Indoor Only Cats

Indoor Only Cats

by Maggie Sharp
(Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)

Me and my indoors only Aby! As you can see, he hates camera flashes!!

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Me and my indoors only Aby! As you can see, he hates camera flashes!!

I know how people on this website feel about indoor only cats, some people will be set in stone when it comes to their opinions regarding this particular topic, which is fine and I respect that. But, I must stress, that in my time I've lost quite a few cats to the outdoors, in tragic ways. The most recent being Wilson, who was hit by a car and left to die, which was just last November. I don't know how much cats mean to other people, but these loses all had a major impact on my life, and to be honest I can't stand the pain of losing them due to the outdoors any longer.

Before I purchased Chilli, his breeder told me that under no circumstances was Chilli to go outside. I strongly disagreed, believing it was cruel, but I soon came to realise that Chilli's breeder was in fact correct, though, I should have already known...

What really irritates me is when people say I'm a cruel, irresponsible cat owner for having an indoors only cat, well listen, if I were irresponsible do you think I would go to the effort to keep him inside and make sure that everything he needs is tended to? No, I would chuck him outside and forget about him. And I certainly would NOT be cleaning his litter box everyday!!

Clearly I avoid many things by having an indoors only cat, I shouldn't have to name them, any cat owner should consider dangers before committing to ownership, but I also have assurance that my cat is safe, in his home with me, there's no chances of him being stolen, mauled by dogs, hit by a car or anything of the like. I mean, tell me, exactly how many cats have become road kill inside?

I've had cats hit by cars, stolen, killed by other cats, bitten by snakes, I even found a cat that had been tortured and left to die. I don't understand how anyone could let that happen to their cat, to leave their cat to such an uncertain fate... I can't believe I allowed cats outside, I don't think I've ever done anything so stupid and selfish in my life...

Having said that, I lost an Aby who was outdoors/indoors in 2005, he was almost 17 year old... But even then, he would often come home with a limp or some sort of injury...

This isn't much of a post regarding indoor only cats, but for now I think it will do, and I hope it's helped people see this subject from my point of view.... I love my cat more than anything in the world, I would do anything for him, and all I want to do is keep him safe.

(Sorry about the photo, my camera lens can't get light in, which is why the quality is so poor-even after editing...)


Indoor Only Cats to PoC Forum

Comments for
Indoor Only Cats

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 16, 2010 Lisa
by: Maggie Sharp

There are ways that you can have indoor only cat, but give the a taste of the outdoors at the same time, such as walking jackets/harnesses or outdoor enclosers. But, that's still best suited for 'tired' old cats, who aren't so interested, or cats who have lived indoors only from a young age... But, I understaand your issue, and I hope you can figure a way to keep your kitty with you...

Apr 16, 2010 Thanks
by: Lisa

Thanks all for your thoughts and advice.I don't know what to do yet,I'm moving heaven and earth not to have to leave this house.

Apr 15, 2010 Lisa
by: Maggie Sharp

Indoor only cats sleep their lives away? Oh I wish! Trust me, they're just as active as any other cat, my little man can spends more time awake than sleeping.

Personally, I wouldn't keep your cat indoors, she's been outdoors for too long, but is still young and will continue to want the outdoors. Older cats don't seem to mind nor do young cats who have been indoors all their lives.

My cat has only jumped out a window once, but that's where fly screens come in. He's taken off out the door a few times too, but doesn't care so much anymore...

Apr 15, 2010 Indoor vs Outdoor
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Lisa, I totally sympathize with your dilemma; however, as others have said, it is a personal choice.

When Sadie joined our household, she was a healthy 5-yr feline who was indoor/outdoor. She came pretty close to being run over more than once while with her former human. I made a concious choice to keep her indoor due to the area I live in...2-4 lane streets/highways; speeders; cruel kids; wild animals. Sadie adjusted just fine since she had loads of toys, humungous windows everywhere with perches she could sit on and lots of activity to watch.

She did get out once, unbeknownst to me, but thankfully it was in the front hallway of my apartment building, so she never got outside. When I hadn't seen her for a bit, I began calling her name and she started howling for me to find her. She stayed just outside the apartment door, scratching and crying to be let in.

Sadie's now 16-yrs with hypothyroidism, so I have to watch her carefully. She still doesn't want to go out alone. When I suggest that we go out, she runs to the porch door where her body harness/leash hangs and sits waiting till it's put on.

A kind neighbor recommended a local vet only a couple blocks from my house when I "fired" the previous vet. The new one has been a blessing and Sadie absolutely adores him and the staff.

BTW - I do open my windows for fresh air. The trick is to have very secure screens in your windows. Sadie just sits on whichever window perch and watches the world go by. Even at 16, she's pretty active - she plays with her toys, but her favorite is "mouse patrol." We occasionally get field mice that make the mistake of visiting...I've never seen one, mind you, but know when they're around because of her 'alert' status, LOL.

Apr 14, 2010 Maggie
by: Joyce Sammons

I forgot to mention Furby does get his "greens." He eats a lot of baked chicken and he also loves green beans, asparagus and lettuce.

