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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are peoples' opinions on the outdoor vs. indoor cat issue?<br><br><br><br>
I have been firmly in the indoor cat camp for a long time, for many reasons: the risk of disease and harm from cars and other animals, etc. I don't want to start a preaching thread, though; and also I have had to compromise on this issue due to Slim.<br><br><br><br>
About 3 years ago we "aquired" Slim (she refused to go back to her original owners, who lived in our house before we did). She is used to being an outdoor cat. She hates our indoor cats, also. The first summer and fall, we let her just stay outside, but when it got really cold in the winter, I tried unsuccessfully to get her to come inside. A couple of times when it was really cold, I just picked her up and carried her inside against her will, but she had a panic attack each time. I thought she was going to rip her own claws out on the door, so I let her back out. We got her a snug cat house (like a dog house but with a very small door) and I put a heating pad in it, and she has been very happy and healthy living outdoors. I worry about her, but she doesn't stray far, and being inside doesn't seem to be an option.<br><br><br><br>
Just recently, though, my in-laws and my best friend have lost cats in accidents with cars. They were cats that were used to going in and out at will. My in-laws' cat was only a couple of years old, a sweet boy who was best friends with their dog. My friend's cat, she actually ran over herself in a terrible, tragic driveway accident.<br><br><br><br>
I can only give sympathy to my family and friends, of course. But I can't help but think to myself that if these cats had been kept inside, they would still be alive.<br><br><br><br>
Which brings me back to Slim. I worry about her being outside, but she refuses to consider being inside. She is healthy for now, but she does get in fights with neighborhood strays. Plus we have raccoons and possums that come around hoping to get some cat food (or get into our trash). I am worried that she will tangle with one of them some night and end up really hurt.<br><br><br><br>
There is another feral stray that we feed -- Mr. Stripes -- and I have the same worries about him, but he's even less likely to be converted to being an indoor kitty. We are working to gain his trust enough to take him to the vet to be neutered and get shots, but the plan then is to release him because he is so wild. He practically had a seizure when I tried to shut the door to the cat carrier the other day (I have been putting his food in a carrier to get him used to it). I can't see him ever becoming tame enough to tolerate the indoors.<br><br><br><br>
I probably can't do anything to resolve my internal debate about this. But I was wondering where other people stand. And I'm wondering if I should try to make another effort to bring Slim inside. She has lately been stepping inside the doorway for a few seconds when invited in, and though she always goes right back out when she sees one of our other cats, I think it may be a promising sign.
 

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I think you should just let Slim be Slim. It's one thing to raise a cat indoors. It's another to try and bring an outdoor cat inside, or vice versa.
 

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i'm all for raising cats indoors, but only if they're indoor cats from the beginning. it's way too stressful on the cat to try to change their daily routines and habits, especially for those who don't accept change well. Slim obviously doesn't or the previous owners would have her at their new house now. it sounds like she's well provided for, and i think that's the best you can do for her. i'd keep the option open, let her step inside the house whenever she wants, but don't try to force it.<br><br><br><br>
as for the stray i think it's great that you're going to get him neutered. maybe the vet can give you some tranquilizers to sneak into his food so you can get him there relatively stress-free<br><br><br><br>
a neighbour actually told me that before we moved to this area she had been feeding a stray and so had many of the other neighbours, so one day she took up a collection and everyone who'd been feeding the cat chipped in to get him neutered and immunized. i think it's a really great thing to do, he'll live longer and healthier and there'll be less unwanted kittens in the world
 

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I think your best bet is leaving slim as s/he is<br><br><br><br>
imo<br><br>
i think that either way you bring up your cat is fine<br><br>
My cats are both outdoor cats and even tho we live on a pretty busy street and rite across from a forest (cyotes galore) my cats are aged 9 and 4 so i think that tells ya that cats can live both healthily<br><br>
i just like the idea of my cats being able to choose wether they want to e indoors or outdoor<br><br>
although we call them in the nite time<br><br>
even stilll we call them in so they still have a choise<br><br>
but my one cat is probaly outdoors most of the time while the other is indoors most of the time
 

