Your Cat: Why Indoors is the Place to Be
A healthy indoor cat can live to be over 20 years old.
The average life span of an outdoor cat is 3-5 years.
We insist that all of our adopted cats must live indoors. Automobiles, poisoning or trapping by unhappy neighbors, sadistic treatment, dogs, coyotes, other cats, viruses and getting lost or stolen all make the Great Outdoors anything but great for your domestic cat. Here are some common excuses offered by people who let their cats outdoors, and our responses:
Excuse Number One: It's cruel to keep a cat indoors.
This is just silly.Â If your 3 year old child was crying because he wanted to go outside and play in the street by himself, would you let him? You can change a cat's behavior. It will take time and patience, but it might save his life. When you implement your "closed door policy, give your cats lots of extra attention and entertainment. He may cry at first, but don't give in. Soon, he will be happy to stay safely indoors with you. He will become accustomed to being kept indoors. If you have patience and you provide your cat with plenty of activity, he will live a much happier and healthier life than ANY outdoor cat.
Excuse Number Two : Cats are instinctual survivors
Yes, a cat that was raised completely in the wild, in an environment untouched by humans, is an outstanding survivor. Obviously, this is NOT the situation with your cat. Even wild cats who make a good life for themselves will never experience the secure and happy life that a human home can offer.
If you allow your cat to go outdoors your pet is being subjected to a wide variety of life threatening situations. These dangers include being hit by a vehicle, fan belt injury when they seek the warmth of an engine, infection from contact with diseased animals, burns or death due to contact with lawn and garden pesticides and anti-freeze. As well, neighbors do not want cats on their property. This is supported in many by-laws which state that cats may not trespass. Cats can be a particular nuisance with a neighbor's new shrubs and plants. People also don't like paw prints on freshly washed or painted vehicles.
In addition to these dangers, rabies poses a great threat to a cat's life. Contact with a wild animal is bound to happen sometime in a cat's life. Cats are great fighters but eventually they will meet their match in a raccoon or skunk or fox. When this wild animal is rabid, they question arises - will you know if contact has taken place? If you do, you can take action to protect your family. If you are not aware of the contact, you are placing your entire family at risk. Backyards are wild and can boast a variety of wild animals within it's borders. Many are never seen because they keep to themselves but eventually as these animals search for food, they will come in contact with a cat that is permitted outdoors.
Excuse Number Three: I have a six-foot fence.
Don't fool yourself; no fence will hold a cat in.
Excuse Number Four: I can't keep him in.
Close the windows, or put up screens. Don't leave doors to the outside standing open. Teach your children to close doors when they go in and out. Your brain is MUCH bigger than your cat's.
Excuse Number Five: The litter box smells.
Keep your cat's litter box clean and deodorized and it will not smell. If you scoop daily, it will reduce the odor.
Excuse Number Six: My cat knows how to avoid cars.
This point is very debatable, but even if it were true, all it takes is another cat, dog, mouse, a shiny object or blowing paper to lure your cat into the street and into the path of cars. It need only happen once.
Excuse Number Seven: He needs exercise and likes to play with other cats.
Provide your indoor cat with stimulating toys, windows to look out of and interactive playtime. Consider adopting a second cat as a playmate. If your indoor cat occupies himself with clawing furniture or drapes, provide him with a sturdy scratching post as a substitute.
Excuse Number Eight: He likes to sun himself.
He can sun himself by any window indoors just as well. After all, it isn't a tan he's interested in.
Do your pet a big favor - keep it indoors!