Indoor Cats..Are They TRUELY Happy?

@Janey1966 (24126)
Carlisle, England
March 8, 2011 9:02am CST
I want indoor cat owners to be honest about this (and this discussion hasn't been started in order to upset anyone), I just want people to think very hard about whether or not it is the right decision to keep a cat indoors. After all, it's not really for the cats' benefit (unless it's ill), it's for OUR benefit that we keep cats indoors, well that's my feeling on it anyway. Why do I feel bad about this after 2 and a half years? Well, I can't stop thinking about what the vet said to us on Saturday morning when she diagnosed cystitis in our FloJo. I shall quote what she said here:- "Many indoor cats suffer from cystitis due to stress. The reason they are stressed is that they want to go out...cats like to roam. They have natural roaming instincts so this is why I'm asking you if your cat is stressed at all?" Don't get me wrong, she wasn't being nasty. She was an extremely nice vet and has cats of her own. But what she said is right and the reason she is right is that FloJo IS stressed at being indoors 99% of the time. She associates "going out" with "being naughty" as John - in particular has to shoo her back in again after a few minutes. At first I thought it was right that we let FloJo out "under supervision" but I'm not sure about this strategy anymore as I don't think she's happy. Whenever she comes back in she's thinking about the next time she's let out. Now, if this house was big I reckon she would be able to roam a bit more than she is able to. Another cat I had in a flat HATED being indoors and as soon as I took him to Mum's to live with me there he was a different cat..and I reckon FloJo would be the same. Yes, I know she doesn't like other cats but if she's able to go outside she can escape the ones indoors, at least. She would have the FREEDOM to do whatever she liked, "FREEDOM" being the operative word here. Don't you ever feel guilty about keeping your cats indoors? Why have a cat in the first place if he/she can't go out to "roam?" Who are WE to decide what is right or wrong for our cats ? The cat doesn't have a choice. The cat cannot speak so how do we know if the cat is happy? We don't do we? All we think about is OURSELVES and the fact we're keeping the cats away from the busy road, other cats..and the list goes on..makes US feel better, doesn't it? We JUSTIFY keeping them indoors to ourselves and those around us..we never discuss what the cat actually feels as we don't know! I really think what me and John should've done was to let FloJo out from the start and just let her do what SHE wanted to do, not what WE wanted her to do. A cat flap would've been ideal as she has a microchip and the better cat flaps actually read the microchip, thus letting your cat in and no-one elses. Well, that's the theory anyway! I guess it's too late now for FloJo to adapt. If we started letting her out more and more she might get the idea we don't want her here at all and wander off permanently. This is something John worries about more than I do. I'm sorry I've gone all maudling on you about this subject but I honestly feel guilty about FloJo being indoors most of the time. Obviously, she doesn't like it but there's nothing I can do. What are your feelings on this? Do you (honestly) think it's the best policy to keep a cat indoors for most or all of its life? Or, does it not bother you at all? I'd really like to know.
10 people like this
36 responses
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
8 Mar 11
No, it is for the cat's benefit. Outside there are: 1. predators 2. diseases (and not all of them have vaccines) 3. dogs 4. autos 5. aggressive cats that haven't been altered 6. people who don't like cats 7. things that they can get trapped in (such as garages) 8. noises that my frighten them away from home And probably many other things. An indoor cat will live a lot longer than an outdoor cat. Yes, there are disadvantages, but if you do things to keep your cats entertained, they are much less likely to get stressed. It's much harder for cats that have been previously allowed to go outside though.
3 people like this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
Mum's cats were rescues from a shed. Because of this they have to go out, they cannot stand enclosed spaces, even though Mum's house isn't small by UK's standards (due to the extension at the back). Round here is a different story. Litter in the alleyway, front door right onto the street and busy-ish road (depending on the time of day) plus a crappy environment in which to roam in. Mum is so lucky to live where she does, what with the cemetery beyond that is protected and looked after properly by volunteers that care about it. Some owners, however, would keep Soxx in the house after she was attacked by a fox. Mum couldn't do it though and I reckon she was right to carry on letting her out. Ovbiously, if Soxx DIDN'T want to go out, well, that's different..but cats have an amazing capacity to heal and well..just get on with it. We could learn a lot from them.
3 people like this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
8 Mar 11
Cats that are used to going out are totally different. It's very hard to get them not to want to.
