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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I wondering how many of you guys let your cats go outside my cats are strictly indoor cats, but my neighbors say I should let them go outside and explore but I really don't think it's the best idea with them. There's a lot of dangers associated with going outdoors, cars,dogs,other animals that prey on smaller ones here in FL, fleas and ticks just to many con's for me. I fully understand some cats just want to be outside and there's just no keeping them in as I had 1like that for 17 yrs and sadly he got hit by a car and died after that I swore I would never allow my cats outside. My neighbors say my cats must be bored but actually they are quite content here in the home. I just wanted to know if I was wrong for keeping them in, I just don't want to see anything bad happen to my babies my kids would be devastated. :2kitties
 

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Well then you have your answer. Do what you feel is right for your own comfort level and their own well-being. Sometimes the pros of the outdoors outweigh the cons, but overall, especially in cities, cats are safest indoors.

Blacky is indoor/outdoor, but she is terrified of cars, ignores strangers, hardly ever leaves the yard and doesn't hunt wildlife. She came to us as a semi-feral cat terrified of the indoors. I'm not even sure she totally gets the purpose of a litter box, the outdoor life is what she knows and it would be cruel to change. She's lived a good long life this way, and even if something killed her tomorrow I wouldn't have regrets on her being indoor/outdoor. Quality vs quantity in her case.
 

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No I don't let Autumn outdoors ever for all the reasons you mentioned, just too much at stake for her safety.

My next door neighbor lets her cats out even in the very cold weather without any type of sweater on. She defecates on other properties I've been told and doesn't pick up after her cats, now that's just wrong.

Autumn seems to be very happy indoors, she has everything she needs to keep her busy when she isn't sleeping which we all know cats do the most. I make sure she gets to sit at any window so she can look outside and sleep in the sun shining in.

When I'm bringing groceries in, the door is open and she has never attempted to run out, in fact I think she is afraid of the outdoors and that's just fine with me.

I would not feel comfortable if I let her out, I would be a wreck until she came back home. Sorry this got so long but I am so against letting cats outdoors.
 

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My cats are indoor-only and always will be.

Now, before I go further, I want to make clear that I have no problem with other cat owners making a different decision. I am not intending to criticize anyone for letting their pet go outside. ;)

That said, for me, it's never going to happen. Because of a traumatic experience when I was a kid, I just can't go there.

My cats have no interest in going outside. Zephyr has been with me since he was a baby and has never gone out, so he doesn't really seem to see it as even an option. Maisie was abandoned by his original owners and lived as a stray, so he associates the outside with neglect, starvation, and being out in the elements... he has no desire to go there, and when I first got him he actually acted afraid when he thought I might put him outside. I really don't think I'm depriving them by keeping them in.

Having indoor cats is not cruel, as long as you're providing them sufficient mental stimulation and exercise. (Having outdoor cats isn't cruel either as long as they're fed, sheltered, and otherwise cared for.) It's a personal decision for each owner and each cat, and you shouldn't feel bad about doing what you think is right for yourself and your babies. :)
 

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My next door neighbor lets her cats out even in the very cold weather without any type of sweater on. She defecates on other properties I've been told and doesn't pick up after her cats, now that's just wrong.
Cats shouldn't wear a sweater outdoors. It isn't safe, they can snag on things, and if they get wet the cat is in serious danger of hypothermia. Cats already are wearing a coat... it's their own fur. ;) Blacky likes it outdoors in any weather, she can come and go as she likes... admittedly, she spends way more time indoors in the winter, but she still goes out for a few hours every day.

As far as picking up after your cat... I know some people have problems with this, but even if I didn't have an outdoor cat... I find this idea absurd, and a waste of plastic bags and time. There's millions of feral cats out there and no one is picking up after them. The idea of following around your cat to see when and where it goes to the bathroom is a bizarre concept. Unlike dogs, where it should be picked up after, cat poop is smaller, cats bury it, and it's usually in a very out of the way location.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you guys, Carmel I totally get what your saying my cats have always be indoor cats since they were babies and know not different they are the exact opposite of Blacky.

Heston my cats are like Autumn they hardly ever try to make a run for it and if they accidentally got out they are by my door crying to get in I worry b/c my boy is a special needs Kitty he has a heart defect and I like to keep an extra close eye on him at all times to make sure he is up to par.
 

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Casie was strictly an indoor cat up until her last years of life. I used to let her out on our upper deck(no way to get down from it) and she would just enjoy herself there. Then I convinced my parents to let me walk her on a leash. She was old enough that she didn't leave sight of the house and didn't wander, so I let her off leash. She was ALWAYS supervised by me.

I do take Cherry out on the deck with me, but I can't trust her as much as Casie. She also is not allowed in the yard. My parents don't want her constantly trying to escape the house. Casie had already learned about the outdoor years before and was always trying to get out.
 

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My semi-feral - Princess Tramp - spends a lot of time out (less or more depending on the weather) - Lottie and Jem go out but, while they like being allowed to go in and out, they never stay longer than 10 minutes or so. Becky we keep an eye on and never let out unless it is full light - I don't just mean day - if there's a mist we don't let her out. Oz and Baz (for different reasons) never go out without supervision. Having said that, we forgot to lock the back door when we went out the other day and Oz knows how to open doors. We came back to a wide open door and all six inside!!!
 

