Do your cats want to go outside?

United States
May 7, 2009 2:04pm CST
My Orange Cat (kitten) would love to go outside. He was born outdoors. Whenever I open the front door he is always there first to smell the outside. Once he stepped outside and I had to bring him back in. He's a male, so I've often wondered if I should just let him live outdoors as he wants. What do you think? Do cats belong inside a house? Should a cat be allowed to go outdoors? Is it safe for the cat?
7 people like this
20 responses
@jerzgirl (8365)
• United States
7 May 09
My daughter's kitten, who is a year old this month, is our current escape artist. If you're not super quick getting in or out the door, she makes a mad dash out the door and down the stairs. She stops three steps from the bottom. She did this to me last night as I was turning out the stairway light and going to bed. Of course, I wasn't dressed to go get her just in case she decided to venture beyond that magical third step. I went in to my daughter and told her to go get her "child" back inside, but she was less dressed than I was, so I went back out on the top landing and yelled down the steps, "TIKI! Get your G-D little A** back in this house!!" With that, she turned and came galloping up the steps and tore inside and down the hall!!! LOL Whodathunk it!!!??? My other two were allowed to go out at my mother's house because there are no streets behind the house. The older of the two would go to the front yard and sleep under the lilac bush, but she'd never go near the road. The other one never went past the corners of the house. But, here, there are streets all over, blocks, etc, because it's more city than country, so it isn't safe to allow the cat out at all - especially one that isn't street wise like my old Lady cat is.
• United States
7 May 09
We live smack dab next to two streets. It's not a highway, but a small lane. Our neighbors zip in and out of their driveway so fast. A sleeping cat on their driveway would not have a chance.
3 people like this
@jerzgirl (8365)
• United States
7 May 09
My mother's neighbor thinks he's hot spit and has one of those professional stand-on riding mowers for his lawn and he goes really fast with it. He HIT my Shady cat when we first moved here in 1996. She had problems going potty and then went into convulsions. When I lived with my mother last year as her caretaker, I took Shady and Chloe with me. Shady STILL wouldn't go near his yard. Just hearing his lawnmower made her hide. Can't stand that man. There's no way he didn't see her.
3 people like this
• United States
7 May 09
OMG! What a jerk. I would have sued him. Honestly, I think you could have gotten reimbursement for pet medical bills and the pain and suffering your cat suffered. Pets may not be people, but they are more than capable of hurting just like humans.
3 people like this
@LadyMarissa (12160)
• United States
7 May 09
Actually, the answer to this depends on where you live!!! I try & keep all my cats inside as I feel it's safer!!! However, I used to have a male that just wouldn't stay inside. If I opened a window to get some fresh air, he'd cut open the screen & let himself out. After several months of him letting himself out & coming back home OK, I finally just gave up & started letting him out. He used to be outside & would come knock on the door to come inside. He'd run back, use the litter box & then beg to go back out. I tried explaining to him that he could use the yard easier but he just refused to accept that. I worried every time he was out that he'd get run over!!! If your male has not been neutered, he may just be picking up on the scent of a female in heat. I also had a male cat that was born outside. I never opened the door that he didn't try & get out. Well...he made it one day. That was 5 years ago & I've not seen him since. He was a beautiful, loving cat & I like to think somebody adopted him!!!If you decide to let him roam, please make sure he's had ALL his shots!!!
3 people like this
• United States
7 May 09
That's really good info. Immunizing pets is essential especially if they are coming into contact with other animals outdoors. Good advice.
3 people like this
• Australia
7 May 09
I grew up with cats & they were always allowed to go outside in the backyard as they pleased until about 8pm or they would never come back in but were locked up when we went out but mind you, we always had 6ft fences.
2 people like this
• United States
7 May 09
When I was a kid, I had a dog that would climb our chain link fence. I guess he didn't really want to stay or maybe he was chasing after some female dog. I don't know. I have always worried that my cats won't come back if I let them out. I would miss them so much!
4 people like this
• Australia
8 May 09
Our fences were wooden & the cats were too lazy to climb - we always had an elderly cat with a young - middle age so the younger ones would do the same as the older cats.