Apr 14, 2010 Lisa and Maggie
by: Joyce Sammons

Lisa. I took my moms cat Spot in when he was around 9 years old and he adjusted great. He lived many more years. I would take my cat with me when I moved. I've seen seperation anxiety firsthand last week when my daughter left her cat Lola with me instead of taking her with her. The cat literally walked the house crying at night.

As for being in a place where a cat can easily be hit by a car-my uncle lived on a road that had less than a dozen cars a day go by and his cat was hit and killed.

Maggie, I was a professional photographer for 12 years. I ran a studio and did mostly kids and families. I was VERY good. I had people call and make sure I was the one doing the pictures. Had to get out of it when mama got terminally ill and then never went back into it because of the long hours. I ended up in security and my last job I worked at Self Regional which is a trauma center and I worked the visitors desk.

I had too many ferals and pets killed where I grew up. It was a 4 lane road where people would speed. I had to hit my driveway in my car at 35mph to keep from being run over. The cats the road didn't kill the dogs did. And my cats were in my yard when the dogs came after them.

I haven't wrote about Salem yet but he was an outdoor cat because I lived in an area I felt safe to leave him outside. Never did find out how he died. He was dead under a car that was never driven.

Lola and Furby stay in. They're happy and safe. I live in the country but there are too many gun happy people around here. There's also something big in the woods. Others have seen it and I've heard it. Its on 4 legs and has to weigh over 100 pounds. Someone said its a bobcat. We also have deer, foxes, racoons, skunks, wolves, stray dogs and the ocassional bear.

I never did find the owner for that poor dog. It was at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere.

When I make the pets pictures now I try not to use the flash and brace my camera to prevent it from shaking. Sometimes against my knee or on the arm of the couch. I have a Fugy FinePix S602 I got on EBay for $40. Its a lot safer to order there now because they offer insurance for a year for about $7.

I believe everyone has to decide individually on whether their cat should live indoors or out. My choice for indoors may be selfish but I'm getting older and I plan for Furby to be my LAST cat. He doesn't want me out of his site anyway.

I have a new Furby story.

Apr 14, 2010 ps
by: Ruth

Sorry I forgot to mention about finding a new vet. Ask around your new neighbours for a recommendation of a good kind vet.

Go in to register your cat before she ever needs treatment and get the feel of the place,you don't need to take her with you.

See how the staff treat you and their other clients.Sit in the waiting room a while,you can always say you are waiting for a lift home .....

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 14, 2010 To Lisa
by: Ruth

Lisa I really feel for you, do you live in England ? There are lots of small towns with cat friendly safe places to live.If you haven't already got a house to move to,search until you find one.

We checked out this neighbourhood and area every day for a fortnight at different times of day and night to make sure it was cat friendly.We talked to all the neighbours too.We moved with 2 x 10 year old cats used to having their freedom,they settled beautifully here and lived long happy lives.

We are exceptionally lucky to live here so our 2 present cats have their freedom too.They are now 8 years old.

We have grown kitty grass for our neighbour's rescue cats before we built them a run with part grass in it.Some of them liked it but they prefer real fresh grass.

Not trying to give you more horror stories but the neighbours before our present neighbour with cats, emigrated and although we'd have taken their cat like a shot as he almost lived with us anyway, they left him with relatives who lived by a busy road.He was run over, it broke our hearts, he could have still been living happily here with us in the place he knew and was safe.

So if you do move anywhere near a road,that is one case I'd definately say to convert your cat to indoor or as you say your other option is to leave her where she knows and is safe. That would be awful for you of course but if you are like us, our cats welfare comes first.

If your new house has a garden you could knock up a run, there's no excuse not to, it doesn't need to be fancy, it only has to be safe.Not the same for a cat used to her freedom but at least she culd enjoy fresh air,sunshine and real grass.

Sorry I can't help much more, it's a terrible position to be in and I do sympathise.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 14, 2010 Anxious about moving
by: Lisa

What do indoor cats do all day?You can't amuse them all the time can you?Do they sleep their lives away?What do you do if they go to the door every time you or anyone else goes out?Doesn't it mean you can never have your door or window open?Do you not feel you are depriving them of a proper cat's life?How do they get grass they need to chew on?Is kitty grass any good?

I have to move and up until now my cat has been OK going out as I live in a village but I have to move to a town.

Would it be kinder letting my cat live with someone else here becasue she is used to going out from being a kitten and she's 7 now?

I'm past myself with anxiety about all this as the way some people write its as if they are wishing nasty things to happen to cats that go out to prove they are right.

My vet says cats are happier living like a cat should,that's another thing I'll have to get a new vet when I move and who can you trust.

Apr 13, 2010 To Joyce
by: Maggie Sharp

Joyce, you've many cats... And that moment of discovery, finding your own cat dead, is definitely the hardest part. From experience, I feel so guilty and full of shame when any of my animals die from the outdoors, when my sisters' rabbit was hit by a car last year I couldn't believe how much guilt I felt. I was the only person that had respect for that poor little bunny, and they still don't understand how or why that rabbit respected me back, I remember them thinking I was insane for bringing him inside because it was snowing outside, and I remember them standing at the window getting laughing while I got drenched, I only did it for the welfare of their rabbit. I wish people could understand that with animals come responsiblity, that responsibilty should not be avoided...

