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Letting cat out is it a British thing?

(33 Posts)
EachandEveryone Tue 30-Aug-16 06:58:35

Well, I live in a flat on a busy street. The back way is not busy and the cats next door are old boys and have survived this long going out. Mine would have to share the cat flap with them and the hallway til I let her in. I've just been to Amsterdam and the guy in the pet shop said 95 percent of theirs don't go out. What do you all think?

EachandEveryone Tue 30-Aug-16 07:22:45

And also I was speaking to done Canadians who live in the middle of nowhere and they do t either. They said it's the norm in Canada.

FuzzyWizard Tue 30-Aug-16 07:26:35

It's very much a British/European thing. Some people in Ameeica do let their cats out but it's considered quite irresponsible and charities like the ASPCA and PETA run campaigns to try and get people to keep their cats indoors.

SaggyNaggy Tue 30-Aug-16 07:27:09

I don't think its a British thing, I think its a personal choice thing tbh. smile

Besides, humans have kept cats for thousands of years (right back when the first cat decided to let us) when was kitty litter invented? I'd imagine it was a more modern thing?

Jaderuby Tue 30-Aug-16 07:29:19

American thing remember the flintstones grin

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 30-Aug-16 07:33:13

There are more dangers such as racoons and other wildlife in the US other than the traffic and I imagine Canada is the same.

Keeping in in the UK is a relatively new think, 20+30 years ago it was unheard of to have litter boxes, cats went out.

My cat comes and goes as he pleases, sometimes he's in at night and often he's out of the weather is warm.

SaggyNaggy Tue 30-Aug-16 07:34:50

Well I stand corrected...
After a google around I can see that the Americans do indeed keep their cats in, they also disfigure them and rob them of their claws.
That's awful and I can't imagine a cat without claws.

As for my cat, he's not old enough to go oiut yet and he's not really shown any interest beyond making stupid noises when he's watching the birds.

Emochild Tue 30-Aug-16 07:46:05

My cats hate being kept in -although one comes in to use the litter box hmm

If I lived in Canada though I'd probably keep them in for fear of them being eaten

Declawing is barbaric though and done purely for the owners benefit

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 30-Aug-16 07:46:56

De clawing is horrificstar

Artandco Tue 30-Aug-16 07:49:20

They take out cats claws?

FuzzyWizard Tue 30-Aug-16 07:49:57

Declawing is horrible. Most US cats aren't declawed though and education campaigns really do seem to eve reducing declawing at quite a rate. I think the thing that shocks me most is that there are vets who will perform it.

FuzzyWizard Tue 30-Aug-16 07:50:50

They amputate the last bone of the toe that the claw grows from sad

Allergictoironing Tue 30-Aug-16 07:53:00

Saggy the majority of Americans seem to keep their cats in, a small minority de-claw them so please don't equate the two behaviours (I don't know if you were or not).

Cats until quite recently were seen more as working animals than pets, and as they were there to keep the rodent population down it seems logical that they would be out and about hunting the nocturnal and crepuscular animals i.e. from dawn till dusk. However as cats have become more pets and less pest controllers, some attitudes have changed.

As a pp said, there are many more dangerous animals in places like the US and Canada which could be why they keep their cats in. But something else that has changed over the last few decades is the number of cars on the road especially in less rural areas - how many threads have there been over the last few months of cats being hit by cars?

The dangers to cats are increasing year by year - cars, use of things like weedkiller & pest poisons, bastards that seem to think it's entertaining to hurt animals (though that one has always been with us) etc. As people value their cats more as family members over time, we are seeing more and more people in the UK wanting to keep their cats indoors.

NightWanderer Tue 30-Aug-16 07:54:23

Yeah, an American friend of mine had her cats declawed. I was horrified but she didn't see it as a big deal.

I agree that it's a British thing to let cats out. In a lot of countries people never let cats out but if you post on Mumsnet that you are thinking of having an indoor-only cat you'll get ripped to shreds.

intheBondiBubble Tue 30-Aug-16 08:02:32

Aussies generally keep their cats inside too, they also feed them tuna rather than cat food hmm

DialBforBaby Tue 30-Aug-16 08:10:24

My SIL and I have a long running tiff over the cats-in v cats-out thing. She is American and is horrified that our cats get out during the day (they come in at night). My own view is they were built to be outside and I was horrified when she got a cat with the pure intention of it staying inside and never ever going out.

