Indoor Cats are Loved Cats?

by Michael

Indoors - Outdoors - white on black - black on white cat coats - photo by Maia C

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Indoors - Outdoors - white on black - black on white cat coats - photo by Maia C

Indoor cats are loved cats – discuss. And this is going to be a pretty provocative discussion because it can’t be anything else. Discussing indoor cats opens a can of worms really. You have got to talk about the United States, breeding, purebred cats, declawing, cat stress, natural cat behaviour and more. I am writing this from the perspective of an outsider. Insiders (people living in the USA) may not even understand what I am trying to say because there is an enormous cultural divide between the UK and USA in this respect.

indoor cats are loved cats The idea that indoor cats are loved comes from the advantages of full-time indoor living being safer for the cat. Keeping a cat safe is a sign of love; no one can deny that.

But is a cat kept indoors solely for the purposes of a cat’s safety? Is there an element of it being done at least in part for the convenience of the person who keeps the cat? Certainly declawing is nearly always done for the convenience of the person. And if a cat is a full-time indoor cat it opens the door to the argument that it can be declawed because it does not need to defend itself in the horrid and dangerous outside world. So the two go together. Indeed the mentality that says indoor living is good also says that declawing is OK. The underlying ethos feeds both. In fact keeping a cat indoors permanently may lead to unnaturally destructive behaviour that also provides an excuse to declaw. One can lead to the other. And declawing, we all know, is wrong no matter how many clichéd and financially biased arguments we hear from greedy vets or the weak arguments that display a denial of guilt by those who have declawed their cats.

Declawing a cat is the exact opposite to what you would expect an expression of love to be.

The idea of declawing goes beyond the thoughts and actions of the cat keeper to the landlord. Many landlords it seem insist that cats belonging to tenants are declawed. It is a commercial necessity. All part and parcel of the culture.

And it seems the culture is that the domestic cat must be fully integrated into the human world at nearly all cost. And the cost to the cat is a loss of liberty, the emotional freedom to express itself and its claws.

The gain to the person is control and a lack of anxiety (over what the cat is doing outside). People like to be organised and control their inside world that is within a largely chaotic outside world and that form of control incorporates the cat.

This level of control extends to not even building modest cat enclosures that lead to the outside, despite the fact that houses in America are built on relatively large plots of land because land prices are much lower than in congested Europe. The lack of enclosures may be linked to the fear that germs and diseases will be imported from the outside by a cat using an enclosure. And these horrid germs, ticks and fleas will infest the home. It has all got to be sanitised. But I don’t think that is good for the cat. Although it is convenient for the people. Not least because it means less visits to the vet and those horrible bills. Or does it? Indoor living has its hazards too (see below).

Outdoor cats are perhaps considered unhealthy. Maybe some are but they are equal in status to indoor cats of any sort and deserving of more love because they are more vulnerable and because they are more unhealthy. But do they get it?

One worrying thing about the concept that indoor cats are loved cats is that it seems to foster the idea that the outdoor cat is an animal not to be loved at all or at least not equally. Over 2 million feral cats are killed each year in the USA, I read or is it 14 million, no one quite knows. No one cares really, not that much, except a minority of fine and caring people who really do care and who stick their necks out to help and sometimes get shot down (Beverly Hills Municipal Code is one example).

There are more purebred cats in the USA than the UK. This also encourages keeping cats indoors all the time. I can understand that because of the fear of cat theft and loss (when bearing in mind the financial cost). But there is no doubt that in a better world there would be no link between the financial value of a cat and the level of care.

In Britain about 90% of domestic cats are indoor/outdoor cats and the vast majority are random bred cats (not purebreds). As far as I am aware the life expectancy and health of these cats is no different to those of the United States. If that is true and I believe it is, the general culture of keeping cats indoors for health reasons is false. Although I am not advocating letting cats out onto the street. City cats must be heavily supervised (leash or enclosure) if let out. It depends on the area where the person lives and the application of common sense.

The equality of age of British and American cats may in part be due to the fact that full-time indoor living is no more healthy that indoor/outdoor living (in an appropriate environment – e.g where there is very little traffic). It also may be due to the fact that purebred cats live, on average, shorter lives than random breed cats due to lower genetic diversity. And as I said there is a higher percentage of purebred cats in the USA compared to the UK.

I remember reading somewhere a breeder saying that a Modern Siamese cat would have an approximate life expectancy of about 11 years or so, which is a lot less than the average UK moggie (about 15-20 years).

It could be argued that indoor/outdoor cats are more balanced and less stressed. Would this lead to a more healthy constitution? I think, yes.

There are a list of potential hazards to indoor cats one of which I have already touched on that caused a bit of upset: passive smoking. That article was not directed at anyone. I now read that passive smoking cats are twice as likely to develop Feline Leukaemia and 3 times more likely if exposed for 5 or more years (Study 1993-2000, Tufts University, Grafton, Massachusetts, USA; led by veterinary oncologist Anthony Moore). It is also worth noting that cigarette smoke contains 4,000 different chemicals many of which are poisonous and they are deposited on household objects and cats fur, which is then licked off in grooming.

Indoor cats are loved cats (more than indoor/outdoor cats)? No. Here is a list of some (there are more) hazards to indoor cats, particularly kittens:

  • Stress caused by the mental conflict between the drive to act naturally (hunt, stalk and be a predator – not a cuddly fur baby) and the lack of opportunity to release that drive or stress from other sources that cannot be relieved (e.g. another cat). Play will help but how many of us can honestly say that we give enough time to play? Stress causes high levels of corticosteroids which lower the immune system. That can lead to any number of illnesses the cause of which may well go undiagnosed. Obviously a cat born indoors that knows nothing else is likely to be better adjusted to it. Stress can lead to behavioural problems that include displacement behaviour including feline alopecia
    for instance.
  • Houseplants
  • Slammed doors
  • Candles and oil burners (Christmas is coming up)
  • Christmas trees should be topple proof and decorations cat proof (ideally). Please don’t punish your cat if he or she climbs the tree!
  • Washing machines and tumble driers (cats crawl in and get tumble dried). There have been a number of stories about this happening.
  • Medicines
  • Cosmetics
  • Garages and the things in them.

My conclusion is this. We have an obligation as a human companion to our cat to provide as natural a life as possible for him or her. That obligation can only be met through the provision of some sort of outdoor activity that is consistent with the circumstances under which the cat lives and which is as safe as possible. There should be no automatic decision to keep the cat permanently indoors.

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Indoor Cats are Loved Cats?

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Jul 16, 2011 Don't Judge
by: Anonymous

Don't judge til you walked in my shoes. We had a neighbor who thought like you and let their cat roam freely. Then one night we opened our garage and had the shock of our lives. Our garage was used as storage, hardly been opened and piled with things from floor to ceiling. It was there our neighbor's cat slowly came out, now skin and bone, smelling and couldn't stop crying. We rushed him to the hospital. We were told that had we not found him that night he would be dead. We couldn't even imagine the terror and suffering he endured trapped without food and warmth for weeks. And at the hospital another couple bought in their free roaming cat whose neck had been torn. WE DO NOT LIVE IN CATS' NATURAL ENVIRONMENT! Even in the natural environment there are all sorts of danger much less in a jungle of cars, garages, utility sheds, holes, cruel people, dogs, diseases, etc., If you won't let your children or dogs roam freely just because they like it, need it or whatever why let cats? Do they not bleed, suffer or get abuse?

P.S. Now this neighbor cat cuddles with us, enjoys the sunroom, gets cold cuts for treats, plays with other cats and never once go near our door wanting to go out like the others.

