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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm a first time cat owner - I did own cats as a young child but I view myself as a first time cat owner. I'm very excited to be able to be part of a forum and have been reading amazing info through the different forums. I have picked up on the internet that many cat owners do not allow thier cats to venture from the home, meaning to venture outdoors into gardens etc. Would I be a contraversal member if I had the view that my cat could have the freedom to venture outdoors? I would love to learn all I could about caring for my cat and just wanted to double check that I wouldn't in any way be going against a general opinion and upset anyone - I don't know if that is a general rule amongst cat owners and it would be taboo to have such a view?? I mean no harm, just wanted to check first before posting threads asking questions.
 

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Welcome!

There are no rules about cats. :grin:

Letting cats outside is a personal decision that we each make based safety (dogs, traffic, fleas, ticks, disturbed people who hurt animals, weather, etc., etc.). In most countries - except the U.S. - it's normal for them to be allowed outside.

Looking forward to pictures and stories. What's your cat's name?
 

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Hi everyone,

I'm a first time cat owner - I did own cats as a young child but I view myself as a first time cat owner. I'm very excited to be able to be part of a forum and have been reading amazing info through the different forums. I have picked up on the internet that many cat owners do not allow thier cats to venture from the home, meaning to venture outdoors into gardens etc. Would I be a contraversal member if I had the view that my cat could have the freedom to venture outdoors? I would love to learn all I could about caring for my cat and just wanted to double check that I wouldn't in any way be going against a general opinion and upset anyone - I don't know if that is a general rule amongst cat owners and it would be taboo to have such a view?? I mean no harm, just wanted to check first before posting threads asking questions.
I recently adopted my kitten and he will be indoor only. In fact, I had to sign off on the adoption papers that he would be or they wouldn't adopt to me so you're right, it does seem to be something that a lot of people stress.

That being said, I've been lurking here for a few months and have noticed a good number of members with outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats and have not noticed any ill-will toward anyone.

Everyone has different situations, and even when opinions differ, this forum has been surprisingly civil in how members inform, question, and make suggestions to one another (at least that I've seen over the past couple of months)
 

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Welcome! My cat Muffin goes out sometimes, two or three times a week maybe. I'm not wild about it, but she tries really hard to get out by sneaking out when I let my dogs in or out. I feel like my area is safe so I recently just gave in and started letting her go out with the dogs some. She's a weird cat. I just make sure she has her flea preventative, I put a collar on her so everyone knows she's owned, and I like to make sure she's in at night. Tiger Lily doesn't try to go out and the couple of times she did she got really fearful and hid and I had to "rescue" her.
 

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It is true that exclusively indoor cats are longer lived, but as Marie said, it is a personal decision and that is the way I look at it. I live right on a major high traffic road inside a small town in PA which is a suburb of the capital city. It is a reoccuring nightmare for me to go out of my house and find one of my beloved pets squished on the road. No cat of mine is getting out of this house.

What you do with your cats is your business. We can agree to disagree.0
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for your feedback and honesty! Giggle - at the moment I can't see Zanna leaving the home for another couple of months so those members that agreed to disagree can give Zanna a cheer :)! I come from South Africa and I have no doubt that there are many breeders, owners and people who show thier cats that would never ever let thier cats outdoors. In the society that I was raised I am yet to find an owner who doesn't let thier cats outoors. Its unheard of to keep cats indoors and if I did ask any cat owner I bump into they would look at me very blankly. When I brought Zanna home my sister said she would love a cat but she doesn't have a garden so it wouldn't work. Our cats roam the farms and in gardens and its an upbringing that I grew up with BUT I am willing to learn and realise that there are dangers out there etc.

