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Author Topic:   This is why I don't let my cats outside
fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-25-2003 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
My friends adopted a six week old kitten 5 months ago. I told them that they should just keep him inside and he would be happy and never know the difference. They didn't listen. They would take him out in the backyard with them and let him play around. Then they moved next to a park and started letting him out more and more. Now he has been missing for a week. They are both distraught and frantically looking for him. I wanted to say I told you so, but of course I didn't, I offered them suggestions on how to look for him.

If they had never let him out as a kitten, he would never have known anything different and they would still have a healthy and happy indoor kitten. I don't know why people let their cats outside. There are too many things that can happen to them.

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LottynTrike
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Posts: 173
From:Murfreesboro, Tn, USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 11-25-2003 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LottynTrike     Edit/Delete Message
and that is way i am freaking out about jack! you know.

he was a street cat so he already has a taste for the outdoors. and the night he got away, i was horrified! i dont EVER let him out, he usually just escapes. but the last time he got out i think he had a bad night or something, becasue he hasnt really tried to get out anymore. THANKFULY. i dont know what to do to stop him for wanting, i just dont want the same thing to happen to him

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Chessmind
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Posts: 701
From:CA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-25-2003 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
I got my first cat when I was 8 yrs. old and she passed away when I was 29 yrs. old. She lived for 20.5 years as an indoor/outdoor cat. My best friend adopted an adult cat (his age wasn't known) and she had him for 18 years before he too just passed away from old age. He was also an indoor/outdoor cat.

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HaloKittie
Member

Posts: 48
From:royal oak, mi, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-25-2003 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HaloKittie     Edit/Delete Message
My Cloe, was a stray that I tricked inside to stay. I think she had her fill of the outside life; she has never wanted to go outside after she learned how good life was indoors!

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charmedagain
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Posts: 790
From:uk
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-25-2003 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for charmedagain     Edit/Delete Message
Hi i would like to add that cats should be allowed outside it would be like someone saying to me dont let your dogs out there is so much that can happen to them there is just as much of a chance that a dog can escape but you wouldnt dream of locking them up..

Cats like the outdoors they come from wild cats its an instinct to be out and i would not dream of locking a cat in the house if they wanted to go out so be it..

There is a risk with all animals of something happening to them there is more chance of something serious happening to them from being cooped up indoors all day everyday..

This is just my opinion everyone has there own idea of animals and how they should be treated..

Mum has had her cats for many years and they go outside and they go missing for hours but they always come back at feed times

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LottynTrike
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Posts: 173
From:Murfreesboro, Tn, USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 11-25-2003 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LottynTrike     Edit/Delete Message
I wish jack would learn that! He has a wonderful wonderful home life, but there is just something inside him that makes him want the outdoors. i dont know maybe its a guy thing!!

I think if you feel comfortable letting your cat outside than do it. but there will always be more things outside that can kill your cat rather the inside, there are alway going to be cars on the road, dogs, and bigger cats. I understand that a cat can live outside, and live a long happy life. but i myself, can't handle my cat going outside. i get so worried. he is my babyboy. and if he goes out tonight then he will most likely come home the next day. but i really dont want to chance it. you know. i dont want the day to come when jack doesnt come home. i would never forgive myself. but hey you know if i didnt live in an apartment, i might feel different. you know. but not know. he is going to have to deal with being an indoor cat!!

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HaloKittie
Member

Posts: 48
From:royal oak, mi, usa
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-25-2003 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HaloKittie     Edit/Delete Message
Why shoud cats live indoors?
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fwt/back_issues/december98/cats.html
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY_UW090
http://www.wildbirds.com/protect_cats.htm

enough?

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nern

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Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-25-2003 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
I could'nt agree with you more Fleafly.

[This message has been edited by nern (edited 11-25-2003).]

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nern

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Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-25-2003 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
Charmedagain, you are certainly entitled to your opinion but I think it really depends on where you live.....

quote:
Hi i would like to add that cats should be allowed outside it would be like someone saying to me dont let your dogs out there is so much that can happen to them there is just as much of a chance that a dog can escape but you wouldnt dream of locking them up..

