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Some Outdoor Cat Facts — 16 Comments

  1. What scares me is that our country is getting too like America where a lot of people say cats don’t want to go out they don’t need to go out and the big fallacy that “indoor cats don’t need claws” and that’s why millions of cats have their toe ends axed off over there 🙁
    Thank God declawing is illegal here.
    So if cats “don’t want” to go out why do they cry at the door and try to escape?why do cruel people have scat mats or such I even read somebody boasting their dog chasing the cat away from the door had cured it of wanting to go out.
    God help cats in the hands of people like that.
    You can’t “cure” cats of their instincts can you.
    No one should judge each other or reckon everybody else should agree as it’s right that we all have different circumstances.
    Life is for living for every being and it’s time humans did some serious thinking about that.
    One of the RSPCA 5 freedoms is
    “Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and sufficient mental stimulation”
    So strictly indoor fans you need to make sure your cats have ALL of those which sounds like what Vicky has.

  2. I haven’t much experience of keeping cats indoors only, because as Ruth has said all our cats have had the freedom to come and go as much as they want to, we have been lucky that someone has always been at home for them so they’ve never been “latch key cats” and have known that when they went/came to the door/window they would be let out or back in straight away. When we first got Popsy my husband and I were told she hadn’t wanted to go out so far in her short (unhappy) life so we thought she would be an indoor cat, but far from it she was so unhappy and depressed kept indoors, crying and looking out of the window, especially when John was in the garden and she wanted to be with him that eventually he said he was taking her out into the garden with him, and he did and she blossomed. She had a little “beat” and she even went on the bungalow roof sometimes, she was a new cat, happy to come indoors when called and happy to be out and to be able to come to the window when she wanted to come in and she made a good friend of our neighbour too. Yes maybe she would have eventually accepted her imprisonment but who wants a depressed cat if they can have a fulfilled one? There are pros and cons to every decision in life, and we can all make mistakes so each of us has to weigh up the choices carefully and make a decision based on our own circumstances. I will never feel guilty for letting any cat of mine have their freedom even though whenever they are out we’re on edge until they return safely and likewise wouldn’t judge any one who thinks it’s prudent to keep their cat indoors.

  3. We have to use our judgement taking into consideration our cats quality of life and where we live and the nature of our cats and then decide what’s best.
    Some cats are frustrated and unhappy at being kept indoors, our boyz do have litter trays upstairs and downstairs but rarely use them because they are let in and out on demand.
    I see cats sat on windowsills too for hours on end and I feel sorry for them, the ones looking in and the ones looking out too.
    All our cats over 39 years, from kittens, after neutering have gone out but we have never/still don’t, leave them out if no one is home and they are also kept in after dark.
    They are fulfilled and don’t go far away as we make sure our garden is cat friendly with their very own catnasium and sun roof and we make home a happy place to be with scratching posts and toys and lots of attention from us.
    A friend was nagged at so much and made to feel guilty for letting her cats out, she started keeping them in, they paced and cried for months and got so stressed that one developed cystitis, she and her cats were all unhappy.
    If a cat has to be kept in then it’s kinder to start from kittenhood because denying a cat used to freedom is to me like going to prison for no crime.
    There is no happy solution, the world is overflowing with the ever breeding human race and becoming more dangerous and as I already said, it’s cats who are suffering because of this.
    No one seeing a cat happily rolling in the grass in the sunshine can deny that keeping cats strictly indoors is not the ideal life for the cat, safe yes, but I find it sad this has to be so.

    • There is no happy solution

      But you have hit the nail on the head. It is weighing up all the factors and making the right decision and the starting point must be to let our cats go outside if at all possible. There are lots of ways to achieve that. Sometimes I think that people keep their cats inside because it is a lazy solution.

  4. I have seen far more behavioural problems from cats who have access to outside than I ever have in indoor cats mostly due to the stress of the territory its smells and the need to dominate it.
    To many people want their cats to go outside simply because they don’t want a litter tray in the home 🙁
    I see majority of outdoor access cats sat on doorstep or window ledge waiting to be let in by owners as the actual time they want to spend outside is far less than the owner imagines, indoor cats are invariably more relaxed and bonded with their owners as long as they have plenty of different levels to view from and environment enriched to suit them and as Micheal states it can also depend on the nature of the cats.

