Do cats really need to go outdoors?

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Willowy

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Hum.... IMHO I read posts more often on the bridge of cats who ran away and have been hit by a car, or got lost and have never been seen again, or got mawled by dogs......
As far as people wanting to get rid of them? Boy have I seen every reason on the book?
Sure, peeing outside of the litterbox is a big one...... But when someone wants to give the cat away? Not a kitten anymore and got a new puppy will do it. Or moving.... Or getting married and new hubby is not a cat lover..... Or new roomate is not a cat lover.... Or downsizing.... Or the cats are old, and not enjoying life.... now I got these new kittens and they are oh, so much fun! So I am keeping the kittens..... For goodness sakes, I have even seen they don't match the new furniture!
It is SAD, but true.
IMHO cats not going outside have nothing to do with innapropriate uriantion..... therefore nothing to do with innapropriate urination shelter surrender.
IMHO it is totally a personal choice to let them out or not..... But the risks are out there and they are plenty. It can and DO happen any day, out of the blue.
I had cats who were strays, outside cats, who lived from 3 years, to 12 years outside..... and with attention and care they adjusted just fine to a 100% inside only life :dk:
Would they enjoy going outside? I am sure they would..... Do they misse it? My cats don't even remember what it is anymore..... so they don't..... And I rather have them safe.... and yep, they are pretty darn happy in here :D
Because if someone has their cat put down for behavioral reasons, they rarely post about it for fear of being bashed. And if they drop their cat at the shelter they don't post in the Bridge section because they want to believe their cat will be adopted. But it happens a lot.

And I have known cats who won't use a litterbox, but will go outside and happily pee in the grass and never pee inside as long as they can go out :dk:.

And, yeah, like I said, IF a cat will adjust to living inside, that's what should happen. But some just won't. And it should be taken on an individual basis.
 
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catsallaround

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Tommy was another one who needed to be out.  Medically checked a few times by different vets and he had the great habit of peeing....anywhere-kitchen counter, cabinets, corner...  Nothing worked to stop that and there was no pattern to it.

I think it depends on the cat.  Mine don't leave 3 properties-mine, my cat loving neighbor who gets a cat they cant afford medical care on, and an older guy who hardly leaves his house and has stated he don't care.  They do walk with me around block.

If you have a cat into everything YOU KNOW it.  J was like that.  Heck I was peeing one day and she jumped the window screen first day or two outside(came from a farm)  That was it, she don't go out anymore.

I don't want to anger a neighbor but if cat just lounges and scratches the tree while out what harm.  No car is going to run it over if it is sleeping 5 feet from my door.

I don't have much property at all and last thing I want is a complaint but also common sense if that particular cat is safe to be out or should be in your area outside.

A few of my neighbors know I have all the ferals fixed and it has cut down on noise/smell/agrevation and the calls to AC for kitten pick up(AC will come to door to give traps and come back to pick up any caught).

Many people can sit here and say oh my cats took some time and now are in 100 % but thing is I can say that about a few dozen cats I have had or have now.  But if you get a cat who you try and try to help at some point you will understand that just cause you took in 10 from outside previously doesn't mean ALL can adjust.  Only way to really know it is to live it.  Most I agree should be inside/can be taught to be ok inside or given an enclosure or cat fenced area.
 

catsallaround

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I will admit that more then once I wanted to euthanize Tommy before he could go outside safely.  He also was very aggresive for a few years with other cats and had to be kept seperated or would bite. When we lived in one town the threat of dogs was to great and then the apartment it was out of the question.  I could never do a shelter as if it is going to happen I want to take the cat to a vet and have it done with me there not some drop off to a crazy loud place and it being done with 2 strangers
 