2 people like this
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
8 Mar 11
Indoor cats csan seem to be happy because that is what their owners would like to see. All animals like to have fresh air and a little freedom to roam and ecxplore the outside world. they don't have to stay outside, but the change can do them good.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
Awww, that's a lovely way of putting it. You're right too. I know what it's like to be cooped up inside all day so if I do get fresh air, it makes me feel better. It's no different with my cat. She likes to sniff the air which is sweet to watch. I do have a bit of greenery now that she can have a good whiff at..so I suppose it's not all doom and gloom living round here...for her or for me.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Mar 11
i'm going to have to disagree with the vet on several counts. cystitis in cats that i've seen with it is more likely from genetic predisposition,cat litter allergies,and/or occasionally diet. i wish i could email her a video of my 6 sluggo moggies that have no wish to go outside,in fact all but the leash trained one seems terrified of outdoors. i have tried,they freak and run back in. indoors may be an unnatural setting for a cat,but the potential fight injuries,pregnancies,evil children,and vehicles way outweigh that to me. and now my area has coyotes as well. it's a tradeoff.we get love and companionship,they get free food,housing,medical and love for life. our tom used to go out when i was a kid,but after several 4 digit vet bills from abcesses,that was that.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
But it's you that has decided that you won't let your cats out due to "potentional fight injuries.." etc, which is my point. The cat doesn't decide, you do. If you (or I) don't let them out how do we know they won't like it? Also, if there are so many dangers why get cats in the first place? I was just wondering. I DO agree about the neutering though. Can you exlain to me why none of the cats that have lived at Mum's (that can go outdoors) ever got cystitis? She's had 7 in total.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (105408)
• United States
16 Mar 11
I had one cat that had chronic cystitis, for a number of years. The years coincided with the years I had day care in my home. All of her very early experiences of small children were terrifying. I did have to give her cranberry pills. She got off of them when I quit doing daycare. I had her for a few years before I had children. She and my kids got on alright, but she had met other wild and obnoxious children before we ever moved here. Her reaction to my day care kids was very stressful. So was mine, for that matter. Once we moved to this house she NEVER wanted to be outside.
@minx267 (14645)
• Hartford, Connecticut
8 Mar 11
First of all I would like to state that my cats are indoor/outdoor. However, the statement you made in that cat owners who choose to keep their cat indoors are doing so not for the benefit of the cat but for themselves I don't think is very true. Most Indoor cat owners make conscience decisions to keep their cats indoors FOR the benefit of their cat(s). AN indoor cat is NOT going to get HIT BY A CAR. An Indoor cat is NOT going to catch a (2) disease from meeting up with and probably (3) Fighting with another cat. An indoor cat won't disappear ... via Catnapping (some maliciously), Predators -Coyote's, Dogs and Big Birds of Prey. An Indoor cat won't get frostbite. I'm sure there are many others that will add to this list... but it really is for the benefit of the cat.. That being said... I did mention that my cats go in and out. I have a few reasons.. and I made that conscience decision to that too. And almost all of the above have happened to my cats. Cars, Dogs, catnapping (had to go to another state to get one back that was collared and tagged- end up finding 2 of my cats there) Made me wonder how many of my Disappeared kitties ended up in an animal shelter after being catnapped that I never found out about because they didn't all wear name tags.... As for the cats being stressed.. I think it all depends on the cat.. I have had cats that had lived indoors all their lives and after I moved to my first house (not an apartment) I started letting them out... I would like to mention that these particular cats I am thinking of were always feral acting even after having raised them from kittens..(they had feral bloodlines-don't know if that had anything to do with it) they were much happier to be outside and eventually moved over to my neighbors yard (she fed strays) and were very happy living as ferals. Until the one day years later that a neighbors loose dogs got one of them. :( I also had/have a few that have no interest or very little in going outside even though the window is open for them all spring summer and fall... ALL MY CATS ARE IN FOR THE WINTER.. They feel as the house is their haven and they are perfectly happy with the life they have in it and don't wanted to be stressed by the unknown outside. So like I said- it all depends on the cat and it's personality. Like people each one is different - we have homebodies and risk taking daredevils.. and so do they. YOU can always build an enclosure so your cat can go outdoors and experience the outside with out any of the risks... or walk them on leashes.. I did that too. :-)
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
I have wondered about a harness and taking her to the park. However, we would have to drive her there so can you imagine the looks we'd get from the dog owners? "Here comes those nutcases with their cat!" It's just not accepted for cats to be walked like that but if we had a bigger garden I would definitely do this as it would let FloJo become more accustomed to the outdoors and, eventually, she would go out without the need for a harness, etc. It's not the cats that think they're going to be run over or "taken," it's the owners. So, again, I say it's down to the owner..it's not for the cat's benefit to keep them indoors. Mum's cats have large gardens (not just their own) to roam in so there's no need for them to go onto the front street, for example. They hear cars and that's it..not for them. Back they come. They're intelligent enough to realise that running onto the street is a no-no. I feel it's better to give cats a choice as to what THEY want to do. If they don't want to go out then..fine, keep them indoors.
