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To think it’s cruel to keep cats indoors?

(243 Posts)
awomensworkisneverdone Fri 25-May-18 09:50:34

I have two cats.. two females both 12 years old and both intelligent,affectionate and lovejy.
I couldn’t imagine confining them to just the house or garden.. now I know there are exotic breeds of cat that cost a lot of money and they are supposed to be kept in, but I can’t help think this is cruel! Cats are naturally inquisitive and have natural predator instinct they kind of come and go as they please and are intelligent animals. Someone educate me please. Is an indoor cat deprived? Do they have the same instinct as a cat who has a choice to explore? What would happen if they did accidentally leave the house? Do they use a litter tray or go in the garden? Has anyone ever had an indoor cat and then they decided to let it out? Me and my other half have discussed getting a more exotic breed when our two girls have gone.. but face having to keep it inside but I don’t think I can do that..

SweetCheeks1980 Fri 25-May-18 09:53:51

I think it doesn't matter what breed it is. People keep pedigrees on for selfish reasons - it cost a lot of money and thry don't want it lost or stolen.
I too think it's cruel but indoor cats seem to be a more common occurrence, unfortunately.

GalwayWayfarer Fri 25-May-18 09:54:05

I don't think it's cruel as long as they don't go from being outdoor cats to indoor cats and as long as there is plenty of room for them inside and their litter trays are kept spotlessly clean.

Mine have been indoor cats for years as we had no garden and lived on a busy street but now that we have moved to a quiet area with garden they're allowed out. One loves it, the other has never chosen to go out of his own accord and doesn't like being put out. They don't seem any more happy than when they were indoor cats - they're pretty much the same as they ever were!

Dobbythesockelf Fri 25-May-18 09:54:57

My parents have indoor cats, they live next to quite a busy road that is known for people speeding. It's definitely safer for them to be inside. My parents house is big so there is plenty of space for them to roam about. They have toys and climbing frame things. But like most cats they spend 90% of their time on their backsides sleeping. They use litter trays but so do my cats that have a cat flap. One of them sometimes goes into the garden but the other isn't bothered at all and much prefers the house. They are happy cats, well looked after and loved. It's not cruel in the slightest.
I have 2 cats that can go outdoors but 1 hardly ever goes out. Some cats like being inside

HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 25-May-18 09:59:19

Not to my cat. She'll stick her head out of the back door every so often but that really is it. She's always been like it, she's not even old. She is just not bothered. I think of her as the cat equivalent of a human that doesn't see the point of going abroad and has never had a passport grin

thecatsthecats Fri 25-May-18 10:01:36

My 15 year old cats probably think it's the height of cruelty that I shut them in our medium sized garden (after all, I can do nothing to stop the incursions of other cats into their territory). They sit frowning every time I restore the defences.

But they are slow, and not very good at jumping up. They could easily get themselves stuck somewhere, and be there a while before they're found.

I will limit them to the house when it is the time too. I've known cats that are naturally indoors-inclined.

WeaselsRising Fri 25-May-18 10:02:28

We have 2 indoor cats; both pedigree. We live on a residential street where the house over the road had 2 young cats hit by a car within months of each-other.

Both of ours came from breeders at around 6 months old and both had been raised indoors. If we leave the door open they will stand on the doorstep and look outside but won't actually go out.

They have the run of the house and each-other to play with. I think one would be a killer if she went out but the other one isn't bothered about chasing things. He spends a lot of time nestling in the airing cupboard.

We previously had 2 cross breed kittens that luckily we kept indoors as we lost them really young to leukaemia contracted from their mother. Had they gone out they would have infected every cat they came into contact with. Obviously we didn't know they were ill when we got them, plus we had them vaccinated against leukaemia, but a lot of people don't bother.

All our previous cats were outdoor animals but when we got them we were living in a cul de sac opposite fields, so in their youth they were safe from traffic. By the time we moved here they were old enough to have road sense and to not want to go much further than the garden. I would never attempt to have outdoor kittens on this road (not busy but people drive too fast).

IamPickleRick Fri 25-May-18 10:04:39

My friend has two indoor cats. They are abused rescues, it’s very stressful for them to go outside. They have each other and my friend and her DH and that’s all they seem to want.

lubeybooby Fri 25-May-18 10:05:29

nah it's not cruel - mine were housecats for a few years as it was a condition of the rescue place, we lived on a busy road. Since moving they can go out in the day but we keep them in at night - they regularly just stay in of their own accord anyway even in lovely weather.

Long as they have good litter arrangements, toys, affection, places to escape to etc and food, being in isn't cruel

Doofenschmirtz Fri 25-May-18 10:06:19

My cat chooses to be an indoor cat. He has full access to the outside world but point blank refuses to go any further than a few metres from the back door, and only if we keep the door open for him!

He's an overgrown moggy so isn't of any particular breed. We live in a reasonably quiet area so there's no particular danger either. He's more like a dog disguised as a cat and spends his days either sleeping or following me around the house.

