Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

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Mrs Kane
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Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:20 am

Hello guys,

I'm new, but please don't let that or the late hour discourage you. I have a question that I have found the crevasses of the interenet cannot fully solve this for me. Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

I will explain: I do not have a cat but my boyfriend and I have been thinking of getting one for about as long as we've been together (3 years is it? Phew! it must be!) However, we own a flat in the centre of the city which is just.....well.... It's impossible to let a cat out onto busy streets, especially living in an environment where they wouldn't be able to re-enter once they are out.

Now I'm not keen on the "cat leash" idea that I've seen many people use. I'm sure it gets your cat out the house but cats in my experience are very different to dogs and go their own way. I'm sure some of you have cats that love the leash but I don't really want to take that chance, especially as I would like to get a rescue cat who will undoubtedly come with it's own wants and needs, and I dare say they won't contain a leash in that list.

So what I'm asking is; is it wrong to have a cat all penned up in a flat? My flat is fairly normal, it's not a pokey little student's apartment. The cat wouldn't have to worry about many new people all the time as we get visits infrequently. We don't have kids of our own to upset the cat, nor do we have any friends that have kids currently.

Does anyone have bad experiences with housecats? I know my boyfriend would love to own a cat, as would I, but at the end of the day I want to make sure that it's fair. After all, a cat isn't just a toy and I want to make sure it's being cared for properly.

Many thanks to all

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Hazel » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:50 am

You will probably get lots of opposing views posted in reply. Some peope on here do have house cats, some (like mine) with access to outdoor runs which I guess will be impossible in a flat. Some rescues won't home cats as indoor only, don't let that put you off though, some will.
A really nice thing to do would be to contact rescues and ask if they have any special needs cats, eg deaf or blind cats. I know some people let these out too, but if you found one who had never been let out I think it would be safe to say it will be happy kept in. Another option is a cat who has been in rescue a long time, surely a flat is a better life than a 8x10 enclosure.

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by bobbys girl » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:30 am

Hello Mrs Kane, and welcome to CC.

I can't see anything wrong with an indoor only lifestyle for a cat, if the cat is use to it. Mine would hate it and get very stressed if they have to be kept in for any reason. Some cats might love it.

I have a friend who, years ago, had two cats. She always left a small window open for the cats to come and go as they wanted. The boy would do just that, the (very shy, very jumpy) girl never went out! :roll:

As for the cat leash, I would say OK short-term but not a good permanent solution. We have friends who moved to southern Spain. They took their cat, travelling over-land right through Spain, north to south until they hit the coast. Before they went they got her use to wearing a harness and would take her for walks whenever they stopped. They finally found a place they wanted to stay and she never wore the harness again! She was a very laid-back cat.

I wish you luck. Let us know how you go on.

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Lilith » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:53 am

Hi, nice to meet you - I'm new here myself. :) I've had cats all my life and two of my current cats literally grew up on the street; the third, who's a right handful, was destined for the street; she can be totally manic and I think they chucked her out of doors when they got sick of her dangling from the lampshades and attacking the kids. My small garden is now wired in (an escape route is organised for the curious when my cats aren't using it) and so my cats don't roam. I'm happier with this. They also demand the right to wander in and out at will, so the back door has to be left open. If the weather's too bad, they don't go out. This can be awkward as winter approaches - 'Lil, turn the summer back on and open the door...NOW!' but generally they're reasonably content.

This is a tiny house, probably smaller than many flats, and the cats share it with 15 snakes in vivariums, about a thousand books and me (fortunately I don't take up much space.) The two older ones are into double figures and sleep most of the time; the younger one is three and needs a lot of company. I'm retired and at home all the time; I wouldn't recommend keeping a lone cat if you're out at work a lot; even if they're sleeping, they like to have someone there, although an elderly cat may be more tolerant in this respect than a younger one.

A lot of people suggest, get two kittens and they will be company for each other - and so they will, but not if you're houseproud. A playful cat can leave devastation in its wake, never mind two! I had the most beautiful long romantic lace curtains in my bedroom before manic Molly demolished them lol (not!) However she's an extreme example.