  5. Yes cats need outdoor stimulation to live their lives to the full and I too hate it that some can’t have that because of this world the way it is.
    Where will it all end I wonder as more people get born and more land gets taken over and more mouths need feeding and money gets tighter and animals are the ones who suffer from all this by being the first to be got rid of before TV and other stuff people can’t really afford but are deemed more important to some than living pets.

  6. ‘The cat is even more under the dominion of the human when in the human home full-time than would be the case if the cat was outside sometimes in his or her natural habitat where she can be herself – wild again’

    You’ve got it in a nutshell there Michael!
    A cat kept strictly indoors has no chance to be him/herself, to enjoy sniffing, nibbling and rolling in the grass, to explore all the nooks and crannies cats love to explore, to be free from human domination for a while.
    Cats have to live by our rules indoors and just as human members of the family go off out and take the dog out, cats surely need some time too away from the same old surroundings.
    I wonder if cats kept prisoners suffer from claustrophobia sometimes?
    Cats in the wild didn’t sit in their cave all day, then went out hunting, living their life as they were meant to live it, facing dangers and all.
    I know it’s impossible in some places for cats to have their freedom but it makes me very sad that we have taken so much from them, made a lot of the world too dangerous for them and there is no way this wrong can be righted for as long as humans are on this planet.

    • Thanks Ruth. I think you too have got it in a nutshell. I believe that if because of what we do we cannot give domestic cats what they need then we should not bring them into the world. We are in charge of this. If a place is too dangerous for a cat to go out I am not convinced a cat should be in that place. I know I am looking at ideals but at the moment that is very little thought going into how to make things right. If the best solution people have is to keep cats indoors permanently, it is a pretty poor solution and I am disappointed in humankind for coming up with that solution.

      • I have to agree, it’s not an ideal world and I feel very much for the people who love cats and want a better life for them, for example Marc who hates it that he has to keep his cats confined. Also if only those of us living in safe places had cats, there would be even more homeless cats and more killed for that lack of homes.
        There is no happy solution! Cats are paying the price for human progress.

        • My cats are all indoor cats, they have an enriched environment and plenty to do in here. There is no way I would let them out as there have been cat shootings and many RTAs in this area, even though the little cul de sac I live in does not have a busy road they would not stay just in the cul de sac. Everyone is going to differ in their opinions on this but my cats are healthy and happy 🙂

            • Our Jozef is half feral but loves his indoor life almost as much as his outdoor life because he knows we will never deny him his feral inheritance, he’s happy to stay in when he has to because he knows he can always look forward to his freedom again.

  7. Just yesterday(Saturday 12-10-2013) i had been to the famous “Mehboob Studio” in Mumbai to attend a “Harley Davidson Rock concert Competition”. I had arrived a bit early at the venue and hence strolled around this palatial “OLD WORLD Mumbai(Bombay) film estate. Came across a beautiful tabby cat inside the estate, a free roaming cat.It looked in the best of physical fitness and was tame, not fleeing on seeing me unlike the normal feral cats. seems it might be living the ultimate “Star cat” life living on the titbits of the workers and staff of this film studio.Later during the rock concert a cat entered the air-conditioned auditorium, mingling with the crowd and after its “15 minutes” of fame departing, as bizarre as any “Cat film Shoot”. I tried to photograph this cat but the light was dim, just managed to pet this cat as did others, akin to a “Cat Cafe”.
    NOTE:-I have posted a photo of the free roaming “Mehboob Studio” cat.I have observed that cats which are domesticated and allowed to roam outside the house are healthier than cats confined to a flat or enclosure.In India, only village cats roam around freely in the countryside akin to this cat roaming inside a enclosed estate in one of the World’s costliest real-estate localities.This area houses some of the wealthiest people of Mumbai.

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