My feed

to access all these features

Join our community of cat lovers on the Mumsnet Cat forum for kitten advice and help with cat behaviour.

The litter tray

Indoor cats?

17 replies

FlightlessBird · 14/04/2012 20:49

Does anyone have experience or advice about indoor cats?

I live in a flat, and always assumed this wouldn't be very fair for a cat. I was browsing the RSPCA website (as you do!) and one of the descriptions said ' He would probably be quite happy as an indoor cat, as he is very content to laze around the house all day, but outdoors is fine also'

Sooo, what do you think? I have had a cat before so know my way around a litter tray, but am worried that if this cat is used to being outside then it may be cruel to keep him in?

Should I just stick to goldfish? Grin

OP posts:
tribpot · 14/04/2012 20:57

You may find that Cats Protection or similar will have some indoor cats to house - personally I think it would be very cruel to keep a cat that was used to being outdoors indoors (my own cat would simply kill me in the night and then learn how to open doors in the style of the velociraptors in Jurassic Park). However, I think it would be equally cruel to expect a cat that had lived its life indoors suddenly to be expected to learn the ways of the jungle, particularly in later life.

My local cat rescue says it is rare for them to have an indoor cat to rehome but this may vary.

LaGrenouille · 14/04/2012 21:00

Some rescue cats have to be indoors cats if they are carriers of (I think) cat flu, check with cats protection.

Babylon1 · 14/04/2012 21:05

My mum has two indoor cats, they're almost 4 years old now and not bothered with the great outdoors, which surprises me as mum runs a cattery and has at any one time up to 23 cats in the cattery!!

See here,

She gets lots of customers with indoor cats too or cats that are walked on a lead!!

Fluffycloudland77 · 14/04/2012 21:06

I think if the cat wants to be an indoor cat then fine. But keeping cats in otherwise is cruel imo.

I see bengal cats on youtube (we have one) and they are moaning like mine does when he wants to go out eg when he has been ill and we have kept him in, only they never get to go out.

Some cats are happy to not go out. Like some humans actually.

thisisyesterday · 14/04/2012 21:07

some breeds (such as ragdolls) are always kept indoors as they're too wussy to go outside

have you checked that you're allowed pets in your flat though? most of the ones I've lived in have had no-pets policies

FlightlessBird · 14/04/2012 21:47

Thanks for the advice!

thisis yes, it's fine to have pets. I would love a dog but KNOW that is totally out of the question!

It's the probably in the ad that makes me wary - if I knew he had always been an indoor cat that would be fine, but I don't think that's the case here.

I'll give the RSPCA a call and see what they think about this particular cat. and will stop reading the cat adoption pages, dammit!

OP posts:
sashh · 15/04/2012 06:40

Cats Protection is always looking for homes for indoor cats. Mostly they have FIV so cannot go out in case they infect other cats.

If you do have ab FIV cat from them they will cover vets' bills for life.

Some older cats can also be rehomed as indoor cats.

You could also volunteer with your local cats protectinon - their cats are not allowed out while they are being fostered so that they cannot pick up diseases or get into fights.

Don't forget to check with your landlord if you have one, some don't allow pets.

dexiedoo · 15/04/2012 06:45

I have a 9 month ragdoll cross and he hates been outside for more than 10mins a time.

issey6cats · 15/04/2012 17:57

an indoor cat can be turned into an outdoor cat (i did it with a 16yr old and he loves being outside now) but a cat that likes to go out even briefly shouldnt really be kept indoors all the time, at Haworth cat rescue where i work we have a six month old pure white cat who is deaf so he has to be an indoor cat due to not being able to hear traffic or dogs, or start with a kitten and bring it up to be a house cat

ragged · 15/04/2012 18:20

Friend lives in a flat near a busy road with special anti-allergenic declawed cats; they stay indoors 24/7. Part of me thinks it's weird, but I know friend will make sure they have a supremely lovely life.
A lot of elderly cats dont' like going out. I thought that it woudl be difficult keeping our mongrel kittens in at night, but they are pretty good about it, just sleep!

tribpot · 15/04/2012 18:23

Ah issey, my friend has a pure white cat who has to be a house cat for the same reason. He's so famous he's in Wikipedia in the article about cat deafness I do believe!

tabulahrasa · 16/04/2012 00:05

I've got two cats - I keep them in at night, but apart from that they get in and out as they want...