I see no reason, especially with all the thought you're giving to it, why a cat shouldn't have a very happy life in your flat, with enough company and any fragile valuables protected. Also you might need to think ahead if you have a balcony - catproofing a flat could be a good subject for another thread. As has been said, a cat in long-term shelter accommodation would think it was great, and a special needs cat would be ideal.

Do hope you find your cat soon, paws crossed! :)

Sorry if I've overlapped or duplicated views with another poster btw - got interrupted writing this. And I can smell a cat tray...lovely...must go lol!

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Crewella » Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:08 pm

All my lot go out, and I do believe most cats should have the opportunity, but with the right cat and given lots of playtime and things to keep them occupied you should be fine. Many cats do lead perfectly happy lives as indoor cats. I agree it would be a good idea to contact a rescue and find a cat that needs to be indoors because of health or special needs - everybody wins that way! :)

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:37 am

Many thanks everyone for the advice and the welcomes :) ! I do think that perhaps a slightly older cat or a cat with a disability would get the best lease of life with us.

From Hazel:
A really nice thing to do would be to contact rescues and ask if they have any special needs cats, eg deaf or blind cats. I know some people let these out too, but if you found one who had never been let out I think it would be safe to say it will be happy kept in. Another option is a cat who has been in rescue a long time, surely a flat is a better life than a 8x10 enclosure.
We did come very close to adopting a blind cat last year, but sadly we couldn't due to the other problems she had. :( (We couldn't cover her for insurance because of her special diet and tablet costs. The poor thing was abused and as a consequence had lots of internal organ problems). It was very sad because she was a wonderful little cat, so friendly and always happy despite all the horrible things she'd been through and we met all other needs for adopting her. Luckily someone at the shelter very kindly sent us an email newsletter of rehomed pets and she was on the list :) I slept easier after that email.
I do agree with you on the points you made. I do think an older cat would perhaps be better for us as we are in the right situation to provide it properly and not stress it out in a constantly changing environment.

From Lilith: (That's a really interesting name btw, I have a good friend called Lucy who likes to be called Lilith and loves cats to bits! She owns several though, and they are all outdoor cats ;) )
A lot of people suggest, get two kittens and they will be company for each other - and so they will, but not if you're houseproud. A playful cat can leave devastation in its wake, never mind two! I had the most beautiful long romantic lace curtains in my bedroom before manic Molly demolished them lol (not!) However she's an extreme example.

I see no reason, especially with all the thought you're giving to it, why a cat shouldn't have a very happy life in your flat, with enough company and any fragile valuables protected. Also you might need to think ahead if you have a balcony - catproofing a flat could be a good subject for another thread. As has been said, a cat in long-term shelter accommodation would think it was great, and a special needs cat would be ideal.
I have heard from a lot of people to get 2 kittens so they don't get lonely. Generally I think that would be okay if we were out a great deal (AKA 9-5) in our jobs we are very lucky and work for several different clients. So there are days where we don't go out for more than a few hours a day. I think perhaps we won't go down the kitten route for reasons you've mentioned. We both really want to adopt from a rescue centre rather than buy from a pet store where you can't always trust the places they get them* (see below for reasons). And also We just got a new sofa. (okay it's nothing special, we didn't sacrifice our mortgage to get it, but still, it would be nice to keep it relatively claw free for now)

We do have a fairy large balcony and we live on the second floor so that is something we are also going to have to prepare for in the future. Luckily we have fairly high railings so that should provide a little deterant. My BF and I have talked this over a great deal and we have concluded that with the type of balcony doors we have installed we need to just be very vigilant when we do get a cat. However any advice on this is also welcome.





