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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have another cat question! Since spring is coming soon I'm wondering about taking our cat outside. She is strictly an indoor cat since we live in an apartment complex but I want to be able to take her outside on a leash when the weather's nice. My boyfriend is concerned though that once she spends time outside she'll always be trying to jet out the door. I understand why this would be a concern of his but I really think she deserves the time outside! Does anyone have any opinions about this? We're just scared of losing her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:">
 

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<span style="text-decoration:underline;">Keep her inside!!!</span> Chances are, if you let her out she will be *dying* to get outdoors more and more.<br><br>
My cat Clarise (who my parents let go outside whenever she wanted when I was away from home) passed away last year at the age of 8 after she stumbled in the house one night struggling to breathe. To this day no one is sure if going outside all the time contributed to her death 100%, but I'm willing to bet that was part of it.<br>
We have 2 other cats (both 9 years old) who are INDOORS-ONLY (one tries to get out a lot, the other knows better and stays in!) and I intend to keeping them that way!<br><br>
Yes, it may seem cruel, but there are so many dangers outside that can lead to fatalities that can be avoided by keeping them in. Not to mention less parasites and such, blech.
 

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My cat is a strictly indoor cat, and she still tries to dart at the door. While that makes me sound like a ***** for not letting her out, there are a lot of other cats out there and I've been woken up more than once to a cat fight outside my window, there are eagles and owls that could easily make a quick meal of her, mice and birds that she would try to catch that have diseases, people who may try to catch her and make her their companion.<br><br>
So, its not bad to have them out on a leash, theoretically, but it could lead to them trying to dart out when you open the door to go to errands/school/work. And they are sneaky little creatures.
 

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If she's happy inside, then I think you should leave well enough alone.<br><br>
I wish that cats were not domesticated because their lives are not reasonably safe outside in most places, but for some cats they really do crave being out. Many of them live very limited lives and it's not fair, but it's often the best we can do.<br><br>
Do some searching online - you may be able to turn a window into a cat box or a porch into a protected outdoor space, if your apartment is set up for it. There are different options for sale or that you can build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
She would definately only be outside with a harness on attatched to a leash. This sounds stupid...but I just <i>know</i> she would really love it. We got her from a farm where she was an outdoor and indoor cat. They were getting rid of her because she liked to spend too much time around the machinery which could have led to a very dangerous situation. So I know she has spent time outside in the past...which is part of the reason I feel guilty keeping her in now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/attachment.php?s=0fac9211a7d107650ae848713edd284a&attachmentid=14819" title="">Attachment 14819</a><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/attachment.php?s=0fac9211a7d107650ae848713edd284a&attachmentid=14818" title="">Attachment 14818</a><br><br>
These were taken at her previous home...she just looks so happy outside!!<br><br>
I'm being such a sap.<br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/b/b4/b433cccb_vbattach14819.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/b/b4/525x525px-LL-b433cccb_vbattach14819.jpeg" style="width:299px;height:201px;"></a><br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/e/e9/e98e1d0c_vbattach14818.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/e/e9/525x525px-LL-e98e1d0c_vbattach14818.jpeg" style="width:299px;height:200px;"></a>
 

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I used to take one of my cats outside on a harness and leash, but I don't anymore. If they get a taste of outside, they usually try to get out themselves every chance they get. Besides the obvious dangers, there are ticks, fleas, etc. that you could bring inside without even knowing it. My cats seem very happy just having lots of windows to look out of (even the stray I recently took in). I have a ground birdfeeder right outside my back door on the patio, so they get to watch the birds, deer, skunks, raccoons, possums, etc. Yes, I live in the country with LOTS of wildlife. I even heard a pack of coyotes outside last night howling. They were very close and I know they would eat a cat in a second (very scary). Plus, if your cat gets spooked, it can get out of that harness very easily (it happened to me once and we almost lost the cat). I just don't think all of the risks are worth it. Just my two cents.<br><br>
Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide to do.<br><br>
Laura <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's what scares me the most is thinking about her running away. We flea and tick her even though she stays inside, but I have a feeling she might be staying inside... I don't want a darting cat!
 

