DH wants kitten to be an indoor cat(35 Posts)
He is saying that as we live near a busyish road that we should keep him in and buy him toys to keep him amused. I'm not convinced, cats love to go out surely? He's still only 3 months and hAsnt been spayed yet so we have some time to think it over. Any thoughts or experience welcome.
How near? If you did let him out, would he go directly onto the road? How busy is the road?
In general, despite having two indoor cats, I'd always let cats out unless there's a serious danger - ie if your door opens directly onto a very busy road and there's no other outside space.
I think if you have easy access to the road then he is right. If though you live in say a row of terraces all with adjoining back gardens and no easy access to the front then you could allow him out.
Failing that though keep him in. In your situation it would have been better to get an indoor-only rescue cat, but it's too late for that now of course.
We are one from the end of the terrace and we all have 4-5 foot fences so fairly easy access to the road I think. There are fields directly behind our gardens. The road has a fair amount of traffic but slow, it's a busy side road not an A road, we are in a 20mph zone which the vast majority of people stick to.
If you have money to throw at it you could try this: www.protectapuss.co.uk/cat-fences/ (there are various different companies offering it). I know someone who got it done in their garden. I think it cost them around £300 for the product and they put it up themselves. It's more expensive if you have to pay someone to do it.
You could take him out on a harness. Not the same as running free but better than nothing.
Is it possible to train him to just play in the garden with the dogs? Not keen on the barrier thing. We had one for the dogs in a previous house with an insecure garden and it ended up with a very upset dog.
If it was me, I would let him out - via the back door, if possible! But it's very much a personal decision, and obviously I don't want to tell you to do it and have the worst happen.
I always just feel that they love to go out, and while you'll be heartbroken if something happens, something could happen to him at home too, and for me it'd be worth the risk.
Could there be a compromise? Let him out during the middle of the day when there's less traffic, keep him in during rush hours and overnight?
Knowing how much my cat loves being outdoors, I feel sorry for indoor cats. Plus the stinky litter box.
I've had both. My current Seniorboy has always been an indoor cat (apart from two very brief sojourns into the outside - in 1998 and 2014) because my Mum had 5 or 6 cats carred on the trot outside her country cottage so decided that enough was enough.
He's a happy lad but then he's always had someone home most of the day to interact with him and he's had roomy old houses so that he can run around and up and down stairs.
What sort of household do you have?
The Lodger used to use a litter box, Fuga and he was an outside-going cat. In fact he brought himself up on the streets but decided that he liked a tray when he moved himself in with us.
I never minded. He preferred it and it sure beats having neighbours upset by cat poo in their rosebeds. It also enables you to keep a weather eye on their health via their innards.
I don't know about dogs and barriers, but cats seem to be fine with them. And that is the only way to keep the cat in your garden. Training is impossible.
I have a 1yr old cat and she would drive me insane if she was shut indoors all the time. Has your dh had cats/kittens before? He might have a change of heart when your kitten starts older and bigger and starts looking for more than ping pong balls for fun!
I also feel sorry for indoor cats. If I were you I would let it out into the back garden. It will escape and hopefully the fields will be more interesting than the road.
I think constant traffics more off putting to a cat than the occasional car on a country lane.
If he clocks the fields they should hold more interest for him than a road.
He might not want to go outside though. Time will tell.
I live on a busy road, but it's in the centre of town, so the traffic is slow.
We live in a row of terraces and I only let them out the back. Mcat explores the neighbours' gardens and MKitten hasn't made the leap over the wall. Yet. Nerve-wracking though.
Pavlov training using Dreamies helps get them in.
I had 2 cats, both of them allowed outside and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately Jessie got hit by a car on the road outside the houses behind us. I'm convinced someone across that road was feeding her. My other cat Luna is still allowed outside although we now have a 3 month old so the cat flap has been locked and we have to let Luna out through the door (don't want Squiffy following her out yet!) He will be allowed out once neutered and big enough. I live on a fairly quiet road in a residential area.
I feel like it's cruel to keep them inside unless you can provide sufficient stimulation and exercise. I don't think many people can provide that though and I know with me working 8 hour days, I certainly can't. Roads are always going to be a danger but I'd rather have a happy outside going cat, than an unhappy inside cat. Plus, Luna only ever toilets outside now so no smelly litter tray! (except for the kitten of course)
We now have 2 indoor cats, having only ever had outdoor cats. The people over the road have had 3 kittens run over and killed in the last 6 months. We are on a residential street so traffic isn't constant but when it comes it's fast.
They have a huge cat tree and masses of toys. I really don't like the litter trays because no matter how often you clean them out they still stink.
We did try to get some older rescue cats before getting these 2, as our older cats used to keep away from the road, but tried 3 rescue centres and nothing suitable.
I wouldn't let mine out again, they are used to being indoors and there are more dangers than cars, anti freeze, brake fluid, theft for dog bait and others.
If a cat has never been an outdoor cat they don't know about the outside world, it is an ideal way to start having an indoor cat.
Living in a rural setting is a bit different, it is great to see them free, but personally I would rather have them safe from harm.
We have an outdoor run on the back of the house so they can 'take the air'. Or play, or sit in the cat house.
I have a 7 month old kitten and apart from sniffing the open front door every now and then she is an indoor cat, I live in a flat and I'm not allowed to install a cat flap so she can't get in when she wants as it's 1st floor, plus their is a busy road on my doorstep. I also had 4 cats growing up, 1 was poisoned with anti freeze, 1 moved out, two were knocked down we presume as we never saw them again. Its dangerous for a little cat to be outside! I may let her out in the garden in the summer on a harness though.
Enclose your garden with a cat-proof fence. A precious poster mentioned a good product - Protectapuss. Best of both worlds.
I don't have anything to add re the indoor/outdoor cat debate apart from objecting to the self-congratulatory way some posters refer to having no 'smelly litter tray' anymore once their cat goes outside. You may not have the problem because it's your neighbours who have to deal with
your cat's shit.
About five - six years ago when our youngest dc was still crawling and the other dc were toddler/pre school age, our neighbours had four cats who constantly used our back garden as a toilet (obviously other local cats may have been involved as well). It pissed me off so much that I had to check the garden over every time the children wanted to go in it.
Thank you cosietosie for being thoughtful enough to mention this issue.
Forgot to add, it only stopped when we got a dog and now they give the garden a wide berth (and I always poop scoop before anyone starts ).
I've lived on two 30mph main roads, and let two cats out of both, with no problem (over several years). Admittedly both places had driveways, so there was some "distance" from the road. I would say that if the road has a constant flow of traffic, such as a main road in town, this is more of a deterrent to cats, than a country road with the occasional 60mph car.
We have three indoor cats who live fantastically. We have a cat tree and shelving in almost every room. Cat toys and play time scheduled.
If you can do this then indoor is perfectly fine and saves them from a lot of dangers in urban living. i notice with all the outdoor owners I know you wouldn't know they have cats as they have nothing in the house for them so I guess letting them go out is the easier and cheaper option.
Our cats are indoor and have a cat enclosure. One of them is an ex-stray cat who lived in the storm drain and for the most part he has adjusted.
We're in Australia though and I think it is wrong for cats to wander here. They don't belong.
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