carolina

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Because if someone has their cat put down for behavioral reasons, they rarely post about it for fear of being bashed. And if they drop their cat at the shelter they don't post in the Bridge section because they want to believe their cat will be adopted. But it happens a lot.
And I have known cats who won't use a litterbox, but will go outside and happily pee in the grass and never pee inside as long as they can go out :dk:.
And, yeah, like I said, IF a cat will adjust to living inside, that's what should happen. But some just won't. And it should be taken on an individual basis.
well... I am not talking about TCS only, so... The bridge posts, yes.... People giving away their cats.... Well.... I have seen plenty outside of tcs.... Unfortunately here too.
And imho, those who drop their cats at the shelter for behavior problems.... Well... Sorry, but I have to say, another reason would show up in the future.... Those are the ones who need a perfect pet, imho. As we know, in a lot of times the situation is either medical, or can be corrected. The majority of members who come here in that situation for example, "at their wits end" saying they did everything, don't even know what an enzyme cleaner is. So, to me, letting the cat out is not solving the problem... Imho, is just not dealing with the situation, counting with luck for the best to happen. The problem at hand is not being addressed, imho.
But, that's my opinion..... I do believe with work cats can be socialized, and can be happy inside... But it takes work.... And not everyone is willing to put in the work.... Imho that's what comes down to.
 
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emilymaywilcha

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One of the many reasons letting cats go outside is almost always a horrible idea: If the cat does have a medical reason not to use the litterbox you will never know about it. Making your cat use a litterbox all the time gives you the abillity to take note there is something wrong and the a vet appointment is needed. So if a cat absolutely must be allowed to go outside, it should never do that for the reason dogs do.
 

catsallaround

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Yeah it does work out if you have one or two cats inside only. 

Having multiples it would take longer.  If the cats in/out it would need a box in house for times it is inside/people are out anyway though.  I knew my outside cat broke her tooth and my other outside cat had a bite on underside because the responsible thing to do is check your cats over.  If they are pets and not ferals it's just good owner ship to see the mought and feel the body for issues.
 
 

ldg

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I think cats being allowed outside is a GREAT idea. Lots of stimulation and fun out there! IF you have an enclosure or a properly cat-fenced back yard.

If not? Why, exactly, should cats be allowed to roam when dogs are not? Why is it OK to let a cat pee and poop on a neighbor's property, stalk birds at their feeder, or track muddy prints across their car? :dk: It's not safe for the cat, it's disrespectful to other's property....

I have no problem with people letting their cats outside on their property when it's been made to contain them there.

Thankfully, all of our kitties are rescue kitties and they RUN from the door. They had it rough out there and don't want back out. But older ferals should not be forced to live inside. That can be just cruel.

So for our tame, domestic cats, one set of rules, IMO. For rescue kitties, it has to be judged for the individual cat. :dk:
 

detmut

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One of the many reasons letting cats go outside is almost always a horrible idea: If the cat does have a medical reason not to use the litterbox you will never know about it. Making your cat use a litterbox all the time gives you the abillity to take note there is something wrong and the a vet appointment is needed. So if a cat absolutely must be allowed to go outside, it should never do that for the reason dogs do.
now, i do agree with this. but not a problem for me. my cat comes in to use the litterbox and then goes back out. but not to worry. she can't get out of the backyard.
 

dianeandbooboo

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It depends on what you consider "outside."  If you mean just open the door and hope kitty shows up for dinner or breakfast...IMHO it is a very bad idea.  If you mean you have built a special enclosure that allows your cat to safely enjoy the outdoors without leaving your property...great idea!
 

mani

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well... I am not talking about TCS only, so... The bridge posts, yes.... People giving away their cats.... Well.... I have seen plenty outside of tcs.... Unfortunately here too.
And imho, those who drop their cats at the shelter for behavior problems.... Well... Sorry, but I have to say, another reason would show up in the future.... Those are the ones who need a perfect pet, imho.
How often do you hear the story of someone having had "the perfect cat" who passes away. They then get a new one expecting a replica of their ideal and it doesn't, of course, meet the expectations and is taken to the shelter or rehomed. 

Responsible pet ownership as a part of the school curriculum, I reckon.

(I probably should have posted this somewhere else too ... sorry... I seem to have developed a bad case of "Off-Topic-ness"....
 
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emilymaywilcha

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It depends on what you consider "outside."  If you mean just open the door and hope kitty shows up for dinner or breakfast, IMHO it is a very bad idea. If you mean you have built a special enclosure that allows your cat to safely enjoy the outdoors without leaving your property . . . great idea!
The people I am targeting in this thread are those who let their cats roam freely as they please with little or no supervision. I don't care if ferals are allowed to live in a cat-safe yard they can't get out of, but if you let tame cats go in and out whenever they want to, you should have never adopted a cat.