1 person likes this
@minx267 (14645)
• Hartford, Connecticut
8 Mar 11
Oh the cat's don't think about getting run over.. but they will.... If you have enough cats that go outside. you WILL lose cats to cars. So it is for the cat's BENEFIT (of preserving the longevity of their life) to keep them indoors. I have a huge back yard and unfortunately a very big cat graveyard in the back. Do I thin my cats were happy going outside, yes... but they wouldn't have been horribly unhappy had they all been indoors... a few maybe.. but for other reasons.. mainly The dogs always going in an out and my allergies.. we choose to leave windows open during the spring- through fall months.. 1) so the cats who snuck out when the dogs went out are locked out all night and 2) to get fresh air in the house so I can breathe... And as long as I am still breathing I will always have a house full of cats and dogs. That is my sacrifice. Allergies Asthma - I don't care.. love of my animals.. Priceless. If I only had a few and if my neighborhood was worse (i did live in an apartment on a very busy street before) I would not let my cats out... I would rather have them die of old age (as I have had a few do) then rush them to the vet after being struck by a car. Or chase dogs around the neighborhood to get my lifeless cat back from them. My cats now have been in all winter and at that time NONE showed any interest in going out.. not even the one I just found again after she lived outdoors for 11 months and even all last winter. She now has only half a tail.. she had to have bitten it off herself as I know she injured it right before she disappeared on me.. pretty sure that was a car. So i know cats can be happy indoors.. mine were all winter.. chasing each other, playing with toys, Sleeping with the dogs.. but i do have a few who like to go out so I let them and I Always pray they will make it back home and I always call for them in the morning -when I get home from work.. I need to know they are okay. (for my peace of mind -yes that is for my benefit).
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
I guess it helps when you have more than one cat spending their time indoors during the winter. Two cats have appeared in a house over the road and my guess is they're related. It can be quite entertaining watching them play on the windowsill (on the inside) as they're in front of the blinds. Their owners won't have a good a view as we do...in fact they're more entertaining than the telly!
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
8 Mar 11
Hiya Janey, Poor old Flojo I hope she is better now then. If you can manage to have a Cat that can go outdoors and be inside that would be ideal. Some People have what they call a Catrun and let the Cat out in there if they are unable to be with them all the time. They can go in and out of the House that way. I suppose it all depends on how you feel about putting one in. It´s only a cage sort of thing that runs from a trapdoor in the Kitchen to the Garden outside. Me being in a Flat I would not have a Cat indoors apart from that I cannot have one anyway as the Flat is not mine it´s Rented. I thought that this illness was only typical of Tigers that are caged up too much. Get better Flojo you hear me lots of love for her and see what you can do. There must be something you can fix up to let her out for a while a Day.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
Hello, thanks for your concern about FloJo, it's very sweet of you to ask. I suppose the yard is a kind of cat-run in itself. She would have to jump onto walls on either side if she wanted to roam further afield. The trouble with that is, it's difficult getting her back again as we can't see where she's at. This is why we keep her in the yard. One of the reasons I had a raised flowerbed was so she could jump into it if she so wished and have a sniff around (and she's doing this more now due to her cystitis) but the soil doesn't stimulate her to go any better lol. However, she is a lot better in herself than she was. I'm still awaiting a rather large wee to appear but she is going in little spurts..in the litter tray. Currently, she is sleeping...ironically on her cover that she's not slept on for ages. Must be her comfort blanket!
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
10 Mar 11
Hiya Janey, How is she now then? Hope by now she is much much better poor thing. Must find a comfort in that blanket then otherwise she would not be on it most likely. Like someone else says if she can´t go outside on her own maybe you could be with her whilst she is outside. But what I meant was that there is a sort of Cat Pen that you fix to the trap Door in the Kitchen Door itself and although it looks like a Cage she would not be able to get out but she would be in the Fresh Air. It is sort of like a Rabbit Pen really a lot of People use this as they don´t want their Cats going off. Some do it because they don´t want the Cats to hunt Birds in particular Blackbirds. I have seen Cats here stalk Blackbirds but they let them roam because there are no Gardens here you see only the Grass verge outside which is public.
