HomeHuman to cat relationshipindoor outdoor catsLynn Youngblood writes that our domestic cats are “meant” to live indoors


Lynn Youngblood writes that our domestic cats are “meant” to live indoors — 3 Comments

  1. I have several indoor only cats that are very contented. They have never known any other life. A few will stand at my opened door sometimes but are too afraid to venture out. It’s a scary place out there.

  2. I believe that in general, cats are safest indoors, away from numerous threats to their well-being like poisonous plants, cat haters, other cats, free roaming dogs, and many other dangers.

    Enclosures are one solution, but not everyone can put up an enclosure, or have a portable one in their yard.

    When I lived in Hawaii on 5 acres of isolated land with very little traffic, my cats were indoor/outdoor. But I always got them in at night, to keep them safe from wild boar and other night roaming creatures.

    Now that I have a previously feral cat who really wants to be outside, even though she has an enclosed porch, I have a compromise which seems to work well for both of us.

    Since I adopted her 6 years ago, I got a custom fitted velcro halter and leash. When I say “Go walk”, she runs to the door and waits for me to put the halter on. Sometimes she cries at the door when it’s not a good time to go out. I just distract her with some food, cuddling and brushing until it’s a better time.

    We stay outside for about a half hour, while she watches the birds. I let go of the leash, but keep a close watch on her. She usually just hangs around her favorite spots or runs to try to catch the birds. Although I’d like to use this time to read, instead I keep a close watch on her.

    There’s one cat that lives nearby that she has chased twice. This can be dangerous, not only for obvious cat fight wounds, but the chance of getting hit by a car. So, when she starts walking in the direction of that cat’s house, I grab her leash, pulling in the opposite direction and say “let’s walk this way”. I pull her a little, and she follows my lead.

    I’m glad that I can allow her some feeling of freedom by letting go of the leash. I also let her climb a small tree to add to her adventures.

    She has two favorite yards that belong to my neighbors. They’re very interesting by contrast to others, with flowers, produce, sculptures, and places to lay in the sun.
    My neighbors seem to like that she enjoys their yards. If they didn’t, I’d have to keep her away.

    I don’t think domestic cats are meant to be anywhere that could be a threat to their safety. I see my cat the same as I would a 2 year old, with about the same awareness of potential dangers. I’m the guardian, and I take my responsibility seriously. I don’t take any chances with my cat that I wouldn’t with a 2 year old.

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