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Should cats be kept safely indoors, or be allowed the freedom of outdoor living?
Many pet adoption agencies, such as Purrfect Pals, require that cat adopters keep indoor-only cats. Should cats be kept indoors to protect from predators, or is the risk worth the reward of enjoying a more natural habitat?
I think it depends on the cat. We should remember that "curiosity killed the cat". If our animals stay safely close to home and are spayed/neutered, then they should get to go out if they want.
Both of my cats are rescues and really have no interest in going outside. that said, if they want to go out I would take them on a leash. They do not need to be out wandering around wild even though they are spayed/neutred. Not to mention, there are laws against that where I live.
Hi SouthernHoney. I believe the safest and best thing to do, in today's world; is to keep cats safely indoors or allow them outside within the confines of a wire mesh (2x4" or "chicken wire, etc.) 'cattery.' My cats are all rescues and have seen enough of the damage done in the mean streets. There are so many things which can happen; traffic, cruelty, becoming 'lost,' stolen, predators, dog attacks, mean kids, etc. So, we build large outdoor enclosures (we are lucky that we have the room to do this) which are completely enclosed w/shade cloth or woven wire tops and doors which connect directly to the house or which allow access from the outside in. this way; your kitties are able to feel fresh air, bask in the sun a little (we use shade cloth to prevent tender pale nose/ear cancers) and view nature up close. It's the next best thing to the total outdoor experience and serves to keep your cat(s) safe while satisfying their need to experience a bit of the outside world. Thanks for asking this question.
I think a cat can be happy indoors or out. It depends on what they get used to. I have had cats that were outdoor cats and cats that were indoor cats. I now prefer indoor cats due to where we live. We border on being in a rural area and have seen with our own eyes all kinds of predators. I take my cat out on a halter and a leash from time to time so she can enjoy being outside. I used to put her on our screen porch until she found a loose screen and got out. She is fine inside. Cat owners just need to understand that outdoor cats are at more risk that the indoor ones.
I agree with Lucky Cats. I volunteer with a cat rescue and we require adopters to keep the cats indoors. We have rescued many cats that have been harmed from being outdoors. We've taken in cats with broken bones that were hit by cars (or something else), cats with severe burns or missing eyes from torture, cats needing surgery with BBs removed, and so many cats with injuries that we don't know the cause. In addition, outdoor cats run the risk of becoming infected with diseased from coming in contact with other outdoor/feral cats. Usually outdoor cats pick up fleas that other animals (including cats, racoons, possums, rats, dogs, etc.) drop in the grass. Cats ingest the fleas during grooming and end up with worms. Some cats are injured in fights with other animals, and we've known of some outdoor cats that have been eaten by coyotes. So many reasons to keep your kitty indoors or in an outdoor enclosed area.
Most of our cats have been indoor cats, but we have also had outdoor cats as well (all spayed/neutered). Our current outdoor cat, Nakita, was born outside and found as a kitten. Most of her life we have continued to let her outside. She picked up a life-threatening parasite once, but my mother's careful attention and inspection found the problem quickly and a veterinarian saved her. She is intelligent and willful, and would not be happy if she NEVER got to go outside. We respect this, and honestly, she's a more pleasant cat because of this. We know there are risks and dangers outside, but I think denying your animals a fulfilling life is just as bad. A "fulfilling life" for a cat does not always mean being an outdoor cat, but for Nakita, it does.
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