May 3 2012, 04:16 PM
We are undecided as to whether we should let our indoor cat outside. We have only had him since Feb and he is now quite settled. My kids don't want to let him outside in case he runs away. gets lost, hit by a car etc. All good reasons to not let a cat outside.
But I do sometimes feel sorry for him and being an older person our cats were always outside in the day to do cat things then came home at night for dinner and a warm bed.
If we were to let Squirtle outside is there a best way to go about it?
May 3 2012, 04:30 PM
I also used to think this, that cats needed to go outside.
Over the years tho, my views have changed and the only way my cats get to experience the outside is to be in a cat enclosure or on a lead with me or the kids by their side. You could build a cat-proof enclosure or cat-proof your yard.
Cats really arent safe free roaming anymore, your kids are right about the dangers :) There is also the real concern about your cat becoming a stalker and killer of the wildlife.
Good luck with your decision
May 3 2012, 06:18 PM
I think your kids have the right idea, it would be just awful to find him injured or for him never to come home.
Terri-Ann has a good suggestion of an enclosure so he can experience the great outdoors in a safe manner.
I put one of my cats in a harness and took him out a couple of times when he was a kitten, he loved it. He loved it so much that each time the door opened he'd be there in a flash to get out and I wasn't happy with that idea. It took quite a while for him to stop doing that and I believe that if they don't experience it they don't know what they're missing.
I'd encourage you to decide to leave him inside. If you're worried that he may not be getting the exercise he'd get by being the outdoorsy type, there are plenty of tall scratching posts in the marketplace and lots of toys that can promote the stretching and leaping that will keep him active and fit and you'll have the piece of mind that kitty is happy, healthy and safe.
May 3 2012, 07:29 PM
A good option would be to extend an enclosure so that it allows him to come and go from a window - there are lots of ways to do that.
Your children are right - statistics have been collated in a research program and indoor cats live for an average of 12 years and outside ones just 3 years.....If you start to take him out on a lead he will want out all the time so don't go that route if you don't intend to take him out daily.....better to be ignorant of the great outdoors rather than unsettle him....BTW if that is him in your avatar he looks delightful.
This site has a great enclosure section.....worth a look..... you might get some ideas - does not have to be too elaboratehttp://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-enclosures.htm
May 4 2012, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the advice. It would seem the vote goes to keeping the cat inside!!.
I think I will look into a cat enclosure. Squirtle has several scratching posts, millions of toys and gets plenty of human company. I just see him at the window looking rather sad. He is a rescue cat and had been wandering the streets for a long time before being struck down with tick paralysis. Point is I know and he knows what he is missing out on!
Mind you he has no real reason to complain - he is just another totally and completely spoilt cat. I think I am going over the top when I buy him his own duplicate blanket of the one he likes on my sons bed. Then I buy him a heated bed. The guy is up to 5 beds. Really how many beds does one cat need!!! Makes me laugh when he then settles himself on one of our beds.
May 4 2012, 08:10 PM
When you make the decision to let your cat outdoors, regardless of where you live, there will be danger for them - if not from traffic perhaps from cruel people, wandering dogs etc, but also many cats in the city, the suburbs and in the country live long and accident free lives. It's the risk you take.
If I could I would let my girls out during the day if I could, unfortunately with a rabid cat-hater next door it's just not safe for them - it's not a potential danger, it's a real danger - therefore I'd be negligent to let them out.
Even though I'd like to have my cats as indoor/outdoor girls, it's not going to happen while I'm living where I am. They are all well and happy despite this restriction to their lives, and I have to admit, not continuously worrying about ticks and snakes and foxes is a relief, though I'd rather my cats have their freedom and me with the worry.
If your family has decided to keep Squirtle indoors, do do some investigations about cat enclosures - I've got a large pentagonal cage in my courtyard which is accessible through the second bedroom - and I think this has been a wonderful investment in the girls' contentment.
We built a cat enclosure for our 2 cats quite cheaply from chicken wire and aviary mesh and ran it from the eaves to the top of our side fence and put mesh at the front and back. Ended up being 8mt x 3mt with the garden inside it and a cat flap in the window for access. I really think they need some outside time and not just completely indoors if that's at all possible to make for happy cats.
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