outdoor cats anyone??? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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outdoor cats anyone???

I know this is a "taboo" subject, but does anyone here have outdoor kitties?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 09:50 PM
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Our big orange cat was trapped by the city before we adopted him, and the other a friend found behind a Taco Bell as a kitten. Both are great house cats, but they have a need to go outdoors. We let them out once a day and they spend most of the time in our backyard, on our roof, or on the neighbor's roof, who doesn't mind. Since we got these guys there hasn't been a rat problem in the winter, and the mockingbirds have stayed out of my tomatoes. It's really a good situation.

The cats are chipped and have collars and shots. They seem to hunt lizards and stuff together and generally watch the yard from our roof. They depend on us for food and shelter, so they're not really outdoor cats like barn cats would be.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 11:41 PM
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I have three barn-cats. Two can come in the house; one will not use the litterbox so is limited in the amount of time he can spend indoors and the other does use the litterbox but will scratch up the doorjamb if you don't let her out. The third kitty is a true former feral and is extremely uncomfortable being contained indoors.
We live rurally, but near a 55mph road. Only one of the barn-cats ever crosses the road, and I've seen her look and wait for traffic, so I have to hope for the best.



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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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I've got 7 cats and of those 3 are indoor/outdoor kitties. Two are boys and one is a girl. Mimi got beat up really bad last summer and tho she still wants to go outside she usually sticks very close to the house and safety. It's been really hot here (95 degrees tomorrow) and she just wants to sleep on my porch or sit under my pine tree or maybe one of the bushes out front. Once in awhile she'll wander over to my next door neighbors yard, but not often. Once it gets dark outside she's anxious to come inside. I think she learned her lesson.

Sammy's one of the boys and he'll stay out all day and sometimes even all night. Domino had a bad experience a couple of months ago (went missing for 2 days) & ever since he's been really skittish about going out. He'll go out for awhile but seems anxious to get back inside.

All the rest of my kits will go out occasionally to eat grass, roll around on the patio, sit on the deck to watch the birds & squirrels. They don't stay out long and usually run right back inside if there is a kid, or a car, or someone talking loud enough for them to hear.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 03:53 AM
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I used to have indoor-outdoor cats, but not anymore. We lost 3 cats (the first two within a year or so of each other, then 8 years later our third disappeared). The first one, we'll never know what happened to him. He followed us to a convenience store one night, and never came home. Did he get hit by a car? Adopted by a family? Run over? He wasn't neutered yet, either. The next cat came from the shelter, already a year old, and some time later (maybe 6 months, maybe a year), we got another kitten. This didn't go over well with the resident dude, so he took off for a home nearby. He stayed there for a while, then moved further down; stayed there for a while and moved again. He continued this, moving yet further and further away, and the last I saw of him was a few years ago, when he was sunning himself on a sidewalk. The third cat, the kitten we'd gotten, he lasted with us for 8 years before he vanished one day, to a cat trap. He never showed up at the shelter or animal control, there was nothing about him in the newspaper, no fliers up on poles or windows. Nothing. His disappearance hit us especially hard since we'd had so much time with him, so the next cat we got was immediately an indoor-only cat. The next two girls we got after her were all indoor-only as well. We lost our first 3 cats in the span of 7 or 8 years, yet we have 3 cats at once over the span of 6 years.

Buffy's our little escape artist, though, and there's a good comparison between her and the other two girls. For one thing, Buffy sometimes comes back with cuts and wounds, and once she got an abscess on her ear. Molly and Willow haven't had any troubles at all (except the one time a few years ago when Willow tried to bolt out a hole in a window screen that she'd created, and she snagged her nail and ripped almost upside down)

Some cats are meant to be one with the outdoors, I'll grant you that, but those ones are rare, and all the other cats are safer indoors.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 09:46 AM
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Re: outdoor cats anyone???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy106
I know this is a "taboo" subject, but does anyone here have outdoor kitties?
It's not as taboo a subject as you might think We have members from places that keeping cats indoors constantly is unheard of. Quite a few have indoor/outdoor cats. I have a couple that I think I could probably trust to roam around a bit on their own. But, because we have coyotes, golden eagles, racoons the size of lawnmowers, and if the reports are right, even a cougar now; my guys all stay inside.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 11:52 AM
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Re: outdoor cats anyone???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy106
I know this is a "taboo" subject, but does anyone here have outdoor kitties?
Its certainly a hot topic and I think I have a rather 'unpopular' view here as I think cats should be outdoors/indoors unless there is a serious reason for not allowing them to be so.

My mother has had cats all her life. They have all been encouraged to be indoor/outdoor and in fact we never considered the alternative. Her present cat is mostly indoor but thats his choice, not my mothers and she actively encourages him to go out into the garden.

People seem to believe that cats have a far shorter lifespan if they are outdoor/indoor but thats certainly not the case with my mothers cats. We had one rather horrible incident when one of the cats was set apon and killed by dogs on his way home but other than that we have had no bad outdoor experiences with her kitties. Mum has had at least 30 cats in her time so the fact that most have lived well into their teens despite being indoor/outdoor cannot be attributed to her 'being lucky'.

My cat is indoor only. He has to be because he has FIV. However, if he wasn't he would almost certainly be allowed to roam freely during the day.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 02:09 PM
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Rocket has been spending his summer mostly outside while we're working on a spraying issue. I used to be one of those "cats belong indoors" people but my experience this summer has changed my mind. When I see how much Rocket enjoys being outside, I have to wonder whether indoor-only cats aren't being denied something. Of course, this brings up the whole philosophical question about whether a cat who's never been outside never knows what he's missing, and since it's statistically proven that an indoor cat is healthier and lives longer than an outdoor cat, it's better to keep them indoors.

I didn't have very good choices at the time with Rocket, but at this point I don't regret sending him out. Maybe I will at some point in the future if it proves to be too difficult to reintegrate him back inside and he has to stay out. My goal is to get him back inside, but even if I do and he's not happy there, then what?

So it's a difficult choice. At this point I'd say that it might be suitable for some cats in some situations, but in the case of a cat who doesn't even want to go out, like Mellie, you don't even have to think twice. And in the case of a cat who's never been out, if they're doing fine inside then why take the chance of introducing complications. And if you've got a cat that does need to go out, the best scenario is an enclosed area they're happy to stay in.

But Rocket is a whole different cat since going out; going out has been really good for him. It's like it's made him complete. I don't know, it's hard to describe, but it's been a good thing. So far. And I'm happy for him. And you know what? Lately he's been hunting and roaming less, and hanging around more, and showing more interest in going inside. Maybe he's had his fill and now realizes life inside isn't so bad after all. But however this ends up, I've learned going outdoors is not necessarily such a bad thing.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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My two both stay inside, they have never been out.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 04:29 PM
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i personally like my cats inside only. and the 2 cats i have now have seen the out side world a few times they escaped but they have not tried to escape or anything for a long time and seem to be happy.

my fist cat ever was a beautiful all black male cat my parents let him come and go becuse we wernt aloud to have him were we were living really well that cat disappeared for 2 days came back so sick vets gave him meds and said if he didnt show signs of improvement by the next day he need to be pts well we had to have him pts becuse he couldn't even walk the next day and he was only 1yr old. this was when we lived in fl.

we moved to ny with a kitten we just took in Sadie and since we were not in a city we moved to a hick town so we decided to let Sadie out side he got into a fight the first thing and never wanted to go out agian and from than on all my cats were indoor only except the sometimes escapes but i think everyone has that happen.
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