A lot of cities and towns have 'leash laws' for dogs, and restrictions for cats as well.
One of my neighbors actually had a dispute with another neighbor after the cat one owned jumped on their new truck and scratched the paint. Not only did the cat owner have to use their home owners insurance to pay for damage to the truck but they were fined by the town for not properly securing the cat to their own property.
When people don't spay/neuter their animals they'll breed- cats can and do turn feral, which can cause overpopulation problems, destruction of property and at times environmental unrest when fleas, disease and illnesses are spread.
It can also cause an overload with local agencies- police being called when there are 'strays' or damage, city workers being called to pick up the deceased off of roads- animal control agencies work harder and therefore use more tax payer funded money in housing, caring for, euthanizing and disposing of the unwanted, hurt or stray animals.
Of course, there comes the point of protecting the animal, may they be dogs or cats- from injury, disease, predators, unruly individuals and others of their kind.
I guess people want to 'protect' their investments as well. Or, maybe it's their own money, LOL! Injured pets co$t to repair and give medical attention to, something that people don't always have immediate funds to attend to. A healthy, relatively "safe" animal is generally less costly to have which in the end will be more beneficial to all involved, and especially when animals reach a more advanced age and need additional funding to better their existance overall.
For me that is a no brainer. Indoor cats as a rule
are healthier and live longer. Depending on breed
and care (nutrition, vet care) an indoor cat can
live into it's 20's. An outdoor cat averages between
2 to 6 years.
When a cat lives indoors and does not feel well
you are more apt to notice as you see the cat all the
time. Living outdoors, I've known of people that did
not see their "beloved" cat for days at a time. Indoor
cats are more likely to get vet care when needed. That
is if their owner is the type that will get vet care for an
Outdoor cats have a lot of things against them. They
often get hit by cars. They get poisoned (or shot) by
neighbors that do not want your pet defecating in
their yard or garden, or killing the songbirds they
feed to attract. Outdoor cats are more at risk for parasites
and diseases. They are at risk of being attacked by free
roaming animals. They are at risk of being stolen. They
are at risk of being abused by, well, people who like to
abuse animals. It happens. Also, they get picked up by
Cats kept indoors live safer lives and the lives can be
happy ones. Make sure your cat gets plenty of attention.
Windows for basking in the sun and watching the birds
and squirrels out side. Provide toys. Keep their litter clean.
I stress that because cats are fairly clean animals and some
just will not use a dirty box. Cats love to hide, provide a
good cat condo. They will often enjoy a cardboard box,
both to hide in and destroy if the mood hits them. They
love shredding stuff and cardboard shreds so well. While
on the subject. Do not declaw your cat! That has ruined
many a cat. They can be trained to use a scratching post!
People have argued with me that outdoor cats are
happier and that makes up for a shorter life span. Hmm.
I have but one thing to say about that. I have had to shovel
up several daed cats out of the ally behind us over the years.
Not even one of them looked happy.
Indoor vs outdoor cat? No contest!
I know someone's indoor cat is 18 years old now. But you know, usually animals in captivity do live longer than their wild counterparts. It still does not cover the fact that their wild relatives are more healthier, stronger. I can imagine that with proper food and care, animals in captivity will never need to go through the trouble of looking for food, and being constantly starving and maybe in fear of natural predators, but I can also imagine how the animals stay indoor throughout their life are physically weaker and easier to get sick. Just like humans who rarely go out to participate in outdoor activities.
There is also the fact of "freedom". Being locked up inside the same house for life sounds horrible to me lol.
Ten years used to be a good lifespan for a typical pet cat. Now it's fifteen to twenty, partly becuase if better nutrition and vet care, but also from keeping them inside more. Yes, it's a trade off; limited freedom for safety. That's why we need to go out of our way to make the indoors more interesting. Sometomes just having another cat or a dog for company is enough. Other times you need to hide portions of dry food around your house for them to hunt for, even puting some into treat-balls or puzzle-boxes so they have to figure out how to get it out. Also, rotating toys so there's constantly "new" things to play with. A birdfeeder to watch through the window also helps.
02-29-2012, 07:47 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-13-2012, 01:29 AM by bw.)
That's a good question! I remember when I was a kid a lot of people would let their cats outside. I have 5, only 2 of whom go outside. One we adopted as an adult, and he was already an outdoor cat, so it wouldn't have been fair to him to change that. The other one we adopted as a kitten and intended on keeping him as an indoor cat, but he decided one day that he wanted to see what the outside world was all about, as he decided that he liked it. We tried to discourage him from going outside at first, but then gave in. There is no humanly possible way to tell a cat it can't do something Our other 3, also adopted as kittens have shown no interest in going outside, so we keep them inside.
I think the difference between then and now is people just don't feel as safe as they used to.