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I live in an apartment, so we don't let the cats out, but this weekend it was in the 80's so I cleaned our balcony and left the door open to see if they wanted to come out. My boyfriend was aboslutely terrified because we live on the 3rd floor and he was afraid they would jump off. I think that is just silly, because they aren't stupid... But to be safe, I set up a few shelves so they couldn't fit through the bars.

Ziggy, the brave little kitten, came out on the balcony first, so then my big scared Moosey decided it was okay. They were slinking around sniffing, but didn't get comfortable enough to lay down or enjoy themselves and the first movement sent them right back through the door. I will probably try this again, but as for letting them out, that is a big NO. We have skunks, raccoons and we live pretty close to the 5 freeway and the mountains.
 

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Highrise syndrome is the idea that cats can fall safely from greater heights than smaller ones, falling as far as 30-something stories and living... I've read that somewhere around the 3rd floor is the deadliest fall because the cats can't right themselves fast enough before impact and it's just far enough from the ground that the impact could be serious. I've also read that somewhere around the 8th floor and above they may also have a greater chance for survival.

My aunt has had two cats fall three stories, they were fine. Both my first cat and Blaze fell off the 1st floor and were also fine. None of these cats did it again. That said... my mother's cat fell 8 floors and died in her arms. This was out a window, not a balcony, though.

So yes... it is serious, but overall my experience with cats falling from small highs is a positive one, and they learn their lesson.
 

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I've personally known several cats who died falling or jumping (it's not always clear which) off apartment balconies. Cats are theoretically smart enough to understand heights, but in practice they can become distracted, frightened, impulsive, or tired and forget to be careful.

Definitely keep a careful eye on your cat and stay within arm's reach if you decide to continue. There are many outdoor dangers a cat won't face on a balcony, but the balcony adds a danger of its own.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I know I often thought about letting them go into my screened in patio but the hubby won't allow it he's afraid they will get to used to it and always jet for the front door and with 3 little kids coming and going he doesn't want to chance losing a cat.
 

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Depends on the cat. If I lived in a place without a lot of cars I'd let Book outside. He's cautious and would hide if a strange dog or car came near.

MowMow on the other hand, no way. He has ZERO fear of cars or animals or people. When he's out on the leash he'll try to walk right into traffic or try to walk towards strange dogs to greet them. He just wouldn't be safe outside on his own.
 

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I had a cat who went outside every day until she crawled home with a broken pelvis. The surgery to repair this was $600. I was a student on welfare at the time and had to find ways to raise the money for that. I think she got caught by a dog. She wasn't the first to get hurt outside, but she was the last.

All my cats since have been indoor only cats. There are just too many dangers in the city, from cars to other animals. My current babies are too precious to risk their lives outside. I spoil my kitties, they get plenty of exercise inside. And plenty of sleep when they tire themselves out.:lol:

Mylita
 

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my cats are 100% indoors and i want them that way. they dont seem to miss outdoors. i am also very cautious about closing the door and not letting them out. they dont try, i think they are scared of outdoors but i dont want to give them opportunity anyway. too dangerous.
 

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One of the things I had to agree to when I adopted Desmond was that he would be an "indoor only" cat. I didn't have a problem w/ that b/c my late cat Smoky was always an indoor only cat. The only time either of them has ever been outside since I've had them was on the upstairs balcony, with me. (Desmond did manage to run out on the front porch a couple of times and scared the heck out of me; Smoky was always too afraid of the traffic noise and would turn around and run back inside as soon as he got his nose out the front door.) But no, I don't let my cat outside for all the reasons OP cited. Personally, I don't think cats "need" to be outside. My neighbor says she "can't" keep her cat indoors, and while I like her very much, I'm always afraid her cat will be in our driveway when I'm backing my car in and I won't see her.

I'm sure Desmond would love to go outside; he was an "indoor-outdoor" cat before he came to the shelter, and I have no doubt but what he could hold his own with the neighborhood cats (in fact, he's such a bully, I'd fear for the neighborhood cats if I let him out!) but there's just too much traffic here, not to mention some creepy people and the usual ticks, fleas, etc.... and he's mostly white, so he'd be a mess! Also, there's the danger of picking up diseases from other animals.
 

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My current two cats are indoors only,but my previous cats loved to go out on nice days,but everyone always came in at night or when we were gone. One of my cats Seymour would follow us when we went to walk the dogs,which is why he was always inside until we came back. Well long story short,my husband didn't know I already left to take the dogs off when he let Seymour outside for a bit. I didn't know he was outside when I came back because it was dark,and he was dark grey. As soon as I unleashed the dogs,I heard tires screeching and Seymour got hit.The person didn't even stop and instead sped off.

So because of this I have decided that my cats will only be indoors only,unless we build a nice enclosure for them outside.
 

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No, mine do not go outside. Not only are they very little yet, but I have 3 and they do not like collars, they don't like when anything is on their bodies. They're also not brave cats, they're very skittish. Only after 3-4 months of my dad, boyfriend, and I coming in and out of the house will they run downstairs to see who it is at the door.

They were also very, very sick and needed tons of shots and medications after they were rescued from ill conditions as stray baby kittens with their mom. As far as I know, their mother did not survive, or she left them due to how close to death they were.

Anyway, I don't think I'll let them outside unless I can make an outside enclosure with proper wire and furnishings for them to play around in.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
gharrissc That's exactly what happened to my cat Puffy the worst part of it all is having someone knocking on your door and saying your cat was just hit by a cab and the cab took off and your beloved cat is dead on the side walk and having to pick up your life less baby just the most horrible feeling Ever.. I never want to experience that again the sight still haunts me.
 
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