Is it common for people to let their dogs roam in the UK?
Im in the US and it is very uncommon for people to let their dogs roam here. We have a leash law and roaming dogs are often picked up or turned in to the shelters as strays. I take mine for walks and to parks but always on a leash. I live on a main road and my dogs would become roadkill in an instant if I allowed them free roam so even if there were no leash laws I would still not allow it.

quote:
Cats like the outdoors they come from wild cats its an instinct to be out

All but one of mine has absolutely no interest in going outside so I don't think it comes instinctively to all cats.
One time I tried taking each of them (seperately) outside in the backyard on a leash....2 of them could'nt get back in the house fast enough, 1 of them did'nt seem to even notice that he was outside and the other one (a former stray) loved it walked around the yard a bit and plopped down in the sun. The 3 cats that I got as kittens had never been outside before this and showed no interest in being out there.
Last year I took in 2 strays that had been dumped on a farm. They lived outside for several months (maybe longer, Im not sure how they lived before they were dumped) before I went and got them. I have kept them inside since then and they also appear to have no interest in going outdoors. I was suprised by this and thought it would be hard to convert them to indoor-only cats after they had been living outside for quite a while but they are perfectly happy inside.

Sorry for going on and on...I just wanted to share my thoughts and experiences.

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Caitlyn
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Posts: 84
From:Hull, UK
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-25-2003 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Caitlyn     Edit/Delete Message
Yes it is very common in the UK for people to let their cats roam freely. Dogs are not allowed to by law and get picked up by dog wardens.

I have to say that I prefer my cats going out. In the end people have to remember that cats are unlike dogs in the fact that they are not fully domesticated, they always remain half-wild and choose to live with someone more than needing too. Cats can look after themselves and while I agree there is a threat from cars, we dont have wild animals in the UK that kill cats, I think my cats are far happier getting out and getting some exercise and fresh air than being cooped up all day bored and getting fat!
It isn't natural for them, how would you feel being told you were never going to get to go outside again? pretty bad huh? Cats naturally roam between 2 and 6 miles a night depending on their sex and neutering status. I don't think that keeping them in a house is room enough for them, especially if you have more than one. Cats are solitary animals and need their private space from both you and other animals.
My cats always come home for their tea, are rarely gone more than a hour at a time, and don't seem to leave the 3 back gardens around ours. Yes I worry about them but I would much rather they were happy and healthy than stuck in doors and depressed.
Most cats in the UK are indoor/oudoor unless there are specific reasons why they are kept in ie they are deaf or blind or a pedigree that needs special attention like a persian, which cannot look after its own fur, or a ragdoll which has nerve ending problems (don't get me on the breeding argument though or we'll be here all night grrrr)
So in the end I think cats are better off outside, they are happier, they are healthier and they don't destroy my house out of boredom!

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fleafly
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Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-25-2003 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Cats that are kept indoors from the time they are kittens on very rarely want to go out. Mine are all indoor cats, and I have had them all but two of them since they were very little. Only one has any interest in going outside and I take him out when he wants to go out. The others like to look outside but want nothing to do with it.

I have one who used to be an outdoor cat, she has absolutely no interest in going outside. She prefers the indoor life.

If I had a cat that wanted to go out I would take him out with me, like I do with Moo. If you keep a kitten in from the time they are little they don't want to go out. I'm not saying that you should take a cat that wants to go outside and keep him indoors all the time. I'm saying that if you have kittens and keep them in they wont want to go out. If you have a cat that has to go out that is another matter. Some cats are bound and determined to escape. In that case make them as safe as you can.

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tuttifrutti
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Posts: 478
From:Dallas, Texas
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 11-25-2003 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tuttifrutti     Edit/Delete Message
My cat, Gracie, is an indoor/outdoor cat. All of my cats have been. One of them got lost for 2.5 yrs. because we moved, but then someone found him! Tell your friends to not give up hope after just a week! HOwever, if their cat was friendly and they lived next to a park... well, I think you catch my drift.

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-25-2003 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
Again, I guess it depends on your area and your individual cat.
My cats would not be happier or healthier outdoors. I have 6 cats living in a large apartment and they have plenty to keep them happy inside...things to climb on, scratching posts, condos, tunnels and plenty of windows to sit in to get fresh air. They never fight, they play together all the time, clean each other and cuddle together. They are'nt depressed, bored or inactive and don't seem to be lacking or wanting any individual space although there is plenty of room here if they wanted to go off and be alone. They are all quite happy.
Now if they were allowed outdoors (and Im strickly speaking in regards to my particular location)........
1) I live on a main road it would not be long before one or more of them was hit and hurt or killed by a car. I've seen my fair share of road kill around here and would not want to see one of my cats laying out there one day.
2) I know of 2 cases of feline aids around here which leads me to beleive that there are likely several stray/outdoor cats around here carrying it. Its not something I want to risk.
3) A few years ago the neighbor behind my grandmother's house was caught shooting cats with a bee bee gun and this was not the only instance I've heard of people doing things like this. Our houses are really close together around here and people get annoyed with cats climbing all over their cars, digging up their gardens and spraying in their garages, on their porches,ect. Unfortunately, some people get fed up and end up harming the poor cats. There are plenty of sick people out there that do horrible things to animals just for fun. Its just not worth the risk to me.
4) A year or 2 ago a co-workers neighbor found what was left of her Yorkie after a Coyote had gotten it and there was a story on the news warninig pet owners to be cautious after a Sharpei had been attacked in his own backyard.