(03-01-2012, 07:27 AM)CrazyCatLady Wrote: That's a good question! I remember when I was a kid a lot of people would let their cats outside. I have 5, only 2 of whom go outside. One we adopted as an adult, and he was already an outdoor cat, so it wouldn't have been fair to him to change that. The other one we adopted as a kitten and intended on keeping him as an indoor cat, but he decided one day that he wanted to see what the outside world was all about, as he decided that he liked it. We tried to discourage him from going outside at first, but then gave in. There is no humanly possible way to tell a cat it can't do something Our other 3, also adopted as kittens have shown no interest in going outside, so we keep them inside.
I think the difference between then and now is people just don't feel as safe as they used to.
I never personally had a cat myself, but when I was a kid I've seen cats walking outside all the time lol. My dad always had family cats when he was a kid. The cats would go out and have fun, then return for food on time.
I agree that the outside world is more dangerous for the cats as well as for humans lol. At least compare to stay at home.
One of my dad childhood cats died because of suspected rat poisoning. She had several kitties while still going out for fun, but she would come back for food and to breast feeding the kitties. One day my great grandmother prepared the cat food and did not see her come home on time. When she looked for the cat, the cat was already home early, but she was dead beside the kitties. I think she struggled to come back to her kitties when she didn't feel well.
At least all the kitties were healthy, and my dad kept one with him while the rest were given away.
Well, I don't see many cats walking around outside any more. It is a rare sight around here these days.
I grew up on a farm so every cat that I knew was an outside, nearly wild cat. I noticed people having inside cats as I grew up and I notice that the nature of the inside cats are not much different from outside cats because they bothe share the curiosity to explore. I notice indoor cats often looking out the doors and windows with such curiosity I want to open the window and door and let them go, but it isn't certain that they will return, be able to protect themselves, or keep from threatening others because I do remember the fights between cats that would arise betwen the male farm cats.
Most of the ones I feed outside that I know die succum to infections from bite wounds they recieve when they get in fights. So for me, the most likely cause of death in outdoor cats is other cats. Another good reason to keep yours inside.
(02-25-2012, 12:44 PM)Ram Wrote: People used to let cats go out whenever and wherever, why do people lock up their cats in their homes now? what has changed?
As you have likely seen on the news, there are a lot of violent and disturbed individuals in the world.
I recently read a news story where someone found a dead cat cut in half outside their house. Another news story talked about a guy whose neighbor shot his cat in the eye with some kind of pellet gun.
Anyway, it's a sick ,sad world out there and I don't want my cat cut in half or shot with a BB gun. You don't leave your children outside unsupervised for predators to find, and you can't just let your pets run freely for predators to find either.
It depends on the place you live and the type of cats. If you live in the suburbs or rural areas, and the cats are run-of-the-mill breeds, then it's very common to see the cats living outside more than inside. Unless the weather is inclement.
However, if you are talking about Persians where a kitten can cost as much as 300usd, for starters, you do not expect to see those Persians walking along the roads or crossing the fields any time soon. On top of that, if it's a question of keeping Persians in a city environment, other factors like safety from car accidents would keep all the cats indoors. Probably on a leash, too.
Many people are now more conscious of the impact cats have on native wildlife, as well. This means more people opt to keep their cats inside for ecological reasons as well as for the health of the cat.
As far as cats not getting outside time, there are ways to go about it. You can actually buy or build enclosed runs, and some cats actually accept going outside on a leash, believe it or not. They may not go for a walk like a dog, but you can walk with them as they explore they yard, or sit with them as they sun themselves.
I grew up having many outside cats on the farm. There were enough cats to the point where it was practically necessary to keep the cats outside. We had people dropping off boxes of kittens at the end of our driveway because they couldn't care for them, yet it was easy to keep a great number of outside cats at the farm. We would feed the cats the old milk that couldn't be sold to the dairy company and the cats were free to hunt the mice and shrews in the hay lofts so the cats lived a pretty happy life being outdoor cats. However, with outdoor cats it is inevitable that there will be fights over mates, territories, and food. So the solution to that is to keep cats in their own agreeable territories, which is inside, to prevent them from competing for necessities. I think that cats have started to be brought inside to prevent the dangers of conflict between other cats as well as mating with another and making their owner drop off a box of kittens at a farm a couple months later.
I read a bizarre news story about a man who got angry at his cat. I don't know what motivated the police to stop him and look through his car trunk, but they found his cat alive and marinating in peppers, oil and spices. He said he was going to punish the cat for being mean to him, by cooking it for dinner.
As I mentioned in my previous post, it is a sick, sad world and I don't want any crazy people or drug users doing weird stuff to my cat, so I feel safer keeping her indoors. I live in a city apartment and some teenagers were shot 7 blocks from where I live, so both my kid and the cat stay indoors where it's comparatively safe.
I think it really depends on the area. For those who live in the country, probably let their cat outside more often than those in the city. I really am afraid of my cat getting hit by a car. It would be the saddest thing ever not only for me, but my kids as well. I wouldn't handle the tragedy well. However, I live in the city. I had one cat years ago who every time I would let her outside, she would bolt to the door as quickly as she could. It was so funny. My brother and I used to take her outside and let her go like a block down and she would run so fast and would be at the door before we got back.