Video provides snapshot of cat life in English suburb

I like this bland, unadventurous video from a flat in Teddington, England. It is down the road from me. I go to Teddington from time to time to buy M&S food. The guy videoed three cats who he knows. His own who is a handsome silver spotted tabby British Shorthair purebred. Very nice. Dax is snug next to the radiator under the window.

Window cat
Window cat. The cat opposite. This is cat television. Screenshot.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The camera zooms in to a cat at a window in the block opposite. A very typical feline activity; spending hours looking out. This is cat television. Both these cats appear to be full-time indoor cats although they may have the odd excursion outside on a leash, but I don’t know. Cat TV is one of the best ways for an indoor cat to glean some excitement from events around him.

And the third is an indoor/outdoor cat on the ground, looking around his domain. He or she probably lives in a ground floor flat and has a cat flap or their owner lets him out for a wander.

For me it sums up cat life in suburbia. Typically, in apartment blocks in England there will be a good number of domestic cats. Flat-dwelling more or less obliges a cat caregiver to keep their feline companion inside the home all the time. However, in Eastern Europe and elsewhere they build elaborate cat ladders providing access to the outside for cats on the eighth floor!

These Twitter videos are unreliable, I am afraid. It may stop working and drive you to watching it on Twitter or it may disappear entirely.

I’d guess that most full-time indoor cats in England are in apartments on the first floor upwards. Those on the ground floor are far more likely to have access to the outside like the third cat in the video.

As you probably know, historically, the vast majority of English cat caretakers allow their cats to go outside at will. This is changing. The indoor cat concept is taking hold it seems based on surveys.

In England the only reason for this is road traffic. There are no predators of the domestic cat in this country as there are in the USA and many other countries.

The domestic cat is a top predator! Top of the food chain. Some cats are road traffic averse and avoid it to the benefit of their safety. They spend their whole lives wandering along pavements (sidewalks) adjacent to roads and are never harmed. Others, young males predominantly, are less savvy and more careless and can be killed when darting across in front of a vehicle.

Does every cat owner feel concerned for their cat’s safety when they go outside? Or do they feel sure that she’ll be safe because she has always been safe?

In a post published in 2018 I guessed that around 10% of UK domestic cats live indoors full-time. I may be wrong. There is no clear, hard and fast, data on this. But the percentage may be much higher at near 50%.

Among my neighbours there are two houses with full-time indoor cats and three houses with indoor/outdoor cats. That does not help much but it is perhaps indicative of a general trend to indoor cat living. People, including cat owners, are more aware of the dangers and more in tune with cat health and welfare in the 21st century compared to 100 years ago when almost all cats lived outside.


Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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