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To think letting a cat go outside is NOT "Cruel" or "Abusive"?

(239 Posts)
SneakyGremlins Sat 17-Feb-18 11:56:56

confused

Had a heated debate polite discussion with an American last night about cats. Said American - and their friends - think cats should be permanently kept indoors, and it's cruel and animal abuse to let them go outside because, I quote, "There's bears, snakes, wolves and coyotes, people putting down poisoned food, cars and all sorts of dangers".

I snappily politely pointed out that America does not equal the world, and while I concluded that cars are indeed a danger for pets, Living IN ENGLAND I have yet to see any coyotes or bears or wolves. hmm I've never come across poisoned food either - although again this does happen rarely, I admit.

I also pointed out that cats can get depressed/stressed being cooped up inside all day, which was met with "You just need to play with them all day, then they won't be bored! It's cruel and heartless to make a cat go outside into the dangerous wilderness!" hmm

AIBU to think that it is not a bad thing to let a cat go outside?

itsmeimcathyivecomehome Sat 17-Feb-18 11:57:46

Does he think cats were created in labs and are not meant to go outside??confused

thethoughtfox Sat 17-Feb-18 12:01:02

Most people think the opposite: that it's cruel to keep them indoors. They are hunters! I have a Persian kitten and had to sign an agreement with the breeder not to let him outside. They are lap cats and with their comedy fluffy coat, tiny legs and squished up faces, they are pretty defenceless outside. But it breaks my heart to see him at the back door looking outside.

SundaysFunday Sat 17-Feb-18 12:01:39

I think it's cruel to lock them indoors.

SneakyGremlins Sat 17-Feb-18 12:02:01

Oh yes, regarding hunting, the argument that they're killing off endangered bird species and that whatever they hunt might give them rabies was also raised hmm

Steeley113 Sat 17-Feb-18 12:04:59

Cats are funny creatures, they’re either wild things that NEED to be outside, or complete home bodies. I have 2 that barely come in and 1 that goes out for an hour and then is miaowing to come back in grin it’s not cruel to let them out in a rural area, I do think it is a bit risky if you live on a busy road/mid city!

SneakyGremlins Sat 17-Feb-18 12:07:03

Steeley But that's the cats' choice! I think they should always have the option of going out if they want smile

And yes, I was trying to explain that most people in England live in towns or villages, not sprawling cities with millions of cars confused

PuppyMonkey Sat 17-Feb-18 12:09:29

I think it’s cruel to let your American friends go outside. They sound batshit.

Shadow666 Sat 17-Feb-18 12:09:49

I find that many British people believe strongly that cats should be let out. People from many other countries feel strongly that cats should be kept indoors. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong of it. The cat killings in the UK were awful. That alone would have me keep my kitty inside; however, my cat is an ex stray and gets stressed if he can’t go out.

AccidentallyRunToWindsor Sat 17-Feb-18 12:10:35

Many Americans think it's ok to amputate part of cats toes so their furniture doesn't get scratched so I won't be setting my animal cruelty barometer by them too much.

I have 3 mogs. 2 of them would live perfectly happily as house cats, the other would be dreadfully upset and depressed. There's not a one size fits all answer I don't think.

Readermumof3 Sat 17-Feb-18 12:10:41

I also think it's cruel to keep them indoors. Our cat was an indoor cat when she came to us, but still very young. She's now an outdoor cat with a magic portal cat flap so she comes and goes as she pleases. When the weather is bad she returns to her formerly loopy self, tearing around the house, clawing everything in sight and generally being more of an arsehole.

My friends bought ragdoll kittens at huge expense and won't let them out in case they are stolen hmm. I prefer my free mongrel cat who is the queen of the street in her head

Shadow666 Sat 17-Feb-18 12:10:56

I live abroad and most domestic cats here are indoor only. If it’s all they know, it’s fine.

VetOnCall Sat 17-Feb-18 12:11:10

Provided the cat actually wants to go out and it's a reasonably safe area then no, of course it's not cruel. I do get what the other person was saying though as it will be different elsewhere due to local traffic conditions, dangerous native wildlife, endemic diseases such as rabies or leishmaniasis that we don't have here in the UK etc. Here it is vastly more likely that the cat will be a danger to the local wildlife than vice versa (obviously neither is ideal and if I had a cat that is why I would consider keeping it confined to my garden).

Surely you both realised that you were thinking of very different scenarios in terms of 'outside' though?

ReelingLush18 Sat 17-Feb-18 12:13:51

It's unsafe if the 'cat killer' is doing the rounds of the area which is currently happening across parts of London and the Home Counties (400 cats murdered over the past couple of years).

falsepriest Sat 17-Feb-18 12:13:56

Do your cats self-ID as indoor or outdoor cats though?

NailsNeedDoing Sat 17-Feb-18 12:14:06

It's not cruel to the cat, but it's a bit shit for local wildlife when people knowingly choose pets that are going to kill birds etc. Cat owners underestimate the pain in the arse their pets can be to the neighbours so all in all, I think cats are a pretty selfish choice of pet if they're going to be let out. Each to their own though.

Gide Sat 17-Feb-18 12:15:40

They’re not wrong about the bird population. They are vicious
Iittle bastards, my two used to present me with sacrifices all the time. Don’t Americans de-voice cats and de-claw them so they can’t climb?

storynanny Sat 17-Feb-18 12:16:01

My son and family live in New York and have 2 cats who never have been outside. Apparently it is so they dont get run over. Even when a doir is left open they show no interest in going out.
My cat would go mad if she was indoors all day

PuntCuffin Sat 17-Feb-18 12:18:53

Has your friend had his/her cats declawed? That, to me, is way more cruel than any of the outdoor risks. To deliberately mutilate an animal just to prevent it damaging your furniture. Barbaric.

SneakyGremlins Sat 17-Feb-18 12:18:54

Surely you both realised that you were thinking of very different scenarios in terms of 'outside' though?

We did, but they were for a blanket ban on letting cats outside which I just don't agree with.

expatinscotland Sat 17-Feb-18 12:20:25

Plenty of people in Asia also keep cats exclusively indoors, especially as so many live in high rise flats. My Japanese friend has always had cats. She lives in Yokahama and has always lived in high-rise flats, including now with her husband and son - and two cats.

JacquesHammer Sat 17-Feb-18 12:21:04

It's not cruel to the cat, but it's a bit shit for local wildlife when people knowingly choose pets that are going to kill birds etc. Cat owners underestimate the pain in the arse their pets can be to the neighbours so all in all, I think cats are a pretty selfish choice of pet if they're going to be let out

This.

Flomy Sat 17-Feb-18 12:22:04

Mine has access to go out, but she looks rather hmm If I suggest it.

She is indoors for approx 23hrs & 55mins a day!

steff13 Sat 17-Feb-18 12:22:36

Cats have caused several species of birds and mammals to become extinct.
www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/cats-responsible-for-driving-many-species-to-extinction/

AccidentallyRunToWindsor Sat 17-Feb-18 12:23:37

Mine are bone idle, in 10 years a I've not had a single dead bird presented to me which TBH, is a blessing.

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