*I have nothing against pet stores, independant or chain. I always found them to be wonderful places with helpful souls. The thing I have discovered over the past few years though is the breeders of animals that sell to pet stores are not always on the level. In fact sometimes they can be a damn sight inhumane in their practices. I know it's not so common in the UK anymore, but it is common in Spain, where I currently live. I have asked pet stores here over the past few years for breeding certificates and they can't provide them, or the place they gave me just does not exist. (FYI, it's just a billing address in the city, in a location impossible to hold animals safely in multiple) So (it's sounds like I'm being terribly anal right now...... :/ ) I decided a little while ago to opt for rescue centres above all else. I have many other reasons for this, but that is my main one.

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by AhmedUK » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:37 pm

I live with a cat who is an indoor cat only. He has never been outside, except for one trip to the vet and one night at someone else's home. When I come into the flat, he sometimes comes to the door and peeks outside into the communal corridor. He is a very nervous cat by nature, so he just stands there, and I can see part of him wants to go out and explore but another part of him is scared, so he stands there moving his head back and forth, and then he just runs back inside. Heck, even when people walk outside the door he stops what he is doing and listens so intently.

Is he happy? He is loved, that is for sure. There are moments when he seems happy indoors. But is he well and truly happy? I don't know. When he sits there in the window looking outside, it breaks my heart - there is the great outdoors, and yet he has never experienced it. Should we humans have the right to take an animal away from it's natural habitat and keep it in an artificial habitat just because it suits us?

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Fran_ki » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:22 pm

Our Kenzie a BSH was an indoor cat as a lot of pedigrees are as they've no road sense whatsoever !
They'd sit in the middle of the road and expect the cars to drive around them .
He'd never known any different and was very happy. Sometimes he came a walk round the garden in my arms but always wanted back inside before long.
We are getting another BSH in January and hopefully a wee rescue kitten as a buddy who'll be indoor as well.
We live right on a very busy road and I'd worry constantly if the cats were out xx

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Themogfather » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:02 pm

i have 4 indoor cats all seem well adjusted and happy. I too live in a flat and so was the only option,
All mine are rescued . two oldies who would still proberly be in the shelter and two kittens who were going to be abanded/PTS so mine are all definitly better off.
Think about adopting a older cat by this i dont necessary mean old just not kittens as they are hard to home and in my experience make great addition to any family.
Good luck in your search

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Kay » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:15 pm

I have the ideal set up, with an enclosed patio area at the back, about 30ftx20ft, but of course people living in flats don't have this option

the one thing I would say to anyone who owns or is contemplating an indoor cat, please try to find them a spot where the sun comes in, as all the cats I have known have adored lying in a sunny patch, whether indoors or out, and it would be sad, IMO, if any animal had to live its life without feeling the sun on its face

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Lyn from Australia » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:57 pm

In an ideal world for cats, they would all have access to both indoors and outdoors. It's far from an ideal world unfortunately - just too many hazards. When my Ruby was dying, we spent a couple of hours on her last day at home out in the yard, and she was SO happy with the sun on her face and the grass under her paws that I almost thought it might have cured her! :( My previous flat had a balcony which I had fitted with special cat netting, very effective and almost invisible, which improved the cats' lives no end. In this home I have a courtyard which I have had enclosed, which also makes them very happy - but if you asked them I'm sure most of the would say that you still can't beat the feel of grass under your paws. However, there are so many cats and so few willing to have them that if people live in extremely dangerous places like an inner city area that the pusses are better off and happier indoors and alive than being killed because nobody wants them. Two cats are better than one if that is at all possible. Make sure there are lots of toys and areas of interest - cat towers near windows or in places in the home where they can oversee all that is happening - attractive shelves and bridges going up walls and across doorways - there are so many ways to enrich their lives. If you are adopting rather than purchasing from a breeder, take advice from the shelter as to which cats may adjust better to an indoor life, including as mentioned cats with handicaps such as blindness, deafness or missing limbs - and then go for it! I hope you decide to go ahead and I'm looking forward to pictures. :lol:

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:29 am

Hey everyone, it's been a while I know.

I wanted to let you all know that we now have a cat. Her name is Sofi and she is a rescue. We rehomed her from a colleague that had to move back to the UK due to a family circumstance and found her new flat wouldn't allow pets.


