Thursday, May 19, 2011

Should Cats Be Allowed To Go Outside?

 Patches LOVES being outside!

Do you own a cat or a number of cats? I was reading on a forum I belong to yesterday. They were having quite a heated discussion about my favorite little critters. I mean, some of the members were downright angry that the others were not agreeing with their opinions. It was a bit comical to me. I could picture one  member with his face all red with sweat dripping, because he could not make the others change their mind! I wonder how he would feel if he was not allowed to go  outside his whole life?

Hobo lives to be outside! 

"What was the discussion about?"

 Callie is an inside cat by her choice!

About something as simple as whether cats should be allowed to go outside. If you allowed them to go outside, then according to some of the members, you did not care about your cat. And it would not survive very long outside. Now I know a thing or two about cats. I have had one every year of my life since I was ten years old. Some years, I had a number of them. Once when I was a teen, I had twelve!

 Nutmeg liked going in and out on her own!
RIP 05/12/89 - 07/27/06 

When I lived in the suburbs, I had two cats, Peanut and Popcorn. They were indoor cats. I didn't feel comfortable with letting them outside there. We weren't too far from a heavily traveled four lane highway. So it was best for them. When I moved there, a cat came with the house, Sissy. She was used to being outside. She wouldn't sleep in the house, and didn't seem to care for my other two cats. So she slept in the garage on my husband's work bench. Even being an outdoor cat, she lived to be 22 years old. So it didn't affect her being an outside cat in a populated area.

 Callie, doing what she does best!

My cats are all over ten years of age now. They can come and go as they like. Always have. Believe me they do that! Patches sleeps most of the day upstairs, then goes out in the afternoon. If it is really nice out, she may go out in the morning for awhile, then come back for her nap. Nobody can say that they shouldn't be allowed outside because every living thing needs the oxygen that comes from the fresh air. The sunshine! Running and rolling in the grass! They love the freshly mowed grass. Maybe indoor cats are safe from bad things happening to them, but bad things happen inside houses too. My friend lost her pets when her house caught fire and she was at work. So you can't keep anyone safe from everything no matter what you do. Cats included. 

 Patches on her favorite spot, the railing of the deck!

There is no right answer for this question. It depends on where you live and your cats. One of our cats, Callie was born in the same barn our horses were. She is very used to horses and not afraid of them in the least. But she prefers to be in the house. I will put her outside when it is nice because I believe it is better for their health to be outside in the fresh air. She will get outside and run. I think it is good for her. Sometimes she curls up in a chair and sleeps in the sun.

 Hobo loves to watch me work in the kitchen!

Hobo came to us hurt with a hole in her head after being thrown off the little bridge near our house. She is a petite little cat and has no teeth. My best hunter though! She would just die of a broken heart if she could not be outside. Even in the cold winter, she is outside. Follows my husband all over the place. None of our cats wander. Maybe because they are female? Maybe because I had them spade so they would not want to attract the male cats to our house? And end up with an endless supply of kittens? Maybe because our closest neighbor is half a mile away and our cats don't leave our immediate area. We are in and out all day long, so we interact with them constantly all day long. Like I said...........there is no right answer!

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Updated 2018
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