Jul 03, 2011 About indoor cats:)
by: Nicki Fox

Indoor cats are happy cats just like my beautiful kittens jellybean and tigerlily have a massive bedroom with a huge bathroom and large walk in wardrobe for them to play in and my babys are very happy l have heaps of toys for them to play with now they have there own lounge chair with a velvet cushion they also like laying on my big bed they get to see out the window as l pull the blind up in the bedroom part of the room and the bathroom window as well were the spa sits l dont want them to be outside cats as outside cats dont live for that long they either get hit by a car or killed by a dog get stolen and heaps of other things that can go horribly wrong so by them being in my rooms l know that they are safe and comfortable they are nearly 4 months old soon and are as cute as ever and very affectionate they are spoilt rotton and so they should be if anyone out there adopts a pet the pet should be made to feel very comfortable and very happy with heaps of kisses and cuddles and u should be able to make time to play with ur pet as well everyday not once a week ect and there are heaps more of responsibilitys that come with adopting a pet if u cant do these things than dont bother with a pet cause ur only going to make the poor animal very unhappy l cant stand people that are only interested in showing off there pet like some trophy and then when there done they couldnt care less about the feelings of the animal but remember one thing what goes around comes around bad karma if u treat anyone or anything in a bad way it will eventually turn around and bite u in the butt true fact by the way lve seen it happen heaps of times:)

May 31, 2011 Loved cats
by: Anonymous

Some indoor cats are loved.

Some outdoor cats are loved.

Some indoor/outdoor cats are loved.

You can not generalise like some people


We live in differing countries/places/circumstances.

A loved cat is a cat which the cat guardian puts the welfare and happiness of first and gives it as close as possible the life it was born to live.

May 24, 2011 fate
by: Bert T

Indoor or outdoor if fate decrees a cat falls into the wrong hands then that cat will suffer.

Also accidents happen to cats indoors too,you'd be surprised how many times!

All we can do is our best under whatever circumstances we find ourselves and accept what fate dishes out.

"If onlys" will simply drive you mad!

May 24, 2011 To M
by: Ruth

So sorry for your loss M and I understand how you must feel but I agree with Barbara, no one can say indoor cats are loved cats and outdoor cats are not.

Don't feel guilty, you loved your cat and gave her the life you thought best.

If those neglected cats Barbara mentioned had been allowed to go out someone woud have spotted before now that some of them desperately needed veterinary attention.

I just wish that those people who do keep their cats strictly indoors would make up to them for their lack of freedom and stimulation they have outdoors, by providing plenty of attention, plenty to do and kitty grass growing.

Some people say but cats don't need all this, they sleep most of their lives. Yes cats do sleep a lot but many indoor bored cats sleep their lives away for the lack of anything else to do.

R.I.P your little cat X

Take care of yourself M.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

May 24, 2011 Sorry
by: Barbara

So very sorry M, it's awful to lose a cat in any circumstances but like this seems so much worse. Of course you're hurting and will be for a long time, but any one of us could be killed by accident any day, sadly it was your cat's time to leave, I think though that your cat will have thoroughly enjoyed her life and her freedom even though her life was cut short.

RIP little cat, you were well loved by M

On the subject that indoor cats are loved cats, well sadly someone I know who had 15 indoor cats has just abandoned them, they were obviously not loved. Love isn't keeping a pet a prisoner, it is providing the best life you can for that pet, bearing in mind that animals by their nature enjoy being outdoors

Barbara avatar

May 23, 2011 R.I.P.
by: M

My cat died today. She was hit by a car on our street. 1 meter from home... I will never have an outdoor cat again unless I live on the country. R.I.P. my beloved cat <3

Mar 29, 2011 Indoor vs Outdoor
by: Anonymous

I got my cat from a shelter (I was his 5th owner by the time he was ten months old!) and he is a sweet, lovable declawed Himalayan. He was declawed when I got him. I never let him go outside because of the dangers he would face there: cruel people (it only takes one), antifreeze on the street, traffic, dogs, other male cats, people who steal animals for research or profit (he is a purebred and very beautiful), etc. I play with him daily and while this is not a great substitute for the freedom of the outdoors, he is much safer inside and his life span will be about double what it woud be if he were free ranging. My last cat, a shaded silver Persian was also an indoor cat and lived to be 18.5 years old. I love my cat too much to let him fend for himself in the great (suburban) outdoors...

Mar 29, 2011 Indoor vs Outdoor
by: Anonymous

I got my cat from a shelter (I was his 5th owner by the time he was ten months old!) and he is a sweet, lovable declawed Himalayan. He was declawed when I got him. I never let him go outside because of the dangers he would face there: cruel people (it only takes one), antifreeze on the street, traffic, dogs, other male cats, people who steal animals for research or profit (he is a purebred and very beautiful), etc. I play with him daily and while this is not a great substitute for the freedom of the outdoors, he is much safer inside and his life span will be about double what it woud be if he were free ranging. My last cat, a shaded silver Persian was also an indoor cat and lived to be 18.5 years old. I love my cat too much to let him fend for himself in the great (suburban) outdoors...

Feb 17, 2011 I love my indor cats, and I dislike the fact you are judging me for it.
by: Corinne

to add to my other comment, which I think I posted properly: neither of my indoor cats, whom I rescued from a shelter (where they were getting basically NO care beyond food, they both came to me with fleas and ear mites, one with the stitches from her spay 2 months prior still in her belly)are declawed. I completely agree that declawing is cruel and would never do so, even if it means i have to use sticky tapes etc to train them to use their posts and not my couch. Why do you automatically assume that anyone who keeps their cats indoors also declaws them?

Feb 17, 2011 I love my indor cats, and I dislike the fact you are judging me for it.
by: Corinne

I live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building on a busy street. There is a tiny plot of grass out front of the apartment and a few sparse bushes, no real yard. The nearest open space is a park over a mile away. If I let my girls go out to play/hunt etc, they would have only a tiny space in which to do so unless they tried to dart across the street. They also would have no way to tell me when they wanted to come inside for food etc, so I would have to hope that they came home when I called them so that they could be fed.

I tried to train them to at least tolerate a leash so that I could stand in the 'yard' and let them explore a bit, but it did not go over very well. One of them would not allow me to put it on her at all, and the other sat on my shoes the entire time I had her outside, meowing at me until I took her back home (she had been stray before landing in the shelter, so perhaps she does not remember 'outdoors' very fondly.).

Should I have left the 2 of them in the shelter where I got them because I cannot, at this time, provide outdoor space for them? Am I cruel because I do not dump them outside into the postage stamp in front of my apt and hope they won't dart out in front of a car, or go hungry because they do not come when called and can't simply scratch at my door to be let back in? Not everyone here owns a house. I hate the idea that I am being judged poorly as a cat owner because I live in a situation where I cannot let my girls go outside safely.

Jan 26, 2011 To LottieLoo5972
by: Ruth

Yes there speaks the voice of reason and most UK people I know feel the same.

If we couldn't give our cats the fulfilled life that cats have a right to, then we simply wouldn't have cats.

People are very selfish in that they expect animals to conform to how they think they should live their lives.

Cats are very adaptable and even adapt to living without their toe ends when people cruelly have them declawed, but why should they have to adapt!

For the same reason I hate Cat Shows, it's not for the benefit of the cat being toted around, shut in a cage, poked and prodded by vets and judges and gawped at by people, it's for the kudos for their 'owners'

Cats are living feeling beings, not possessions.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jan 26, 2011 To Lottieloo5972
by: Barbara

Bravo!! I agree with your every comment, how refreshing to read something from someone who believes in putting the wellbeing of the cat before their own selfish desires. You madam talk a lot of good sense!

From a fellow UK resident

Barbara avatar

Jan 25, 2011 Declawing/Keeping Cats Indoors
by: Lottieloo5972

I have read some of the arguments below, and being an animal lover living in the United Kingdom but not a cat owner (Would love to but allergic, just enjoy my neighbours) would like to add my own thoughts.