Gosh, that poor dog... Did you find its owner? I remember when I had to move someone's tabby cat off the road, I picked it up and I heard a hard scraping noise, I took a quick glimpse at the other side of its face to find it completely grated off to the bone, and I thought it was an over-weight cat because it was so wide, but it had literally been flattened. It was still warm when I moved it, the poor thing... All I could think was of how unfair it was, that cat had died and it was entirely a human's fault... I mean can someone please tell me what that cat did to deserve such a disgusting death? Absolutely nothing!

Do you do photography? You seem to know your stuff, Chilli doesn't mind the flash too much, though I don't use it much on him, as my photography does infact take place outdoors the majority of times. Chilli actually has a website, I do put a lot of my photos up on there, but it's a very frustrating server, there's always errors occuring when I try to update it...

At the moment my lens is at the 'camera docter', I'll get it back in about a month... When I find the time I'll get round to trying out that photo editing program... Have you tried using Picasa or Picnik? They're both quite good too...

Apr 13, 2010 my two cents
by: kathy

I couldnt belive all the feed back on this article or letter, posting. Put me in my place if Im wrong. My cats are not going outside under any curcumstances unless they are on a harness or inside the big cage we just bought to put on the patio for them to sit outside in. My first cat Blaze, I loved very much. She loved to go out the door and run under the bushes next to the house. Well a little bat on them with the broom had her come running back inside. Well one day when my husband was leaving for work she ran out under the bushes. Him being a typical I dont care sort of guy left her out there. When I came home my precious Blaze was dead in the middle of the driveway and I almost drove my car through the neighbors house. We have a neighbor who thought our neighborhood was rural enough for him to let his cats roam. Well we are a little lake neighborhood surrounded by busy highways probaly 6 blocks from where his house his. His lovely longhaired Black and White beauty didnt come home one night and there she was laying along side of Rollins Road. We have just acquired a new friendly stray calico. When I didnt see her for half a day yesterday my heart sank. Its amazing how depressed I felt over a cat Ive only known for about 3 weeks. I didnt want to drive any where because I was afraid Id see her dead. I was asking everyone. Finally about 400 yesterday afternoon my boyfriend yelled Heres Patches. I ran out and picked her up. I was so glad to see her. My heart goes out to her. Someones pet just trown outside. No bed to sleep on, no one to tell her how great she is. The first week I would cry everytime I saw her out there. After she ate she took off for places unknown to me. My cats are staying inside, and I dont care who likes it. Lia comes outside with us on his harness and leash and hes happy because hes terrified of dogs. Last summer one scart the crap out of him and you wouldnt beleive how fast an old cat can run. NO more being loose for him. Besides, he knows when your not watching him and he was found one day in the neighbor Bills house and chased Bills cat out of his own house. I hope Patches stays safe. No one knows where she came from. I pray for her and all stray cats, but mine will not be roadkill.

Apr 11, 2010 A Suggestion
by: Joyce Sammons

Maggie, you are very intelligent and I think you should do this. It would be a great hobby and allow you to showcase your writing. Also add enough lighting wherever you photograph your cat so that you don't need the flash. My dog Darla hates a flash but since I don't use it on her anymore she doesn't mind pictures. Download PhotoScape(its free and easy to adjust)and you can get great picture by playing with the 'brightness' control. When you go to install this program it will say publisher unverified but its a safe one to install.

Next go to and start an account. They give you a lot of pics just for joining then they give a lot for starting the website and even more if you upload video. I link all of my stories for pictures of cats and also the ones where Michael has only used one of my pictures. That way everything is in one place.

You need to keep writing because you're gonna be good. If it's not a cat story go to hub pages. They let you write and publish your own work. My "inspirational" page on the shutterfly site will give you examples of this.

Let me know if I can be of help to you. My web site is

Apr 11, 2010 Stay true to yourself Maggie
by: Joyce Sammons

Maggie, go back to my article The Bygone Era of the Outdoor Housecat. In it I listed the cause of death of each cat I've cared for. Many were ferals and I had no choice on them being outside. Still it tore me up taking a shovel down to the road to try and gather the pieces of my road kill cat so it would have a decent burial. I lost my last outdoor cat in 2004. Salem was found dead under one of our cars covered in fire ants. We never knew his cause of death. That was the final straw. I REFUSED to have another cat.

Then along came Lola and then Furby. They are totally indoor cats. They have toys and love and you should be up at 4 am when they're going full blast. When I go to bed at night I know I'm not going to wake up to a dead cat in the road.

I'm very opinionated on this subject in my old age. If anyone says anything bad about me I'll keep my mouth shut. I just hope those who have outdoor cats don't have to go out and scoop up a cat with one eye hanging out and a body as flat as a pancake. I've had to do this but never again.