@BarBaraPrz (21374)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
8 Mar 11
Harmony and I communicate very well. I do let her out, but tell her to stay in the yard, and she generally does, though she considers next door part of her yard... When she wants back in, she taps at the window. She came here of her own volition, and stays because she wants to. If you're feeling guilty about not letting FloJo out, you could take her out in the yard with you when the weather improves, but don't leave her on her own.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
You're being psychic again! I was thinking that myself. At the moment I don't have anything to sit on whilst outside. I can sit on the flowerbed wall but it's not very comfortable. If I can get hold of a deck chair (or something similar) me and Flojo can have a wonderful sunbathe together when the warmer weather comes.
1 person likes this
@lacieice (2065)
• United States
8 Mar 11
I don't think keeping a cat indoors is a bad thing. My cat is an indoor cat, and he really doesn't show any inclination to go outside. He has opportunities, but he doesn't appear to be interested. He is a rescue cat, and its hard to tell what he went through before we got him. All I know about his previous life is that he was found in an abandoled garage. Perhaps he had enough of "outside" before he came here. He seems perfectly happy to spend his days looking out the windows and sleeping.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
Aww, your cat sounds extremely laid back and FloJo IS like that a lot but sometimes..I dunno, she's curious and smells the air. It doesn't half remind me of the cat I had in a flat above a shop many years ago. If he'd had his way he'd be OUT but, there again, he'd not had his operation as he wasn't old enough. Once at Mum's (with me) he did have his op and that's when he started roaming more but not necessarily looking for females lol.
1 person likes this
@savypat (20246)
• United States
8 Mar 11
If you want a happy inside cat you need to make sure the cat never goes outside, I would also suggest getting one of the calmer breeds. Once a cat had been outside they never seem to really settle down to being an indoor cat again at that point the best thing to do is take the various safety measures you suggest. However you must face the fact that nothing you do can completely protect an outside cat.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
I don't want to protect her whenever she goes outside. There are no dangers in the yard but I do take your point. The fact that we have LET her go outside, even for short periods of time, hasn't de-stressed her, it's increased the stress...and it's built up over the months we've had her. Perhaps it's seasonal? She's always more "jumpy" at springtime or thereabouts, even though she's had the "op." Whenever it's cold and damp outside she doesn't even like getting her paws wet and she comes straight back in again. I really do wish we lived somewhere with a bigger garden but that's not the cat's fault. I guess we have to make the most of the situation we are in and give her the love she deserves..which we do, of course.
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
8 Mar 11
i have to say you are right because my cat always would love to go outside but since she has been declawed (i got her that way) i am unsure whether to let her outside for long periods (she does go outside when i am out).
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
How long are you out for? I bet it's more than 10 minutes lol. I reckon the longest FloJo has been out at any one time is around 20 minutes but that was in the sunshine when I was sat out (on the low flowerbed wall) as well. I'm thinking about purchasing a deck chair (or something similar) just in case we get a decent summer. Then I can sit outside along with the cat. I can't do this in the colder months, of course.
2 people like this
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
8 Mar 11
I've been thinking about getting a cat...and even though all my neighbors would disapprove (they all have indoor-only cats), I'd let my cat go in and out. I would hope I could train him/her to use the doggie doors. My dogs go in and out all day. The risk I take is that he/she might be killed (which has happened to a couple of my neighbors' cats) by an owl, eagle, coyote, mountain lion or bobcat. I'd be willing to take that risk, like I do with my dogs, rather than keep them penned indoors all day/night long. I think it's "cruel" to keep an animal indoors 24/7. That's just me...
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
If I were you I'd want to do exactly the same and well done for not bowing to pressure from your neighbours to be like them. I really hope you get a cat one day..one that gets along with dogs..obviously! Haha!
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
8 Mar 11
They'd chase each other for awhile, but I'm sure they'd get along. My Shelties are pretty mellow... Besides, Sundance is more in to chasing birds out of his yard, but he can get pretty excited when the deer walk by the back fence!
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 11
Wow, deer at the back fence, what a sight that must be! Wild deer are elusive creatures here in England. I've never actually seen on in the wild...not yet anyway.