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I believe in cats being outdoor cats, provided your area is safe. Obviously, living next to a 4 line major roadway is unsafe. My cats come and go as they please, for the most part.<br><br><br><br>
I don't let 1 cat outside after dark because his night vision is poor and he gets lost easily. By lost, I mean two doors down. Fuzzy, however, I allow outside all night. He grew up being an outdoors cat and is used to hunting. When he isn't able to go outside, he becomes horribly depressed.<br><br><br><br>
I believe cats and dogs are outside creatures by nature. I believe in giving them the opportunity to decide if they want to be outdoors. Sputnik only wants to be an outside cat when it isn't too hot, too cold, too windy, too dry, too humid or too noisy. Fuzzy wants to go outside in any weather between -40C and +40C.<br><br><br><br>
Slim will get into as many fights *in* the house as outside. She is happiest when outdoors. Let her be outdoors and take care of herself. She'll come by for hand-outs and some love when she wants it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by LadyFaile</i><br><br><b>Slim obviously doesn't or the previous owners would have her at their new house now.</b></div>
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*heh* It might have more to do with their henious children, who didn't seem to know how to treat kitties nicely...<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><b>maybe the vet can give you some tranquilizers to sneak into his food so you can get him there relatively stress-free</b></div>
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I don't know why I didn't think of that. Thank you!<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><b>...one day she took up a collection and everyone who'd been feeding the cat chipped in to get him neutered and immunized.</b></div>
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It's really awesome that they did that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I must say, I thought there would be more of an indoor cat sentiment here. I'm not sure why, I just assumed. Most of the animal rights type people I know are indoor cat believers, I guess.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks to everyone for their input so far. I probably don't have a lot of choice with Slim; she is very small but has a forceful personality, and she won't let anyone do anything she doesn't want.<br><br><br><br>
This issue has come to the forefront for me because of the two cats I knew that were recently killed by cars. But it's been at the back of my mind for awhile, as we won't be living in this house forever, and she seems much more attached to the house than to us.<br><br><br><br>
I guess I'll play it by ear.
 

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I believe in keeping cats indoors, but in Slim's case it sure sounds like she would be miserable inside. Maybe she'll eventually come around and want to be inside, sometimes at least, but until then I guess we can all just hope and pray she doesn't go in the street. Another suggestion for catching Mr. Stripes might be a humane trap. That's how I caught the guys in my yard. If you do get one (some shelters will let you borrow one if you don't want to buy one), but a sheet of newspaper (just one sheet, you don't want to weigh down the thing that trips the door shut) down at the bottom to make it more comfortable for his feet, put the food all the way at the back of the trap (so he doesn't get his tail caught) on a paper plate, and cover the trap with a towel after you catch him to help calm him down. Of course, the biggest problem you'll have is making sure that Slim doesn't go in there. So maybe the tranquilizer idea is a better option.
 

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I am also all about keeping cats inside, but Slim was raised an outside cat, and should stay as that. For reasons that everyone has already stated.
 

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I actually had an outside cat who made the transition to inside cat when she was older. We decided to do it because she was comming home with a large number of injuries from fights, and she was getting older. We were afraid she was going to be seriously injured. She ran out of the house once or twice after we brought her in, but for the most part she seemed happy inside. She loved sleeping in my bed at night. Aside from her, all my cats have always been indoor cats. We have a farly large house with a lot of windows and places for the cats to climb, sleep, and have fun. Occationally when I go sit outside I will let one of my cats out with me because she never tries to run away. I let her sit in the grass for a bit. It is very nice.
 

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I've rescued outdoor cats who, to this day, continue to stay inside. Sure, they fussed a little initially, but they're just fine now, and I make sure they have plenty attention, play time, and areas to hang out where they can look outside. I'll never have outdoor cats again - there were too many mornings when I was a kid, walking to my bus stop and finding my beloved cat lying dead on or on the side of the road.
 

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yet another reason i won't let my cat outside on his own...<br><br>
i bought him a harnass and lead so i can bring him outside with me. now that the weather is nice if we're all sitting in the backyard he sits at the door and whines to come out with us. i've brought him out a couple of times before, holding him, and he didn't try to take off. so i got the harnass and he doesn't mind wearing it at all.<br><br>
i had him out yesterday and our neighbour's cat who my cat hates with a passion for some unknown reason, snuck over to where we were sitting on the lawn and sat under the tree meowing at my cat. well my cat freaked out and was growling, hissing and spitting and sooooooo badly wanted to get loose and go fight the other cat.<br><br><br><br>
heh. i brought him back in the house. if he'd been outside loose by himself he'd have gotten in a fight, and he's never been in one before. he's bigger than the other cat but the other cat rules the neighbourhood and always has nicks and scratches on his face from fighting, so i think he'd be able to do a fair bit of damage to my fat little guy.<br><br><br><br>
though the cat i grew up with at my mom's, as she started to get sick she'd refuse to come back in the house, at one point she sat outside for 3 days and wouldn't come in, she was starving herself and got so so skinny, my mom finally managed to get hold of her and take her in the house and we never let her back outside after that, she'd always been free to go outside as she pleased.<br><br><br><br>
i think it's different though for a cat that lives primarily outside and doesn't actually come in the house. being in the house makes them nervous just like when i take my indoor cat outside he gets nervous. different smells and sounds etc
 

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We used to let our cats outdoors. They would sit in the windows and tear up the curtains and whine al lday until we finally decided to just let them out. Now I am extrememly sorry I did that. My cat..the sweetest, most forgiving, loving cat you'll ever meet who was my best friend one day never came home after a rainstorm--we called and called before the storm, and after we called, looked everywhere, placed ads, made full color fliers and put them everywhere. He was only 5. I still cry immediately when I think of him. I can't say how wonderful he was. This is why I'll never, ever, ever let my cats out again. I don't know if I can take that loss again, and outdoor cats are exposed to so many problems. If they tear up the curtains, I'll buy new ones. It's not worth it, for me or the cat.<br><br><br><br>
Cassie
 