Right now Zanna needs to stay in because she is feral and settling in. Thank you again for being accepting and welcoming me! :)
 

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hey! im from australia and its common view that cats are allowed outside. People even think its cruel to keep them inside =/

i was a delivery driver for a year and personally moved nearly 10 dead cats off roads... in one suburb.

my cat was also hit by a car in a tiny estate in suburbia and had to be euthanized. Having your best friend killed like that really makes you paranoid about keeping them nice and safe inside =]
 

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Don't Australians have a bit of a dicotomy of feeling when it comes to domestic cats? I mean, weren't they blamed for a lot of the decline of a great number of the native wildlife? I would think the government would support the idea of domestic cats and indoor only pets as opposed to leaving them run wild. A friend of mine who lives in Perth was telling me there are limits on the number of cats one household can have but that she could get a another cat if she petitioned for it; or something like that.

When humans live in a rural situation, it is just and necessary for domestic cats to be free ranging. They assist with the rat and mouse population and with the invasion of the wildlife in the barnyard where the stock is raised. But in any urban environment, domestic cats are not able to deal with all the risks to their health and life and will lead much shorter lives.

I am not surprised you found so many dead cats on your delivery route, especially since it sounded like you were in a housing project type area. Rural areas also understand their cats will be interacting with wildlife and that cuts down on their life expectancy as well. Racoons, foxes, opossoms and other animals try to keep the domestic cats out of their territories or will actively come into the cats' territories to get the cat food if left out. This results in species wars and if the cats are full domestics, then to the death of the cats which do not know how to fight for their food.

Just as dogs live longer in urban areas when the dog laws are followed and the dogs are contained by their owners, cats will also live longer when they are managed by humans and contained in the human habitat. It is a choice all cat owners must make for themselves since, unlike dogs, there are no community laws, or very few, outlining their care and containment. Myself, none of my cats go outdoors unrestrained by me, either in an outdoor cat habitat or on a leash. My babies are much too important to me to allow them to take their chances on the street.
 

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yes well i definitely feel that way! im studying environmental science and the damage cats do is astounding! When people let their cat outside to purposefully kill snakes and lizards... its so disgusting.

the government is very far behind with all of this... cats have to be registered and your aloud 2 but can apply for more. I think there is only one town in Aus that its mandatory to keep your cat inside 24/7.

im not quite sure what a housing project area is but it was just a normal little suburb (im guessing 'normal' would vary greatly from country to country though). We dont really have a problem with domestics starving (sadly) if they arent fed. We have so many small native mammals and reptiles that they can get a good feed.

as long as they are locked up at night its not as bad... this is if you dont live near any main roads or heavy traffic areas. Its especially important to lock them up at night in aus as many native animals are nocturnal.
 

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We recently adopted a kitten; but are in the process of moving and I will let him outside, supervised; once our fenced in yard is up. He is still far too young now; but I do plan to let him out to explore (we're chihuahua proofing the whole fence, and it'll be 6 feet tall) but only when I am present as well, since I know kitties tend to be Houdinis. I think there's a big difference from someone who has outdoor cats they let in sometimes/bad weather etc. then someone who just lets their cats roam the yard. Come to think of it even the neighbor has a kitty, who roams and stops by to visit! Welcome to the forum; I too recently joined and am very much looking forward to being able to post and share.
 

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I think them being able to go outside is wonderful, I wish that I lived in a place with a nice yard and garden for my two to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and room to play. Unfortunately I live in an apartment complex and it's just not safe to let them out here.

The idea of MowMow attacking and eating snakes, lizards, or.....well anything cracked me up. He falls asleep on the floor when he tries to stalk spiders. Even when he DOES kill them it's by rolling on them and I have to clean up the dead body. Of course, that temperament is another reason he could never be let outside without constant supervision. He's a lover, not a fighter and could never defend himself.

Ok, I'll concede that I can imagine Book messing with wildlife BUT I think he'd be way more likely to be a trash can raider.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My mother's cat lives the high life!!!! My mother loves her garden and its indegenious with a very high wall so my mother's cat has the privilege of roaming her territory safe and protected - wish I could put a high wall round my garden. I totally understand that cats are a problem when not supervised and the death tole in South Africa is very high on the roads.

