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Indoor Cats

Cedar Speeder
Is it healthy for a cat to be kept indoors 24/7? What do some cat-owners think? Are there any owners that walk their cats with a leash?
Captain Fertile
I have known cats that spent their entire lives indoors without any problems at all.

As long as you keep on top of the litter trays and prevent them from stinking the house up there should be no problems for the owner.

I prefer to keep cats indoors, especially if you live in a busy town or city – the number of cats killed on roads is awful – it doesn’t do a lot for the traumatised drivers either (those drivers that care that is). Argue all you like but cats do not have road sense, those who do not end up under the wheels of a car are the lucky ones, I can pretty much they will have had a few narrow scrapes in their lives.

Preventing your cat from going out of the house also helps keep the number of unwanted litters being born every year.

As for walking a cat on a leash, no I don’t think I would even if the cat would allow it.

I do know there is a special fine mesh you can use to cover your back yard or garden to allow the cats access to the garden or yard without much chance of escape so they can have the best of both worlds.

Of the cats that spend their time indoors they usually prefer not to stray too far from the safety of the door when they get out if they pluck up the courage to go out at all – this of course does not give us carte blanche to allow the indoors cat out and expect it to stay put.

Decide when your cat is a kitten whether it will be an indoor or outdoor cat, if you try to change horses in mid stream later you are lining yourself up for a lot of problems.
I also think it's better for a cat to stay inside. My family adopted two strays that we obviously couldn't keep inside (since they were used to being outdoors), and they were always getting into fights outside. In fact, one of them was hurt pretty badly when he got older. Now we adopted a third cat from an animal hospital (after one of ours died), and we keep him inside. He always tries to escape, but we feel he's safer indoors. However, once in a while, we'll let him outside and watch him run around, since he doesn't go very far.
Captain Fertile
Yeah ThornsOfSorrow makes a very valid point. Cats that go outside (especially the Toms) come back with all kinds of nasty wounds from fights with other cats (as well as other animals).

Cats are very territiorial creatures and will fight visciously to protect their patch and I have seen some bad wounds.

Also, the days and nights are VERY long when your outside cats strays too far and does not return home when he usually does, or worse he doesn't return at all.
My two current feline roommates are indoor 24/7, but these are the first indoor cats I ever had. Even though I rescued Ghost and Honcho from a juniper bush (along with their 3 siblings), they have no interest in EVER leaving the house...very different than my previous cats.

Despite my current situation, I tend to think it is better for a cat's mental state to be allowed outside. Yeah, I have had some long nights waiting for my buds to come home and I have lost a few to accidents. But I have lost human friends also. Life is always a crap shoot and I think we (and my feline friends) should at least live it as best as we can.

That said, I will admit that when we bought our house, we bought it specifically because it was at the end of a long cul de sac with no traffic. I also work with our cats so that they all come to a different whistle. And for those few cats I had that seemed to be unafraid of cars, I spent time scaring the crap out of them whenever they would lay around cars. And of course, they are always neutered or spayed.

I love my cats dearly and do not want to see harm come to them, but some cats need to be outside. Some of the strongest memories from my childhood were trips to the zoo and seeing the black leopard in a 10 by 10 cage, just continually pacing back and forth. I know a cat in a house is different from that poor leopard, but some (but not all) cats need to roam and if you try to confine them you are going to wind up with a neurotic feline or major damage to your house.

If you are going to try to keep them indoors, try to pay lots of attention to them and keep the home interesting for them. Move the furniture around, leave an empty box in the living room on occasion, bring a friends dog in to give the place some new smells. Laughing In a zoo they call it enrichment... I call it avoiding massive boredom!

BTW- one of the best toys I ever got for a cat was a kids toy fishing rod that I tie cat toys to. I can sit on my butt and cast the toy all over the place and the cats go nuts...
Captain Fertile
Indoor cats are always best kept in pairs rather than alone, this helps entertain them more then we could.