I was on my way home from work one morning and saw a sight that has stayed with me for years. There was a cocker spaniel laying in middle of the road and didn't look to have a mark on it. It's heart was laying about 6 feet away.

Stick to what you know is right for your cat. I'll always be here to back you up. I don't know about you but where I live it's illegal to have outdoor pets unless on a leash.

Apr 11, 2010 Sorry this article was gatecrashed
by: Ruth

Thanks anonymous,we are only 3 off 3,000 signatures now, a long way to go yet but we'll get there.

Sorry declawing has gatecrashed the indoor cat page, as someone else said, one subject does seem to lead to the other.

Some vets are pushing laser declawing very hard now, we do need to get more anti declaw stuff on-line.

If anyone has ideas for another article PLEASE help us by posting as these pages come up on google alerts a lot.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 11, 2010 Tedious
by: Anonymous

This subject is tedious and done to death.

Does no one moderate these repetitive articles?

BTW I've signed your declawing petition,now that is something worthwhile repeating.

Apr 11, 2010 Different Worlds
by: Merrily

Yesterday while zipping along on the freeway in Los Angeles, my mind drifted to cats, and the posts I had read on this site regarding indoor or outdoor cats. I don't recall seeing 10 lane freeways in London or Paris, but perhaps things have changed since my last visit.In this area surface streets are 5 lanes wide, and there are lots of cars.

As I continued on I came upon a recenty killed cat on the road, and then another, and then a beautiful red and white Maine Coon looking cat lying on the side of the road.Surely all of these cats touched someones lives, and now they are gone.

As I finished my journey I came across one of my feral cats that I feed every day, she was dead on the road as well,such a terrible ending to a tragic life.

There is no right or wrong for everyone,some of us live where it is just not safe for cats outdoors, as much as we would like it to be.

We all love our cats, and want the best for them,we should remember that before we press that send button with our " Its my way or the highway" posts we should remember we live in different worlds.

Apr 10, 2010 Ted
by: Sue

Email Ruth/Katt at her eaddress on the petition

Sign it if you haven't already too and pass it on to as many animal people as you know.

Thanks a lot.

Apr 10, 2010 To Ted and Sue
by: Maggie Sharp


I think I may be a little older than you assume. Let's just say I'm at the stage where people stopped calling me a child a quite while ago.. Hehe. The main reason that I bring this topic up often is because people can get the wrong idea, so I like to educate people-having seen both sides of the argument for myself.... And also because I'm so sick and tired of being called cruel just because I want to keep my cat alive.


I don't personally believe that ALL cat should HAVE to be indoors only, I, personally, just think it's a more responsible lifestyle... Sure, all cats do want to go out, but what I'm trying to say is that when a cat settles into this lifestyle they don't care about the outdoors all that much. Chilli enjoys a walk every now and again, but other wise he's not all that interested in the great outdoors... I must admit, when I first got Chilli I used to freak when he got out too, but these days I don't have to worry, because he never seems to even bother trying to get out...

As you said, it's not black and white, people everywhere have indoor only cats, and other's don't... I've just been talking to a lady in the UK who said she never lets her cats outside and anyone who buys her kittens has to keep them in too, but other breeders she knows might recommend indoors only, but will give the owner a choice. So, it does generally come down to the individual.

Apr 10, 2010 To Sue
by: Ted

How do I join you to help stop declawing Sue ?

Apr 10, 2010 Impossible
by: Sue

You'll never'educate'people that all cats should be indoors Maggie because it's not a black and white subject like declawing is.

Don't get like a hypocritical person on Yahoo Answers who shouts in capitals that cats


and then a video pops up on YouTube of her own cat escaping to enjoy some freedom and a nibble of grass and her shouting frantically at the poor creature.

In some situations cats are best indoors but most cat lovers will give their cats the choice whether to go out,if they possibly can.

Indoor/outdoor is grey area where no one is right and no one is wrong.

Declawing is a black and white area where anyone who declaws a cat for convenience is wrong without doubt.

95 cats claws have been saved by this very worthwhile education which is ongoing and always needs more people to join us in our goal which is ultimately to have it banned but meanwhile to save as many cats as we can.

Apr 10, 2010 Apologies to Maggie
by: Ted

I'm very sorry Maggie,I didn't realise you are just a youngster.

The way you write about everything as "I" and "MY" led me to believe you are an adult.

Children of course are not to blame for their parents decisions and can only learn by their parents mistakes.

But a word of advice Maggie,especially as you are a child,coming on too strongly and repeadedly on the same subject usually results in getting peoples backs up.

Having been in animal rescue for years I know that only too well.

Apr 09, 2010 To Ted
by: Maggie Sharp


As Finn said, I had no say on the lifestyle of my previous cats, and as a young child cats were not one of my interests... Chilli is my first cat which I can call my own, he's not a family cat, he's mine and I'm his... We've taught quite a few people about indoor only cats, and I can actually say that a few indoor only cats that I know could very well be dead if we hadn't educated people.

Never jump to conclusions, Ted. I would never purposely let a cat live a lifestyle if I knew it would include an early death.