(Sorry for links, I couldn't get pics to work)
Here she is, sponsoring Hewlett Packard: http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc13 ... G_0512.jpg
And stealing my chair. http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc13 ... G_0506.jpg

Just to let you all know, this colleague reached out to us through my boss, who knew we were looking for a rescue cat. It was all very sudden. (4 days between talking to the colleague, meeting Sofi and rehoming her.) She was born and raised a house cat and doesn't know what living outside is like. We're hoping that within a month we'll have the funds to buy and construct a special net and fixed poles so she can go on the balcony without wanting to jump on or over it. (Also it gets pretty damn hot here in July so she's going to be as miserable as us without the doors open)

Overall she seems very happy. I do have 2 concerns which I will post in other threads. (I'll put them below once posted)

Thanks everyone for the posts and advice, I have taken them to heart, even if it doesn't show here.

Love MK

EDIT: First post (about food routine)- http://www.catchat.org/felineforum/view ... =13&t=2686" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Eliz+Cats » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:48 am

Hi MK,

Sofi is just beautiful; and she looks SO at home on that chair... :D

Eliz

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:49 pm

Hey Eliz,

Thankyou :) She's really settled in here. It's great! I was a little worried she miss her previous owner too much but she's got on with us really well :)

My phone is filled with cat pictures now, I look so sad :P

And as I type she decided next to it is her new spot now. :P

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Crewella » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:22 pm

She's lovely, and it's good to hear she's settled in so well. :)

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Lilith » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:02 pm

Congrats - what a lovely girl :D

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:52 am

Decided to post this here to save on a new forum post:

Hey all,

My boyfriend and I are going away for 5 weeks over July and August were thinking about putting our cat in a cattery while we were away. (Booked before we rescued Sofi so we can't change the dates)

This wasn't our first option, we originally intended and asked for Sofi to stay with either of 2 friends here in Barcelona, however one decided to get a puppy in April and the other has gone back home to Venezuela because her father is ill.

Does anyone here have any experience with catteries and what they are like? We'll be away for 5 weeks and I just want a general feel of what other people think.

We also considered getting a cat sitter, but it proved too expensive to cope with, and (god bless the internet) we read a few horror stories that put us off.

Anyone have any experience with this? Any info would be great.

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Kay » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:08 am

I once had to leave a Siamese in a cattery for 3 weeks, and she was absolutely fine, but the owners were very fond of her, and made lots of fuss of her, so that probably made a big difference

the quality of the cattery matters more than that it is a cattery, if you know what I mean - try asking around expats, Embassy staff etc for a recommendation, as some of them are likely to have used one, and finding one which keeps its standards way up because they don't want to lose valuable business could be your best bet, I would have thought

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:30 am

the quality of the cattery matters more than that it is a cattery, if you know what I mean - try asking around expats, Embassy staff etc for a recommendation, as some of them are likely to have used one, and finding one which keeps its standards way up because they don't want to lose valuable business could be your best bet, I would have thought
It's true, I made a post on Barcelona Expats group chat on Facebook to ask but no one has come back to me yet. I also sent emails to 3 Barcelona Catteries but they haven't responded either. I'm beginning to think I need to start phoning around which I hate to do in Spanish... Oh well, needs must be met and all that.

Thanks for the advice Kay. :)

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Crewella » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:12 am

I've never used a cattery, so have little experience. The only one I know is run by one of the other volunteers at the rescue I foster for, and I know for a fact she takes very good care of all her charges. I hope you find somewhere suitable.

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:54 am

Well, this is my "OkayI'mgoingonholidaynow!" post.

Figured I'd save thread space and put it here.

So, so long, farewell! And all that other miaow.

Just letting you know that Sofi is going to be cared for by our next door neighbour, which is great! And she's going to look in on her 3 times a day! (And I didn't even have to probe! :shock: *faints*)
I'm super happy about this because Sof gets to stay in her place and doesn't have to be shoved around with a bunch of other cats and feel out of sorts! And Sofi LOVES our neighbour to bits. (I'm actually kinda jealous, she's way nicer to her than us!)
I'm also super happy because the price we agreed is waaaaay cheaper than a cattery! Oh Sofi you are so getting a cat tower when we get back!