First De clawing is dreadful and should be banned, if cats were meant to be claw free, they would be born so. The argument for de clawing them because they harm, maim and kill wildlife is unfair, the cat is by nature a hunter, and we as humans have to accept that we chose to introduce them over time into domestic life, so should except that responsibility.

I have also read in on this comments thread that cats in certain areas shouldn't be let out because they face man made threats. I know people can be unkind and cruel, busy streets etc that is not good enough reason to stop a cat from going outside and following its natural instincts. I keep a dog, I have chosen her breed carefully, making sure that the environment she lives it is suitable for her making her needs a priority over mine. Surely when choosing a cat for a pet they deserve the same consideration? I believe they do.

Of course someone will disagree with me, I have worked with the RSPCA (Animal Welfare Charity in the UK)I have seen cruelty inflicted by humans, cats neglected, cats accidently injured. But none of these things would want me to see a cat made a house cat unless they chose to. Humans need to think of the cats natural instincts and behaviour, and based on them, if they aren't able to provide the cat with the opportunities to behave naturally

well then perhaps they would be better off keeping a gold fish!

Nov 03, 2010 To anti-declaw Anonymous
by: Maggie

I understand what you mean, but that doesn't actually stand true in my country, Austalia. Cats were introduced to here, and so they are one of MANY introduced species who are killing and have wiped out our native fauna. Cats shouldn't be in Australia, but I suppose it's a tad late now. I understand completely that Mum's cat was only doing what she was programmed to, cats rely on instinct. What she does to the birds is natural for her, even though I find it upsetting.

Anti declaw AND vegan! You're all about the animals, aren't you. I'm only vegetarian, but I would like to become vegan some day. Sounds hard though, cause animal products are, sadly and unnecessarily, used in just about everything!

Nov 03, 2010 Declawing
by: Ruth

I hope it's in my lifetime too anonymous anti declaw. Thankfully there seems to be more people coming along all the time and joining us in educating about declawing until the happy day it's banned.

I don't see how the AVMA and declaw vets can continue saying it doesn't harm cats. A recent signature by a Netherland's veterinarian on our petition, had the comment 'declawing is a serious crime' Yes it is !

Non declaw vets know, we know and 4147 people who have signed our petition know how cruel and crippling it is, those vets doing it must surely soon have to admit that they know it too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Nov 02, 2010 Ladied,Ladies
by: Anonymous

I do not advocate declawing, In my post my comment was The subject of indoor cats VS: outdoor cats was getting tedious.

Declawing will be an issue that needs discussing until it is banned in every developed country.

Hopefully that will be in my lifetime.

Nov 02, 2010 To Maggie
by: Anti de-claw Anonymous

Yes it's sad to see birds killed but you have to keep it in proportion and remember that nature has taken care of the balance of all species since time began.

The interference and cruelty of humans upsets that balance which was perfect until we arrived or should I say evolved.

Your mother's cat is only doing what he was programmed to do to survive.He can't let those skills go.Supposing the human race wipes itself out and it is heading that way without a doubt,that cat would have the skills to survive without humans.

So many people exploit animals.I'm strictly vegan but even so I feel my small contribution will not do much to help them.

You seem like a very nice open-minded lady Maggie.

Nov 02, 2010 To anti-declaw Anonymous
by: Maggie

I'm relieved that you're anti-declaw. It tends to get confusing when there's more than one Anonymous, because there's no way for us to tell the difference between one Anonymous and another.

You're right, it's just that my mother's outdoors cat kills a lot of birds. And I love all animals, so it's sad to see them killed. But, as you said, HUMANS slaughter more than anything else in the world. I mean, just think about meat consumption, billions of lives are taken because of that. Or tearing down forests, or the 'sport' animal hunting. Cats can never compare to the damage caused by humans.

Nov 02, 2010 Unsure
by: Jane

I'm also unsure if anonymous means the indoor outdoor topic or the declawing topic has outstayed its welcome.

Surely it's for Michael to decide that.

As Ruth says,there is no right and no wrong in the first but there is complete wrong in the second.

Anonymous if you do mean the second then ignore the plight of cats mutilated needlessly if you want to but don't tell us to do the same.

And for God's sake anonymouses stop your cowardly hiding and put your name(or any name come to that)

Nov 02, 2010 To Maggie
by: Anonymous indoor/outdoor

I am not the same anonymous who is sick of reading about de-clawing.

I am shocked at that statement.

I am 100% anti de-claw.

My point about people killing was that they should know better,it is not their instincts as it is in cats,it is their cruel streak.

I've got no argument with anyone who looks after their cat indoors or outdoors but I do have a problem with people telling others they are wrong.

I do have a problem too with cats being blamed for wildlife and bird decline when on the scale of things cats going out do a minute proportion of the damage people do.

Nov 02, 2010 To the anonymous bored with declawing
by: Fran

"I understand the obsession with declawing, however this subject has really overstayed its welcome"

That certainly reads to me that this anonymous person thinks the subject of declawing has overstayed its welcome.

Whoever you are anonymous don't dare to call yourself a cat lover because if you were you would not say something so cold hearted.

Do you have the first idea of how many kittens and cats are being tortured by this despicable surgery every day?

Turn your back on them if you want to but we will go on "obsessing" about this subject until cats all the world over are not under threat of declawing ever again.

Your remark takes the cake,it really does and it has made me very angry.

Nov 02, 2010 Anonymous(es)
by: Maggie

Yes, I know that humans are by far the biggest killers on earth. We are a burden to this planet. But that's not my point, I was regarding cats as predators, not people.

Declawing will never have been outspoken. Even when declawing is banned the education will have to keep going to STOP the TORTURE ever happening again.

I'm not sure which Anonymous is which, or if you're the same person, but both Anonymouses are cowards and narrow minded. The indoors vs outdoors doesn't bother me too much, but you're just proving stupidity and ignorance by saying that about declawing. Declawing is cruel, if you support it then I suggest you keep away from any and all cats.

Nov 02, 2010 Which subject ?
by: Ruth

Anonymous please tell me which subject has overstayed it's welcome ?

If you mean indoor/outdoor cats I totally agree as we live in different cultures and in the UK we have much more protection by law for our pets and there is no reason not to let our cats enjoy their freedom if we live in safe cat friendly places.

If you mean declawing then I'm sorry but I for one will keep on my educational writing about this premeditated abuse as long as Michael allows me to or until declawing is banned. There is no right or wrong about declawing, it is totally wrong !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Nov 01, 2010 Worse Than Politics
by: Anonymous

What a shame this site has turned into this..... you would think all of us would make the decision regarding whether to keep our cats inside or out based on our circumstances, and for the good of the cat.

Most who are demanding that others agree with their decisions to let a cat have their freedom rather than keep them inside where they are protected from danger have never stepped foot in the USA, and there
for don't know the dangers cats face in this country.

As with anything else regarding living with a cat, how we choose to protect them should be a personal decision.

I understand the obsession with declawing, however this subject has really overstayed its welcome.

How on earth can we solve the worlds problems when we can't even get along on a site that celebrates the joy of shareing your life with a cat????

Nov 01, 2010 Kat the TROLL
by: Jane

So anyone who thinks different to you is a moron.

That just proves what a bigoted ignorant full of your own importance troll you are.

Have you never heard of two sides to every story?

Childish rantering trolls are not welcome here so start by showing respect to the people who come for civilised discussions and you might just learn something.

Nov 01, 2010 Kat YOU are the moron
by: Fran

When you live in England then you can give your views on the way we look after our cats.

Until then butt out because we all know it's YOU who was dropped on your head because of the way you are going through these pages with your bigoted rants and insults.

I pity ANY cat in YOUR power,stuck with YOU with no escape,a fate far worse than death.

Nov 01, 2010 To Maggie
by: Anonymous

The worst killing machines of all are HUMANS and they should know better.