Apr 09, 2010 Unfair
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Ted, I think you are a bit unfair towards Maggie. The living conditions of her childhood cats were probably not for her to decide upon, so you can't blame her for that. She is still a young person, but has now taken a strong personal position on the issue. She deserves praise and encouragement for that.

Apr 09, 2010 Fate
by: Kathryn

Somehow when someone thinks indoor cats they also think declawed because as has already been said keeping cats indoors was what started declawing.

It's a sad and cruel world now for some cats and I shudder to think of what the future holds for them.

I am another person luckily born in England and living in a nice safe village where my cats can benefit from their freedom.

I'd be devastated to have to move and deny them that now they are used to it.

I think we all agree on one thing,that if cats must be kept indoors,they should have everything possible to make up to them what they are missing outdoors.Let's not beat about the bush,they do miss out on a lot.

What cruel fate decides where in the world and who with a cat ends up?

Apr 09, 2010 Maggie says
by: Ted

I've had cats hit by cars, stolen, killed by other cats, bitten by snakes, I even found a cat that had been tortured and left to die. I don't understand how anyone could let that happen to their cat, to leave their cat to such an uncertain fate... I can't believe I allowed cats outside, I don't think I've ever done anything so stupid and selfish in my life...

Maggie how come you lost all that many cats before you decided to make your present cat indoor only?

If it's so dangerous outside where you live why did you let so many go out and be killed?

Why did you have cats in those conditions?

I wouldn't call that very intelligent.

What took you so long to come to your senses?

Please don't ever again lecture anyone else!

Apr 09, 2010 Tracey and Michael talk some sense
by: Ruth

Tracey says 'It would be beyond cruel to have an inside cat that had previously gone out, especially if you hadn't much room' and she is right.

Think about it, it would be like us when fit and full of life, suddenly trapped inside with no explanation.How we wouid miss our freedom and how depressed we'd eventually feel. As I've said over and over again and everyone is probably sick of hearing it, cats have no choice but to adapt as suicide isn't an option for them.Given the choice I think we and they would rather live the life we were used to and take a few risks than live in constant frustration.Now someone will say 'But cats don't have human emotions like we do' This is true and that's why they adapt to ANY situation they find themselves in.They are more stoic and proud than we lily livered humans !

Michael says 'In an ideal world outside/inside is best and if we can manage that while keeping our cats safe then lets do it'

And that is EXACTLY what I've said all along.Those of us who CAN manage to give our cats

that and keep them safe should NOT be got at constantly with the twisted statistics and dire warnings being given by those who probably at the bottom of them feel guilty for depriving their cats of that life.

Rose had a good point too, declawing started because Americans started keeping cats indoors.They didn't think 'Mmm maybe I shouldn't have a cat in that case' oh no,they thought'Now how can I have a cat and keep my precious furniture nice'

Greedy vets soon cashed in on that problem,as we all know full well !

Tracey I'm glad your boyz love their Fat Boy scratcher and Michael, declawing WILL go away one day,those of us working towards that day will make damn sure it does.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

We are knocking on the door of 3,000 signatures on a petition started in a tiny town in another country to where it's happening,read the comments from all over the world.No not enough to make much impact YET but it will one day !

Thanks again Finn for this and your help in getting so many signatures from Denmark:

Apr 09, 2010 Let's get back on track...
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

It's a shame that the declawing issue has somewhat derailed what was started as a discussion about indoor only cats.

Yes, the declawing that goes on on in the USA is disgusting and fighting it is indeed a good cause, but that doesn't mean that it has that much relevance to the issue at hand.

Maggie is Australian, I am Danish and we both have indoor only cats - with claws! And so do other regulars from all over the world.

The decision to keep the cats inside is usually due to the conditions where people live and an assesment of the hazards in the local area. Also it can be based the loss of beloved outdoor cats in the past. Finally there are clearly some cultural differences, even within Europe.

Bottom line - there is no universal solution and everybody must make their own decision, of course based on the well being of the cats.

What I would like to learn more about is what we can do to offer our cats more interesting lifes. Not just because some are indoor cats, but also because many cats are left alone for most of the day, when we go to work.

Finn Frode avatar

Apr 09, 2010 Agree, but disagree with Tracy.
by: Maggie Sharp

Tracy I agree with the majority of what you said, but there is one thing I must disagree with. You said that if an outdoor cat became an indoors cat it would be beyond cruel. My beautiful Wilson was an outdoor cat, and when he came to my tiny house he became indoors only, we only have very few cat toys here because they always seem to go missing, and the scratching pole is a little too small for a fully-grown cat now... Still, Wilson was as happy as a cat could be, as long as he had Chilli he was happy... Then, he was taken away from me, let back outside, and killed. So, where does the cruelty come in here? I think the cruelty point comes in when the cat is let back outside...

Apr 09, 2010 Agree with Tracey
by: Michael

I think I am right in summing up what Tracey says in these words. In an ideal world outside/inside is best and if we can manage that while keeping our cats safe then lets do it. I agree with that.