She doesn't declaw but she puts little rubber claw things on its feet to stop it scratching. We used to clip our cats' nails but the vet told us not to (even though they offer it as a service!) so we've stopped.

ClaraLane Tue 30-Aug-16 08:13:24

Our cats are inside cats because we live on a busy road and one of them only has one eye so we don't want him out chancing his luck with cars!! If we lived in the country like our parents do then they would both go out but for now they're inside. They've got the run of the house and their own room with a litter tray plus we constantly rotate the toys they have out. We also trim their claws as the scratching post doesn't keep them short enough. It's not ideal but selfishly I would rather have inside cats than no cats.

GerundTheBehemoth Tue 30-Aug-16 08:18:54

Cats are safer indoors and wildlife is safe from them. Particularly important in Aus/NZ where free-ranging cats can be really damaging to wildlife. I think it's illegal to let cats roam beyond your property in parts of Aus.

But barring mishaps, cats are (IMHO) happier and healthier if they are allowed to go out though of course some are not bothered either way. A lot of N American indoor cats seem inclined to be obese and/or bonkers. The ideal solution is a cat-proofed garden but this is expensive and often impractical.

KingofnightvisionKingofinsight Tue 30-Aug-16 08:31:34

I'm American and yes there are many more indoor cats there. I don't know if it's an issue here but in America there is a big problem with domestic cats killing native birds, in surprisingly large quantities. (See links at bottom.). There may also be more predators, etc. there... I have read that an outdoor cat has a much shorter average lifespan than one who is kept indoors but I'm not sure if that applies everywhere. And honestly the indoor cats I have known all seem perfectly happy. (I've never had a cat myself but I have several close friends and relatives who do.). Thankfully I think declawing has really declined, even for indoor cats.

mobile.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/science/that-cuddly-kitty-of-yours-is-a-killer.html?_r=0

mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/opinion/sunday/the-evil-of-the-outdoor-cat.html

EachandEveryone Tue 30-Aug-16 08:41:32

Thanks for the comments. It's interesting. I often wonder how there's so many dogs in NYC I guess they all live in flats. I'm not sure what to do. I carried her downstairs the other day to get a parcel and she really panicked and I had to run back up with her so she's not interested yet. She has to have the op in November. How can she share the cat flap with the neighbours?

Bromeliad Tue 30-Aug-16 08:47:40

In Amsterdam it's probably because most people live in flats with only a balcony for outside access. Most of my friends with cats let theirs in and out on the balcony, but there aren't any fire escapes for them to get down to the ground so that's as far as they can go.

Artandco Tue 30-Aug-16 08:48:33

Interesting that Aussies feed cats non cat food

My parents have had cats for 40+ years. They have had around 10 cats over that time. All lived 15-18+ years and none fed cat food. They also all go in and out house in average English town as and when they liked.

They have 3 cats now. They eat various meat, fish, rice and vegetables. Ages 14, 5 and 2 years. All super healthy and coats lovely. ( they probably eat better than most people tbh)

Bromeliad Tue 30-Aug-16 08:50:16

(I should say that due to freehold rules getting a cat flap put in the front door is often hard too, which is why the balcony is the best option)

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 30-Aug-16 09:03:38

I often wonder how there's so many dogs in NYC I guess they all live in flats

I expect they're pad trained.

LittleCandle Tue 30-Aug-16 09:59:56

Both my cats come and go as they please. I used to try and keep them in at night, but CandleCat2 was coming home later and later and I was up until the early hours of the morning some days waiting for him. Now that they are allowed to please themselves, he is more often than not tucked up in his basket before I am heading to bed. We do live quite near a busy road, but the cats seem to avoid it. Mind, I do worry about them. CandleCat2 was nowhere to be seen this morning until a few minutes ago, and given that he previously managed to get locked into a shed, it does concern me. CandleCat1 is too idle to go very far at all and hates to be more than a short stroll from his food dish!

I think it would be difficult to keep the cats inside anyway. We like to have windows and doors open if the weather is nice, and I don't want to fit screens to them to stop the cats (and dog) bimbling in and out at whim if the door is open. It also means I don't have to have a litter box in the house... smile

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