Nov 01, 2010 Indoor/Outdoor (from my own MySpace blog)
by: Kat

(continued from previous...)

Let's outline what I myself seen in both my hometown and the city I live in now. these are just a few examples.


Cats dead on the side of the road at basically every street.

Cats gone missing. We had bears, coyotes,a bunch of animals that could easily kill off a cat. Once my friend stumbled upon a kitten who had been ravaged by a wild animal.

My friend found a litter of kittens placed in a dumpster in a box &

kittens in a stiffling hot shed, locked in there by the owners. SHEBROKE in to get the kittens out still one didn't survive.

A cat, tied to CINDER BLOCK, thrown into our river. It was ALL over the news.


Cats dead on virtually every street.

Cats gone missing.

I saw a cats whose eyes had been GAUGED out. Not that he had been born like that, or they had been surgically removed, they had been GAUGED out by humans. I spent weeks trying to catch this cat, but he never returned, probably got killed when he tried to cross the road, which is what I saw him doing after he ran out of my backyard.

Cats that live by my university are often mistreated and fearful of humans because humans torture them. There have been firecracked incidences with cats and all this bullshit.

No matter where you are, there are dangers. Be it in the country or in the city. All animals are at risk being outdoors. When you have a pet, that has been programmed to trust humans, it is not likely to understand that humans can be DANGEROUS. I cannot comprehend for the life of me the excuse that animals were made for the outdoors, because people; the outdoors are no longer made for the animals, they are made for PEOPLE. This is what WE have created. This is NOT what cats are used to. Get it through your heads, it's NOT a cat's world out there!!!! Especially a cat that has been domesticated. A feral is different, it doesn't know the love of a human and fears all humans, it fears animals and it fears cars, it has a deep-seated fear of the unknown and is cautious and can survive, though it will not have the lengthy lifespan of an indoor cat, the outdoors. But a cat that has been domesticated and loves humans and realizes that humans are ok, is not aware of the dangers and horrors that humans themselves are capable of committing and is naturally curious. Curiosity has never hurt it in the home yet - so why should it think it would be any different outside?! It doesn't realize that a human has the potential to gauge its eyes out. Or tie it to a cinder block and drown it. It doesn't know what a car is or a wild animal is, all it knows is the house is safe, so the outdoors must be safe too. All it knows is, mommy is safe and daddy is safe, so other humans must be safe too.

Anyone who thinks different is a moron.

Nov 01, 2010 Indoor/Outdoor (from my own MySpace blog)
by: Kat

I think that people who use the argument that cats were made for the outdoors and shouldn't be denied access to it have been dropped on their heads way too many times as children. On top of the normal predators, like coyotes, and bears, and such, there are MAN MADE dangers as well.

What people don't appear to realize is that cats are not genetically programmed to be aware of the MAN MADE dangers. If they see a car on the street, they haven't a clue what it is and they haven't a clue to defend themselves from it. They haven't a clue that they shouldn't nestle into a warm hood of car to keep themselves warm. But they might have somewhat of a clue not to nestle up in a bear cave. Cats thrive on finding food outdoors, its their instinct, as well as finding water. When they find antifreeze outside, they haven't a clue that maybe they shouldn't be drinking it. Cats that have owners also aren't aware of the dangers of humans. They have a "good" human who doesn't hurt them (other than allowing them outdoors) so when they see a man with a bat or a gun, they don't know to run, they just think "Hey! Nice human! Maybe I'll get food!" CATS ARE NOT GENETICALLY OR INNATELY AWARE OF MANMADE DANGERS. And thats ALL this world is today! Even the coyotes and the bears and the deers are having trouble surviving because of the things HUMANS do. We're tearing apart their food sources, we are digging into their habitats and ruining their homes. The outdoors is becoming increasingly difficult for ALL animals to survive - not just cats. So why in the HELL would you allow them to go outside if you don't have to?! It's not the way it USED to be.


Nov 01, 2010 To Anonymous
by: Maggie

Anonymous, yes that's true, if you live in a safe place then I suppose it's okay. But I've still seen many cat deaths in 'safe' areas. Accidents do happen indoors, I suppose. But they're rarely life threatening and aren't anywhere near as common as outdoor accidents.

I'm not saying that outdoors is a bad lifestyle for cats. But it can be a bad lifestlye for the other fauna. Here in Australia cats are killing machines, I love cats but that fact is true. I don't want to be the reason behind my cat's unnecessary murders. Which is why I'm so happy that my cat has never taken the life of another being, and never will.

I've also had praise from vets and rescue centres for keeping my cats indoors only. The rescue centres believe that ALL cats should be indoors only. I suppose that would see a huge decrease in homeless cats too.

Oct 31, 2010 Maggie
by: Anonymous

You personally are not prepared to take the risk is fine by me but you can't speak for someone who lives in a perfectly safe place for cats.

Denying all cats their freedom because some live where they can't have it is hardly just.

Accidents happen indoors too you know.

Oct 30, 2010 To Anonymous
by: Maggie

It's not an argument, Anonymous. It's a discussion. If everyone keeps quiet about their opinions on the two, then how will we get the information to decide which is best for our cats?

I've got an indoors only Aby who just turned 2, but I had an outdoors Aby who died just months before his 17th birthday. So there is no right or wrong answer, one, in my opinion, is just more risker than the other. And I'm, personally, not willing to make those risks.

Oct 30, 2010 Same old argument
by: Anonymous

For crying out loud how often do we have to put up with this same old argument.

Indoor advocates bleat on about dangers outside and outdoor advocates bleat on about boredom inside.

There is no right and no wrong,there is only doing the best under your own circumstances.

If its safe where you live then why deprive your cat.If it isn't safe then as someone else said you owe it to your cat to make sure it has other ways to make up to it for lack of the stimulation of freedom.

None of you bleaters know other peoples circumstances so butt out and look after your own cat and let everyone else do the same.

Go after the real cat abusers,not the ones who care about their cats welfare in the best way they can.

Oct 29, 2010 To '50 years of happy cats'
by: Maggie

You must also remember that cats aren't the only animals on the earth. Other animals shouldn't be slaughtered because some people are incapable of accepting the perfectly fine indoors only life.

I've had indoors only cats, and outdoors cats. Both are as happy as each other. Although, the indoor one hasn't yet died from being bitten by a snake, hit by a car, or taken by an eagle.

Oct 27, 2010 Kat G and Ruth
by: 50 years of happy cats

Well said.

People who keep cats entirely indoors are so judgemental.They bang on and on about the dangers for cats and quote rubbish about the short lives outdoor cats have.Do they make their kids lives a misery too by denying them living their lives.

Maybe it isn't safe in their neck of the woods but we don't all live in places like that and to put it bluntly they could move if it's so bad.

OR......and I suppose they'll be up in arms about this......

DON'T have a cat if you can't give it a cat's life.

That is pure selfishness.

Oct 27, 2010 To anonymous
by: Ruth

I totally agree with you and I wish some people weren't so quick to judge and to call those of us who let our cats have their freedom, bad people.

Why can't they try to understand instead of having closed minds and being smug in the thought that they are so right ?

Why should we who live in cat friendly safe places deny our cats of their right to enjoy outdoors just the same as we do.

We understand that in dangerous places cats are safer indoors and that's OK as long as the cats have plenty in their lives to make up for their lack of freedom.

A long safe life sitting clawless with nothing to do is no life for a cat.

Ours are indoor/outdoor and have very fulfilled happy lives, we make home a happy place and spend as much time with them as they want us to, not only because it's a pleasure but because they didn't choose us, we chose them and we owe it to them to make their lives with us the best they can be.

If we lived in a dangerous place, we'd build an outdoor run, it doesn't have to be perfect, cats just love fresh air, sunshine and grass. Some people say they can't afford even a small run, well, do they drink, smoke, go out socialising, go on holiday ?

I rest my case.