I would like to follow up on the full-time/declaw argument. As I said in my first comment, I have read veterinarian comments on the internet in which they say that the full-time indoor cat is a different kind of cat. It does not need its claws for defence. On that basis declawing is not so bad. In fact they say it is acceptable.

Lets think. If all cats in the USA were indoor/outdoor cats, would there be declawing in the United States or anywhere near as much (22 million cats)?

If we stand back and look at the situation there would seem to be a correlation. The USA is the only country where full-time indoor cats are very common, almost the norm. The USA is also the only country where declawing is carried out as almost a norm. In fact it is the only country where declawing is carried out.

Are these two major factors linked? Why isn't there a survey on this? Is there a survey on this?

Both declawing and confinement indoors are artificial situations. They are an example of the human controlling the cat, making the cat be a companion animal that suits the human.

One of the dangers for outside cats is traffic. This is probably the biggest danger and cause of death. The US population is constantly growing, which means more roads and cars. It also means more wild animals (coyotes etc) dangerous to cats populating residential areas as people invade their habitat. In short, people are largely responsible for creating the hostile environment for the outdoor cat. People then keep them indoors and declaw them. That doesn't sound right to me.

It also means that declawing will not go away as there will probably be a growth in full-time indoor cats.

Michael Avatar

Apr 08, 2010 Depends on where you live
by: Tracey

I had to buy quickly in the late 80's before property prices went up again so all we could afford was a place on a main road.

Our family always had outdoor cats so we got our kitten, Chester and when he was old enough we let him out. He did well so we then had Tasha an unwanted young cat who got killed on the road at the age of 2.

Benji came along at 11 months old. We'd had him a few weeks so with heart in my hand I let him out the back. We had Monty, our German Shepherd at the time who Benji adored. Unfortunately next door had 3 German Shepherds who were quietly waiting to tear Benji to shreds and If I hadn't have snatched him back by his tail they would have. He was just too trusting and he thought every dog he met would be a Monty.

We then took in a huge hairy filthy monster of a Ginger and White cat and called him Basil. We had seen this cat locally rifling through rubbish bins etc for some years but he would never come near us. He did one day for some reason and never looked back. We loved him so much. He was street wise so he just popped in & out as he pleased. One day he fell asleep under a neighbours tree, she came back from shopping and chased him away right under the wheels of a car. He dashed back into her garden and died. She called the RSPCA and I only found out when he didn't come home for his tea & I was out looking for him. He was around age 5 when he died.

Needless to say Benji became an indoor cat and lived to a ripe old age of 18. Mistee was our next indoor cat and lived until 14. We now have Ozzie and Alfie also indoor cats who have us, toys, posts, climbers, kitty grass, outside pen and a FAT BOY that arrived today! (Thanks Ruth!)

I feel that cats are happier in a safe outside environment however a lot of people don't have this BUT Provided you have plenty of room, cat hidey places , toys, posts, love and most importantly a desire to want your cat to keep his claws then you have done the best you can.

An outside pen is desirable for exercise and air but not everyone can do this.

It would be beyond cruel to have an inside cat that had previously gone out, especially if you hadn't much room, even worse if they had no toys. But a de-clawed cat with no toys, no room, nothing to do except sit around and amuse a human; well to me that may as well be a cat that no longer graces the land of the living.

Lets face it at the end of the day we would all love to have a safe outside haven for our cats to roam free but some of us don't have that so we have to just do the best we can.

Apr 08, 2010 Indoor only
by: Bob

I don't know what anyone else was trying to say, but I was referring to the conditions around here where I live, as noted by when I said, "in this area". If you live in a nice area with less chance for your cat to be hurt, then indoor/outdoor is a possibility for you. For me, it is not. There is too much traffic here, too many other animals to hurt cats, and people as well. What I take exception to is the stereotype that Americans are irresponsible pet keepers. There are those that are, I'm not arguing that there are not, but people, they are everywhere. As for declawing, I've already said that as long as there are pro-declaw vets and vet associations to give money to politicians' campaigns, it is going to be a hard fight. One cannot blame the entire population of the country for the actions of those in power. We ARE trying.

Apr 08, 2010 I agree
by: Carol

So indoor only cats average age up to 14 years?

Maybe some have happy fulfilled lives but by no means do they all.They have a long boring life with nothing to do but sleep their lives away.More so especially the sad cats with part of their paws removed for the privelige of being allowed to live amongst the precious kids,dogs and last but not least the hallowed furniture.

Who if they do love cats wouldn't give their own cats the freedom to enjoy a fullfilled life if they had the choice?

We do have that choice in the UK so stop knocking it that our cats can live the lives they were born for.Stop quoting ridiculous way out statistics and warnings and as someone else already said(sorry that I've forgot who and how to get back to the front page of this)DO something constructive to wipe out cruelty to cats instead of sitting in your ivory towers judging others.

Apr 08, 2010 What do YOU do to help cats ?
by: Fran

Not having my own computer at this moment in time and relying on the good nature of a friend to loan me hers sometimes I don't often get to read or comment much here.

