housecats = never outdoors?

I have some acquaintances who never take their cats oudoors. Is this a normal way to raise cats?

Since I’ve owned my cat (which I adopted when she was an adult of about 3 years), she has only been outside unattended twice. Both times she immediately turned around and went back in.

She likes the indoors. She is happy in her home. She has her scratching post, her litter box, her food and water.

So far, she has not expressed any desire to leave.

Even better, she hasn’t been eaten by a coyote or an owl.

I have two cats and neither of them ever went outdoors as kittens. Now that they are grown I let them out occasionally and they just look around terrified. It’s an entire world that they didn’t know existed. You can’t miss ice cream if you’ve never had it!

The benifits of “house cats”

  1. No fleas
  2. no rabies
    3 no dead “gifts”
  3. (although they are neutered) no unwanted kittens.
  4. (this will start an entire debate) front declaw without worry
  5. No cat fights
    This said, in my experience it is nearly impossible to get an outdoor cat to live indoor all the time. They ARE missing the ice cream!

I personally wouldn’t say it’s normal but my wife would. I like cats to be indoor/outdoor or i/o as i call it. I think they have a much more enjoyable life although on average shorter. Her cats have always have been indoor cats only and have ajusted to living indoors. The main thing is that they have some activity i.e. cat furnuture. Also people who have indoor only cats tend to have them declawed, a practice I hate and hate even more once I saw a cat recovering from the declawing.
I feel if you have a declawed cat (expecially if you did it) you have a responsibility to keep them indoors and provide an activity.
and yes we have 2 declaws and one fully armed or as we say 2 rear wheel drive and 1 4WD
and no we didn’t do it, one was declawed by her mother (my wife had no say in the matter) as she was too worried about her couch, now he pee’s out of the box (we are told that is a possibility of declawing). And the other declaw She adopted at age 4 (the cats age) w/o front claws.
The 4WD cat we got together and she is great, not only 4WD but superwide tires, 7 toes on each front paw and 6 on the rear. we let her out but only when we are near.

I don’t know whether it is good for them or not, but my cat is in an indoor one. There is an old saying: “An outside cat is a dead cat.” I just want to keep my little furry girl safe. :slight_smile:

We debated this when we decided to adopt cats 3 years ago. Cats are probably happier if they can get outside and kill things once in a while. On the other hand, indoor cats live longer and healthier lives, on average.

We decided that they would have to be indoor-only because we live in a 2 family house, in the upstairs apartment, and having outdoor cats would require a cat door. Unfortunately, we also live in an area with a large, sometimes rabid, racoon population. In the 6 years I have lived here, there have been 2 instances of people being surprised by racoons in their homes. They had come in through cat doors. In one instance, a man napping on the couch awoke to discover a racoon sitting on his chest.

Having made the indoor/outdoor decision, we then faced declawing. I consulted my sister, who is a veterenarian, for her opinion. According to her, most cats seem well-adjusted and suffer little if it is done in the first 6 months. I assume the adjustment has to do with not missing something if you haven’t had it all that long. The recovery process is very short when they are young. But the older and heavier they get, the longer it takes and the more discomfort they feel. Ours were done at 6 months and were jumping off the furniture within 24 hours. It didn’t seem any more cruel than neutering them.

This falls into the realm of religious arguments. In other words, prepare for a huge amount of heat, and not much light. People get enormously emotional over this issue (based on my occasional reading of rec.pets.cats).

There are good arguments for both sides. Indoor cats unquestionably have a higher probability of living longer. Cats that go outdoors are probably happier, or at least less bored.

As a personal decision, it comes down to your tolerance for risk. As for people who denounce those who keep their cats (in | out) – well, it’s really none of their business.

Me, I let my cat out on a lead and keep an eye on her. A compromise that’s not totally satisfactory to either, but keeps us both reasonably happy.

Our cats have always been in/out cats. They have the best of both worlds. They eat their silly heads off during the day and then at night they go out ‘catting’ and once in a while one of them will come back the looser in a catfight. However they seem to make the best of it and seem to say “you should have seen the other guy” All of our cats have been neutered, and usually obtained from the animal shelter as kittens. Of course you can’t de-claw a cat that has to protect itself so it goes without saying none have been de-clawed. No racoons or rabies to worry about here, on a caribbean island. Hawks might pose a threat, but they are only out in the daytime, when our furry friends are catnapping inside. Our latest kitten, a gift is a ginger cat called e-mail, the curtains and the furniture are suffering, but if you are a cat person you just put up with it.


