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Are housecats cruel?

(66 Posts)
daisywaisydoo Tue 15-Oct-13 19:16:37

I've recently said goodbye to my two beautiful cats due to stupid roads sad

Is it ever fair to keep a cat indoors always?

Snog Tue 15-Oct-13 20:12:08

I have an older, rescue cat, who simply doesn't want to go outside. But she loves her indoor cat grass!! I think it depends on the cat.
If you live near a busy road it seems only fair to choose a cat that doesn't want to go outside.

Sparklingbrook Tue 15-Oct-13 20:14:42

Ooh see if they have a website daisy. i love looking at the cats that are up for adoption. Even though Sparkling Cat maintains she needs to be an 'only cat'.

usualsuspect Tue 15-Oct-13 20:18:27

My cat never ventures any further than the back garden.

He doesn't go out of the house at all if it's cold grin

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 15-Oct-13 20:19:03

I have an indoor cat, when she was a kitten she refused to go out. When we open the front door she runs in the opposite direction, it would be a full on fight that I would lose to get her to go outside. I would never force her.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:21:51

At least with house cats you can go out for the day knowing your cat isn't bullying next doors rather adorable tortie, or the little tortie from over the fence or the old tabby from up the road.

boofted Tue 15-Oct-13 20:36:46

We have 3 indoor cats and they are extremely happy and affectionate. One of them sleeps with me every night with his head on the pillow and his body under the duvet. 2 have never even tried to venture out and one goes out to chase off the cat that lives in our garden. He comes running back in all bushy pretty swiftly.

daisywaisydoo Tue 15-Oct-13 22:11:24

Good news!! grin

Checked the rescue website and RSPCA and both mention being reluctant/refusing to rehome near main roads, which counts me out.

Had a browse on preloved and found 2 cats that must be rehomed together, 4yrs old, in the next town from me.



McFox Tue 15-Oct-13 22:15:14

Oh no, that's horrible, sorry.

My cat hates going out and hasn't done for years. She could if she wanted, but she just isn't interested. Each cat is different I suppose.

CatOfTheDay Tue 15-Oct-13 22:26:47

We have 9 housecats! We have a big house, and several scratching posts/high shelves etc, and they have the run of 3 floors.

The only one bothered about going out is the one that never can - the 9 year old deaf boy who styles himself as a hard alleycat (but the 3 time he's escaped he's always ran into trouble with neighbour's cats and dogs... ) He's quite happily sitting on my head at the moment though, giving me a stiff neck.

I tried to let elderly cat out when she was younger but she kept running back in again, and the rest aren't bothered!

Our new two year old rescue cat comes out with me when I take the bins out, but follows me straight back in again.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 15-Oct-13 22:31:08

Your cats are gorgeous catoftheday

CatOfTheDay Tue 15-Oct-13 22:35:51

They are aren't they! smile (biased!)

thecatneuterer Tue 15-Oct-13 22:46:59

That's great Daisy. Why are they looking for a new home?

If that doesn't work out (maybe they've already been homed or something) then contact the rescues anyway(regardless of what it says about roads) and ask about house cats. All rescues have them (I'm fairly sure) and of course roads won't be relevant for them.

Sparklingbrook Wed 16-Oct-13 06:48:09

YY the busy road may count you out at Rescues but you could always ask if they have any indoor cats.

noitsachicken Wed 16-Oct-13 07:12:54

This thread has made me quite sad. It is cruel to keep a cat indoors. They are hunters, they like to roam, they like to explore different scents, they like to be independent. Did no one see the documentary 'the secret life of the cat?' some cats walk for miles.

I agree that FIV, blind, deaf cats should be indoors, and some cats may choose to stay indoors, and some elderly (15+) cats may be happy with a warm spot by the window.

But the vast majority of cats want to be outside, they should not be denied the choice.

The answer is simple, if you live near a main road, do not get a cat.

Greydog Wed 16-Oct-13 10:44:07

The clue in this, Noits - the word SOME cats. It's really very easy. Find a cat that stays in, as we did. She was terrified of going out, and it would have been beyond cruel to throw her out to be a hunter. She would have been dead by the end of the night. So if you live near a main road - get a house cat.

Sparklingbrook Wed 16-Oct-13 10:49:39

Some people have to keep their cats in when they don't want to due to the neighbours and cat poo on the lawn malarkey. sad

My neighbour has 4 cats and they have a catflap but just pop out for a wee etc. They are always in otherwise.

Every cat is different I guess.

curlew Wed 16-Oct-13 10:52:37


If you can't let a cat lead a proper cat life, then don't have a cat.

LaRegina Wed 16-Oct-13 10:53:32

Yes I would assume housecats are cruel - surely that's why people keep them in? confused

LeGavrOrf Wed 16-Oct-13 10:56:57

I think some older cats are real house cats. I second getting a cat from a rescue, as hopefully you will be able to find one which has spent his life indoors and will be used to staying in.

I don't think it's cruel at all.

And as cute as kittens are, they are a complete sodding pain in the arse for about 6 months, running about being annoying. Cats are a lot more soothing company (obviously if you pick one with the right temperament) and would fit in more easily with a family I think.

Greydog Wed 16-Oct-13 10:58:12

But what is a "proper" cat life? Do all cats want to be out in all weathers, always? Not all cats do, and some cats just to stay in all day, every day. Like people really. Some like to be out, and others don't

LateForMyOwnLife Wed 16-Oct-13 10:59:17

We had two rescues - my boy did go out, but never ventured far and would have been fine as a house cat - we think he's had a hard life as a stray and enjoyed his home comforts.

DH's girl on the other hand loved being outside - when we were trying to keep her in for the first few weeks of having her she used to jump out of the bathroom window onto the flat roof to get outside.

It is entirely dependant upon their personalities I think.

tryingtokeeppositive Wed 16-Oct-13 11:05:19

We have 3 house cats - they love it. Occasional mooch in the garden but otherwise completely uninterested. Our vet says keeping cats in is the sensible thing to do these days, but we just let them do what they want, which happens to be staying in.

noitsachicken Wed 16-Oct-13 11:06:58

Yes as I said ok for some cats, but not the majority and definitely not kittens.

It just makes me sad when people in flats have young cats or people don't let them out because they are 'valuable'

I agree a cat who has always lived indoors may not want to go out, but given the opportunity it would most likely want to. And the argument of well they don't know any different is just wrong.

Some cats would enjoy an indoor life but it is important to provide lots of space, stimulation, a variety of sleeping places and company.

curlew Wed 16-Oct-13 11:41:38

"but we just let them do what they want, which happens to be staying in."

That's not a house cat. That's a cat that likes spending most of it's time in the house. Very, very different.

thecatneuterer Wed 16-Oct-13 14:33:03

If we lived in a perfect world, where only cats that were 'wanted' were born, and rescue centres weren't stuffed full to bursting, and thousands of cats were not being put down every day because there are simply not enough homes to go round, then I would probably agree that only people who can offer 'perfect' homes should have them.

However we don't live in that world. At the moment far, far too many cats are being born for the number of homes available. So the choice for many cats is to be adopted to a perhaps less than perfect home, or to be put down. (Or, in 'no kill' centres, what it means is that these cats are taking up space and so the rescue has to say no to other desperate animals which probably then go on to die on the streets).

In that case if you have a home to offer to a cat, then as long as you are not paying someone to have bred that cat, and you take one from a rescue, then you are helping that cat and the other needy cats in the country as well. The important thing is to find a cat that won't mind being inside.

Adopting a cat in that situation is being kind, not cruel.

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