But when I do catch up a bit I notice the same old chestnuts coming around,particularly the indoor/outdoor cat debate and it gets pretty boring.

Have the people who start these pages over and over again nothing better to do?It's all been said before and it's like hitting a brick wall trying to reach the brain cells of the strictly indoor only no matter what brigade.

Here's some ideas of what else you could do.

If fit and active get out and volunteer physically to help cats.If unfit do it on-line.

There are many causes to fight for cats all over the world.

There is the HUGE fight to stop the declawing of cats.I know for a fact a few are struggling because they are constantly let down by others who commit to help then let them down.

I know for a fact also that two people who visit here messed up an important project and caused a lot of extra work for the remaining few volunteers.I don't know who you are but I'm sure you do.No I don't know the ins and outs but I was angry to see my hard working totally committed friend upset about this.

No the wonder it has gone on so long.

To do nothing about abuse is to condone it.

So come on everyone,stop this I'm right you are wrong bickering and spoiling what used to be a pleasant and constructive web site to come to.

Apr 08, 2010 Don't forget what started declawing
by: Rose

Don't forget that declawing began because Americans started keeping their cats indoors.

Since then millions of cats have suffered from the barbaric amputation of their toe ends as well as being deprived of their natural desires to go out.

And don't forget the millions of cats (from newly born kittens to overweight adult cats)that have been experimented on by vets trying to perfect the amputation of those toe ends.They are doing that even now because some peoples furniture means more to them than their cats health.

So turn your attentions to fighting declawing rather than each other.

A world torturing cats like that really stinks and I'm ashamed to be human!

Apr 08, 2010 Here we go again
by: Ruth

I love Jackie's post, she is a woman after my own heart ! Her cats go out but she doesn't just turn them out and forget about them, and like us, she keeps them in after dark.

I take exception to the statistics that the average cat allowed out only lives 18 to 36 months. As usual the figures are biased,just as they are with the number of declawed cats suffering in the USA in fact! Any survey can be twisted, I know that as I do on-line surveys myself to earn a bit extra to help cats in need.

Over 36 years all our cats have lived to around 17, apart from one and her illness was nothing to do with going out.I have many friends with old cats who have always gone out. When working at the vets we had accidents in the home cases too,cats poisoned, cats hung, cats electrocuted,cats choking. The point I'm trying to make is that we should give our cats the best life we can and the best care we can,whether indoor or outdoor.

One of our cats had a feral father, would those indoor only people have him live a frustrated life looking out of a window,when it's safe here for him to go out and enjoy it instead ?

I should hope not ! Visit a small town or village in England and see cats sunning themselves and enjoying the beauties of Nature instead of telling us what we should do.

Come and see the run we built next door for 15 rescue cats and then tell us it can't be done.

I'll never change my opinions just so as to be popular because it's not about popularity, it's about the welfare of cats.Too many people take them home not knowing the first thing about how to care for them.To me, every single cat on earth is important and deserves a happy life.

If cats have to stay indoors then they should be provided with lots of stimulating things to do and I know most people who come to PoC do that, but there are many people who don't.For example some don't even know a cat needs grass to aid his digestion, so many indoor only cats are deprived of this and it's so very easy to grow a pot of Kitty Grass.

So as I've said before let's get on with the important work of trying to educate those people who need it and trying to ensure their cats have a bit better life !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 07, 2010 Indoor cats
by: Bob

I agree with you, Maggie. There are those who would disagree, but they must have the luxury of living in an area where they can let their cats outside and have no reason to worry about them. All of m cats, with the exception of Dodge, Zep, and Princess, were born inside and have never been outside except in a carrier to go to vet appointments. The "home" where I got my first two, Ozzy and Zombie, had many cats over the years that I knew them. They were indoor/outdoor cats. They are ALL dead now. EVERY one of them, with the exception of those that were given away as kittens. They were hit by cars, killed by dogs and other animals, shot by neighbors, you name it. Ozzy's father was shot, and Zombie's father was hit by a truck. I've lost TWO cats, Wynonie to a ruptured intestine and Igor to a birth defect at only two months. The rest are still here. Those who were born inside don't know what the outside is like, and the three I got from the outside DO know, and they won't even go near the door. They have an entire room of their own that has nothing in it but cat furniture, scratching posts, and climbing trees. They have more toys than I did as a child, and they have each other. There is never a dull moment in this house, they are always active. In this area, I fail to see what the outside could offer them short of certain death. But then, we Americans are irresponsible.

Apr 07, 2010 I like to agree, but...
by: Jackie

Hi Maggi,

I feel very compelled to agree with you on indoor cats. When I got my Maine Coon, I lived in the countryside in Scotland and although the breeder would have liked me to have kept Georgie indoors, it was virtually impossible and how she enjoyed the outdoors!! When I saw her waving, big tail above the high grass I knew she was so happy and she always kept an eye on me. When we moved to Spain( well and truly in the countryside) she automatically assumed to be allowed outside again. And with fear in my heart I let her go, only to be surprised by her wonderful attitude, keeping an eye on me and never wandering far. Now I have 2 Burmese and 1 Oriental. With the Spanish way of life, meaning: open doors/windows and living outside most of the time, it is impossible to keep them as indoor cats, although I think about them every minute of the day and I make sure they are all inside at night. I would love to have them safely inside all the time, but a) it's impossible and b) I have never seen happier cats.