A cat's life is extended when kept indoors which I now see why but does anyone know what staying indoors 24/7 does to a cats pshychie? Zanna is a feral and before I joined the forum I thought it cruel not to let her out to be outside due to the fact she came from the wild - Im learning fast that her safety etc is important but Im a little concerned that keeping her in might be detrimental to her because of generations of feral existance and her early months in the colony?

Can a person train a cat to love indoors besides giving love, food and company?
 

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Definitely! Cleo was an inside/outside cat before she adopted me, but I never knew it (I was told later). She had no problem. As long as Zanna has a high perch or two and some windows to see out of, she should be fine.
 

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Personally, I don't think either of mine would like it. I tried walking Shepherd Book on a leash outside and he clawed some SERIOUS scars into me freaking out when a car went by on the road. He slipped the leash and ran. Thankfully my SO was able to get near him and pin him down until I could pick him up. He was seriously traumatized. Up until that point he showed interested in what was on the other side of the door but not anymore. If I leave the door open he stays a safe distance away and won't come close to it.

MowMow goes out in the harness but only to hide under bushes and watch the world go by. He refused to come out of cover and if he does he immediately wants me to pick him up. The only part of alone outside he seemed to enjoy was up high on my balcony of my old apartment. He seemed to like the safety of looking down on everyone. That's why I think he would enjoy a fenced safe backyard where he could explore but he doesn't deal well with uncertainty.

My ex husband's cat was indoor only his whole life (we hand raised him) and when my ex got his new apartment there were no window screens. Anthony suddenly had lots of access to the outside. He rarely leaves the apartment. He'll sit in the windows and if the ex is outside in the yard he'll join him but he doesn't ever leave on his own.

I personally think that with plenty of indoor stimulation like toys, interactive play, windows to watch wildlife they are perfectly content. I think it allows them to keep kittenish behaviors because they never have to worry about staying safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks so much!!! Will get cracking on keeping Zanna stimulated indoors. At the moment I wouldn't think of giving her an option until she is totally tame and settled in. Living on a farm has its own dangers but would love to get to the point where I can leave the door open while Im home and if sitting outside she can join me without being scared but knowing she can always go back indoors. Its winter now so I have a couple of months to see how she reacts.
 

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My BFF and I rescue feral cats every year up to this year. Once we have tamed the adults, they rarely go to the door and want outside again. And usually if they find a door accidently left open, they look out and then come right back inside. Only one of the ferals ever voted for return by going out an open door and never returning. Chloe was origonally gotten from a rescue and never in the 12 years I had her stopped trying to escape the house. She did get outside once when she was six and was missing from the house for four hours. I heard her yelling outside and let her in. Six years later, she escaped when workmen let her out and she has never returned.

That is one cat between Kim and I out of a total of 33 cats and kittens over thirty-one years. Kim's alpha male goes to the door when she has it open loading groceries into the house and looks out, smells the air and then Jaysa runs back in the house and hides. Jaysa's mate, Ming Ming runs in the opposite direction when an outside door is opened, and their kittens Lilly and Misha never go to the doors to look out or to even try to escape, ever. Misha was let out of the house by workmen four years ago through a broken window. He was loose in the neighborhood for almost two weeks. Once evening while Kim was loading groceries into the house, Misha saw Kim's dog in the alleyway. Misha made a beeline for the dog, with whom he was great friends, and Misha hugged the dog around the neck and then followed the dog into the house when the dog was called into the house by Kim. Kim was very surprised when Misha walked in the door with the dog. Now that the dog has died, Misha does not bother to go near the outside doors, ever.
 

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Io is also a former feral. She's interested in outside to the point that we worry about leaving the windows open overnight (granted, this is also motivated by us being in a 3rd floor apartment. Kitty escaping is one thing, kitty splat is another). She's used to the lead now but I haven't tested her outside with it yet. There's an unfenced off-leash area for dogs right beside the apartment's greenspace, and I don't trust other people's dogs very much.

Even if we had the space, though, I think we would keep her inside unless on a leash. I really don't want to pay the $300+ to get her out of the city shelter, nor the increased expense of the "at risk" licence. The laws here are a bit draconian, but they work, I guess.
 
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