Oct 26, 2010 KatG, you are SO mistaken
by: Anonymous

Having lived ALL my life in SA and not just one year, let me educate you on why people in SA let their cats out.

1. Feline Aids & other diseases are not half as prevalent as it is in most other countries, so that risk is minimal. We vaccinate as a standard and since our poorer areas are serviced by the SPCA who also do spay & neutering.

2. Owners people spay and neuter.

3. Most people actually do feed their cats, where you get the idea that they don't is beyond me, as are most of what you have said. Unless you live in Putsonderwaterfontain or Makwassie.

4. We do not insist on a sanitised version of life, we live in the reality - it comes with flies, and with mosquities - welcome to Africa, my dear. We have learnt how to deal with it.

5. We like having OPEN doors and windows. Screens are used for high risk malaria areas.

6. We microchip far more than other countries.

7. We do not declaw, devocalise, and have nasty outside things that eat cats, people who routinely abuse them, steal them, and worse - our cats' worst foe is the neighbour's dog which chases them, or a speeding car. Maybe our gene pool for cats is a bit different.

8. We believe in NATURAL behaviour, and yes, that means giving the cat a CHOICE - and they choose outdoors.

9. Very, very seldom does one ever hear in SA of cats falling off balconies - in opposition to the number from other countries.

10. Very few places need to use antifreeze and are very careful about it.

11. We do not have foxes, eagles, bears, and our owls that are a size that would worry a cat are not found in the areas where most cats are. We have foxes...on farms, not suburbia.

12.Since our cats are familiar with the outdoors, they mostly don't get lost.

13. We don't have cat scratch disease (never heard of it before speaking to folks from overseas) much at all since we practice good hygiene, and most of the cases come from handling raw meat and working in gardens than cats anyway.

14. We do have a multitude of flea products, and use them correctly.

15. Our cats live very long lives in most cases, too.

16. Most South Africans smoke, would you want us to keep our cats indoors with that? We don't.

We love our cats, and by comparison, they're a lot safer in SA - more so when a comparison is done in amount of cruelty case and abuse cases. Please just realise that someone else making a different choice is not wrong. You come from a different country, but you are now living IN a different country, I suggest you learn more about how things work there before insulting it.

I can wrap up an animal and preserve it for as long as possible, but that's just not a life I choose to give an animal. And that does not mean I am some dumb hick who knows nothing or does not love my cat - it means I lived in a country where you can still do that.

Sep 18, 2010 We have a choice cats do not
by: G. K.

Would any sane person choose a long life looking out at the world but not part of it.Watching others go out but trapped endlessly indoors themselves.

Or would they choose life lived as a life.

Cats don't have the option of their own choice but in my opinion if they did they would want to live life to the full just as any sane person would want to.

Put yourself in a cats place,watching people and dogs having freedom,yet you have none,how does that feel?

Sep 18, 2010 Love means doing your best
by: Ruth

A person keeping a cat indoors, with nothing to do, no scratching post, no toys, no attention, and even worse, declawed, is as bad as one who lets their cat go out and then shuts the door and forgets about him.

Having chosen the best lifestyle for your cat, according to your circumstances,you owe it to the cat to make his life as happy as you can.

Sitting indoors safe but bored stiff for a long life is no life for any cat.

Good indoor cat caretakers ensure the cat isn't bored or frustrated and has access to fresh grass which cats need for their digestion but many are deprived of.

Even better, to provide some sort of outdoor enclosure for the cat to enjoy freh air and sunshine.

Good indoor/outdoor cat caretakers ensure the neighbourhood is cat friendly, keep an eye out while the cat is out and never leave the cat out after dark or when no one is home.

This is what we do and we have/have had 36 years of long living fulfilled happy healthy cats.

Maggie lives in an unsafe place to let cats out but she ensures Chilli still has a fulfilled happy life and that is what being a good caretaker is all about,giving your cat the best life you can according to what your circumstances are.

Cats adapt to any situation, they have no choice, but it doesn't always mean they are happy.

Sep 18, 2010 I have an indoors only cat
by: Maggie

As you know, my Chilli is indoors only. I wouldn't have it any other way. I understand that the indoors only debate is quite similar to the declawing one, in the sense that it all comes down to the welfare of the cat.

I respect anyone who has an outdoors cat. And I'm not saying that they're bad pet carers just because they let their cats out. But I know for a fact that cats live happy lives indoors, just as they do outdoors.

Chilli's best mate, Mae, is indoors/outdoors. And she's a wonderful cat. But just because she goes outside doesn't mean she lives a life of luxury while Chilli lives locked up and miserable. No, that's not how it is at all. Chilli is beyond happy, he's full of life and enjoys being indoors only. If a door is left open he (usually!) won't go out it, as he doesn't actually want to go outside. In the words of Chilli's breeder (been raising kittens since about the '60s or '70s, maybe before that) "You can't miss something you've never had." and let's face it, that's true. How can cats miss the outdoors if they've never been out there.

Having said that, I walk Chilli on his walking jacket. But he doesn't really like it anymore, so we rarely do. He would rather be inside.

Some people will agree with me, some will not. That's fine. But I've discovered too many dead or dying cats to risk the welfare of my Chilli. If anyone considers letting their cats outdoors, PLEASE, ensure it's safe first and keep your cat vaccinated with health checks at a vet at least every 6-12 months.

Jun 16, 2010 LIFE
by: Ruth

I'm afraid it's called LIFE.

Horrible things happen to animals (and to children too) indoors as well as outdoors.

Who knows who is right or who is wrong,the main thing is that we look after our own pets(and children of course)according to our circumstances and to the best of our ability and to keep them safe without smothering them.

Because a life wrapped up in cotton wool is not a life,it's an existence.

I agree with Colin,anyne seeing a neglected cat should get out thete and try to do something about it.

I also agree with Petra,given the choice cats would choose to live their lives with the pleasures of Nature rather than cocooned with man made pleasures.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 15, 2010 I am not sure......Petra
by: Merrily

A couple of years ago on a hot summers night I opened my bedroom window before going to bed to get some cool nightime air.

In a tall pine tree in my yard I heard an owl hooting, and the sound almost lulled me to sleep when suddenly I heard the most horrible scream......a cats scream, but like none I had heard before.

The following morning I found my neighbors cat in my yard, her face completely torn off to the bone, and her eyes missing, obviously the work of the owl.

I don't you think she died before her eyes were ripped out, did she feel pain, or was she terrified?

Would she have prefered this death to living inside where she was much safer?

How do we know?

Jun 15, 2010 Is there a right or wrong???
by: Merrily

When I read Kat G's post this morning I knew what I would be reading next, and I have commented on this before.

I was raised in Germany although I was born in the USA so I think I know something about both the USA and Europe.

I have no doubt that most of the people who frequent this site love our cats and want the best for them. If it was safe for my cats to be outdoors I would be the first to let them go outdoors to explore and lay in the sun, but as many who have posted who live in the USA and surely in the cities this is not an option unless you want to replace your cats frequently.

So for us it is out duty to make our cats lives as close to what they would have outdoors as possible. My cats seem to have more toys,scratching post and things to keep them amused and happy than most children, and I suppose are treated more like the grandchildren that I never had.

How ideal it would be for it to be safer here like it is in the UK, but it is not.

This tone reminds me of a site that I visited on Facebook called Raw Feeding, a poster asked if anyone had used Dr. Piersons recipe to prepare raw food for cats. I replied that I do indeed use this recipe and have for both cats and dogs for years.

Within minutes the posts turned to a less than civil tone, and people said the ONLY way to food raw is whole prey, and that people who use this recipe are only making cat food to make themselves feel good,etc.etc. Some of us don't like feeding frozen baby chicks or mice, but we are still doing what we think is best for our cats.