My baby is an indoor/outdoor cat.

I wanted to keep her indoor only but from the time she was a little kitten she knew she was missing something. She would spend most of her day looking out the window and meowing or scratching at the screen.

She now goes outside when I leave for work in the morning and comes in when I get home. She has been fixed so she doesn’t wander anywhere. I have never seen her further away from the house then the neighbor’s yard and that was only once. I think that she spends most of her day on the roof.

Since she is allowed to go outside (and because in my opinion it is mean) she has never been declawed. She always scratches on a tree right outside the back door and I have never had a problem with her scratching anything in the house. The tree is starting to show signs though.

This arrangement works well for us. It might take a year or two off of her life but I think that she is much happier. I have seen some cats however who are very happy to stay inside or are even afraid of being outside.

Our oldest cat is an indoor cat that goes for walks outdoors. At first we walked her (and our other cat, now deceased)on a leash, but after while my wife discovered that we could keep her in the yard by telling her to “Stay!” when she started to venture away. You know that saying about “herding cats?” It ain’t so hard. We used to herd two cats and a two year old.

We got two new cats to replace the one that died (You know how it is – the old cat does so many jobs that it’s hard to find another one with the same skills, but you can hire and train two young ones for the same price). They are going to be completely indoor cats.

None of them has been declawed. Declawing involves removing the bone from the last joint. Take a look at your finger and think about it. Besides, the cats know that they’re losing their defence mechanism, and I think it makes a difference. Just give them plenty of scratch pads to claw, and shoot them with a water pistol if they start going after the furniture.

I live in an apartment, so my Jennie is indoor only. She’s fully armed. Sometimes I’ll get her a mouse from the pet store so she doesn’t forget she’s a cat.

She’s the first cat I’ve had that was indoor only. She’s taken to it well, I think.

I have two cats and one of them used to be an outside one when I used to live in another neighborhood, with a little used road and no friggin’ dogs running around loose. He was outside mainly because he had problems getting along with the inside cat. As he grew older, I decided to bring him in because he would manage to get up a tree and drop onto the neighbors roof at night and get stuck there and I’d have to go get him off. (Not the brightest bulb in the lamp, that cat.)

Then my neighbor - a nasty, cracker lady - ignored the many other cats passing through her yard at night and started blaming mine for all sorts of ills, from taking a dump in her carport, to urinating in her car vents and threatened to call animal control and have him taken away. So, I brought him in.

When I moved, I wound up on a busy street where people roar past at all hours of the day and my old cat used to like to stroll leisurely across the road or even lay on it. My old neighbors knew this and used to drive real slow coming home in the dark so he could move. (Something he did often reluctantly, figuring that the road was his after dark.) Here, people would not even slow down and to them, the cat would be nothing more than a speed bump.

So, my two pals are inside now and reluctantly get along. When I drive at night, or even the day, it bothers me to see the bodies of cats hit by cars along roads and wonder why people who cherish their pets just have to let them wander freely. People, mainly men, I know love to sick their pit bulls on cats wandering by and some people just hate cats. Around here, many people leave their dogs running free, which is against the law, but a dog will spot a cat on it’s own porch and attack it.

No, I don’t agree with leaving cats out unattended for any reason. My current neighbor has a nasty pitbull, which he takes out often on a leash (so it can dump in my yard) but now and then he lets it out unattended. I certainly would not want one of my cats outside when that thing happens to be wandering around free.

PS: One of my cats has a tendency to ‘miss’ the litter box when urinating also and he has his claws. I’ve watched him hop in, scoop up litter, back his furry butt right to the edge and go. Then he furiously scrapes up the litter like he did something in it.

Ha! I love it! It’s stuff like this that makes non-cat people wonder about cat people.

Two of our cats were outdoor cats until we came home from dinner one night and found Lucy dead in the street. She didn’t have a mark on her – no blood anywhere – and she was right next to the curb. No fur or blood or urine puddles in the street. Just her limp body.

