This is a topic I have done a lot of research on as I really do feel that cats are part of the family and I want mine to be as happy as possible. The first cat my husband and I had was allowed to come and go as he pleased.
We lived on an acreage at the time and we were ignorant to the dangers. We thought he would be safe as there was no traffic in the area. He lived with us for about a month. One night we let him out for a bathroom break and when we tried to find him to bring him in for the night, he didn't come when we called him.
The following morning we found lynx or cougar prints in our driveway and Kitty was never seen again. Now our three cats are indoor-only and I know they are safe, but some people have suggested that they have a poor quality of life because they don't get to play outside. What do you think?
It can be dangerous for cats to be outside (like your poor little one) but cats also pose a danger to local wildlife. Being keen and crafty hunters, cats can cause a lot of damage to lizards, birds, snakes, possums and even koalas. We have an old cat that has been an outdoor cat for the past few years. We tried to keep her inside but with a young family there was always a door or window open that offered her an escape. I worry about her especially now that she is older. If we get another cat I will keep them as an inside pet and investigate some of the outdoor cat enclosures to give them some outside time.
Humans domesticated them so long ago, we don't even have a written history of it. Now we have introduced them into new ecosystems all over the world. Cats are predatory animals who kill for fun. Don't get me wrong, I love my cats, and I believe they love me, but they will decimate song bird populations, as well as rodent populations which has a direct effect on all other ingenious predators.
I believe letting a cat outside is a danger to the cat as much as the cat is a danger to its environment.
The world is full of dangers, but you can't keep animals or people hidden away from them or they will never experience life. Cats, though domesticated, still have that wild side to them, and I don't think cooping them up inside is fair on them. How would you like to be locked in the house just because there is a possibility you might et hurt if you go outside? Saying that, I do live in an area that does not have the same kind of dangers from wildlife, but there is the danger of road traffic.
I have 2 cats who are totally indoor cats. They can sit in the windows and look out and quite often do so. I rarely need to take them to the vet as they don't get sick and I don't have to worry about them killing local wildlife or getting killed themselves. They are quite happy and have never tried to 'escape'. I personally think they should be kept inside or if their people feel bad an outside enclosure. The cats are fine indoors and love being part of the family.
I keep my cats indoors if at all possible. I had a boy cat who would not accept confinement so I reluctantly let him out. One day he didn't come home. I knew it could happen but I still mourned.
I had 2 cats who did not hunt or know that they could climb. I would let them out in a fenced portion of my yard. They were happy to go out and come back in after not long outside.
If you keep your cats in and never let them out, they don't get sick, they catch cat ills and live a whole lot longer. I have always had cats, right now I have two, but my last ones, Lucifer lived just 3 months short of 23 years, the other elder cat was over 23 years old, she Cassiopia died in my arms in her sleep. Keep them in and our vet told us they only need their shots about every ten years.
Kitties who live indoors do not get fleas, or sick like those who are outdoors. My cats who stay in have all lived into their 20's, one was over 23 years of age. Our vet also informed us that they do not need their shots as often also as they are not mixing with other animals or outside to get other pathogens. There are times when they can drive you nuts wanting to go out but that is not very often, kitties should stay inside.
I am owned by a 28 pound Maine Coon named Yeti. He goes out on the patio with me for coffee in the morning and is trained to not leave the cement. This way he is safe and can enjoy the fresh air and watch the birds. The picture is of Yeti's reaction to a squirrel. LOL