Indoor or outdoor cats?

The kittens are about nine months old now.  None of them has ever been outside, unless they were in a cat carrier coming here to live, or taking a trip to the vet’s.  John says keeping the cats indoors is healthy for them and they will be perfectly happy.  I on the other hand have doubts.  I see them at the sliding glass door, watching the squirrels, chipmunks and birds outside.  Smokey has been scratching at the door.  It makes me feel terrible to think they will never be outside.  Never be able to lie in the sun.  Never bring home a present for me, as disgusting as that may be.  Should I feel bad?  I don’t know.

What does everyone else think about this?  Indoor cat?  Outdoor cat?  What is better for the cat?  I don’t know.

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13 thoughts on “Indoor or outdoor cats?

  1. Cats do just fine inside, especially when there is more than one, so they can play with one another. It helps for them to have toys and scratching posts. If you really feel guilty about them not going out, you can always take them out on a lead or in an enclosure.

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  2. In our area, there is a local By-Law which states that cats should not be allowed outside unless leashed. Part of that is the annoyance factor to non-cat owners, and gardeners, who simply do not appreciate them wandering around and “doing what they do”! While dogs are under the same ruling, there are some that roam free for whatever reason which can be bad for a cat. We also have raccoons, coyotes and various other animals that would be detrimental to a cat’s health (especially as many cats love to wander around at night) and finally, we have hawks that are very capable of lifting a small to medium sized cat off the ground! What do you have in your area?
    There are 5 cats in my past, all of which were considered indoor only, although they did have collars and so could be allowed out in the garden on a leash. We strung a washing line from one of end of the garden to the other, and hooked the leash onto it so the cat could run around and explore at least as far as the washing line and leash would allow.
    So many people put human feelings on their cat which is quite wrong. Of course they will look out of a window, especially if they can see birds or squirrels, but they are probably not longing to get out there. They’ll just watch for awhile, and probably find something else to do…. or go to sleep. Hope that gives you some thoughts. 🙂

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    • Thanks, I hadn’t thought of any of those things. We do have coyotes, hawks and about the same as what you have really. There is no law I don’t think for leashing a cat, but I do know when you adopt, they make you promise to keep the cat inside.
      You are right about my putting my human emotions on the cats. I just took Smokey outside to see if she liked it and all she wanted was to come back inside. I didn’t put her down, but she clearly wanted to get back in the door.

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  3. One of mine has never wanted out (she’d live in the furniture if allowed) and the other gets scared whenever he gets outside (even though he begs to go out).

    Plenty of toys, and a good window perch will keep them and a large number of birds alive for longer.

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  4. I agree that only let them outside on a leash…I stopped letting my cats outside after them getting hurt or hit by cars or simply missing for periods of time. My one cat loves going outside for a few minutes at a time. So I put him on a leash and sit in the grass with him. Relax time.

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