One goes and sits in the garden if it's particularly warm - if you'd need suncream on weather, occasionally she goes out with the other one or follows one of us out and then demands back in immediately

The other doesn't go out in hailstones or very heavy rain, apart from that she goes out and does god knows what sort of catty things and I don't even know where she goes.

The first one ok, she likes her little sit in the garden but if we moved somewhere that she had to stay inside - I don't think it would massively affect her quality of life.

The second one would be miserable.

I'd assume the cat they're advertising is more like my first one, happy enough to go out occasionally close to the house if it can but wouldn't stress if it's not possible.

qazxc · 25/04/2012 19:00

my cat is a rescue.
the woman that she was rescued from had about 30 cats and about 10 dogs, all living outside or in one of those big steel ship containers.
When i got her she had gangrene in the pads of one of her back paws from a bite. The vet had to amputate a toe and remove the pads.
But since i've had her she has stayed indoors (her choice). the vet says that it might be because she doesn't like the sensation of the ground on her paw (kind of like walking around with one of your shoes off, is how she described it). she very seldom follows me out into the garden but is back inside within 5 mins.
Molly loves looking out of the window at passing people, birds, etc but is too fond of her home comforts.
So i do think that it is possible for a cat to be quite happy to live indoors after being an outdoor cat. My local animal rescue will let people foster before they adopt, that way you would be sure that the cat is happy with the set up.

Lizcat · 25/04/2012 19:25

Indoor cats do need environmental enrichment to keep their minds and bodies busy to prevent obesity and bladder stones. The FAB website has amazing info in this.
Also need to add that declawing is illegal in the UK though it is common in USA. Scratching is a normal behaviour and under the welfare of animals freedoms all animals should be free to express normal behaviour it is up to us to provide an appropriate space to express this behaviour.
Truly dedicate indoor cat owners have a cat playroom with scratching wall, multi height resting positions and interactive food hunting devices.
Sorry environmental enrichment for indoor cats is personal soap box.

nicklenackle · 25/04/2012 21:13

Have just posted a thread about my two indoor cats about to become outdoor ones! We got two kittens last year for our flat and when we checked with our vet first he said that if you start them off as indoor cats it's fine but you cannot make a previously outdoor cat into an indoor cat as they miss it too much. The local cat protection place backed this up.

The research we did also suggested we think about getting two if financially possible as it gives them company and some exercise when they play/crash around together (indoor cats can be more prone to chubbiness). That's what we did, a brother and sister, and it's been brilliant. We use a flushable cat litter which, although more expensive, is really worth it as it's a bit more of a hassle in a flat to put litter in an outside bin.

They've got lots of toys and a multi-level play thingy but mostly they use my curtains Grin

Paiviaso · 27/04/2012 16:06

I have two indoor Bengals, but they have lived indoors exclusively, so not really comparable to outdoor cats rescued and rehomed as indoor but:

Stimulation is really important. Give them things to do. Cat tree, high shelving to climb on, toys, interactive play, clicker training, food mazes. Obviously Bengals are a very high energy breed, and you may get a sleep moggy who doesn't need quite so much attention. If getting young cats I would consider getting two, as mine spend a lot of their energy playing with each other.

I think one of the problems people run into when keeping outdoor cats inside is that they start to yowl and scratch to get out, but I assume this is completely dependent on the temperament and age of the cat. I'm sure the shelter can guide you on that.

FlightlessBird · 30/04/2012 18:27

Thanks all!

We've decided to adopt a 3 year old indoor only blind cat! Going to visit her this week, am so excited! as you can probably tell from the over use of !!!

No doubt I'll be back in the litter tray for more of your wise words once we have her. Grin

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.