I love enclosures. When I start rescuing cats, I will have one attached to my house. My definition of "outside" is just that - nothing but sky over your head. So I consider an enclosure as much inside as a screened porch.
 

Willowy

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if you let tame cats go in and out whenever they want to, you should have never adopted a cat.
What if the cat is a stray? Should you let him stay on the streets with no care rather than adopt him? Isn't it better if you take responsibility for him, have him neutered and vetted, keep him deparasitized and healthy, even if he still roams? Is it better to have a cat put to sleep than to allow him to roam?

Besides, that's just your opinion. What makes your opinion so much more valid than anybody else? There are reasons for both sides.
 
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emilymaywilcha

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What if the cat is a stray? Should you let him stay on the streets with no care rather than adopt him? Isn't it better if you take responsibility for him, have him neutered and vetted, keep him deparasitized and healthy, even if he still roams?
I guess you did not read my Picture of the Month story. Wilbur was a stray for months, but never wanted to go out again after he was trapped. He was purrfectly happy indoors. He was proof being a stray does not mean the cat must be allowed to go outside. Only untamed feral cats - not previously owned strays - should be allowed to roam free until something bad happens to them because only they need to do so.
 

Willowy

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So YOU say. Just because your cat was perfectly content to come indoors doesn't mean all cats are. Just because all of my cats were glad to come indoors doesn't mean all cats are. Frequently strays are harder to convince than ferals are (ferals know it's tough out there. A stray has likely always been fed). Once you've dealt with a cat who paces and howls every waking moment, scratches/chews/headbutts through window screens and sometimes even windows, pulls the dryer vent out of the wall, dashes for the door every single time it's opened, pees on everything to express his displeasure, attacks the other pets and sometimes the humans, for months on end because he wants to be outside, and you manage to convert several of those kinds of cats to living indoors contently, then I'll concede it can be done.
 
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carolina

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This is definitely a touchy subject, and a matter of opinion.... I, personally, can't even think of my babies roaming the streets.... Noooo way! Way too dangerous, and I live in a safe neighborhood..... But, I am working on my next life project, which is to buy a house with a cat-safe garden for then to enjoy it. Before I move in, cat fence will be in, fences will be safe from top to bottom, and I will make sure to have a patio with shade for them too. Yes, would love for them to enjoy the outdoors, but safely :nod:
We will see how it goes..... Next year will be exciting for us, kitties will have fun!
 

catsallaround

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So YOU say. Just because your cat was perfectly content to come indoors doesn't mean all cats are. Just because all of my cats were glad to come indoors doesn't mean all cats are. Frequently strays are harder to convince than ferals are (ferals know it's tough out there. A stray has likely always been fed). Once you've dealt with a cat who paces and howls every waking moment, scratches/chews/headbutts through window screens and sometimes even windows, pulls the dryer vent out of the wall, dashes for the door every single time it's opened, pees on everything to express his displeasure, attacks the other pets and sometimes the humans, for months on end because he wants to be outside, and you manage to convert several of those kinds of cats to living indoors contently, then I'll concede it can be done.
Agree 100% with this Willowy!

I have an ex feral that would rather be outside in snow and rain then anywhere in house-be it a spare room or around the house.  I will now bring him in in the worst parts of the storms and crate him but this cat will refuse a litter box and howl till he is back out.  If I let him roam he will tear at the carpet in spare room or attack cats in the rest of the home.  Put him outside and he is sweet and a lap cat. 

And Carolina almost all my cats I feel the same way-if they were to get out or for me to just let a cat adopted by me out omg I would be so worried sick.  Few years Storms decided to dart in the few feet of snow and was able to walk acroos the top.  I followed him barefoot right through even though I was sinking.  I got him at 5 weeks old as an outside cat but at 5 weeks there was not a thought of oh he should continue to be allowed out.

