying, painful tests on cats.

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All I can refer to is the story of Elsa - a childhood neighbour's Burmese cat. Elsa came to my neighbour as an adult indoor cat with severe issues. She hated other cats, she hated her people, she especially hated small children, she clawed, she hissed, she bit and she was destructive (scratching, smashing, shredding). About the only thing she didn't do was urinate inappropriately. Even though she was (appearance wise) a perfect Burmese who they had planned to breed show cats from - her behaviour meant they thought she should be put down. Our neighbour was her last shot.

Our neighbour's previous cat (Winston) had a fatal accident with a car
And this made no impression...on anyone?

Quote:
and she took on the insane devil cat with some trepidation. Elsa arrived late one summer and after a few weeks they opened the back door to let her out. I won't say her behaviour changed overnight but I remember her as a cat who liked lap snuggles and would ride on my shoulder (a much better view from up there). I firmly believe that being allowed out, to have a life of her own, did a huge amount to make Elsa a happy cat and she no longer needed to lash out at her environment.
When I first started keeping my cats indoors, I had one in particular who had a tough time adjusting. He was an old tom cat, and very set in his ways. He nearly drove us insane with his howling and meowing and clawing at the door. I honestly didn't think it would ever work out. But it did. He adjusted, and lived a long, happy life. Every cat I've had since then--and mine are all rescues, and have been for decades, so they come to me at all ages and all backgrounds, including having been outdoor strays their whole lives, and even feral (I have two ferals right now)--has adjusted JUST FINE to the comfy, cozy, busy, happy, fun world of indoor life.
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