Hubby insists that whatever happened, it must have been purposeful, like a kick. I hate to think it, but nothing else makes much sense.

Since then, Lucy’s buddy Rick (our cat from hell) and our 18-pound puddle of love Micky, are only outside if we’re with them. Mick likes the catnip patch under the lilacs.

Get a bigger litter box, we have bengals, and they are REALLY clean, so they will dig until everything is buried, even stuff that was jsut dug up. So I made A JUMBO litter bow, and use scooping litter- happy kitties.

Indoor cats live longer, so if you love them, keep them inside. We are lucky as we have a lightwell in our apt, which is open to the roof, but not the sides, except into our apt. We have put plants out there, and they can get a bit of sun, and chew on the plants a bit, and kill flies. Again, happy kitties. Of course, we never declaw them. We DO trim their nails often, so they are used to it.

Having had both indoor and outdoor cats, I can say pretty confidently that you can have a happy and healthy indoor cat. Mine might not get to kill and eat things, but she does do a good job of killing her toy mice and and used to leave them at my bedroom door back when I lived with my mother (the cat stayed with her when I moved – the party line being that it’d be hard to keep her in an apartment, the reality was to keep Mom company).

That said, my first cat was adopted from a stable and wouldn’t have lasted three days indoors without being able to get back outside. He did live to a good fifteen years, but that was with countless visits to the vet after various fights with local cats and whatever large mammals lived in the woods near the house. When he died, he died with several deep notches on his ears, a scar over one eye, a bit of his nose clipped and a few other markings. In other words, if you want your cat outside, you’re going to get to know your vet pretty well. Mind you now, if you live in an area with large predators (read: coyotes), letting your cat be an outside cat is just a slow way of making sure it dies.

With respect to fleas, if your cat literally NEVER goes outside, then no, it’ll never get fleas. However, all it takes is one time outside, and once an indoor cat gets fleas, they’ll be worse than on an outdoor cat. Heck, the fleas like to be indoors, too!
Predators: Most of the cats we’ve had, if a pitbull ever tried to mess with them, the net result would be a pitbull without a face. Your milage may vary.
And Danielinthewolvesden, surely you don’t mean what I think you mean by “bengals”. I can’t see keeping a couple of half-ton cats in an apartment, and I doubt that they would bother with flies.

My family has had both indoor-only and indoor/outdoor cats, all raised from kittens. Raising them indoor-only is “normal” in the sense that it’s commonly done, but it may not be the best thing for the cat. Our two indoor-only cats would flee to indoor safety at the sight of the sky. That’s perhaps understandable, but in a lot of other ways, they were very, very stupid - as if their development had been stunted by the relatively interaction-poor environment of the house. Our indoor/outdoor cats were a lot smarter in innumerable ways.

All three of mine are indoor cats.

When we got the first, TC, we lived in an apartment. We tried walking him on a leash, but the traffic noise from I-395 nearby freaked him out.

We moved to a townhouse and started letting him roam in the yard unsupervised. One night he scaled the fenced and disappeared. I was really worried. The next morning, I set his food by the open back door, and he sauntered in like a rebellious teenager. After that, we didn’t let him out unsupervised, though we have managed to get him to walk with the leash.

We’ve since got two more cats, Othello and Spitz, who are strictly indoor cats.

There’ve been many reports in our area of rabid foxes, so it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever let them out unsupervised.

Also, TC eats grass when he goes out, then hacks it up on our carpet later.

…one word: Michelin-ed
:frowning: cats adapt asoundingly well to confinement
I have taken more than a few feral cats and turned them into indoor cats…it helps that I don’t buy expensive furnishings.ButI think we know we have a obligation as cat owners to minimize opportunities for injury and trauma…it is a no-brainer, IMHO

My two cats never go outdoors and are perfectly happy. Lillian is so dumb she’d be owl chow within a minute of setting her paws out the door. Dorothy needs two heart pills a day, so unless I teach the woodland creatures how to give her her meds . . .

I understand the concept of “indoor pets” is unheard of in Britain, that not many people even have window screens there. Brits, am I misinformed? I know it’s illegal to declaw cats there.