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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?

boofted Fri 18-Oct-13 20:00:53


GillyBillyWilly Fri 18-Oct-13 09:03:21


catameringue Fri 18-Oct-13 08:53:03

And curlew I have already presumed that you are utilising Broadmoor's wifi access.

GillyBillyWilly Fri 18-Oct-13 06:50:25

I'm also assuming that by asking "are house cats cruel?" you actually mean "is it cruel to have house cats?"

Or are you actually wondering if house cats are cruel and spend their time plotting against you and planning on taking over the world?

GillyBillyWilly Fri 18-Oct-13 06:47:05

I might add that we actually have a cat flap at the back of our house that the previous owners fitted and our cats refuse to go anywhere near it!
I think they are more than happy being indoor cats.

Some cats, however, would go absolutely nuts if you even attempted to keep them indoors so.... Every cat is different and it's about what works for you and your cat(s).

GillyBillyWilly Fri 18-Oct-13 06:37:16

I have 2 cats smile

The first one I found when he was only a few weeks old.... Someone put him in a plastic bag, tied it up and put it near some bins near my flat angry

I found him and moved him in with me but I lived in a small flat so he never went outside. About 6-9 months later I moved back in with my parents who have a massive house and garden.... He had plenty of opportunities to go outside but never wanted to and would prefer to stay indoors.

When I moved to London I took him with me and he became anxious and started overgrooming.... I think it was the stress of moving and new surroundings.... After trying all sorts of things the vet suggested we get another cat so they could be friends and have company!

So we got a kitten from a rescue centre and they are best of friends now!

Both house cats.... I didn't really know how to have 1 house cat and 1 outdoors cat so they are both house cats.

They are happy and lovely and I love them! smile

curlew Fri 18-Oct-13 06:20:47

Catameringue- I can only presume you were posting under the influence of catnip.......

TotallyBenHanscom Fri 18-Oct-13 03:57:32

It would be cruel to send an indoorsy cat out, and cruel to keep an outdoorsy cat in. As an owner of <ahem> some cats, I totally agree that it depends on the nature of the cat.

Our most adventurous cat likes nothing more than waving around in the top of the highest trees, and the quietest one will fix you with an Alan Rickman stare if you dare suggest he moves from the sofa.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Fri 18-Oct-13 03:33:42

My two boys have lived all their lives inside. Initially with their old owner who lived in a flat, and now with us in a house. One of them is mildly curious about "out there" but the other wants no part of it. If you get a kitten it will grow up never knowing any different. Or if you go for a rescue, ask them for an indoor cat. They're likely to have quite a few possibilities. Plenty of people live in flats, and sometimes they have to give up their pets. Or they die. Lots of elderly people with house cats living in flats who die and then their families either won't or can't take in their kitties.

And I'm really sorry for your loss.

catameringue Fri 18-Oct-13 00:36:55

"No it isn't. Because animals don't have that level of thought."

So, if beings have unsophisticated thoughts with little comprehension of the world one should embrace that?

I presume therefore you let your toddler out at night unsupervised to let it respond to its' basal instincts. Enforcing rules, schooling and discipline - none of that featured then.

NettoSuperstar Fri 18-Oct-13 00:27:14

Hhaha, yeah, my kittens are so unhappy in this flat.
Tell that to Zazzles who is currently asleep on my neck,, and Matilda who is on my pillow.
Eponine and Jemima are on DD's bed.

Honestly, I get that people care about animals, but on MN they just end up being weird.

expatinscotland Fri 18-Oct-13 00:10:38

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

So if you're too poor to have a house with a garden not on a busy road, no cat for you! Better they get put down then.

catameringue Thu 17-Oct-13 23:59:00

So curlew you think curbing the 'natural instincts' of anything is cruel?

Let's decriminalise murder then, assault in general. Stop medicating schizophrenia. Some people have an instinct to want several wives on the go so you must be in favour of that. I'm also experiencing a strong natural instinct to want to slap some intelligence into you so I'm sure you'll oblige me.

Let's all do what we instinctively want to do tomorrow shall we, and see where Chairman Curlew's bonkers theory gets us.

boofted Thu 17-Oct-13 19:52:28

Totally agree with catameringue

curlew Thu 17-Oct-13 08:11:43

"Then lets consider what makes a pet happy. I think avoiding harm is quite high up that list."

No it isn't. Because animals don't have that level of thought. A cat crying at a window to get out can't think "I'm kept in here because there's a busy road out there and I might get hurt". All it can feel is the instinctive drive to roam, to hunt, to explore.

There is nothing wrong, obviously, with a cat that chooses to stay inside. Many do. But to impose an inside life on a cat is cruel. And selfish.

catameringue Wed 16-Oct-13 22:00:47

Oh dear.

It's not 'cruel keep domestic cats (aka the pet cat) safe indoors, in the same way it is not cruel to keep a dog under constant supervision, a rabbit in a hutch, a cow in a field, and any other animal that is not wild.
All of these constraints could be cruel if they were abusive, like battery hens or not exercising pets etc.

Look up the word 'domestic'.

Ok now, consider why no one lets any other pets, like dogs, out unsupervised. Dogs hunt, so surely its unfair to stop them killing things by that argument?

Then lets consider what makes a pet happy. I think avoiding harm is quite high up that list.

Then Google information on the impact of domestic cats on local wildlife populations. What's more cruel - preventing a cat from killing or letting mice, voles, rabbits, birds etc die a slow and painful death at the paws of millions of cats?

Op, taking in two cats sounds lovely, good luck to you. Please the ignorant comments.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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