In fact with most pets two is usually (notice the use f the word usually here) better than one if you can manage it.

Wow! training cats to come to different whistles. Now that is paiteince in operation if ever I saw it. Smile
Captain Fertile wrote:

Wow! training cats to come to different whistles. Now that is paiteince in operation if ever I saw it. Smile

Actually, I've found it pretty easy. Whenever I play with them or pet them, I repeat their name and a one or two tone whistle (softly of course). That way they associate the two versions of their "name" with play and being petted. I figured a short whistle couldn't be that hard for them to remember and it carries further outdoors than a yell. Seems to work pretty well. In college I had 4 cats(and no girlfriend:lol: ) and we would go for walks around campus. If one got too far away, I would give a whistle and they would come running back.

Hmm, that is how I met my first wife....maybe there IS a down side... Wink
In my experience its a gamble keeping an indoor cat. Our first cat that my sister found as a little kitten abandoned by its mother has turned our house into a wreck. Shes nuts and will sometimes walk up to you, look you dead in the eye and piss on the wall(even though theres a clean litterbox 5 feet away).

On the other hand she had 4 babies and we kept 2 of them and they're the greatest cats in the world. Never wreck the house, very laid back attitude and affectionate. We let the 2 kittens outside a lot of the time and only one likes to push the limits and see how far from the yard he can go before running back(one time he got beat up by a neighbor's cat who likes to mess with the other cat next door. Cat drama, go figure!).

My advice, keep the option of being an outdoor cat open. Wink
Captain Fertile wrote:
Yeah ThornsOfSorrow makes a very valid point. Cats that go outside (especially the Toms) come back with all kinds of nasty wounds from fights with other cats (as well as other animals).

Cats are very territorial creatures and will fight viciously to protect their patch and I have seen some bad wounds.

Also, the days and nights are VERY long when your outside cats strays too far and does not return home when he usually does, or worse he doesn't return at all.

No kidding. I have one outside cat, because he's simply miserable indoors unless it's cold or rainy. He generally stays fairly close to the house, but he likes to roam the woodlot next door, and sometimes worries me silly. He's come swaggering home in the morning with scratches and notched ears more than once. (Thank goodness he's fixed. If he had any more machismo than he has now, he'd probably be too aggressive to have for a pet, outdoors or not.)

My other two cats are perfectly content to stay inside, thank goodness! I'd rather scoop kitty litter than worry.
My 7 month old cat seems to feel quite good, despite the really small flat. She must spend some hours all alone, but in the evenings she's always around us. I find very useful my cat's presence in the flat, as i'm forced to keep everything always clean, tidy, and cat-safe Smile. It's important to let the cats have one or two warm, and comfortable places, where we shouldn't disturb them.
As finicky as they are, cats can adapt to living at home. More so if you just bring them from the shelter or whatever and keep them that way. We live on a little hobby farm and have a doggy door for our dog, and obviously our cats have figured out how to use it, but only two of them really go out and hunt--the other two only use it to go sunbathe in the warmer months. But if you're living downtown or whatever you really have no option, I suppose. But keep a little pot of grass healthy for them to chew on so they can keep their digestive systems in working order! Cats love chewing on grass, and I bet they would appreciate it a ton. Smile
Indoor cats live a lot longer,
almost twice as long as cats that routinely go outside.
jwellsy wrote:
Indoor cats live a lot longer,
almost twice as long as cats that routinely go outside.

A friend of mine has a lil brothers his lil brother has a friend !
& that's the only person I know that has a cat ! (laugh) Laughing
tried to make a joke !
he never let his cat to go out !

Laughing Laughing Razz
My neighbour's cat just doesn't want to go outside, he was a stray and I guess he is so happy to have a lovely warm hope he doesn't want to venture outside. When he is put outside he just sits on the doorstep waiting to be let in again. Needless to say he is a very large cat.
We have two burmese cats. The breeder told us specifically that burmese have poor survival instincts and are likely to be run over or otherwise land themselves in trouble if they went outside. She recommended keeping them indoors at all times.

This worked well for a couple of years. We would let them into the back yard periodically (say an hour at a time) under close watch now and again and they seemed pretty happy.

Then they began spraying things in the house. Lots of things. Lots and lots of things. Walls, cd racks, computers, toasters, you name it. When we let them outside they could see the next door neighbours cats through the fence and attack each other.

So we stopped them going outside at all and tried to block their access to seeing the neighbours cats. We also tried any number of things to stop them spraying.

However this went on a year with the problem getting worse. We eventually let them out 24/7, and once again they attacked each other. They also got into fights with neighbouring cats. The spraying however stopped, and eventually the fighting lessened.

So for us letting them out was a good move.
My Chloe cat almost got eaten by an owl right after sundown Friday night.

The little brat snuck out behind me as I went out to tend the grill, and found herself in mortal danger shortly afterwards.

There are several large owls living in the woodlot next door. Chloe is very small, mostly white, and highly visible in dim light. The owls were loudly hooting amongst themselves as she pranced around the yard sniffing at the plants, but after she darted out the side gate that opens onto the wooded area where the owls were, the owls went ominously silent.

I immediately had a horrible vision of my tiny, stupid, nearly defenseless little kitty (who has clipped, blunt claws) being mistaken for a rabbit, carried off and eaten.

I started calling her in a panic, and after a few moments she came pelting back and huddled at my feet terrified, just as a HUGE owl came sailing through the yard.

And THAT alarming little story, folks, is one of the many reasons I prefer to keep my cats indoors, especially at night.

PS. I left the back door wide open the next day, just to see if she would go out, and she totally ignored it. Stalked away with her nose in the air and curled up on the couch.
We share our space with a few cats that go indoors 24/7. We plan on fixing a
yard for them by summer, so they can have the best of both worlds. As for my
opinion in general, I'd say that cats we keep for pets today doesn't have it in them
to roam freely outdoors. We've breed away many instincts vital for survival,
and the world to survive has adapted in a strictly opposite direction.

As for the well-beeing of them they are satisfied with the world they know as long
as they get enough stimuli. It takes more of us to keep them indoors, but then again,
we've voulentered as caretakers for a reason. Very Happy
Mine mostly stays inside but when he wants out I let him go and he's back in like 15 minutes. ;o) It's healthy for the cat to know his enviroment. My cat isn't as big as this tom cat that sleeps on my porch {thinkingthat this is his abode} but when he see my cat he's moves his arse quickly. My cat whooped that tom cat a couple of times. And this cat is like 3x the size of him. He lost his first fight and came home looking like black tiger but after that now he's the bully. lol...Now if there declawed then I wouldn't advise it.
One of my cats is 100% outdoor. He goes absolutly bonker if he is locked up Once he jumped out of the first floor with a just sewed up paw (because of course with all the roaming he does, he land in all kind of troubles) because it was the only way out for him... I had to keep him in the dog's travel cage after his escape (and another trip to the vet Sad ) until he healed.

One the other hand my other tom cat is indoor and rarely venture outside.
They both grew up in the same house, with the same possibilites to go out or not.
They just dont have the same nature I guess.

ANyway back to the point, as a kid I grew up in a flat with 4 cats. They had the balcony as a garden and where very happy with that. They never tried to jump off... You can keep a cat indoor with no problems.
My wife and I have 3 cats that are in-door cats only. We sometimes indulge them by letting them out into our front yard to play but we supervise them the entire time. 2 of our cats are declawed so I think it wouldn't be safe for them. Our cats live very happy and fulfilled lives living in our home and only cry when they think they should go outside. The funny thing is that they are so comfortable living inside that they run back inside at the first sound or sight of something they are unfamiliar with. It is actually pretty funny watch them run back inside!
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