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i am keeping mine inside. i live downtown, i would be too worried for her. makes me feel a bit bad. she used to be an outdoor cat with her previous owner so i see she wants out<br><br>
so i guess if i were you i would leave her in. although maybe a bit going out on the leash isn't such a bad idea
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lovemyarchnug</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840422"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/attachment.php?s=0fac9211a7d107650ae848713edd284a&attachmentid=14819" title="">Attachment 14819</a><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/attachment.php?s=0fac9211a7d107650ae848713edd284a&attachmentid=14818" title="">Attachment 14818</a><br><br>
These were taken at her previous home...she just looks so happy outside!!<br><br>
I'm being such a sap.</div>
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She's a beautiful cat! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:"> Is that the same cat in your avatar?<br><br>
Flea/tick stuff is a good idea too (even tho its expensive)--even for indoor cats seeing we can bring things like fleas and ticks in from the outside! ((gross I know, I've had ticks on me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sick:"> --thankfully no Lyme disease!))
 

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Don't do it. This is not the natural world. A friendlyish cat has less of a chance outdoors. This isn't standard nature for anything but ferals. I lost a semi feral cat that way and it was horrible. Hawrible.
 

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This is something I was struggling with awhile back too, there's a thread with some more opinions here: <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?121919-Cats-Indoor-or-Outdoor-(PETA-Article" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/sh...-(PETA-Article</a>)<br><br>
After a lot of debating I decided to keep my cat indoors and take him out with a harness whenever there's nice weather. I'd love to feel safe enough to let him out but there are a lot of coyotes and missing cat posters in my area, and a lot of cars too.<br><br>
I think there are some situations where it would be okay, I plan on letting him out one day when we move to an area with a backyard with a tall fence I can cat proof. I think letting him go out but in a restricted area that predators can't get into would be a nice compromise, that way he will be able to chase birds in the yard and sleep on the grass. My cat seems quite happy for now anyway, he gets tons of attention and play time all day and he has plenty of things to jump on and toys and a window he likes staring out of. I don't think the extra satisfaction he'd get from being able to wander would be worth the possible death or injury, if the worst consequence from not letting him out is that life seems a little dull once in awhile I think that's better than getting eaten or getting hit by a car.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Werewolf Girl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840727"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This is something I was struggling with awhile back too, there's a thread with some more opinions here: <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?121919-Cats-Indoor-or-Outdoor-(PETA-Article" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/sh...-(PETA-Article</a>)<br><br>
After a lot of debating I decided to keep my cat indoors and take him out with a harness whenever there's nice weather. I'd love to feel safe enough to let him out but there are a lot of coyotes and missing cat posters in my area, and a lot of cars too.<br><br>
I think there are some situations where it would be okay, I plan on letting him out one day when we move to an area with a backyard with a tall fence I can cat proof. I think letting him go out but in a restricted area that predators can't get into would be a nice compromise, that way he will be able to chase birds in the yard and sleep on the grass. My cat seems quite happy for now anyway, he gets tons of attention and play time all day and he has plenty of things to jump on and toys and a window he likes staring out of. I don't think the extra satisfaction he'd get from being able to wander would be worth the possible death or injury, if the worst consequence from not letting him out is that life seems a little dull once in awhile I think that's better than getting eaten or getting hit by a car.</div>
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a quick off topic comment/question:<br>
You've mentioned him chasing birds. that's predatory and he could very possibly kill one or some. But, on the other hand, you don't want him to be killed by a predator. what's fair in that?<br><br>
on topic: Don't do it. It's unfair.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>unovegan</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840733"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
a quick off topic comment/question:<br>
You've mentioned him chasing birds. that's predatory and he could very possibly kill one or some. But, on the other hand, you don't want him to be killed by a predator. what's fair in that?<br><br>
on topic: Don't do it. It's unfair.</div>
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My cat is a klutzy goofball, the likelihood of him killing anything is pretty slim. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br>
Besides, when we get a yard and cat proof it I can just get him a collar with a bell on it. Then he gets to play in the yard and sleep in the sun and no birds get hurt, sounds like a win win situation to me.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Werewolf Girl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840757"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My cat is a klutzy goofball, the likelihood of him killing anything is pretty slim. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br>
Besides, when we get a yard and cat proof it I can just get him a collar with a bell on it. Then he gets to play in the yard and sleep in the sun and no birds get hurt, sounds like a win win situation to me.</div>
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oui. i see.
 