He was COVERED in ticks and for days we pulled them off.  He had adopted brothers/sisters adn there was NO reason to let him out. 
 

catsallaround

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This is definitely a touchy subject, and a matter of opinion.... I, personally, can't even think of my babies roaming the streets.... Noooo way! Way too dangerous, and I live in a safe neighborhood..... But, I am working on my next life project, which is to buy a house with a cat-safe garden for then to enjoy it. Before I move in, cat fence will be in, fences will be safe from top to bottom, and I will make sure to have a patio with shade for them too. Yes, would love for them to enjoy the outdoors, but safely

We will see how it goes..... Next year will be exciting for us, kitties will have fun!
And that means a picture thread of said yard!:)  Cant wait to see it come to life!  My dream too. 
 
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emilymaywilcha

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And that means a picture thread of said yard! :) Cant wait to see it come to life! My dream too. 
Pictures plural, I hope. I want to see all of the features that make it safe for cats.

I am on the fence (pun intended) about cat-safe yards. Yes, it eliminates the risk of being hit by cars, eating poisonous plants, fighting, getting bitten by wild animals, and being abused by cat haters, among other problems. However, birds and mosquitoes can fly; cats may stop using a litterbox to bury waste outside; and grass causes vomiting when eaten. So I wonder if it is possible to completely eliminate all dangers without a screened enclosure. I will have to do more research on it before hopping on the safe yard bandwagon but I don't want to rule it out for some cats.
 

otto

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Pictures plural, I hope. I want to see all of the features that make it safe for cats.

I am on the fence (pun intended) about cat-safe yards. Yes, it eliminates the risk of being hit by cars, eating poisonous plants, fighting, getting bitten by wild animals, and being abused by cat haters, among other problems. However, birds and mosquitoes can fly; cats may stop using a litterbox to bury waste outside; and grass causes vomiting when eaten. So I wonder if it is possible to completely eliminate all dangers without a screened enclosure. I will have to do more research on it before hopping on the safe yard bandwagon but I don't want to rule it out for some cats.
You can use screening instead of fencing, and put the outdoor enclosure on a floor of some kind.

When my cats are outside in their fenced yard with me (harnessed, dragging their "strings" behind them), never unsupervised, if they need to use the litter box they go inside and use the litter box, then come back outside. They never toilet outside.

They've never caught a bird, though the birds do hang out in the tree in our yard (the tree has a fence around it to keep them from trying to climb it). They have caught and killed mice and chipmunks on occasion when the critters try to run through the yard, but I don't let them eat their kill.

They don't have fleas, nor do I treat them for fleas. As for mosquitoes, cats are almost as likely to be bitten by a mosquito that comes into the house as they are outside. I don't take them out in the evening, when the mosquitoes are out, we go out only during day time hours.



I agree with you, in general, about cats being kept inside, especially on the subject of "inappropriate urination". I don't think inappropriate urination is EVER a reason to put a cat outside. How would one ever find the cause of the peeing, once the cat has been chucked out?

I concede that there probably are some domesticated cats that cannot adjust to living indoors. But I think they are very few and far between, and that most people just don't bother to try. And of course some people just think it's better for them to be "free" even if they do end up hit by a car, or tortured by some sicko, or poisoned. "it's only a cat" or "life is full or risk" blah blah blah

And, as has been said, even if a cat is an "indoor/outdoor" cat, use of litter box inside should be encouraged rather than discouraged. Much can be discovered about the health of a cat, based on his or her litter box habits.

.
 
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carolina

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However, birds and mosquitoes can fly; cats may stop using a litterbox to bury waste outside; and grass causes vomiting when eaten. So I wonder if it is possible to completely eliminate all dangers without a screened enclosure. I will have to do more research on it before hopping on the safe yard bandwagon but I don't want to rule it out for some cats.
Well..... Cats are still cats.... They are not skin babies.... IMHO we can't forget about that. They were made to step on the grass, to run up the trees, to hunt, etc etc.... IMHO it is not about keeping them in a bubble....
City life is hard - their natural environment doesn't include mean people and cars to hit and kill them.... but does include grass, birds, trees, mosquitoes.... That's their natural environment. I can't see anything wrong with it.... I think it's a wonderful thing for them to have the best of both worlds.
I don't know if I would let them go unsupervised though - I would have to know about the area I am in..... Will have to see when I cross that bridge.
 
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