Maybe they should have turned their efforts to someone who feeds only cheap store brand dry cat food, rather than someone who was obviously doing something to better their cats life.

There are many ways to raise a happy cat both indoors and outdoors, in all parts of the world.

We are all here because we love cats, and unless we are advocating declawing of cats, we probably have their best interest at heart.

No matter what we feed or where our cats spend their time we are doing what we feel is best for our cats based on where they live.

I for one am not willing to take the chance of my cat being killed by a car, coyote, stray dog or worse being fed antifreeze by a neighbor. I have lost way to many before I decided to only have indoor cats.

Jun 15, 2010 Sorry but I disagree KatG
by: Petra

I totally disagree with your post and I think that cats that have access to the outdoors are in fact more loved than those who are kept purely as indoor ornaments/playthings/possessions, this is because the guardians of cats that are "allowed" to have access to fresh air, freedom and natural fulfilment have put some thought into what sort of life their cat would enjoy most.

I think if you took an opinion poll amongst cats you'd find that 9 out of 10 cats would rather chase a real mouse than a toy one, would rather kip in the fresh air than in a cat basket, would rather poop on next-door's garden than in a sterile litter tray and in fact would rather eat grass than gourmet catfood at times.

And when you think about it we humans don't NEED to go out either do we? We don't even need to go and poop in outdoor lavatories these days and we'd surely be safer staying indoors for the rest of our days, the same as the cats hmmm?

So, if you're not willing to give up your own personal freedom and enjoyment of the great outdoors what right have you to:

A)condemn your cats to life imprisonment

B)criticise those who have put a bit of thought into what their cat would choose.

Jun 15, 2010 Do something Kat
by: Colin J

Kat come to England and witness happy cats basking in the sun before you criticise us again.

I'm sure there are more cats in your country than the neglected ones you see.They are not the result of an indoor outdoor life,they are in that condition because of the ignorant people who the cats belong to.People who should not have a cat.

BTW do you do anything about those poor cats?

If not why not?

It's no good sitting there feeling smugly superior with your own cared for cats and telling others they are wrong to let their cats out.

Get out there and do something about the poor creatures you see,that's what we would do if we saw a cat with matted fur,runny eyes,torn ears, etc.

By turning your back on them you are almost as bad as the people they belong to.

A true cat lover loves ALL cats,not just their own.

Jun 15, 2010 Rubbish
by: Kath

YOU don't believe indoor/outdoor cats are loved as they should be.

Well I don't believe strictly indoor cats are loved as they should be.

Do you realise how condescending you are with your list of reasons why people let their cats go out?

I'll educate you a bit shall I?

I don't know about where you live but here we let our cats go out because it's their right.They are entitled to some freedom and if we can give them that then why not?

Maybe kids and cats get poisoned or kidnapped where you live but we keep a watch over ours.

Yes we are far far ahead of other countries with our pet welfare,we are also far ahead with our knowledge of what makes cats happy.

All your holistic stuff and carpets and scratching posts don't make up for a good roll in fresh grass in fresh air.

Don't be so selfish,at least build an enclosure for your poor cats.

You could put your kids in too seeing as you appear to live in such a horrible place.

Jun 15, 2010 Captives
by: Rose

So Kat G your kids and cats are all captive are they?Poor things.All deprived because you think its such a terrible world.

I bet you go out whenever you feel like it though!

Don't come here telling us our cats are neglected because they go out.I'm here to tell you that in our country our cats are family,we look after them as we do our familes,we don't stifle our kids or our cats.No wonder people look at you as if you are insane if you try to force your opinions on them.

Have your own opinion by all means but don't presume you are right.

Jun 15, 2010 To KatG
by: Ruth

Your assumption that all indoor/outdoor cats are neglected is very biased and totally wrong.

Here in the UK we are a nation of cat lovers,we have a Pet Welfare bill and part of that bill says that animals should live as naturally as possible to their species.

Hardly anyone has strictly indoor cats here and those who do have at the very least a safe enclosure in the garden.

Cats have a right to fresh air,sunshine and access to grass and we have moved Heaven and Earth to ensure we live in cat friendly places so that our cats can have that right.

36 years of long lived, happy, fulfilled cats makes it worthwhile.

Yes cats are domesticated now but they came from the wild,they are still wild at heart,but they have been forced into our lifestyle over the years and had no choice but to adapt.

But I do see others point of view and as long as the cat has plenty of room,lots of attention, plenty to do, kitty grass to chew on and the right to keep his claws, then I accept that in some places it's dangerous to let cats go outdoors.

But in my case I love cats so much I'd rather deprive myself of their company than condemn them to a life with no outdoor access at all.

Every vet I have ever worked for agrees that the happiest healthiest lifestyle for a cat is the indoor/outdoor one.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

If you truly love cats then please sign and pass on our petition.It's the declawed cats that need your help and sympathy, not the much loved happy cats who live the life they were intended to live.

Jun 15, 2010 Our indoor/outdoor cats certainly ARE loved
by: Babz

KatG You shouldn't assume all cats that are allowed their freedom outdoors are neglected, matted and have ripped ears, runny eyes and sunburned skins. Ours certainly don't but they do appreciate being outdoors on a lovely day like today dozing in the long grass or chasing insects in the garden. They also appreciate coming and going as much as they want to during the day and then staying in late evening and going up to bed with us. OK your indoor cats seem to have a good life but many indoor cats lead an utterly boring tedious life of lying around or looking out of windows, they get fat and institutionalised and in my opinion they miss out big time. I couldn't go out and enjoy the sun myself if I thought I was depriving my cat of the same privilege, can you?

I don't think indoor=loved V outdoor=neglected is a valid way of deciding if a cat is cared for, I think it's in the making sure that whether they are indoor or outdoor they are as safe and as happy as it is possible to make them.

Barbara avatar

Jun 15, 2010 Indoor without a doubt
by: KatG

Do domestic cats REALLY need to go outdoors to live "naturally". Domestic cats are not wild cats and most cats are so far removed from their wild ancestors and tamed that the argument of a cat needing to be let outdoors because it's "natural" seems a bit far reaching to me.

I once compiled a list of reasons why NOT to let domestic cats go outdoors and it's a list of 16 reasons and it only continues to grow.

Do you let your kids run around outside at their whim? Why not? They might get hit by cars? So could your cat. They might decide to taste something dangerous? So might your cat. It's a small chance but your kids could be kidnapped when no one's looking. So could your cat. It happens more often than people think.

Our four cats are indoor only and always will be. From day one we taught them what they can and cannot scratch on. They have 6 scratching posts and areas to scratch spread throughout the house. We have no problems with inappropriate scratching because we trained them. We play with them everyday and they play with each other every day. We do not restrict their movements in the house AT ALL. They are free to go where they want, when they want.

They are treated like our kids and live happy, healthy, holistic lives. They sleep with us and nearly every time I'm at a store that sells cat toys I buy some. They have hordes of toys to choose from every day. We have carpeted stairs so they can chase each other around the house without slipping and sliding, providing for a better workout.

We've been living in South Africa for the last year and NO ONE here keeps their cats indoor only. I see so many cats in our neighborhood with matted fur, ripped ears, runny eyes, sunburned ear skin, etc. How can anyone claim these cats are loved? They belong to people, they have collars! I know with certainty that the level of care and general living is much better in the UK than SA but it's the same scenarios. People look at me like I'm insane when I ask if they ever think about keeping their cat indoors all the time.

The most common reasons for letting their outside in SA:

1) If it stays inside, where will it poop?? (Uh, how about in a litter box??)

2) I am too lazy to clean a litter box

3) What will it eat? Uh, have you ever thought about buying it cat food??

4) We can't leave our windows open (Screens aren't big here, no one knows what they are but I found companies that import screens from the US for these very purposes. Plus, how people can handle bugs constantly in their house is beyond me).

