OT- Cats in or out?

Since there seem to be a lot of cat owners around here, I’d like to pose this question–Do you think a cat is better off indoors all the time, or allowed outside. My last cat was an indoor/outdoor cat (at her discretion) and lived to a very ripe old 21 years. She didn’t even have a litter box until she was about 18 and couldn’t make it through the night without waking me to let her out. I loved the fact that she was so independent and had such an interesting life.

We (actually, my adult daughter & her kids who lives with me) have a one-year old cat that we’ve had since she was a kitten who has stayed inside. My daughter is afraid she will wander and get hit by a car, lost, etc. My husband is concerned about ticks getting a ride into the house (big Lyme’s area, here.)

I feel bad keeping her in–she meows to go out since she slipped out for a few minutes the other day–and I need some arguments for and against, if you don’t mind.

Thank for your time. :notworthy:

My cat Binky (see avatar) lives indoors, but is allowed supervised visits outdoors. He actually tollerates a leash on a tie down that screws into the ground (like you use for dogs). He sneaks out at least half a dozen times a year, mostly during nice weather but you couldn’t push him out in the winter! He got out overnight 3 years ago (he’s 7) and we searched until all hours of the night for him (he jumped thru our bedroom screen upon seeing another cat) and miraculously came back the next day. I find it funny we keep him in for his health and safety and so he doesn’t use other people’s gardens as his litter box, and he tries to get out a lot. Then there are cats you can leave the doors open for and they won’t budge. I don’t live in the country, but there is a river and woody area just blocks from our house so I keep him in unless we are all in the yard together. I keep up on his rabies and feline lukemia shots because you don’t know what wanders through the yard when we’re not around. Hubby and I couldn’t agree on whether dogs are in or out so we comprimised and got Binky. He’s a hoot and almost dog like anyway, you just don’t have to let him out to do his doody. Soooo, I guess my opinion is keep 'em in to keep 'em safe, but take them out to play and eat grass and keep an eye on them. Besides, you never know if you have a kooky neighbor who thinks “if I find one more cat turd in my petunias, it’s gonna be buckshot in that cat’s hinder!” :evil: We had a neighbor like that growing up and another neighbor who felt leash laws don’t apply to cats. Well, it was nothing but heartache in the end. Besides, you can give them satisfaction of the hunt instinct with treats and such without wondering what gross thing they’ll kill to leave on your doorstep. Here we worry about West Nile virus, not so much from mosquitoes biting cats, but they give the disease to birds and cats may kill one or get it from an already dead bird they might find. Hope my 48 cents helped you out! :lol:
PS I have heard that indoor cats live longer, but that obviously wasn’t the case with your little lady! But it’s a thought I guess…

[size=7]IN.[/size] [size=6]IN IN [/size][size=7]IN. [/size]

I feel pretty strongly about keeping cats indoors for health and safety reasons. You NEVER know what they might encounter outside!

Shelters wont even adopt to anyone who plans to let their cats outside.

This was always a bone of contention between my Dad and me…he grew up on a farm where EVERYTHING (including him sometimes, if his father was not too happy with him…) lived outside!

Hmmm… I have two indoor cats who just aren’t good with the big, bad, outside world. One cat got out just before hurricane Hugo hit when he was living on the coast. He was gone for two weeks and we thought he was a gonner. One day he turned up sitting on a neighbors car - he’s not been an outside cat since. He has always tried to sneak out whenever the door opens but he never tends to go far. Now that he’s almost 18 years old, i think he only sneaks out to prove that he still can since he just sorta stands on the porch when it does happen.

My other cat was hit by a car as a kitten (that’s how i got him - friend of the vet who spared him and fixed him up). He’s very scared of the outside world and hasn’t ever really wanted to go out. That’s changing as we live in a place with LOADS of birds and squirrels that come onto the deck. I think he’s getting curious.

However, we have a breeding pair of red-shouldered hawks out back so i really don’t like to let them out at all! The hawks have attacked one or two cats in the neighborhood already, so when i do let my cats out on the deck it’s ONLY under supervision… Once, my older, slower cat got out while the hawks were screeching and circling overhead. I about had a breakdown trying to get that rasty old man cat indoors. (I LOVE the hawks but don’t feel the need to feed them like i do the other birds) :wink: Also i do like the fact that the cats don’t have ticks or a chance for contracting Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) as readily. I was a researcher on a FIV (Feline AIDS) project when i was in college and the affects are horrible.

Ok, saying all of that, my aunt is taking care of a ferral cat colony behind her house and they are always outside. They seem to be doing quite well but get in quite a few skirmishes which require attention. Two are indoor/outdoor cats, one of which would prefer to be indoor only. I hate having to check them all the time for ticks but they’re usually pretty clean.

But overall i don’t think indoor cats are necessarily less healthy - my old geezer is very healthy. Perhaps they don’t have to eat as much (less excercise) but they don’t seem to be missing out.


I have two indoor cats who never go out, and two outdoor cats who never come in.

