Why would anyone let their cat or kitten go outside? The question points at a failure in domestic cat ownership. This really is a failure which needs to be addressed. There is a huge conflict in objectives for the concerned cat guardian.
On the one hand he or she wants their cat to be safe and on the other hand she wants her cat to enjoy a natural life.
The former objective leads to keeping her cat inside permanently. There are many millions of American cat guardians who do this and who are bemused by people who let their cat go outside. But do they try really hard to make their home environment rich and rewarding for their cat? Most people don’t to be honest. They just let their cats sleep all day. It’s the price they pay for safety.
The latter objective leads her to let her cat go outside, to roam around and express natural behaviour. Although, it is less safe than being inside.
Therefore there is a conflict between safety and welfare. The natural compromise in the back garden or backyard enclosure which keeps a person’s cat ‘inside’ but allows them to enjoy the outside environment. However, very few cat owners want to build an enclosure like this. It is simply not on their radar. Perhaps it’s a question of cost as they can be quite expensive or they simply have made up their minds to keep their cat inside or to let them roam outside.
The concerned cat owner will be worried if their cat wanders outside. It seems to me that these cat owners have made a decision to allow their cat to take a risk to their life and welfare. They live with that risk and accept it. They also have decided that their cat can hunt and kill wildlife. The other group have taken a much stronger stance against both. These opposing views shine a light on a specific failure in cat ownership. Nothing has been done to resolve it but the pressure is building on doing something because the environment is more important to people these days and there are more cats. There are more unwanted cats and feral cats.
P.S. The cat is sometimes vilified for killing wildlife. I understand where this is coming from but more data is needed and there needs to be an improvement in cat ‘ownership’ in general.