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Change your curtains to blinds. Better for your allergies, anyway. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I am torn on this decision. I have one cat who has always been indoors. My other cat was a stray when we found him. He was a sweet cat but cried constantly to go out. If we didn't let him go he would scratch up the carpet. We tried the usual water bottles, carpet and sisal scatching posts. Nothing worked. I don't believe in declawing. Once we started letting him outside he seemed so much calmer. He also stays right around our house. He has recently made himself at home in the dog house. It may not be the most ideal solution but he seems pretty happy to be an outside cat.
 

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My cat is an indoor cat, but we let him outside and watch him(he doesn't try ot run) or walk him on a leash. We have moved to a new place and there is a cat door that leads him outside to the screened in pool area. I don't have a fear of him falling in the pool (he hates water). This gives him the chance to go "outside" whenver he wants and I don't have to worry about him. I have always believed cats should be indoors if they want. We use to live in these one apartments that had a ton of stray cats and we fed them all and let them come and go as they please. We set up"tents" for them in the winter with plenty of blankets. When "Momma" cat was hit by a car I nursed her leg until it healed. I was sad to leave there and all the kitties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
On a newsgroup I used to read regularly, there was a discussion about indoor vs. outdoor cats, and one conclusion that was made is that there is a cultural difference between the US and the UK on this issue. People said that in the UK, the belief prevails that it's cruel to a cat to keep it indoors only. Does that ring true with people here?<br><br><br><br>
Either way, I am glad to see more indoor cat sentiment here, if only to assuage my own feelings on the subject.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Our youngest cat, Uma, was a feral kitten when we found her. She has been an indoor kitty ever since we tamed her and brought her in, and she doesn't attempt to get outside. Our other two indoor cats run out the door now and then. Kittyboy has an unfortunate tendency to run out at night, and as he is a black cat, it's very hard to catch him and bring him back in. Sophie just runs out to eat grass, and as she stops dead in the yard, it's easy to pick her up and bring her back in.<br><br><br><br>
I know that they would both love to be allowed outdoors part of the time. I actually did let them out when they wished for awhile after moving here, since it's safer from major roadways than where we lived before; however, they both ate something that gave them diarrhea and were so sick, I felt I had to put a stop to their outdoor excursions. (Also my mom was guilt-tripping me over the phone about it, telling me that I would find them dead on the road sooner or later.)<br><br><br><br>
Thanks again to everyone for their views and opinions!
 

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for cats who like to sneak out to munch grass, like mine does, i'd suggest buying some indoor cat grass. i bought a kit the other day, it should sprout in another day or two. i don't like my boy eating the grass on the lawn because i know the landscapers used pesticides and/or herbicides earlier in the season. i wish they hadn't but our landlady paid to have it done, we had no say in it.<br><br>
in any case i think if he has a source of grass to munch in the house he'll be less likely to try to run out when the door is open. luckily he doesn't scratch to get out.<br><br>
i'm really liking the harnass idea more and more. i don't think i even need it but i'll keep using it anyway as a precaution. when i carried him outside of our little yard the other day he was so nervous he started shaking and dropping his fur, he's never attempted to leave our patch of lawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by LadyFaile</i><br><br><b>for cats who like to sneak out to munch grass, like mine does, i'd suggest buying some indoor cat grass. i bought a kit the other day, it should sprout in another day or two.</b></div>
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I just bring some grass in for her. I put it on the kitchen floor and she munches it. This way I can tear it into short pieces, too, so she doesn't throw up long strands of grass that got stuck in her throat.<br><br><br><br>
We don't put any crap on our lawn, and neither does our neighbor, so it's safe.<br><br><br><br>
I tried the little cat grass kits, and the cats dug the grass out of its pot, and scattered the rooting medium everywhere... also any plants potted in soil are perceived by one of our cats as an auxilliary litter box... rotten felines! but I love 'em anyway. ^_^<br><br><br><br>
I have tried a harness on Kittyboy and Sophie and they hate hate hate it. They lie down and refuse to use their legs. I gave it a good try, too -- several times over a couple of weeks -- they never got used to it.<br><br><br><br>
All these are very good suggestions! Thanks, but. ^_^
 

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a point to add to the "why kitty should stay inside" arguement: cats have HORRIBLE bacteria in their mouths. one bite on a bird or a mouse or other unfortunate is all it can take for a small creature to develope an infection and die - a slow, painful death.<br><br><br><br>
also, i'm currently fostering an outdoor cat who was finally just left behind. everday i can feel from her such a sense of gratitude for being brought inside away from harsh weather conditions, car dodging, predators, etc. she sleeps so deeply now and with peace.
 
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