Im glad some of you are able to allow your cats outdoors safely but not all of us can. IMO, most indoor cats can be just as happy as outdoor cats with a little effort on the part of the owner.

------------------
Vanessa

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LottynTrike
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Posts: 173
From:Murfreesboro, Tn, USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 11-25-2003 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LottynTrike     Edit/Delete Message
thats what i do with jack, when he wants to go out he gets to go out with me. but i cant let him go out at three in the morning. i get to scared, so instead i let him out on the deck. he cant get off and he has his favorite chair out there to sit on. (he is starting to like **understand** the leash thing better)

I dont know. maybe i should just let him be an indoor outdoor cat. but i cant i really really cant.

man now ya'll are making me question if i should have jack or not!! I was thinking i was doing what is best for him. maybe i am not.

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nern

Moderator

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From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-25-2003 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
quote:
If you have a cat that has to go out that is another matter. Some cats are bound and determined to escape. In that case make them as safe as you can.

Well said.

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MaydaysMom
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Posts: 260
From:MO, USA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-26-2003 12:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MaydaysMom     Edit/Delete Message
The cats that people keep as pets are not wild. They are domesticated. If they still come home to sleep in your house and eat your food then they are domesticated.
Thats like saying dogs are still wild bc their ancestors are wolves.
Ive never been to the UK so the situation might be completely different there.
However my dogs dont get let out to run all over the city to get hit by cars like some people do with their cats.
Most people with dogs know where they are at all times. Can you say you know where your cat is at all times when you let it out? Cats scale fences.
Working at the animal control I have seen the officers bring in cats that were frozen to the ground that had collars and tags, Ive seen disected cats thrown on the corners of streets. Some that have been ripped to shreds by dogs. All of these cats had microchips and tags. The worst of all is watching a cat suffer from FIV of FELEUK.
Why let your cats out? I have seen more horrible things happen to cats than I have dogs all because people think that it is cruel to bottle up your cat inside. If it was so cruel than I wonder why mine are so happy?
Just my opinion. I would never adopt out a cat to someone who wants them to be indoor/outdoor.

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charmedagain
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Posts: 790
From:uk
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-26-2003 02:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for charmedagain     Edit/Delete Message
Hi, I didnt say that i let my dogs out to run wild in the city, My dogs are pedigree german shepherds i take them for walks and yes the do have access to the yard whenever they want to go outside as my door stays open alday.

As i pointed out each owner has there views on cats being indoor/outdoor my mum leaves her windows open so her cats can go out when they like they have never used the catflap they dont like it but they do love being outside....

As caitlyn pointed out we dont have larger wild cats here in the uk and yes all owners worry about there pets but when a cat wants to do something like go play outside then they should be allowed to do so granted some cats hate the outdoors that maybe because they never been out before or something scared them while they were out and dont like going out anymore..

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Mandy
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Posts: 52
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 11-26-2003 05:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mandy     Edit/Delete Message
I have to disagree with the posts that say cats that are forced to live indoors only get fat and depressed. Every vet I have ever talked to say cats should stay indoors. I have 2 very healthy, happy cats that are strictly indoor cats, and neither are overweight. They get plenty of exercise with their cat trees, cat condors, cat toys, and racing up and down the stairs and throughout the house. They sit in the windows, and I also let them outside on the screened in porch for fresh air.

When I was a kid, my parents always let our cats go outside, and MANY of them got hurt or disappeared. One came home with a beebee stuck in his nose, because someone had shot him with a beebee gun - PERFECT example of why to keep your cat indoors, too many cruel people in the world looking to harm them. We used to have to take them to the vets all the time from absesses they would get from other cats fighting them, some got hit by cars, and some just disappeared and we have no clue what happened to them. We didn't know if they were hurt or suffering, or being tortured.