He uses a litter tray as I think he prefers the privacy he gets from having a covered litter box. He would take being put outside as a cruel and evil punishment. grin

ScipioAfricanus Fri 25-May-18 10:07:10

It could also be argued that it’s cruel to let cats run around outside and get run over or poisoned. Perhaps they would prefer a gilded cage. Is it cruel to have a pet and then everyone to be at work or school all day as opposed to giving them company? We all have different feelings depending on how we imagine the animals to feel.

It depends on the cat. I agree, cats have a natural predators instinct and like to be outside (though they don’t tend to roam that far). However, some cats have very different temperaments. My indoor cats don’t have a fighter instinct. I got them as I didn’t have a garden and researched which would be happy in that case. They enjoy each other’s company and they go outside with us. It doesn’t feel cruel. But I often think that one day we may look back at keeping animals as pets and consider it as cruel per se - attitudes evolve.

ICantCopeAnymore Fri 25-May-18 10:07:33

Nope. I have two indoor moggies. After losing four cats to four different (quiet!) roads and cul-de-sac type streets, I'm not chancing it again.

It's less cruel to keep them indoors than risk then being hit by cars. I'm in rural Wales too, so you'd think it wouldn't happen, but four times is too many times.

HonkyWonkWoman Fri 25-May-18 10:08:27

All animals and that includes humans, should be able to go outside, into the fresh air.
Imo, keeping an animal indoors is the equivalent of keeping someone in prison for life.

Samcro Fri 25-May-18 10:11:45

i wish i had made my cat an indoor one. he went out one day and never came back. my "grand cat" (joke) has chosen to stay indoors so far.

SnugglySnerd Fri 25-May-18 10:12:41

My last cat would venture into the back garden once in a while but that was it and only if it was warm and sunny. He was a real lazy bones. If we shut the door while he was in the garden he would panic and yowl to come in.

IamPickleRick Fri 25-May-18 10:12:45

HonkyWonk What if the cat enjoys being indoors and is physically shaken to even have the front door be open? My friends cats are the most sensitive moggies I have ever encountered. To put them outside would be worse than “prison”. One is so nervous she freezes solid if you just walk past her and she doesn’t know you.

Scribblegirl Fri 25-May-18 10:12:50

As I understand it, in the USA, it's considered crueller to let them out than keep them in.

Mine could never have been an indoor boy, if we shut the cat flap he'll just jump out the window! Loves being at home though too.

LetBartletBeBartlet Fri 25-May-18 10:13:38

It depends on the individual cat IME.

StatisticallyChallenged Fri 25-May-18 10:13:53

It's not cruel so long as they have enough space/company/entertainment/simulation. Mine have all been indoors from birth, show zero interest in going outside and are perfectly happy.

Letting them out around here would be far crueler as they would get run over in about 5 minutes.

All 3 (Maine Coons, daft as brushes and twice as lazy) are currently asleep in the living room with me.

Solasshole Fri 25-May-18 10:15:32

My 2 cats where kept indoors their whole lives in their previous home, don't know why though. They could go outside (not pedigrees, no health issues etc) but they're scared of going outdoors and have zero interest in it so I don't even bother letting them out. They don't miss something they've never had I guess. Also having never been outside before I'd be concerned they'd have no survival instinct around cars etc

Also also one of them is stupid friendly and would walk off with literally anyone if you gave him half the chance so I don't think he'd come home if I let him out grin

MrsPicklesonSmythe Fri 25-May-18 10:16:41

I have an exotic pedigree that stays indoors. She wouldn't survive outside for a day she'd run straight under the first car that came along. She runs into walls etc she's beautiful but not the sharpest. I Let her have a run of the garden on the rare occasion she shows interest but she comes back quickly and lives a happy little life with lots of toys and comfy Spots

AnneWiddecombesHandbag Fri 25-May-18 10:18:23

My cat is indoor through choice. She might sit in the open patio doorway but she never ventures out! Your cat would let you know if it wanted to be an outdoor cat!

Want2beme Fri 25-May-18 10:18:35

I'd love my cats never to go out, it'd save a lot of stress and heartache. I know that I'd feel bad keeping them inside. One of them goes out via the cat flap and the other one is pretty much an indoor cat who pops out to the garden with me once or twice a day. She's extremely nervous, so I wouldn't just let her go off on her own as she wouldn't survive out there. They are both in overnight, which I think is the best thing for cats.

BlueBug45 Fri 25-May-18 10:19:12

My OH's cat has lived in the centre of the city since a kitten. Not sure of her age but when she is kept inside in bad weather like snow she complains. If you then allow her to go outside she takes one look and runs back in to sit on a radiator. She has made friends' with some of the human and cat neighbours.

One of my brothers' has a cat about 10 who has managed to survive the roads around his house. However the two male mates she initially lived with managed to get run over within one year. She also has cat neighbour friends.

Both cats' cat friends have tried to visit their respective houses. smile

Anyway it appears to depends on the individual cat whether they have road sense or not.

SurferRona Fri 25-May-18 10:19:28

'natural predators' and 'cruel' ....does that concern extend to local birds too? There's a cat which is stalking a bird nest and its fledglings near to me. Is easily spooked though and runs everytime a door opens or someone walks past. Once or twice into a busyish road adjacent. I thought this wouldn't end well for the birds, actually I think the cat will get squished first. Cannot understand why someone puts a loved pet in this position confused

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