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Years ago, I took cats outside in a harness and on leash. A word of warning - a cat who sets his mind to it can get out of even the snuggest harness. I know - several of mine were able to do it. They would be perfectly well behaved and then, in a split second, would turn into ninja cats, and be free of the harness. That's why I stopped taking them out in harness.<br><br>
If you live in an apartment, there is traffic all around you. Your cat could be dead before you even realize what's going on.<br><br>
Also, for those who think putting a bell on a cat will save birds and other animals - no. Sebastian wears three bells, and someone died every day that he went out.
 

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My cat's never gotten out of his harness and we take him out quite regularly, so I'm not too concerned about that. Also, he was an outdoor/indoor cat before we got him and didn't have any success catching birds <i>without</i> a bell on so I'm not too concerned, a fierce and coordinated hunter he is not <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br>
I think there is acceptable risk and unacceptable risk, and if you're taking precautions to keep your cat and wildlife safe then there's no reason to not let them enjoy a little grass and sun. It's like having a child in a way, there's always going to be a little risk involved when you let them have freedom but the alternative is keeping them shut up in the dark and never letting them go out and get fresh air at all.
 

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Yeah, some cats don't make a concerted effort to get out of harnesses. I just don't want anyone to assume that a cat can't get out of a harness, or that a belled cat can't catch a bird, a lizard, or other prey. As you said, there's always a tradeoff between safety and freedom. People in general can only make informed decisions if they don't assume something that is not necessarily true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes she is in my avatar with Archie my doggie baby. To expand a little more on our living situation...We live in an apartment complex where it's actually in a U shape...and then surrounded by a bunch of other apartments so we're actually pretty far from the road and in the U we got them to set up a dog fence and we have a nice shade tree. It's just great and I basically just sit out there all summer! Because there are so many dogs we use the expensive flee and tick stuff on Archie who goes outside all the time (frontline) and then just some cheaper stuff on Zoey (more just for protection for her in cause anything did make it into the apartment. Any time I would take her out would be on leash with a harness hands down. It would also only be during times that no other dogs were out. She's super mellow and acts more like a dog then Archie sometimes! Haha. So this would take care of the...her getting hurt by predators or her hurting anything issue. It does scare me though to think of her sneaking out of her harness. I think what it really comes down to is I don't know how she'll react to being outside until unless I take her out. Maybe part of the reason that I want to take her outside so bad is that the first pictures I saw of her (the ones I posted) are what made me fall in love with her. She just looked so calm and at peace. It sounds really corny but maybe that's why I'm so nostalgic about it. I also feel like I "took it away" from her since she was an outdoor/indoor cat before. I guess I would be pissed if someone shoved me in a building and always made me stay inside.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lovemyarchnug</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2840828"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I guess I would be pissed if someone shoved me in a building and always made me stay inside.</div>
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It really, really depends. Of all of the indoor cats I have brought inside, only a very few have, over the decades, shown any interest in going outside. Now that they have an outdoor enclosure that they can go out into at will, there are still some who don't have any interest in doing even that.<br><br><br>
IME, the rougher their outdoor life was, the less interest they have in going out. They seem to have really long memories in that regard.
 
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