So now that its my choice, I keep my cats indoors because of everything I've seen happen to my cats as a child. You can't compare a cat to a dog. A dog can be perfectly happy being kept on a leash, or a fenced in yard. A cat will climb the fence and jump over it. Dogs can't use litter boxes, cats can. There's just no need for them to roam the streets, its way too dangerous. Not to mention the many diseases they can catch, like Feline HIV.

You can say your cats always come home, but I assure you, one day they may not. They could come home for years, and then just one day after you had them 10 years or more, they could just as easily decide not to come home, I've seen it happen time and time again. You're taking a very big risk by letting your cats roam the streets. Best of luck!

[This message has been edited by Mandy (edited 11-26-2003).]

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tuttifrutti
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Posts: 478
From:Dallas, Texas
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 11-26-2003 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tuttifrutti     Edit/Delete Message
I don't see anything wrong with keeping cats indoors only, but my cat could never stand it! She gets incredibly hyper at times, an rips of the furniture. We have tried scratching posts and such,and she always ignores them. We live on a street where almost everyone has a cat or cats, and if they don't they like them and don't mind them, since all of our neighborhood cats are really sweet, you can basically aproach any one you want and pet it or whatever, it won't care. We even have somekittens, who think that they are everyones. They are really our neighbors and are learning that now, since they get let inside, but most of the time they are at our front door, because we come outside a lot with Ranger, our 5.5. month old britany spaniel. We live on a back street, there is no need to come on it if you don't live there or know someone who does. If we lived on a busy street, none of our cats would be indoor/outdoor. WE also have sewers available to the cats, if a dog is chasing them or such. Ranger sends Gracie down many sewers when we take him out front, his favorite game to play with her is chase. Also, most of the dogs on teh street are good with cats, and the cats know to stay away from the ones who aren't! If we lived next to a park none of our cats would be indoor/outdoor. They would all be indoors. If we had evil neighbors, they would all be indoors. All of our cats have come when called, so we dont' really worry about them. If we haven't seen them in a while, like a few hours or something, we go out and call them, and within 5 min. they are here. We keep them inside at night in the garage, as our current one likes bread, and will rip it open to eat, and has figured out how to turn on the water faucet, after being left inside a couple of days while we were on vacation. I think whether your cat is indoors only or indoor/outdoor or even just outdoor depends on your situation, and if you feel safe letting them out.

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MaydaysMom
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Posts: 260
From:MO, USA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-26-2003 02:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MaydaysMom     Edit/Delete Message
My point is with your dogs is that you always know where they are. You always know if they are in your fenced in yard or in your house. Why isnt it the same for our felines? Cats can not be contained by a fence there for could be seriously harmed with out you knowing it.
I dont care how safe you think your street is. there are still dangers your cats are exposed to. Not to mention those who let their cats out that are not sterilized!
If there are other cats in the area you could be exposing your cat different diseases and worms. If you have children at home and then let your cat back inside you could be exposing them to ringworm and god knows what.
Last September they were finding cats that were drained of their blood and disemboweled then thrown back on their owners doorsteps. I just wanted to smack the blubbering owners who were crying that something like this happened to their cat. Our street is safe they said. If only they had not let their cats outside, these horrible crimes and deaths would NOT have happened. Here are just a tiny amount of links that show what kind of things can happen to cats that are let outside.
Knowing this, if you really care about the safety of your cat why would you let them roam your neighborhood?
If you HAVE to let your cat outside get them an enclosure, a cat tower, a kitty play pen, a cat walk, ect ect....
My post earlier charmed was not talking about big wild cats. It was talking about feral cats. Those are a product of owners who allow their cats outside that have not been steralized. We have domesticated these cats, we are responsible for them. Just becuase a cat is peeing on your floor or scratching on your furniture dosent mean you should chuck them outside. If your kid breaks something do they get thrown out too?
I had a phone call earlier tonight from another foster who adopted a declawed cat to a woman in our area. She had a cat at home with all 4 paws intact and decided to chuck him outside to live. The newly adopted cat decided she wanted to run out with him and they found both cats dead today 4 houses down. Whats the big deal about letting your cats outside? You tell me.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,90954,00.html
http://www.hollandsentinel.com/stories/070603/fea_070603112.shtml
http://www.all-creatures.org/aip/nl-11dec2000-kitten.html
http://www.pet-abuse.com/database/details.php?case_id=45&state=CA
http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/961/AR/US/1

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Caitlyn
Member

Posts: 84
From:Hull, UK
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-26-2003 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Caitlyn     Edit/Delete Message
I think in the end you have to put it down to a difference in cultures. Cats in the Uk are very rarely indoor cats and here it is generally considered cruel to keep them in, what you also have to look at is that the average size of a UK home is significantly smaller than that of a US home.