2 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
8 May 09
I have 10 cats and they come and go as they please. Not everybody does that but I can't keep mine locked up in the house 24/7 because I consider it cruel. Now if someone were to live in an apartment or something such as that, I can understand for there's so many things out there, especially cars, that can hurt or kill them but in a house, even in a subdivision, it's ok to let them out. I feel that a cat who's able to go out and do the things that cats do and if they were to get killed, then they did get to live a full life as much as a cat can. If a cat were to live inside all the time and never go out but knew the outdoors at one time, is a very sad cat and it could live a long long life but why would you or anybody want it to live a long life if it's not happy? I hope I've made some sense here for I'm trying!! lol
2 people like this
• United States
8 May 09
Sad cats make me sad.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
8 May 09
I happen to live in an apartment and have all my life, so my cats have always been indoors, but even if I did live in a home, with a nice backyard,I'd never let my pets out. I've heard too many stories of people whose beloved pets have severe accidents or even run over by cars if the pet decides to wander off further. Nope, would never allow a pet out, and especially if your male cat isn't fixed yet.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 May 09
Unfortunately, he made the decision for himself and ran out of the house today. We searched for ages and think he is somewhere nearby. I don't think he actually ran away on purpose, but accidentally slipped outside out of curiosity. I was devastated. Hopefully in the morning, he will be on the porch and the world will be right again. He knows where we live. Hubby went out a few minutes ago and said that he saw him, but he wouldn't come to him. So he keeps coming back here and that is a good thing. Maybe tomorrow in the light he will come back.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
11 May 09
Oh I'm sorry to hear that...hope he comes back to you
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 May 09
My cat likes to get out of the apartment and make us chase him down the hall, and once I even chased him up to the third floor of the building (boy was that ever annoying) but he has never tried to get outside,....or was it that someone never left the hall door open? LOL I don't think he'd know what to do if he ever got outside.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 May 09
Once upon a time, my Big Man cat got out into the hall when we lived in an apartment building and ran back and forth for five minutes until I realized that he was outside and peeked outside to call to him. He was so grateful to see his mommy, he slunk back inside the apartment and never wanted to go out again. The hall was really just a covered concrete sidewalk that led to the steps outside, so he could have easily run away if he'd wanted. But he just thought the front door led to another room and slipped outside when the door opened. That's a kitten for you. All fluff. No brain!
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11836)
11 May 09
Is it safe? That depends on where you live and what sort of traffic and predatory animals you have in your area. I personally think that cats are happier if they are allowed to go outside. Mine come and go during the day as they please, then I try to keep them in at night.
1 person likes this
@indahfth (11164)
• Indonesia
11 May 09
I have a cat who loves playing outside the house. I worry a little, but cats need freedom.
1 person likes this
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
8 May 09
Outdoor cats only live a couple of years or so. Indoor cats live past a decade and more. What favour are you doing to the cat by letting him roam outdoors, breeding and digging in the neigbours garden, eventually to get run over by a car, or killed by tangling with a wild animal. They also prey on wildlife like songbirds. Pet cats should be kept indoors.
1 person likes this
8 May 09
My cats are indoor-outdoor. They come and go as they please. I live in an apartment building in S.F. and my apartment is in the back of the building on the first floor so they have immediate access to the outdoors. It's pretty safe and they don't go to the street because they hate the noise. They'd drive me crazy if I didn't allow them that pleasure. All have been spayed/neutered. My bedroom window is always open (whatever the weather!) because if I close the window at night, they wake me up scratching the pane. Maybe you want to invest in a cat door, the kind that reads only the cat's neck id (can be picked up at pet stores). They always come back because in the morning I'm the only uncomfortable one on the bed! Also, be sure your cat has his shots for rabies, AIDS, etc.
@bestboy19 (5480)
• United States
8 May 09
My cats go in and out all the time, but when it's bedtime, they know they must be inside.