I think cats can go in, go out, live inside, live outside, whatever they want to do, so long as they’re vaccinated, have their claws, are fixed, are loved, and very well cared for. :thumbsup:

Some towns have leash laws, even for cats. I personally don’t think it’s fair to have cats outside, but if you do, please make sure that it he/she is vaccinated and has its claws. They need to be able to defend themselves if they are let out in the “wild.”

indoor. it’s healthier and a little bit cleaner.
mine has snuck out a couple of times, when we’ve neglected to watch the open door or properly shut the screen door. I just about have a heart attack and think the worst, but she comes back in with some coaxing and chasing.

that pretty much sums up my thoughts. :wink:

I’m with Silver.
Plus, it depends on where you live.

Thank you all for your input. Or should I say INput. Ava (the cat) has her vaccinations, will ALWAYS have her claws, and does seem happy for the most part. I think I just feel a little guilty not offering her the wonders of outside. Maybe the next time she slips out, and with two young kids in the house during the summer, it’s inevitable, I’ll let her have a “supervised” visit. My daughter let her out during a thunderstorm the other night, just to show her it’s not so hot out there. She stayed under the porch roof.

Part of this whole thing is that I still miss my Kitty, and kind of wish Ava were more like her. Kitty met my kids at the bus stop, walked them down, said hi to me when I got home, tapped on the window to go in or out, slept on my bed all winter. Ah, shucks, I’m getting misty. . . . Anyway, thanks again.

Thank you thank you thank you all for keeping the claws. That is all I’ll say on it.

I strongly feel that removing claws is equal to amputating fingers. We have three scratching posts and everyone is happy.

I have one outdoor and one indoor. The indoor is a baby of the outdoor and has never lived outside. She will be 2 in September. I wanted them both to be indoor for safety of cat reasons and alla that but my roommate is upset with the stink of the litter box. So we compromised with the mama cat going out. But I do keep her inside at night time. We got all kinds of critters and other cats out there. She does have all her shots and claws too. But now roommate wants indoor cat to go out too. Wants our house to be litter free. So I will have to get shots and stuff for indoor cat. Then they will both come in and out as they please but poop outside. I don’t like the idea of them being outside but I fear roomate will want them out period if I don’t compromise.

Anatomically speaking it is the exact same as amputating the finger from the first knuckle.

ETD: First knuckle/last knuckle :roll: I was looking at my hands upside down :thumbsup:


Anatomically speaking it is the exact same as amputating the finger from the last knuckle.[/quote]

And where would WE be without our fingers, Hmmm?

Never cropped my boxer’s ears, either. If you don’t like them the way they come, don’t take them, I always say.

Neither of our cats are declawed, and both stay indoors for the most part. We live on a busy street, and prefer our cats three-dimensional. There was one time when I was propping the door open (I always have extended good-byes with my boyfriend, even after almost four years) and Nimbus just sauntered on outside. He just sat there and sniffed things until we took him back in. And I think my mummy took Mauney out on a leash this morning, but I was not present for the event. I hear she also smelled everything, and then came back indoors of her own accord.
My boyfriend’s cat likes to go out in the backyard, but she’s always supervised because there are a few avenues of escape that she knows of. There’s never been a problem with her bringing in presents, partly because she’s a bit of a chubba and partly because she has no front claws. His family adopted her from a shelter, and she was already declawed when they got her.
I’ve also lived with a happy outdoor cat, but she had a big field as a hunting/roaming area with very few cars as danger and a lone hawk who knew better than to mess with her, despite the fact that she was smaller than any other adult cat I’ve ever seen. She was happy being outside, but also happy to come in when the weather got cold.
My boyfriend and I will be adopting a cat when we move in together. Whether the cat is an indoor or an outdoor beast will depend on the cat’s preferences and the area we live in - if it’s busy, chances are we won’t let hir roam freely outside even if s/he wants to.

I’m sure the main reason my old cat had run of the ‘world’ was because she came to us, pregnant, from who-knows-where and though we fed her, didn’t let her in right away. My youngest was 2 and I didn’t want to take any chances. She never, ever scratched a soul in all the 19 (of her 21) years we had her.

I’m pretty sure Ava will stay inside. I can live with my guilt about keeping her in better than I could live with the guilt of finding her on the road.

:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

So how about this? There is a neighborhood cat that has just been here for years. Our friendly neighbors down the street used to feed it and pet it but never took it for shots or anything. Then our friendly neighbor died and no one did anything about the cat so I started feeding it. I wanted it to come inside and live with us but it’s SO skittish, it wanted no part of it. So now I just feed um and say Hi and try to pet em. The cat kinda sniffs around a little but that’s it. No love, no warmth. So someone says I should stop feeding the cat if I’m not going to try to catch it and get it shots and alla that. But I think if the cat wanted me, they woulda said so and they haven’t said so yet. So do you think I should force the cat inside or jsut let it do its thing? and I’ve got the other two cats to think about too.

Did I just totally highjack this thread? :?? I’m sorry, ignore me