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Hey guys,

I'm a first-time cat owner, and I adopted my kitty a few months ago. He is an adult cat that previously lived in the streets, and loves exploring outdoors. Since he came to my house, I've allowed him to go outside and explore the neighborhood since that seemed to be all he wanted to do. We have a GPS tracker on him, and everything has been fine so far. In the beginning, he stayed near the house, came back frequently, etc. However, he has began to wander off further and further away, and now stays out for 4-5 hours at a time. He also started killing more and more animals and bringing them back to us. I'm also concerned about risk of disease and injury now that he is essentially spending all day outside. I don't know if this is relevant, but I also know that within a few years, I will have to move to a city where he will not be able to go outside, and I'm wondering if it is cruel of me to let him get used to all the freedom when I know it will be limited at some point. I've tried to make a more strict schedule for when he can go outside (ex: for a few hours), but when he is inside, he begs to leave all day. The house is spacious, and he has plenty of toys and attention, but this is all he is interested in. I'm thinking of transitioning him to a leash so we can have supervised walks whenever we can, and make sure that he (and local wildlife) is safe. My family thinks it is cruel of me to deny him complete freedom. I feel like a terrible cat owner, literally loosing sleep over the idea that I am harming my kitty, and am at a complete loss on how to proceed. I really want to do what is best for him. Please help!
 

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I think leash training him is a great idea. A lot of people think that keeping cats indoors is "cruel" to a cat, but all of the vets I've ever consulted about this share the same opinion that pet cats should be kept indoors. Cats are very bad for the natural ecosystem in neighborhoods, and the more cats we get off the streets, the better. I don't feel comfortable with exposing my own cat to disease, parasites, cars, predators, cat fights, etc. I've also had a previous family cat that was indoors/outdoors and she was taken by someone else in the neighborhood who assumed she was a stray and refused to give her back, so that's not a risk I'm willing to take either. It can be difficult to acclimate an adult cat that is used to being outdoors into being an idoors cat, but I think your idea of leash training is the best idea right now. I'm not personally experienced in that since my cat is pretty content with being inside, but there's tons of videos and articles online that can hopefully help!
 
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