So I won't be around until late August, except sporadically through Wifi. (Sorry, pool and beach and American food calls!)

Last thing I have to say is I hope you all have a wonderful Summer and I hope all your little cats do too!

I'll see you on the flip side!

MK.

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Lilith » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:40 am

Hope you have great hols! :D

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:08 pm

Sofi has a great arrangement there!

Have a lovely holiday. We're off on Saturday and our gang have their Auntie Tina and Uncle Michael living in with them. They will be spoiled rotten!

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Crewella » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:16 am

Have a great trip, all of you!

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by andybriz » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:29 am

Myself and my other half had 2 kittens in a city centre flat for a year and it was stressful. I wouldn't do it again. It was quite a spacious flat but suddenly became far too small for everyone almost overnight.

We had planned to buy a house, then get cats but we just got carried away! We were always having to close rooms off and could never open the balcony door or any windows as they would bolt, so it was always boiling hot. We have now moved into a house with a garden and no doors are ever closed, they go anywhere they want and everyone is happier!

My advice would be to just get one, which I think you are anyway so this is fine, and to get a cat that is a few years old, not a kitten! They will mostly just eat, sleep and be cuddly.

Friends of ours have 2 cats in a similar sized flat to what ours was and they seem fine. They even go out on the balcony which I wouldn't let ours do! The 2 they got were a few years old and came from an indoor only household, the lady had died I think so they don't know any different, and they are lovely happy and cats!

EDIT - Sorry just read all the other posts, not just the first one and realised you were just giving an update! Oh well maybe my post will help someone else!

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by bobbys girl » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:12 pm

Don't know when you will read this - I'm a bit late catching up (nothing new there, then :roll: )but I hope you have a lovely summer and that Sofi has a good one too. Your solution sounds great.

My friends in Spain found a good cattery in a little town half way between Orgiva and Ugijar. But that is a bit of a trek from Barcelona, so wouldn't be much help!

Seems you came up with the ideal solution.

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:57 am

Myself and my other half had 2 kittens in a city centre flat for a year and it was stressful. I wouldn't do it again. It was quite a spacious flat but suddenly became far too small for everyone almost overnight.

We had planned to buy a house, then get cats but we just got carried away! We were always having to close rooms off and could never open the balcony door or any windows as they would bolt, so it was always boiling hot. We have now moved into a house with a garden and no doors are ever closed, they go anywhere they want and everyone is happier!

My advice would be to just get one, which I think you are anyway so this is fine, and to get a cat that is a few years old, not a kitten! They will mostly just eat, sleep and be cuddly.

Friends of ours have 2 cats in a similar sized flat to what ours was and they seem fine. They even go out on the balcony which I wouldn't let ours do! The 2 they got were a few years old and came from an indoor only household, the lady had died I think so they don't know any different, and they are lovely happy and cats!

EDIT - Sorry just read all the other posts, not just the first one and realised you were just giving an update! Oh well maybe my post will help someone else!
Thankyou for the input anyway Andy! :) As you said it may help someone else down the line. We also made the mistake of allowing ourselves to get Sofi before we'd really taken the time to assess what cat proofing we needed doing so I think thats an important thing to remember especially when you're thinking of getting a house cat.

Thankyou all for the comments! Sofi is enjoying her free time without us by all accounts andmy OH and I are enjoying the US very much! (i won't go on because its very hard to type on my phone)

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Re: Is it wrong to keep a cat indoors?

Post by Mrs Kane » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:25 am

Well.... We're home. *phew* And we had a great holiday! Sofi was totally overfed and pampered by our neighbour and is now twice as large and loud as normal!

We've started to put her on a diet as of this morning and she doesn't like it one bit! We've been playing with her as much as she'll allow so hopefully she'll be able to trim down a bit before my parents come over for Christmas and spoil her rotten with tid bits from the Christmas turkey.

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