As your vets seem to have advised you to keep your animals in ours do the reverse and advise that they spend at least a couple of hours outside everyday. Perhaps it is just cultural in the end.

I do accept that things can happen to them outside and they can get diseases but with regular vaccinations most of the severe illnesses can be avoided, save FIV which is not an instant death sentence for a cat as seems to be the general consensus (FIV+ cats can live for a good 14 years which is a good age in my book).

Maybe we should sgree to disagree and put it down to the fact we in UK have a different opinion of animal care and so do our vets!

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charmedagain
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Posts: 790
From:uk
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-26-2003 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for charmedagain     Edit/Delete Message
I have to agree with you caitlyn on that in the uk most of our cats have been spayed or nuetered so the chance of them falling pregnant is reduce.

Also for illness and viruses here we have less viruses in the uk our animals can contract..

My mum has had cats for many years and yes she is aware of all the problems that can arise from them going outdoors she has had them spayed and neutered and there vaccinations are upto date she also has the checked regularlary just to make sure they still in good health on of her cats is almost 11 and she has never been run over or hurt in anyway and my mum lives on a busy road..

Its cats that have been kept indoors and that some how escape from the home that run into problems as they are not aware of dangers..

AS for worms indoor cats are still prone to getting these all it takes is one flea to enter the home and lay eggs on the cat and once the cat grooms itself the worm cycle begins..

everyone has there own opinions on wether animals should be indoor/outdoor..

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NuckC
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posted 11-29-2003 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NuckC     Edit/Delete Message
I would never leave my cats outside unattended! Almost every week, I see a new cat lying dead in the road. One of my neighbor's outdoor cats got picked up off her lawn and cooked by some sort of cult. Plus, they can pick up all sorts of diseases and parasites outdoors. I let my cats out to the backyard every morning to romp, and I watch them to make sure none of them escape.

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Kayliface
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From:Ottawa, Ontario
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 11-29-2003 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kayliface     Edit/Delete Message
Here's a question, somewhat related, I plan to get my kitty a kittyleash and take her outside once in awhile, just so she can get some fresh air. We live in an apartment, so it wont become a habit - will she want to become an outdoor cat if we do this? Is it a silly idea?

------------------
Visit me at www.daplayazclub.com

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Katerina
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From:Toronto, Canada
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-29-2003 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Katerina     Edit/Delete Message
Well my cat is 7yrs old and I've had her for 2yrs. I occasionally let her out when she wants to wich is around 3 times a week.

I don't deny that bad things can happened to a cat outside but it would depend where you live. I can almost gurantee that in Corbeil ON pop. 6,000 that she wont be picked up by a cult.

I believe that cats should be allowed to go outside if they wish.

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amcfoto
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Posts: 43
From:Methuen, MA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-30-2003 03:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for amcfoto     Edit/Delete Message
I personally think it's better to keep your kitties inside if possible. My guys stay indoors and are quite happy and healthy. I believe they will live longer being indoor cats. They wear their tags just in case they ever get out and I would never ever declaw so they would have a chance if they got outside. Both were strays found at a VERY young age but seem contented living indoors and show no signs of wanting out.

When I was growing up our cats were indoor/outdoor and lived to be about 13/14. My aunts and friends who have strictly indoor kitties have seen their cats live to be almost 20. I'd love my guys to be around that long.

Just my opinion of course but I prefer the indoor life for my guys. Safer and less worry!

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nern

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From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-30-2003 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
kayliface: I don't think its a silly idea to take her out on a leash though there is a possibility that she may want to go out more often after getting a taste of the great outdoors.

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fleafly
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From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 12-01-2003 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
I don't really think there is a big cultural difference b/t the US and the UK as far as letting cats outside. Most people in the US let their cats outside. I hadn't heard of anybody having indoor only cats until 3 years ago. Growing up we always let our cats out b/c thats just what you did with cats.

Out of the 9 indoor/outdoor cats I had growing up only 2 died of natural causes. Out of the other 7: 4 were lost, 2 got ran over, and 1 was posioned. And we lived mostly in small towns in Wyoming with populations less than 6,000 people. Living in a small town doesn't really make your cats more safe. There is also a lot of satanic activity in some of those towns, so it doesn't protect your cats from cults either.

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