5) I can't train my kids to keep the doors closed (that's pretty sad if you can't even train your kids to close doors that they open!!)

So because this is my experience with indoor/outdoor cat owners I do NOT believe indoor/outdoor cats are loved the way they deserve to be.

May 09, 2010 Indoor cats are happy cats
by: Lovemykitties

I have 3 indoor cats, all with claws. They have full roam of the house & plenty of toys & scratch posts. They all enjoy walking outside on a harness and get plenty of exercise. If the weather is bad then we play for at least 2 hours a day inside. They don't suffer for not being allowed to roam outside. They don't run the risk of being run over or being hurt in fights or hurting other peoples cats. Indoor cats can live a rich & fulfilled life and I believe that an indoor cat can live a much healthier & longer life.

Jan 08, 2010 I have reasons for keeping a cat indoors Part 2
by: Anonymous

I have a second cat whose hair is much shorter than the above cat's. He's also subject to those same 12 degree above zero -25 degree wind chill days...would you still advocate me leaving him out there to fend for himself? One day last week I found him shivering by the door into the garage, and there's no way I'm subjecting this indoor-outdoor cat (who is also not declawed) to brutal temperatures like those when 25 above makes him shiver.

He will be allowed out once the temperature climbs back to a more livable level, but until then I think he's better off inside where it's warm.

Rest assured, there are no poinsettias in my house, there is no cigarette smoke (non-smoking household), there is no antfreeze anywhere near him, and he does not have access to the Christmas tree. So in my mind he's perfectly safe. He's not terribly happy, but he's perfectly safe. And ALL of my cats are loved, whether they're inside or outside. If it were left up to me, in the weather we've been having here in Kansas ALL of my cats would be allowed to come inside just to get out of the weather. Is that so awful?

Jan 08, 2010 I have reasons for keeping a cat indoors Part I
by: Anonymous

I take care of a colony of outdoor cats. Most of them do just fine and they love being outdoors, they wouldn't have it any other way. But right now the temperature outdoors is 12 degrees Fahrenheit, there's been a foot of snow on the ground since Christmas Eve, we've had 25 mile an hour winds and the wind chill has been somewhere around 15-25 below zero. Would you advocate keeping a cat outdoors in weather like that? I was told by my vet that my cats should do fine, but yesterday I found one huddled by my front door, pleading with me to let her in where it was warmer. I did so, and this morning found that she could no longer walk correctly. I rushed her to the vet, who told me she was severely underweight (1 lb 12 ounces for a six-month-old cat) and possibly malnourished (even though I feed my cats twice a day). I was told that even though she is a long-haired cat, beneath all that long hair she was only skin and bones. Since I couldn't see beneath all the long hair and hadn't picked her up in several days I was totally unaware that anything was wrong because she'd seemed perfectly normal up until this morning. Still think I should keep her outside? She is not declawed nor will she ever be because I share your aversion to the practice. I can only hope that the cause of her tiny size will be found and that she will survive.

Jan 05, 2010 Indoor/outdoor
by: Ruth

I totally agree with Rich, there are some people who shouldn't have cats at all.Take the declawing issue, time after time we come across the statement 'Indoor cats don't need claws' These people obviously know nothing at all about cats,they think the cats should be grateful to have essential parts removed for the sake of having a home.They don't even try to teach their cats to use a scratching post as it's so easy to take the lazy way out to protect their precious furniture,their kids that maul cats and their dogs that chase them around the house without fear of retaliation.

In Pandora's case she has a wonderful lifestyle that suits her and she's very happy, that's down to her caretakers, not down to whether she's indoor or outdoor.

Our cats have their freedom, they'd be very unhappy and frustrated if they hadn't because they have always been used to it, yet some people say cats should never be allowed out.Jozef had a feral father, are we to deny him his hunting instincts, crush his free spirit ? Never !But we never leave our cats out at night or when no one is home and we keep an eye out all the time they're out.That suits us and our cats too.

There are people who go to the other extreme, they leave their cats out for long spells, we have one man near us who goes off out for 12 hours at a time leaving his cat out,then if she isn't around when he returns he goes in and shuts the door and she could be out another 12 hours as she misses the chance to get in.We and other neighbours feed her but she won't come into our houses, she's used to the lifestyle she has.

It's all about different circumstances and whether the places we live are cat friendly and what is best for the cats concerned.

In an ideal world, all cats would have the choice whether to go out or not but it's not an ideal world and we must understand each others situations but each do the best we can to give our cats the best life we can.

Loved cats are the cats cared for by people who learn about and understand cats.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jan 04, 2010 is Indoor vs. Outdoor the REAL issue?
by: Rich - USA

I see several comments about indoor cats and assumptions being made about that don't go hand-in-hand. Because a cat is an indoor cat, does not mean they are declawed. Because a cat is an indoor cat does not mean they aren't given means to stretch and scratch. Because a cat is an indoor cat doesn't mean they aren't given lots of play time, attention and exercise.

There are people who have no business having a cat or any other animal regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor. There is responsibility that comes with both and well as additional unique responsibilities to each one of the scenarios. There are indoor AND outdoor cats that are loved, as well as indoor AND outdoor cats that are neglected, abused, etc..

I have a tortoise shell DSH named Pandora that I adopted from the shelter when she was 2 yrs., now 13 yrs.. She is an indoor cat. She has scratching posts/boards downstairs and upstairs. She learned to use them the first week I adopted her by chasing a laser pointer and only 'catching' it on the items that were appropriate to scratch (she still gets to chase the laser pointer around on a daily basis - she loves it). She gets plenty of love, attention, play time and grooming time. She sleeps with us, has full access to the entire house all day and night. She has a myriad of toys that she loves to play with (in fact, she will go into her toy box and pick out the one she feels like tormenting at that moment). And, if I try to take her out of the house, it's not a pretty sight, she refuses to go out. She, apparently, made the choice for herself. I could leave the door open and she will not cross through the doorway to the outside world. Although, if it were up to me, she would still remain and indoor cat. The other animals, both domestic and wild (as in hawks and other birds of prey, coyotes, as well as aggressive domestic animals in neighbors yards) in the area as well as traffic make for a rather hazardous existence outdoors where I live.

So, in summation, I believe that indoor vs. outdoor has nothing to do with whether a cat is loved or not. There are those people who are responsible individuals who provide for the needs of their beloved companions regardless of the scenario, and there are those who have no business being in that situation to begin with.

Dec 08, 2009 To Anonymous
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Faith has a wonderful home ! She has love, attention,the freedom of your whole house,very importantly has her claws and you intend to make some sort of outdoor access to fresh air. You are obviously a true cat lover.

We realise it is different in the USA to where we live in the UK as we don't have the dangers outside that you do.

There is nothing wrong with keeping a cat safe in a happy home with a life as your cat has.

It's the people who have cats merely as possessions, who are in the wrong, they expect them to sit clawless and bored and they boast they have long lives.Maybe they do but those long lives haven't much quality and that's what makes me sad.

We do understand our cultures are different, but it's very annoying when some poeople lay down the law that cats should never go out,that they don't want to go out.Cats adjust,they have to,but we need to make them as happy as it humanly possible,once we take responsibility for them.

We all need to see it from both points of view and above all put the welfare and happiness of the innocent party, the cats, in all this.

Dec 07, 2009 Just My Opinion
by: Anonymous

I have had cats in my life for more years than I would like to admit. Currently I have one cat, although I hope to soon have a second one.

In my early years my cats were allowed to roam outdoors, however after losing some to Coyotes, finding them with their faces ripped off by owls, killing them when they were seeking warmth in the engine of my car, coming home with eye infections, or not coming home at all, I decided to keep my cat indoors. I do not smoke, and any obvious dangers have been removed from my home.

