Please consider this article by
Ed Kostro, Indoors vs. (sic) Outdoor Cats
30 April, 2003
Having worked in animal shelters and having live-trapped feral felines, I’ve seen first hand the horrific tragedies that can befall an outdoor cat. I’ve seen brutalized cats missing eyes or limbs; I’ve seen burned cats, victims of someone’s childish prank or viciousness; and I’ve seen cats riddled with disease, fleas, and mange.
In my opinion, the outdoor dangers far outweigh the advantages of letting cats roam free.
Vehicular Traffic: It is a myth that cats are ‘street savvy.’ I’ve personally seen many dead cats needlessly run down on our streets and highways.
Other Animals: A cat is usually no match for a dog or a raccoon in a brawl. Coyotes are increasingly turning to felines as a new food source since their normal food sources are rapidly declining.
Cruel Humans: Cat hating humans do all sorts of vile things to torture felines; including setting rat poison out for them, shooting them, and setting them on fire with gasoline.
Outdoor Hazards: Chemically treated lawns present health risks to felines that spend a lot of time on them, and antifreeze, which drips from many vehicles, is often relished by parched street animals. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to all animals.
Disease: Outdoor cats can catch rabies, feline leukemia, or feline immunodeficiency virus from other outdoor animals.
Parasites: Outdoor cats will inevitably become infested with fleas, ticks, and other nasty little parasites. These parasites can eventually kill them or at least induce unnecessary suffering and infections; and these parasites can also infest your home when your outdoor cat briefly comes indoors.
The latest feline addition to my household was a tiny feral that I live-trapped. She was riddled with fleas, and had severe eye and respiratory infections. Tuffy is now healthy, happy, and living indoors.
Hunting Small Critters: Your well-fed outdoor pet cat will still hunt even though it does not need the food; it’s just following its natural instinct. I would rather let my cats ‘hunt’ indoor toys than chipmunks, salamanders, squirrels, and lovely little song birds.
Lifespan: Statistics reveal that homeless cats, or cats kept outdoors, have an average life span of 2 to 5 years, while cats that are kept indoors can live to be well over 17 years old.
As a responsible cat owner, you must make the right choice for your furry feline friends, as I think I did for mine.
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I sincerely hope you'll consider these facts. I cannot describe to you how I felt when my precious Pixie was just one step too slow for the car, and my neighbor called with an offer to bury her.
Now and then God entrusts us with a life that becomes so special that words become inadequate. I had a bond with Pixie that I cannot explain. I had only a minute to say "goodbye," because my neighbor was standing outside in the rain with his shovel. What a terrible way to learn a lesson. My heart still breaks when I think of that night. I had time only to thank God for letting me care for one of His precious creatures. I loved her so much.