1 person likes this
• Saint Lucia
8 May 09
i dont think you should because its not safe.I lost my cat because it always wanted to go out and he stayed out all night.If you want to let him out ensure that its only during the day when you are around and only for an hour or so.There are some sick people out there and they never stop to consider how the pet owners feel about their animals.So please try to keep him indoors most of the time.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 May 09
This is really a strongly debated topic among cat lovers. Some believe that cats should have the freedom to roam. Others believe it's our responsibility as pet owners to keep our pets safe, and that the dangers of being outside unattended are far too great. My cat does not go outdoors. The one time, after moving to the remote country and thinking my cats were safe from traffic, I allowed my cats to go outside, one was killed by a car. She went through the woods, wound up crossing a river somehow, and was hit on a busier road about a mile away from home. My dad always let his cats outside, until last year when his kitty was killed by coyotes. His current cat is indoors only and very happy to be so. There are alternatives to letting your cats outside unattended, because, no matter how you slice it, it really is not completely safe. You could train him to walk on a harness and leash, for instance, and take him for walks. You might try erecting a closed in area outdoors for him, such as a large dog kennel with a roof that he can't escape from. Put it in the shade and include climbing trees, places to roost, toys to play with, and a litter pan during his outside play times. I used to pet sit for a lovely lady who had a whole patio off the back of her house built especially for her cats. She had seven foot high privacy fencing around it, and on top of that had installed "floppy" fencing that would bend inward if the cats tried to climb out, to prevent them from going over the top. There was a kitty door into the house so they could go in and outside at will. My cats have always been extremely happy to be indoor cats. If you give them plenty of attention, toys, healthy food, and provide exercise for them by the way of climbing trees and active playtimes, cats can be very content to live inside.
• United States
8 May 09
Unfortunately, my cat (whom we found as a tiny kitten, caught in a pipe) was diagnosed right away with feline leukemia. He probably had it from birth, the vet said. That means we can never let him outside. This is heartbreaking, because he is young and healthy enough at this stage, and is dying to go out, all day long. He keeps his nose pressed against the window, watches the birds and squirrels with a passion, and is always trying to scoot past our legs when we open and close the door. He is neutered, but it's obvious that everything in him wants to go out and sniff at lady cats, fight with male cats, chew on the grass, and destroy the neighbors' plants. Of course, as good citizens we can never let him outside. Feline leukemia is highly contagious, and he would spread it to other cats. As for me, I'd go ahead and give him a short, sweet life as opposed to a long, imprisoned one, but it's just not fair to other people's pets who might get infected. We started trying to put him on a cat leash, to take him for walks or to let him out in the yard, but he will have none of it. He won't tolerate a leash. Too bad he doesn't know why we're trying to put it on him... Still, though he yearns for the outside, he has a safe, warm, and loving world here inside. It's all we can do, I guess.
@smacksman (6072)
8 May 09
I think all animals love the outside. Trouble is, the outside in a city is not the same as in the country. Still, I think it is important to have the pet neutered/spayed so that the number of un-wanted litters are reduced and then put a cat flap in the outside door so that they can come and go and take a chance on life the same way we have to. To keep them in all the time is like prison and as with humans, they can become institutionalised and fearful of the 'outside'.
1 person likes this
@sangsi (50)
• China
8 May 09
I have never kept cat, but I once kept a dog, I think that they should have common characteristic. Ex- few months my baby's dog threw and my girl friend wept aloud 1, Because I open the door to occupy, it away and disappear ran, then didn't come back any further, Although its sometimes is really very naughty,I still keep liking it very much, All time that it go out must be careful.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21586)
17 May 09
I don't know about in your country, but here, we let our cats outside. I like to keep them in at night though... I don't feel they're so safe then, but it's natural for cats to go out... they don't like to be caged up. The one little problem with you at the moment, is that you recently moved. It's normal practice here when you move, or first get a cat, to keep them in for three weeks to get used to their new surroundings and to learn where to come back to. Otherwise, yours should be pretty safe outside. Brightest Blessings.
@SomeCowgirl (32219)
• United States
12 May 09
My fiance, I, and my fiance's family used to have a cat that would like to look outside, if I remember correctly. He was a very nice cat, but he lived indoors. I don't think that it is harmful for the cat unless their are wild animals around. My fiance told me that one of our outside cats got shot one time and he had to wear a cone on his head and come inside the house. I don't think they knew who did it, but they may have and I just don't remember them saying it.
@hezoid (2147)
11 May 09
My cat was origionally an outdoor cat, then when we got her she becme an indoor cat becuase we used to live enar a busy road. She didn't seem bothered about going out (she didn't go out much even as an outdoor cat) so we enver worried. Then we moved to a new house with lovely big garden and no busy roads and she started pestering to go outside so we let her and now she loves it. I think if a cat can go outside it's best to let them, but it depends on where you live. If you're near a really busy, dangeous road it may be better to keep them indoors so long as you keep them occupied and they have plety of space indoors.
@rich_yu (163)
• Israel
8 May 09
i dont have cats so i dont know..lol