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
9 Mar 11
My brother has 3 cats in his apartment. One he got from the pound, but the other two he just started feeding. They go in and out as they please. I don't know if it is necessarily healthy for them as during the summer they bring fleas into the house, but they are generally healthy. I think as long as she knows where the food comes from, she will always come back. If you stopped feeding here, they she won't.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
10 Mar 11
Do you have Frontline where you are? It's not cheap but very good at keeping the fleas away or actually getting rid of them if needed. One of Mum's cats (Ellie) was stressed out due to a flea allergy and it can take just one flea to affect her, so she wasn't infested or anything..so Mum placed some Frontline on the back of her neck and the problem has cleared away..and her fur has grown back on her back too, where the itching drove her nuts. I would say the Spring and the Autumn are the best times of year to treat cats for fleas..well, that's what I've been told anyway!
1 person likes this
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
10 Mar 11
They had looked into getting frontline, but I think they had opted for a cheaper brand. Maybe this year they will go for it since what they got last year didn't seem to help. My brother had mentioned when I was over there a couple of weeks ago that he didn't look forward to spring with the start of flea season again.
• United States
9 Mar 11
I really think it depends on the cat. I have always left it up to the cats i have had in the past. Luckily the cat I have now is afraid to go outside since I live in an apartment. I have had her since she was 6 wks old and raised as an indoor cat. I did put her outside one time because she ran from me in the hallway of my apt complex when i tried to catch her she ran from me. So I told her she can go outside if she didn't want to live here anymore. When I tossed her outside she hunched down & ran back in as fast as she could, ran right into the apt. I think some cats do fine being indoors and some don't. What irks me people who get their cats declawed. If a cat so happens to get outsiide if their declawed they can't defend themselves
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
9 Mar 11
I'm not into de-clawing either.
• United States
9 Mar 11
oh crud I posted twice sorry. i was working while posting & didn't think the 1st post went since i couldn't find it.
• United States
9 Mar 11
I give the cats i have had the choice of going out. Luckily the cat I have now is afraid to be outside.Which is good since i live in an apartment. She was naughty 1 day ran out into the hallway. When i tried to get her she ran from me so when i did catch her I threw her outside told her if she don't want to live here anymore she can go outside she hunched down & ran back into the apt fast as she could. it really depends on the cat weather keeping them inside or not.The cat I have now is the 1st indoor cat I have ever had. I think it is crude to try to make an outside cat an indoor cat. People who declaw their cats make me mad. If the cat would so happen to get outside the cat would have no way of defending theirselves.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
9 Mar 11
I cannot understand why cats are de-clawed either. We do have a problem with FloJo sharpening her claws on the stair carpet but I don't mind because I hate it anyway lol. The problems will arise if we ever get a new one (highly unlikely in the current climate) but I'd never resort to having her de-clawed, even if she "ruined" a brand new carpet. It's my fault for not displaying a scratching post for her, anyway.
• United States
9 Mar 11
Mine tends to want to claw on my bed, carpet & now couch. She doesn't do it just to be clawing she does it to get my attention if her food or water dish is empty. It's her way of throwing a fit..lol
• United States
9 Mar 11
I think this answer depends on the cat. I had one given to me, an inside cat, but I could never keep her in the house! She wanted out! They lived in town, we live in the country. I had a stray that became my grandsons cat. She would stay with him till he fell asleep then she wanted OUT! But in the morning she was at the door begging to come in! She would stay in all day until he was asleep at night! I have one now that I got from the animal shelter that had never been outdoors, she does like to venture out around the house but doesn't get far from the house and finds her way back very fast, if the weather is bad she has no interest in going out! I have out door cats too and some of them want in and some of them could care less. So my answer depends on the cat and maybe your location.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
9 Mar 11
Yes, I think location in particular, is very important. I find it even moreso after reading the responses to this discussion, all very interesting I must say, including yours of course. Strays behave differently don't they? It doesn't surprise me one bit that she wanted "out" once your grandson was asleep. A stray cat would come and visit me overnight as my bedroom window was above the extension roof, so he'd pop in, sleep on my bed, then disappear. My Dad found out that I was feeding this stray cat in my room but wouldn't let me keep him..we did have 3 cats already at that time, though so it was a wise decision to take him to the RSPCA shelter, where he got adopted after only 2 weeks of staying there. I honestly thought that our FloJo would've spent more time outdoors. She had been a stray in the past and tried getting herself adopted by a family but - apparently, she scratched a child and that was it..into the shelter she went. I do know she doesn't like the wind and rain so, perhaps, when she was a stray she got blown about and rained on a lot! Possible isn't it? However, I would love it if she were given the choice to come and go as she pleases. At least I'm with her all day as I don't work so she's not on her own for long periods of time. I love her so much!
