Toby - should he be allowed in the garden supervised? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
View Poll Results: Should Toby be allowed his supervised garden outings? *
Yes 19 70.37%
No 6 22.22%
Dunno 2 7.41%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Toby - should he be allowed in the garden supervised?

As a number of you already know, Toby has been going outside in the garden on strictly supervised outings.

He loves it out there and I get a real kick out of seeing him enjoy 'outside' even if it is necessarily a restrictive outdoor adventure.

As a number of you also know, Toby is FIV+. He is currently in very good health. At his last check-up all his blood results were great (well, apart from his T4 count being slightly high - but that has nothing to do with FIV and therefore irrelevant to this topic).

So -given Tobys FIV status, do you think he should have supervised access to the garden? Would you suggest this a risk to his health, or not?

All comments appreciated.

* Please note - this is not an indoor/outdoor debate related topic .Toby will not (rather obviously) ever be allowed the freedom to roam outside on his own. I do not consider Toby as a indoor/outdoor cat on the premise that he goes into the garden supervised.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 03:41 PM
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Well as long as you keep an eye on him and don't let him come into contact with other cats it could be OK.

But I do worry about Toby picking up viruses or bacteria out in the garden, as well as his stress level if he suddenly feels he needs to defend his newly acquired garden from other beasties.

So I'm rather undecided about it, I think it'd be safer for Toby if he had some sort of fenced off area where other outside animals couldn't get in to leave behind viruses or bacteria when they saunter across the yard or get killed/eaten in the yard.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:25 PM
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it would all depend if he can easiely get out of the area and interact with other cats...... could we get pictures of the garden?
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:27 PM
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Unless the garden is fenced or you have a leash on him, I believe that you are fooling yourself if you think that supervising him is effective. If he decides to run off, you will not be able to catch him. If another animal comes into the garden, even just another cat or a dog, that may be when he decides to run off in fear.

Cats are not like dogs; they are not likely to be trained to consistently follow commands. Yelling "stay" to him isn't going to work. Without a fence or a leash you have absolutely no control over the environment or what he does. Even if you have him in your arms, he could very easily wiggle or claw his way out.


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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Well the garden is obviously fenced - I'm not likely to let him out somewhere where he can just run out in the middle of the road or something, now am I

The present garden is almost irrelevant now seeing as we are moving (hopefully) in three weeks but this is the new garden.



I also realise this garden is not cat proof so would be delighted if anyone could suggest ways in which to prevent a feline escape.

I tried a leash on him - it was not a success.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstx
it would all depend if he can easiely get out of the area and interact with other cats...... could we get pictures of the garden?
Hmmm ... interesting that you should say that. We had an incident last week in which one of our feline visitors came in while Toby was out. It ran like the wind past Toby but he still took a swipe at it. I was very concerned of course - the last thing I wanted was a cat fight. But Toby just took off back into the house at that point. I've become very more aware of other potential visitors since then and of course I have no idea what the new neighbourhood is going to be like cat wise.

I should point out that if Toby gets scared he heads straight for the house. I dont think him running off elsewhere if frightened is an issue at all.

Regarding the bacteria/virus issue - its a very good point. However, there may be such a thing as creating a 'over sterile' environment. My immunology is poor at best but I think that its better to boost the immune system by exposing it to stuff than protect it by not exposing it to anything at all. For example, imagine if a brand new novel flu virus came out. As we dont have any immunity to the virus we might all be in trouble and lots of people would die. If, however, we had been exposed to other similar (weaker) flu viruses in the past our immune system might be better equipped to fight it off and the mortality rate would be much decreased. But - as I say - my immunology is not good so I could very well be wrong on that point.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:47 PM
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I honestly didn't get that the garden was fenced, that why I thought you were going a bit crazy .

At the new place, I would do some trimming and manicuring of the plants. Then inspect the fence for escape routes...block up any holes. They sell a fence topper that can be used to keep cats in, maybe you can install something like that.

http://www.catfencein.com/

http://www.catfence.com/pictures.htm

There's more...google "cat fence".


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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:49 PM
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I voted Yes because you've been letting him have a look outside at the old place and it would be nice if he could continue along the same lines.
You've never mentioned him trying to bolt from you in the old place so I assume he wont at the new gaff either.

There are risks in everything you/we do but quality of life must count for something.

Be with him, make sure the garden is secure, ie nothing in OR out, and let the little feller smell the flowers.

Mick.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebug
I honestly didn't get that the garden was fenced, that why I thought you were going a bit crazy .
.
No more than usual. . No, the garden is fenced. Just not cat proof.

I like the look of that cat fence-in product. I will definately look into that. Thanks a lot
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 05:17 PM
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I don't see why you shouldn't let him out as you are. You're obviously well aware of the risks, so ultimately it's up to you
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