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Should Cats be Allowed Outdoors? (My Stance)

Lesbehonest
Posts: 4
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7/12/2013 1:59:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have owned many cats throughout the years. Having grown up on a farm and keeping several barn cats as well as more domesticated cats as pets, I've had plenty of both indoor and outdoor and in between feline companions.

I understand that to keep a cat safe you should keep them indoors, which is why, whenever possible, I do keep them indoors. My current cats are Bunny and Bobbie. Bobbie is indoor/outdoor, I got him as an adult kitty who had always been an outdoor cat. He thoroughly loves the outdoors and, at first, I tried walking him on a leash. We tried for months, but he never would walk on it. He got depressed. Fat. Slept all the time. And then I let him go outside and when he came back in, it was like a flame was lit inside him once again. He goes in and out as he pleases now. He spends on average about 3-5 hours outdoors total per day, and always sleeps soundly in the house.

Bunny is a relatively grumpy cat. But still sweet and cuddly. She was raised as an indoor cat and is content enough as-is. I have no plans to let her roam free like Bobbie. I sit outside with her sometimes, that's about it. However, she spends much of the day looking out the window and standing at the door. Once or twice a year, she even manages to bolt out and stays gone until I panic, 8hrs or more.

Both cats are vaccinated, spayed and neutered, chipped, and wear reflective collars with IDs.

I've never had a cat hit by a vehicle. I have only seen stray kittens that have been hit, and not very many of those. Out of all my cats, only the barn cats have chased smaller animals (that was their job) and maybe two of the others, and the only ones that get in fights were un-neutered males.
I also as a (relatively new, but still) veterinarian's assistant haven't gotten an alarming amount of PET cats in as hit-by-cars, or with very many injuries that come from being outside. (Most are just sick, and most HBC's are strays brought in by people who have hit them or witness it)

So the main risks I've noticed in letting my own cats venture outdoors are being chased by larger animals, or being stolen. And cats have innate survival skills to get them out of such situations with ease.

I realize that outdoor cats DO face more dangers. But the oldest cat I've had lived to be 19. She was an indoor/outdoor cat. No cat of mine has died an unnatural death, and no outdoor cat has died before age 7. Most having lived to be 13+.

I would never call someone cruel for keeping a cat indoors, but I don't think anyone who does what they believe is right for their animal should be called cruel, either.

Discuss.

I should add, I live in a wooded area on about an acre and a half, close to street that is used only by the residents who live on it. Maybe 10-15 cars per day going 30mph, in a well-policed area. The indoor/outdoor cats I've had at this address rarely feel the need to leave this plot.
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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7/12/2013 9:40:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Figured I'd throw in my 2 cents.

I'v had two cats in my life, the first was named Lynx because she lacked a tail, and had the black tips on her ears. The second was named Hitler, I still have no idea why my older brother named her as such.

I'll start with Lynx, I suppose.

Lynx was an outdoor cat. She always was, and that could never change. I would always leave my bedroom window open so that she could come and go as she pleased. She was very tough. I once saw her jump off a fence, about 5 feet into the air, and grab a crow and break its neck, while still in the air. She was vicious. So, she could handle herself.

Now, Hitler, not so much. Hitler was deaf, so we had to try and keep her inside. But, she got out quite often. Occasionally, we would find her on the roof and she was unable to get back down. We lived across from a high school, where my brother and sister went to school. She managed to sneak into the school several times. More than once we had a teacher or a student turning up at our door with Hitler in their hands. She disappeared for a long time, more than once. One time she even got herself a second family, and the name snowball because she was an albino. Eventually, she was hit by a car she never heard coming.

So, to close, I'm divided on the issue. I'v dealt with both extremes. But, in the end, my opinion is that you have to allow your cat free will. If they want to get out, eventually they will. All you can do is try is feed them, love them, and protect them to the best of your abilities.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
lannan13
Posts: 23,078
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7/12/2013 9:47:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think cats should be alloud to waunder, but then that brings up the slippery slope of letting dogs waunder.
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Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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7/12/2013 2:46:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Cat owners shouldn't let their cats outdoors. It has nothing to do with the cats. Cats are invasive species that deplete local bird populations. If you give a sh1t about your local ecosystem, and your cat is not a haggard, morbidly obese mess, don't let your cat outside.
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
: :
: : The Fool: It's my English writing. Either way It's okay have a larger vocabulary then you, and a better grasp of language, and you're a woman.
:
: I'm just going to leave this precious struggle nugget right here.
Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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7/12/2013 2:51:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
http://www.usatoday.com...

http://abcnews.go.com...

http://www.sciencenews.org...
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
: :
: : The Fool: It's my English writing. Either way It's okay have a larger vocabulary then you, and a better grasp of language, and you're a woman.
:
: I'm just going to leave this precious struggle nugget right here.
1Percenter
Posts: 781
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7/12/2013 2:56:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 2:46:04 PM, Oryus wrote:
Cat owners shouldn't let their cats outdoors. It has nothing to do with the cats. Cats are invasive species that deplete local bird populations. If you give a sh1t about your local ecosystem, and your cat is not a haggard, morbidly obese mess, don't let your cat outside.

Nothing can threaten the local ecosystem like a Sharknado does. You think cats are invasive?? Wait til you have a few great whites flying around your backyard in a whirlwind of carnivorous terror. You know nothing.
Lesbehonest
Posts: 4
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7/13/2013 1:50:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I give all the sh1ts about the ecosystem. One of my points was that pretty much none of my at least 20+ (pet) cats hunted/hurt other animals. And I know this for certain because they just didn't give a damn about them. I had seen plenty a mouse scatter or a bird flitter or whatnot near them and the most the ever did was slightly take notice of them. They didn't have an interest at all in chasing them. Probably because I've always had pet hamsters or rats and birds raised with them.
Lesbehonest
Posts: 4
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7/13/2013 1:51:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 2:56:40 PM, 1Percenter wrote:
At 7/12/2013 2:46:04 PM, Oryus wrote:
Cat owners shouldn't let their cats outdoors. It has nothing to do with the cats. Cats are invasive species that deplete local bird populations. If you give a sh1t about your local ecosystem, and your cat is not a haggard, morbidly obese mess, don't let your cat outside.

Nothing can threaten the local ecosystem like a Sharknado does. You think cats are invasive?? Wait til you have a few great whites flying around your backyard in a whirlwind of carnivorous terror. You know nothing.

Sharknado will be the end of all of us.