• United States
9 Mar 11
Your story of the stray cat reminds me of a raccoon. Off our bedroom window is the roof to the patio and we had a raccoon that would sleep on it, tight to our bedroom window, so I would open the window and through food out to it! My son came home one day and see it up there and came in and asked "do you know theres a racoon on the patio roof?" My husband looked at me and said "you better not be feeding it!"...who me?...our raccoon moved on! To bad about FloJo and the child. The cat I got at the shelter, the lady decided she didn't have time for a cat anymore. She was a "stuck up cat" for a year before she finally warmed up to us, still is very aloft but at least she does come to see us now. Right now I have a stray kitten that belongs to my granddaughter and it doesn't like outside, its really a nice kitty, seems to think its my neck brace, she is always curling up across the back of my neck then hanging her head and paws down my left front shoulder, and sleeping! Or she will be curled up on the floor close to my feet most of the time. Some cats are just so social that they can't stand to not be with people.
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
9 Mar 11
Most of the cats that I've had were allowed to come and go as they wished. If they asked to go out, they went out and came back to the porch when they wanted back in. Rarely did they stray from the immediate vicinity of the yard. Of course, then I had extra problems for the cat and myself with fleas, dirty paws and more frequent bathing. Some of my cats wouldn't go out if I held the door open for 10 minutes. They chose to stay inside. My current cat wouldn't go out if the house was on fire I don't think. I'd have to throw her into a pillow case or a carrier. She likes to look out the window at all goings-on. But I've held the door open and offered her outside trips and even propped the door open for a bit and she just sits in the doorway and looks out. I did have a big beautiful black cat at one time that I kept indoors during the last two weeks of October and a few days into November. But we went back into his outdoor routine after that sequestering. All of my cats have been given the choices and I don't think there was a one of them that were stressed. So, not all of us (cat owners) are keeping the cats imprisoned against their will. I'm sure that there are others like me that let them choose.
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
9 Mar 11
Cats do get kidney and urinary problems a lot. I don't know if that is the nature of cats, diet, water, or environment. I buy bottled water for my cat. When I first adopted her, she was getting acne a lot (little bumps and blackened pores under her chin). So I quit using plastic as a water dish and started buying the bottled water for her and she's not had any more episodes of acne.
• Canada
9 Mar 11
I honestly would have to say I think you are completely mistaken in what you are saying here cats SHOULD be kept indoors!! to me if you love your cat you will not let it go outdoors as statistics show indoor cats live up to 8 years longer then cats allowed to go in and out the life expectancy for a cat that is both in adn out of a house is 4-6 years while the life expectancy of an indoor cat is 12-15 years. There are many studies to back these stats up as well. The main reason for this is outdoor cats are free to roam putting them at risk of: getting hit by a car, attacked by another cat attacked by a wild animal or eaten attacked by a nabourhood dog injuries such as broken legs and bones from falls getting lost getting poisoned they are exposed to HUNDREDS more diseases and parasites Out door cats must also be treated for worms and fleas/ticks every year while indoor cats this is not necessary. Outdoor cats must be vaccinated every year (indoor cats this is not necessary and also not recommended as vaccinating every year as been linked to many illnesses and cancers in pets) Yes some indoor cats do stress about being kept indoors but as a rule if a cat has never been outside they don't really have that urge to go outside. there are also many ways to keep your unstressed indoors, such as giving them there own space weather a bad or a kitty tower or both, giving them a clean litter box every day, feeding them a good quality diet and provided lost of stimulation such as cat grasses, catnip, scratch posts/tower and toys. if you have done all of the above and your cat still stresses chances are letting it outside would not help if its a single cat often having a second cat to play with will help and if not there are defusers you can get that plug in adn you change once a month that release feramones into the air to help the cat relax
@MsTickle (24994)
• Australia
16 Mar 11