I think it is a very personal decision in personal circumstances and the main thing is that we must be as responsable as possible for our furry friends in our care.

I dread the day that I may have to move closer to town...


Apr 07, 2010 Indoor Cat Debate rages on
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

The following article found on the website is what I would consider one of the more balanced ones.

My Sadie is an exception due to her health issues; however, even she does go outside periodically - with a secured body harness and lead, attached to a retractable dog leash. That way, she gets to roam freely within eyeshot and her mommie can protect her. I would NEVER let her out alone, period. I would also never allow her in an outdoor enclosure. It may work for some cats, but not Sadie's - again, due to her health issues.

Interestingly enough, humane societies on both sides of the pond agree on one point: outdoor cats' lifespans average 18-36 months; indoor only average up to 14 years...

Apr 07, 2010 You are responsible
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Maggie. The inside/outside discussion always raise heated feelings because nobody likes being accused of doing anything but what is best for the cats, but to me you are a very responsible cat person.

I'm on a similar line although the main reason our cats are indoors only, is the fact that we live on the third floor. But even if we moved somewhere else with a garden, I would never let the cats run free anymore.

As I said some time ago in my comments to the article 'Indoor Cats are Loved Cats?', the days when cats could roam the land freely must have been back in the days before the automobile.

In many areas these days are long gone, so actually the question should be whether people like me should keep cats at all. But on that I'll make my own decision. 😉

Finn Frode avatar

Apr 07, 2010 Indoor only
by: Maggie Sharp

Yeah, I've always wanted to make Chilli an outdoor enclosure, there are people who live near me that have a huge enclosure for their Siamese cats... But I can't afford it, nor do I have the room, which is why I got Chilli a walking jacket...

I agree with you on the American part, well sort of, I know quite a few Americans who have their cats inside for safety, I mean, most people would keep them in for that reason, but what frustrates me so much is that some those people only have the pedigree cats as indoor only cats, the moggies are allowed out... Since when were pedigree cats superior to any other cat? If I adopted a stray cat tomorrow I would keep it indoors only just as I do with Chilli, surely the wellbeing and protection of a cat comes before its paperwork?

As for declawing an indoors only cat, that's rediculous, comparing my past Aby (Pharoah) to Chilli, I actually think that Chilli uses his claws more than Pharoah did, I admit that he does get bored more easily being inside, but that's where his claws come in, he climbs and plays just like any other cat... Cats make it so obivous that claws aren't just for defensive purposes, I don't know why people can't see that... Claws are such an expressive part of the cat, they use claws in just about everything... Even showing affection.... Honestly, I'll never understand the minds of people who declaw cats. It's in no way beneficial to the animal, it's just a reflection of how selfish and cruel the owners are... To sum it all up; this is one twisted world we live in... =(

Apr 07, 2010 Agreed
by: Michael

Hi Maggie. I always like your posts because they are intelligent.

It may surprise some visitors but I agree with you. Some people think that I advocate indoor/outdoor cats. I don't. I advocate what is best for the cat. Ideally being outdoors is best as it is more natural but it is unsafe in many parts of the world.

I just think that we should make the world safer for the cat and ourselves! That is probably an impossible dream. So I say that where possible (and it is not always possible) we should construct cat enclosures that give a safe or safer outdoor life.

People disagree with that too. I think it is the best compromise. We seem to have got into the idea that a full-time indoor life is the only way for a domestic cat when in fact it is a poor result or compromise for the cat due to the hostility of the outside world. The solution is to make the outside less hostile.

I also argue that in the USA the concept of the full time indoor cat has furthered the culture of declawing. The classic argument is that indoor cats don't need claws for defense so why have them. This completely misses many important points.

Indoor cats caretaking in America underpins the declawing of cats , I say.

Michael Avatar

1 thought on “Indoor Only Cats”

  1. My husband and I solved the indoor/outdoor problem for our cats 7 years ago. We live on nearly 3/4 of an acre, and have a huge backyard. We built the ultimate (we feel) catio. It is 7 feet tall (inside height) x 10 feet wide, x 20 feet long. Inside there’s grass, a water fountain, the litter boxes in their own shelter, accessible from outside the catio, and 4 logs(in different angles) for the cats to strop on. We installed a doggie door for the cats to come and go as they wish.Our little dogs love it as well, even though they can go out in the entire yard, as it has a 6 foot privacy fence all around. We have 5 doggie igloos in there as well, and adjustable tarps to create sun and shade.The entire structure is roofed.No rain gets in either, so the cats can go out in any weather. The catio is built with 4×4 posts sunk in concrete, and is double fenced. We live near Prescott, AZ, and do have coyotes in the area, which can jump a 6 foot fence no problem, as well as skunks, but our cats and dogs are perfectly safe when they decide to visit our “outback”. And we do own our property outright.


Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo