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Should you let your cat outside?

Updated on July 8, 2011

Letting your cat outside or not?

Pros and Cons of Having an Outdoor Cat

When we first got our cat, Panther, almost eleven years ago, we let him outside all the time. He found a neighborhood cat to befriend and they spend the whole time running together and climbing trees.

Then we moved to California and that was pretty much the end of letting him out due to the mountain lions and coyotes. We only started letting him out this year. We have a great backyard and he seems happy. In fact, he's outside right now.

In other words, this is a topic close to my heart because it is something I have struggled with.

Letting Your Cat Out

Do you let your cat outside?

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Let your cat out? Maybe not.

Cats are playful, fun and loving animals that love adventure and independence, but they
 also love affection and attention. If you have a cat, and you’re wondering whether or
 not you should let your cat have a life outside your home, you might want to consider 
weighing the options and consequences before making that decision.

Eating in or out

Cats know how to take care of their own selves, but the things they eat can either bring
 health or sickness, life or death. By keeping your cat indoors, you maintain a healthy
, balanced eating regimen that provides necessary nutritional values and ingredients that 
induces an overall health to your cat.

If you let it go outside, the menu changes which
 means your pet is open to fending for itself when getting hungry. Eating the wrong thing 
could result in serious problems for your cat, and many times death occurs because of
 eating something with bacteria.

Fleas love cats

Have you ever heard that one lie multiplies into many? Well, it’s the same with a flea.
One flea multiplies exponentially and doesn’t stop. They’re a pain to remove once they
 are there. By allowing your cat to go outside, you’re giving fleas the open opportunity to 
dive in and make a nest on your cat and call it home.

When your cat comes home, guess what . . . your pet brings new and unwanted guests 
to live in your home and spread throughout every part of it. Not only do fleas drastically
 increase at a fast rate, but they carry diseases that will harm your cat and could affect
 you and your family.

Your Cat's Safety

Because cats have a strong sense of curiosity, they could easily become ensnared
 in situations that could lead to harm with food, people, animals and the environment.
Outdoor animals know how to survive, which could cause problems for those used to
living inside.

You should also keep in mind that many people don’t like cats floundering
 around their homes, because they get into the trash, kill birds, use their flower beds as a
toilet and more.

The world outside could be a cruel and harsh place for your cat.

Allowing it to venture
 outside on its own would inevitably cause problems for you and your pet. Your cat may
or may not return to you, so this is a strong consequence you should consider before
 allowing it the freedom to go outside.

This cat has fun outside!

Let your cat out? Maybe yes.

As I stated above, we decided to let Panther outside. However, the conditions are in our favor. He stays in a set, established territory. He has a good cat friend - Milk Shake who lives next door. They play together. Make sure that other cats don't usurp. Milk Shake even comes into our house to hang out with us from time to time.

In other words, there is a lot going for it. When we lived in Massachusetts, there was really no reason why we couldn't let him out. However, we lived on a street corner and the yard was pretty small. So it looked like a dangerous thing. Plus there was a nasty pitbull down the street who always seemed to keep an eye on things.

But here, he is a happy cat. He's losing weight. He goes outside to run and stalk birds and mice. He plays with milk shake. I will hear the occasional cat fight and Panther may or may not be involved. But that's okay - he always comes back.

What do you think?

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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      This issue has been a struggle for us also. We had a cat that we let out and she would stay in the yard and play a little in the woods behind us. Then we moved to FL and the next thing I knew she was climbing over the fence to get on the street behind us where there is a lot of traffic.

      Now, I have one cat whom I've never let out and I got him when he was 3 months old. He doesn't even try to go out. We have a lot of stray cats in out neighborhood and I hear them fighting at night, plus the pounds won't take them. Some are still young and cute. I think they would be adopted. Anyway, we had this little small cat that was skin and bones staying near out home and she was very afraid of the other cats. So, about 6 months ago we adopted her. She is allowed out a little in the back yard but she won't stay there very long. She is still afraid. She is also afraid of our older cat, who is very gentle. He would like to play but she growls at him, although not as often as she did initially. I just don't want to lose another cat as I lost one of my favorite cats when he was the victim of a hit and run. I didn't set our to tell you my life story, but I am a cat lover and we each have to choose. Up, useful and interesting hub.

    • whoisbid profile image

      whoisbid 6 years ago

      I don't have a cat but my kid keeps asking me for one. I would like to know how difficult it really is to take care of one in an apartment. I hate having animals in my apartment but since the kids love them so much I might have to adapt. Do these flea collars actually work?

      How are you Kohuether? I have been having some massive problems on Squidoo with bugs and am waiting to have them fixed.

    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Okay that reminds me, I should at least put a flea collar on him.

    • thecarte profile image

      thecarte 6 years ago from New Jersey

      The cat always brings back the fleas. Everytime. It takes 40 bombs and a couple of flea treatments on the dogs. DONT LET THE CAT OUT IF YOU PLAN TO LET IT BACK IN.