For 18 months my Banjo, who's dad is a feral, could come and go as he pleased. I'd never owned a male and I was told when he was de-sexed that he would stay home and gain weight. This was NOT the case. When he was about 18 months I got a new neighbour who encouraged him at first, right into her home then decided he should be kept indoors all the time because she wanted to get chickens. She hinted he would be killed if he wasn't kept in and I took this as a threat and kept him in. For 11 months we tried but Banjo was getting more and more desperate to go out. He obviously hated the kitty litter and yes, I tried all types. So I began letting him go out at night, after dark and he comes in in the morning and sleeps all day. This morning I went out to get him and he purred loudly as I carried him in but in 5 minutes was yowling desperately to go out again. I just cannot take a chance of letting him out during the day but you're right...none of this is his choice...nor mine either, I just have a nasty, horrid neighbour who is bossy and controlling and pushy and cruel to animals. Banjo would go to her if she called and I would not be surprised to see her snap his neck. (He soon settled today and has given me a few smooches then going back to sleep.)I think cats are mostly outdoor types unless they are born inside and are brought up as indoor cats...then it would be cruel to let them out. But cats need to climb and leap and they need plenty of room to spread out and several different possies to sleep.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
16 Mar 11
Some neighbours do more harm than good when it comes to animals, especially cats. A lady lives two doors away from Mum and she feeds every cat that happens to be in the vicinity whether they're strays or not. This encourages them to stay in the area..not a good thing if any of them happen to be lost. More often than not she "adopts" them and keeps them indoors at night "for their safety!" I mean, the irony of it!
@GardenGerty (105408)
• United States
16 Mar 11
My cats get their choice, and I have had two cats that got cystitis. Butterfly kitty who stressed because of my daycare. The other kitty was a male, indoor outdoor cat. His urinary blockage came on so fast, and the treatment was to be so expensive and he was in so much pain, I had him put to sleep. If my own vet had not been gone, we might have made a try for it, but he had to go to an emergency vet, as our regular vet was gone. I have heard that male cats who are neutered too young develop cystitis. I wish I had made my Creamery kitty stay in. He is my smallest, cuddliest, most baby cat, and he gets into fights and he has a permanently mangled ear, and he has allergies and sneezes. I think some particular cats or breeds of cats get more stressed from various things. Cats are no longer wild animals, they are domestic. Some of them would be better off if they never went outside. Maybe FloJo needs some indoor greens and a toy or two that she can chase. My sister and niec have cats that never go out. One of them I rescued in the middle of last winter. He absolutely panics if he thinks he is going to have to go outside. On the other hand, one of her cats went off the balcony a time or two chasing birds. Cats are all different, just as people are.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
16 Mar 11
That's very true..and I've known a few cats in my time, all of them with their own unique personality. I try encouraging FloJo to play but I reckon she runs around the house in the middle of the night..or tends to play with John's fingers rather than toys we have for her! Even though Mum's cats come and go they're always playing, either with each other (they're related, mother and daughter) or with toys. I'm going to take the two catnip mice round to Mum's over Easter as her cats will get some pleasure out of them. FloJo played with the catnip mouse for about 10 minutes, that was it. The indoor grass we grew for her..she never ate that either and we now have that growing in our raised flower-bed outside. I'm glad we do let her out occasionally. I'd feel very guilty (especially during the summer) if I didn't let her out at all, albeit supervised.
@_sketch_ (5709)
• United States
15 Mar 11
I think that it is really sad when cats can't go outside. I think that they need that. I have owned a few cats and they have all been indoor/outdoor pets. They always seem so much happier and playful in the warmer months.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
16 Mar 11
I agree. My own cat will be let out more when it's sunny (as she loves the sun as much as I do) and Mum's cats will play in their garden on the grassy bit. This can keep Mum entertained for ages whilst she sunbathes. Let's hope the weather comes good in the summer.
@jameygc (453)
• United States
13 Mar 11
I had cats when I lived with my parents, they used to go in and out and they were very happy. I also remember one of them one day never came back. Any way, now I live in an apartment complex and we decided to have a cat but indoor. I have just one kid and we though was a good idea so they can play together. And I was right! They play all the time running like crazies all over the place. She seems very happy to me! Actually I tried a couple times to take her outside and she gets very scared. I don't know, my opinion is that it depends on the cat personality and the conditions they live. For example, a cat living with a sedentary family probably is going to feel more stressed than one living with a family with kids because they are not going to have so much activity. But really, my cat looks very happy and Im not worry of that at all.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
13 Mar 11
I'm glad your cat is very happy and your kid seems to be happy too. What a great combination!