Outdoor cat in Michigan

First, I don’t really know what an outdoor cat is so this may all be wrong. My impression is that you can get a cat and feed it so it will stay around your house/yard. Is that correct? Could I get a kitten and just put some food out for it and that be the end of my taking care of it? I think it would be cool to have a cat that just kind of hung around my yard, but I don’t want to do to much for it or ever have it inside. What happens to it when it gets cold in the winter? Do I have to get the kitten in the spring so it has time to grow before the winter?

This will not end happily.

Does that mean the cat will die?

I saw a show on the Discovery Channel (or maybe PBS) that had a story about a woman that fed cats so they would stay around her yard, but she lived some place warm.

Is the cold the big problem?

I do realize I have to get it some shots. And spay it or neuter it.

There are people who feel sorry for the feral (wild or stray) cats that live in their area, so they put food out for them. But that’s not the same as getting a cat and MAKING it a stray.

If you get a cat, you have to take care of it. Period.

I can’t even fathom why you’d want to do this. Just to keep the songbird population in your area down? Just to sit in your warm house and feel good about the fact that you’re locking out an animal that comes from a desert climate? What benefit would you gain from this?

Howbout you put out some dogfood and then you can have a “pet” stray raccoon?

If you really, really want an outdoor cat, contact your Humane Society and ask about feral cat rescue groups. They usually have feral cats that need to be relocated. Do not get a kitten and leave it outside - it will become prey for other, larger animals or it will get hit by a car. You will need to provide some sort of shelter for the feral, if you choose to get one - they can live in remarkably low temperatures if they have shelter to get out of the wind and snow.

Outdoor cat = dinner for another animal . Plan accordingly .

“An outdoor cat” is actually an euphemisim for an neglected pet. If your pet is relucant to come indoors and enjoy heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, then it can be said to be an outdoor cat. But it is a given that you insist upon it coming indoors anyways. What for? Most of the day and for hugs and loves.

Outdoors all the time will end up as feral and short lived. It will eat the local wildlife if it can or fight with it. Cat vs motor vehicle usually ends wth the latter, not the former, victorious and blood-smeared.

If you adopt a feline make it an intergral part of your household and keep inside and safe.

Ok, I guess it is a bad idea.

We live in central Ohio, and have had 3 cats over the past 5 years. They have all been “outdoor-only” cats. (We don’t want our house to smell like crap, hence we opt for outdoor-only cats.)

It is not cruel IMO to have an outdoor-only cat. The only problem is that they occasionally get eaten by coyotes. When that happens, we simply get another one. Which is not a big deal… they’re free. (People are always giving them away.)

Right now we have just one cat. We’ve had him for 5 years. He’s managed to say away from the coyotes. Smart cat. :slight_smile:

While you’re up, could you get me one as well? Any dark tequila will do, and make it a double.

::holds head in hands::

Why bother with a cat if you are only going to have it outside?I have a indoor cat and a dog, my house does not smell like “crap” Maybe it’s because I clean the litter box.

No; just that cats and their maintenance are a contentious topic around here: depending on how you treat your cat, you will be stigmatised as either an emotionally stunted pamperer of a substitute baby, or a heartless brute who revels in the senseless torment of an innocent animal. Threads on the treatment of cats seldom end amicably.

I note your username with interest: have you considered a dog?

Mice control. To us, cats are not pets. They’re tools.

And I assume that you treat them well, just as you would any tool. Shots, spaying/neutering, etc. - care for your tools and they will care for you. I have no problem with barn cats. I do have a problem with a cat who doesn’t know how to hunt being tossed outside.

I try to not come across as being to militant in these threads, because I understand the value of outside cats in a rural environment. I don’t understand people who live on a highly trafficed road who want to moan that their cat got killed.

I don’t understand why anyone does this. You obviously don’t like cats very much. If you don’t want to be around cats in your home, why don’t you just “opt” for no cats?

But, just as important, the cat probably will die, soon. The life expentancy of an indoor-outdoor cat, let alone an outdoor only cat, is brief, like a year or two. Maybe one in six, like Crafter_Man’s is the exception to that. When I was a kid we had about four cats, indoor-outdoor, who each lived a year or two. Then we got one that lived to be eighteen or nineteen.

We’re in a wooded but reasonably high-density area. We have a cat door, and no litter box (unless we keep a cat in because it’s ill). Other than the occasional raccoon in the house (and the catch-and-release mice), this works fine. The cats are usually inside at night when it’s below 60F outside.

?? I have had a very large number of cats, virtually all indoor-outdoor cats, and their average lifespan has been around 16 years. Granted I haven’t had indoor-outdoor cats in highly urban areas, I’ve still only had one hit by a car (and that was when I was 7).

If you really must keep your cat outside, I think it’s much safer if you keep it in some kind of enclosure rather than letting it run loose. There are a lot of sites online that sell cat enclosures or give you plans on how to build one yourself.

I can understand why someone might want to let a cat go roam outside because they don’t like dealing with litterboxes. I HATED trying to clean those old-fashioned litterboxes every freakin’ day. After reading a lot of reviews of automatic litter box, I concluded that this one seems to be the one with the best customer satisfaction and bought it: http://www.litter-robot.com

This particular auto litterbox is designed very differently than those “drag a rake across the box” style auto litterboxes you see at the pet stores (like the “Littermaid”). The rake ones seem very prone to breaking down or getting clogged up. This one, the Litter Robot, seems to work a lot better than those other ones. I have been using it for about two months now and it has made cleaning the litterbox much easier for me. The only problem I had is that one of my cats (the one that isn’t all that bright, frankly), wouldn’t turn around when she went inside it so she would pee out the door and onto the step of the litterbox. Thankfully, I seem to have solved that by putting a few strips of duct tape across the bottom of the entrance (for some reason, having to jump over the tape encourages them to turn around).
So, now the problem is solved apparently. :slight_smile:

The only downside is that it is rather expensive ($300) but it doesn’t require me to replace litter as frequently as I used to with teh old-fashioned litterboxes so I feel it will “pay for itself” eventually. Even that issue aside, though, it’s worth it for the extra convenience now that I no longer have to sift the litter by hand every freakin’ day.