My cat has numerous scratching posts, beds, boxes and toys to keep her amused. There are no off limits spots in my home. Faith has free reign to do whatever she pleases. When I am able to do so, I will build an outdoor enclosure so she can be outside, and safe, I am sure she will enjoy being able to be out in the sun. I currently feed six cats who have no home every day, there were more, but one was hit by a car, and some are just gone.

The idea of a cat having a wonderful life outdoors is not being realistic in this area, so both my cat and I have made adjustments, so that she may have a long and healthy life. I know some will question, so I will let you know, Faith is not declawed, and yes she sometimes uses my bed for a scratching post, she sleeps with me, and does all of the fun things that cats do......thats why I have a cat!

Dec 07, 2009 Indoor cats are not loved the most Part 2
by: Barbara

I can’t think of anything more frustrating than to be kept indoors all day everyday with nothing to do but sit. Cats cant read a book, watch TV, play video games or any of the other things we may do when for some reason we can’t get out of the house. No wonder they get aggressive, or pee or poop, or scratch at the furniture (IF they have the means to do so)

Another thing that annoys me is the assumption that everyone has the right to own a cat, even if they live in the most wildly unsuitable place, I’ve read of people living in various parts of the US scared in case snakes or coyotes get their cat so the cat has to stay in, but don’t you think that before you decide you want a cat you should think through if you actually SHOULD get a cat, is your neighbourhood safe for a cat or will you have to keep it under lock and key for the rest of it’s life, hardly daring to open a window or a door in case your furry prisoner legs it?

If I was a cat I would choose to take my chance, I’d want access to all those lovely things nature provides and I would hate to be kept indoors against my will. That actually sounds a bit like my as a human anyway, enjoy life while you can because one day you have to go, one way or another, so why hide away indoors avoiding danger only to have the roof fall in on you and realise you’d have been safer outdoors after all.

Dec 07, 2009 Indoor cats are not loved the most Part 1
by: Barbara

To me the idea that indoor cats are loved more comes from the arrogance of people who own cats that they see as possessions rather than individual personalities in their own right. Regarding them as property they feel they have to protect them from damage or from being stolen.

What they don’t give any thought to, or if it passes through their minds it is dismissed as irrelevant, is that cats have been brought into our homes and have done us the great honour of conforming to our rules to a certain extent but underneath those furry jackets are animals with instinct that go back thousands of years. Cats love to hunt, they can sit quite contentedly for hours watching something move, maybe it’s a mouse but it could just as well be a blade of grass or a dandelion clock blowing in the wind.

They love to roll in fresh grass, on powdery concrete, on newly turned earth, on the very absolute edge of the shed roof to scare us rigid, they love to drowse in the sun, climb trees, chase other cats. They love to turn their furry faces up and test the wind, filtering all the various aromas that we can’t detect through the magic bits in their noses and mouths, they love to strop those claws on trees, shed doors or anywhere that has a rough surface, they love to play us up, come to the window and run away when we open it just to make us laugh. In short cats adore the freedom to live their lives and to enjoy everything that nature offers them.

Contrast this with cats that are kept indoors, in the USA those cats may or may not be declawed, if they have claws they may or may not have scratching posts or climbing frames because they do clutter up the house and if they think they can scratch them they think they can scratch anywhere, I’ve read advice given to remove all scratching posts and punish the cat for scratching at all, zero tolerance!

Some are not allowed on the furniture, beds, tables, worktops, windowsills, near babies, kids or dogs. Some are kept in basements, “cage trained” or even caged for several hours a day in case they step out of line while home alone.

Some annoy their owners by meowing too loud or too often, some annoy their owners by kneading them, with or without claws.

The trouble seems to be that cats don’t realise that they are in fact beautiful ornaments that are meant to sit still and only expect attention when it is convenient for the owner

Dec 07, 2009 Outdoor cats live in constant danger, pt.1.
by: Finn Frode, denmark

When I was a child one of my uncles had a little farm next to a regional road with some fast traffic. He of course had some cats to take care of mice and the most notable was an old tomcat named Peers.

He got hit by speeding cars at least twice and recovered. When I say recovered, I mean survived without any medical help. My uncle liked his cats, but he was not a wealthy man. Besides that in those days country vets were only called for the pigs and cows and horses - all other animals had to fend for themselves.

Besides a heavy limp from the accidents Peers also had had his ears torn from fighting other toms. He really looked a sad mess, but there was no question he was the leader cat at my uncles.

They say cats have nine lifes, but traffic accident probably uses up more than one life each time. At any rate one day Peers had used up all of his - and that's the end of that story.

I myself grew up in the country too and my family had cats for as long as I remember. Sadly some of them were also lost to traffic - although the road was not as close by as that of my uncle's. When I grew up and moved to town I tried having cats running loose in a suburban residential area - some made it and some didn't.

(to be continued)

Dec 07, 2009 Outdoor cats live in constant danger, pt.2.
by: Finn Frode, Denmark


It seems as if some cats are more cautious and have an instinctive understanding of the dangers - while others just don't. But even the cautious ones need a lot of luck to survive the traffic of today.

The days when cats could roam the land freely must have been back in the days before the automobile. As my story shows those days were already gone back in the 60's - even in the countryside.

That I think is the main reason why so many responsible people (including most breeders) don't allow their cats to run around anymore. Also there's the risk of the cats getting killed by dogs or foxes, hurt in territorial fights or catching diseases. Not so many years ago FIV (Feline Aids) was a very real menace and other new scourges will surely come along.

My wife and I live on the third floor of an appartment block and so our two cats have to share these circumstances. Their only outdoor life is on our balcony - and that only under close supervision. We would love to live somewhere else with a little garden and a nice cat enclosure, but right now that's not an option.

The cats seem quite contend anyway. Milly has lived in appartments for all her life and doesn't know any better. On a few occasions we have tried bringing her down in a leash, but she was so terrified, we soon had to stop. Snow White is a shelter cat, so we don't know her background. Quite likely she has been an indoor cat too, because she never tries to sneak out when the front door opens. Or maybe it's just because cat's are so very adaptable.

I'm not gonna call those people, who let their cats run loose, irresponsible or anything like that. All I can say is that I would not dare unless I lived very far away from everything. But at the end of the day it depends on the actual neighbourhood, so let everybody make their own decisions.

Dec 07, 2009 Indoor/outdoor cats
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Another great blog Michael !

Many people think their indoor cats are happy never being out in the fresh air or feeling the sun on their backs apart from through glass,this is because cats adjust,they have to,they have no choice.Just the same as they have to adjust to being declawed,again they have no choice as suicide is not an option for cats.These poor cats haven't much quality of life,they can't exercise as cats need to, by digging their claws in to stretch their muscles, they can't grab catnip toys like cats with claws can,they can't even jump safely to a high spot as they have nothing to grip with.What do they do all day ? Look out of the window, or sleep. Some get exercise by being chased by the children or the dog of the family,these poor creatures have no defence,they have to run and hide.

Yes it's very easy to knock up some sort of an outdoor enclosure,3 of us ladies made one for our neighbour with 15 rescue cats.It's not posh but it's safe and the cats can enjoy being outside. Not ideal for them but she can't let 15 cats,some of which were badly abused, go free, as we'd never get them back in.

It's not fair keeping a cat indoors if you live in a cat friendly place, yes it's a big bad world out there and we worry if our cats don't 'clock in' for a while, but it's their right to have their freedom.Over 35 years of indoor/outdoor cats, all have lived fulfilled lives to old age apart from 2, but their deaths were nothing to do with going outside.Illnesses happen indoors and as you say, accidents too.

If there is absolutely no way a cat can have access to outside,then they need lots of company,fun and games and a tray of kitty grass growing, at the very least.

Some people say cats don't want to go out,they don't need to go out.Give the cats a chance and they'd disagree ! But after a lifetime of confinement,the truth is that cats are afraid to go out.They may seem content but they have missed out on so much, it's sad.

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