Sunday, April 17, 2011

Should I...?

As most of you know, I have two almost grown-up kittens, Bruiser and Pipsqueak. Pipsqueak is perfectly happy staying inside and observing the great outdoors through the window, from the comfort of the back of the couch.

Bruiser, on the other hand, takes every opportunity to slip outside that he can. When I get home, I have to have a foot ready to repel him when I open the door. Now I'm wondering if I should just bow to the inevitable and acknowledge the fact that Bruiser is happier when he gets some outside time.

I've never wanted to have an outside cat. I believe the dangers are formidable, especially living in a trailer park located in a semi-rural area, as we do. But he's just so HAPPY when he can go on walkabout. Sometimes, when he's managed to escape, he even joins the pups and me while we perambulate, and plays outside with teh puppehs. He's pretty fast and stays right on Harley's heels!

He's had all his shots, is neutered, and I do the monthly anti-flea/tick regimen, so what do YOU think? Thumbs up or down on letting him roam daily?


Peter said...

If you let him roam, be prepared to lose him, or have to spend a lot of money on vet's bills. I'm afraid that's the way it goes.

Mauser*Girl said...

100% thumbs down.

The average cat roams up to 5 miles from his home - and if there is a busy road, even a moderately busy one, chances are, he will end up roadkill. I see beautiful, welk-cared-for, collar-wearing kitties dead by the side of the road up here frequently, especially in the summer, and it makes me so mad knowing they could be alive if their owners kept them home.

Aside from roads, they also face other dangers, from lose dogs to predators to jerks who don't like cats on their property and trap, poison, or shoot them. Not to mention the parasites they can pick up outside.

I look at it this way - I would never let my dog run lose unsupervised. And I wouldn't let my cats, either.

Finn used to be a great escape artist when he was younger, always trying to get out the door. They get over that as they grow up.

North said...

I'll have to weigh in on the side of keeping Bruiser inside, too. He will get used to your limits and be OK being an indoor cat.

We have coyotes within 100 yards of our house during twilight and I'm certain immediately at our house at dark.

And one of our cats was born deaf. Condition of adoption was to make sure that it is only an indoor cat.

Bag Blog said...

We live on a farm and cats are outside cats. Our current cat has been with us for two years. He has been neutered. He comes in during the day and lazes around. He lets me know when he wants out and when he wants in - house broke. There is every chance that a coyote could eat him if he wonders far. Frank tends to stay pretty close and hangs with the big dogs. But, cats do come and go. We did keep one cat for about 5 years. Such is life.

Shepherd K said...

A lot depends on the neighborhood and the cat. Our cats are indoor/outdoor; however, by temperament, they don't stray past the property line much anymore, if at all. The younger the cat, the more likely they are to roam further. If you are in an apartment or condo, I would advise against it. Too much traffic. Ditto for proximity to a major intersections (The Queen lost one of hers that way before we were married).

DaddyBear said...

We have the same issue with Koshka and Annya lately. Keeping their shots current and flea and tick treatments are a must, but letting them stay outdoors will significantly shorten their life expectancy.

Anonymous said...

With our last set of kittens, Sir and was Sir who was determined to get outside. Every time you walked in the door, you had to be ready to physically push him to keep him in. Even so, sometimes he'd jump over you and get out.

We never wanted him to be an outdoor cat, but there came to be a point where we just couldn't keep him in, and we bowed to the inevitable.

He actually lived a long time, especially for an outdoor cat...10 years. By comparison, his sister lived to 16, though.

It's a hard call. I'd never let a cat outdoors here in Singapore--it's too urban. But if I lived where you do (or at least my impression of where you do) I might give in.

Lissa said...

Some people think it's unkind to keep indoor-only cats. They think that cats deserve a shot to indulge their instincts, play hunter-kitty, etc. It's a valid point. But the trade off is stitching up wounds from raccoons, finding small dead animals on your doorstep, and losing them about five years sooner. If you're lucky.

Christina LMT said...

Yeah, I'm still fighting the fight to keep him inside. I think the problem is neither kitty is getting as much attention from me at the moment as they deserve. I've been doing a LOT of schoolwork and studying, and they persist in climbing all over me and my laptop, and books, and papers scattering everywhere...and I just can't focus under these circumstances. Luckily, there's just a few more weeks to go!

Holly said...

Lots of comments here against havin' an outdoor/indoor cat. While they raise valid points their concerns seem sincere, they are missin' the point.
By keeping a cat, even a "domesticated" cat, indoors you are an owner not a companion. They are predators. They have always had that instinct and always will. By keeping them inside all the time you are trying to overrule their most basic instinct and killing their spirit.
Do you want to have a happy cat or an indoor cat? Perhaps a good compromise, since he stays with you and the dawggies on your walks would be to let him out only when he has Harley and Tucker [my sweet baby, pbuh]to "run" with.