There are two reasons why cat guardians keep their cats inside all the time or restrict the movement of their cats. The first reason is the obvious one: to keep their cat safe and healthy. The second is to keep control over the situation.
Control means peace of mind; less worry about your cat not coming home. That means a lot of anguish and searching; time and effort which are in short supply. Or it means less worry about your cat getting a disease from another cat or fleas or any of the other nasty parasites that infest cats. Then there is trauma of any sort. So easy to happen outside. These require vets visits sometimes and treatments. Treatments can be expensive and they can harm a cat too. You can avoid a lot of these problems or reduce them to more manageable proportions if you keep more control over your cat. This is peace of mind. This is about the caretaker not the cat. This is for us.
Restricted cats are more liable to become stressed or bored. Neither of these are automatically the case. But there is a potential downside when we try and satisfy ourselves. There are other ways cat caretakers exercise their idea of control over their cat when the objective has little to do with cat welfare and a lot to do with what the person demands or desires. Declawing is the obvious example.
More and more people are doing more and more in their lives generally. People are juggling a myriad of tasks. Often women both work and manage the family home. There is a lot of stress. There is a need to reduce the stress, control their lives. Easing the burden of care of the family cat seems a good idea. A bored cat sleeping much of the day suits some cat owners.
It is obviously a balancing act. There is nothing wrong with wanting peace of mind and keeping the vet bills down. That said, if a person is particularly house proud and tending towards being a control freak – and their are lots of those in the world nowadays, moreso than in the past – they should at least own up to the reasons behind their decisions. If they keep their cats in because they don’t want their cat to ‘bring disease into house’ then admit it.
A lot of people are very health conscious; about their health, primarily. Some people are unclear on what diseases can be spread from cats to people and the risks involved. In order to shut out any possibility of their cat bringing disease into the home, affecting animal and human alike, they have a lock down policy. This is a decision they make for their benefit. They should admit it.
Are you aware of any personal reasons why you do certain things in relation to your cat or is everything you do altruistic, totally for the benefit of the cat?
Note: I am being deliberately challenging in the tone of the article.