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OK to have an indoor only cat?

(25 Posts)
Waytooearly Fri 22-Feb-19 05:28:12

I've always had indoor/outdoor cats. I'm about to move into a flat and am considering a cat, but it would have to be indoor only. Is it cruel to keep a cat like that? The cats I've had before always seemed to love going out for adventures.

SneakyGremlins Fri 22-Feb-19 05:29:54

My cat is an indoor cat. It's fine because he's been indoor since birth. It's only cruel if you take an outdoor cat and shut it inside.

Empathy56 Fri 22-Feb-19 05:33:20

I have an indoor cat,he is quite happy.He is 12 now and has always been an indoor

MrsJamin Fri 22-Feb-19 05:36:46

I think they need more mental activities in order to be happy indoors

BlackCatSleeping Fri 22-Feb-19 05:46:43

There are probably millions of perfectly happy indoor cats over the world. It really is a lot safer for them.

FiaMarrow Fri 22-Feb-19 05:50:52

There are plenty of rescue cats out there that have to be rehomed as indoor cats for a variety of reasons so, yes, it's fine smile

Cats Protection rehoming site has "indoors only" or something similar as a filter when searching. Go for it!

Waytooearly Fri 22-Feb-19 06:05:32

Oh, that's a fantastic idea! I could adopt an older cat or one with health problems, who actually needs to stay indoors.

Hughes12345 Fri 22-Feb-19 07:09:52

And consider getting 2. We recently adopted 2 (they will be outdoor cats eventually) but they’re really great company for eachother.

isseywithcats Fri 22-Feb-19 09:33:21

Perfectly fine to have an indoor cat look at for your nearest rescues as someone who works for a rescue we get quite a few cats who come in who need indoor only homes

theconstantinoplegardener Fri 22-Feb-19 09:46:12

I think you can have an indoor cat, but you will need to think carefully how to make your flat into a fun and stimulating environment for your cat if he can't go out. Cat trees are a good idea as they allow cats to climb and retreat to high up places. Get one and if your cat likes it, you could have several scattered around your flat for variety. Also lots of toys, such as table tennis balls and things that dangle on a string for your cat to bat. Some flat dwellers build special window boxes so their cats can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine - have a look online. Your indoor cat will need you to play with it more than one who can come and go.


imintenseoriminsane Fri 22-Feb-19 09:54:26

Our cat came from a rescue centre and was specified as indoors only as she hadn't been vaccinated when she was rescued and is a carrier of a couple of infectious (to cats) diseases. It suits us as we live on a busy road. I'd be anxious about her going out but feel guilty keeping a cat in that could go out.

The only thing is because of her health she also has to be an only cat so if you're thinking of getting two look out for that.

viccat Fri 22-Feb-19 10:37:54

Of course, absolutely fine! In fact in most countries it's the norm.

As others have said, charities often have cats who specifically need an indoor home. Cats who've always lived indoors and are not at all streetwise, older cats, special needs cats (blind, deaf, missing a leg etc.) and sometimes cats who just show a clear preference to staying indoors even when they've been offered outdoor access.

You just have to be careful with your windows to avoid falls! Look at Flat Cats window screens if your windows don't have built in safety latches that allow them to be opened to a ventilation setting (2 inches or so) only. Other than that, you can enhance the environment with a tall cat tower, plenty of toys and maybe grow some cat grass for them.

saxatablesalt Fri 22-Feb-19 10:40:04

You will get loads on here telling you it's not fair and cats have a right to roam etc etc etc.

We have two indoor cats. We now live in a flat with no garden but when we lived in place with a garden they were able to go outside whenever they pleased and showed absolutely zero interest whatsoever, so they became indoor cats.

They are the loveliest, most affectionate cats I've ever known.

DiaryofWimpyMumm Fri 22-Feb-19 10:44:04

Mine are indoor cats. I have 2 ragdolls and one moggy, the moggy used to go out but she was being bullied in came home in an awful mess, so I kept her in for a few weeks and she's never gone back out. She doesn't even try to get out now whereas one of the ragdolls will run out the back door to nibble on the grass.

wowsaidtheowl Fri 22-Feb-19 11:24:28

Our cat started out as an indoor cat and I would have said that indoor cats are fine but it’s only since we’ve moved and he’s now going out that I can see how much happier he is now. He just didn’t have the stimulation he needed and the space he needed. We had cat gyms and played a lot with him but he’d go nuts and leap around at the walls etc. We had one awful experience of him jumping out of a fourth floor window. Now he goes out and climbs trees and has space to roam and hunt he’s much more chilled out when he comes home.

SpaceCadet4000 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:31:24

It's totally fine! I have 2 indoor cats and they are happy as can be. We are in the US where it's the norm- most shelters around us ask whether you'll keep them inside as a prerequisite to adoption.

We made sure our apartment was cat-friendly with places they can climb, nice window spots to watch from etc. They get daily playtime and have never had to worry about cars, dogs, coyotes, eagles etc. They are also brilliant at dispatching spiders!

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Fri 22-Feb-19 12:34:46

Ragdolls are indoor cats. Expensive though...

WombatStewForTea Fri 22-Feb-19 12:35:40

What about looking into rescuing a cat with feline HIV?

DandilionBreak Fri 22-Feb-19 13:02:40

You will need to adapt your home....

Only joking..... but how my two would LOVE this!!!

PCohle Fri 22-Feb-19 13:22:14

As others have said, I think it's totally fine as long as you are up front with the shelter and they place a cat with you who will be happy to be indoors (for whatever reason - age, health etc).

TitusP Fri 22-Feb-19 13:39:59

We have an indoor cat by her own choice, she does sometimes get bored though and gets destructive despite my best efforts to buy her lots of toys and activities. I do wonder why she doesn't just bloody go outside if she is bored, the garden door is nearly always open! But in answer to your point I think it's fine as long as it's the cat's choice or what they've have always known. To take a cat used to roaming and trapping them in, that's cruel.

SpringForEver Fri 22-Feb-19 15:51:17

Mine were both transitioned to being indoor only for safety reasons, it was done gradually and they were fine with it, however they did have an outdoor run with things to climb, sit on, hide in and play with. As long as they get play time and cuddles they should be fine, unless you adopt one that really is an outdoorsy cat, in which case a run is essential or a cat proofed garden.

Current cat is an indoor/outdoor one but that is because he is only partly ours and is free to go to his other home. If we move he will be given a cat proofed garden or a huge run.

If I adopt again I will look for an indoor cat or one that isn't bothered about going out, some of the shy ones prefer to be indoors.

Rockbird Fri 22-Feb-19 16:10:29

We adopted two cats (through Cats Protection) who were strays. Ideally I'd like them to be indoor cats but I wouldn't keep them in against their will. However, whenever we've left a door open they've stuck their noses out and then legged it back inside! Will have to see what the warmer weather brings...

Bonbonchance Fri 22-Feb-19 16:20:03

I’ve glt an indoor cat in a flat, she’s always been indoor, she shows very little interest in going outside, sometimes in the summer for 5 minutes max or sometimes explores the hallway. She’s quite happy pottering around, climbs furniture etc, not that bothered about toys but sometimes will chase balls etc. Doesn’t go out open windows etc, although I am vigilant.

You’d probably be best to get one from a shelter & they can advise on who would be happy indoors

PuppyMonkey Fri 22-Feb-19 16:25:42

My ragdoll has the choice of going out or not (via cat flap and open back door) and she much prefers staying in. And the only mental stimulation she requires is a comfy bed to sleep on.grin

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