Taking a new outdoor cat

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glendvd
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Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by glendvd » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:10 pm

We are currently babysitting a 5yr old female cat for my parents in law who are on holiday for a week. Our house is animal free since our cat died 2 weeks ago. The house the cat has come from also has a very annoying large dog. My mother in law got the cat from a kitten, then a year later got bored of it and decided in her childish way that she now wanted a puppy. I know, ridiculous isn't it? What is she, 7 or something? So when she got this new dog, the cat got pushed out and basically is starved of affection and keeps itself to itself. Since she's been here this past week she's been like a different cat and has a great personality nobody knew she had.

So i've proposed that we take the cat and she can live in an annoying dog free zone and get the affection and attention she deserves. Needless to say, the heartless, childish mother in law jumped at the chance and has agreed to this while still on holiday. Didn't even need time to think about it. How anyone can be like that with their cat is beyond my comprehension.

However, we do have a problem. This cat has been allowed to go out and roam the streets at will for 5 years, and would i guess be classed as an outdoor cat. However we have had 2 outdoor cats before, 1 got killed by a car, the other torn apart by a fox. Even this one went missing for 12 days before it eventually returned. And i'm simply not prepared to let a cat in my care roam the streets at night (or day for that matter) yet my wife refuses to take her unless we let her out claiming it to be unfair on the cat and "cruel" to keep her in. It's not a battle i'm gonna win i think so will probably have to give the cat back.

I'm just so sick and tired of hearing and reading people saying it's "cruel" to keep a cat indoors and against their natural instinct, which i'm sorry, to me is pure [email protected] Was it not cruel to allow a cat to be hit by a car because they don't know any better? Or was it kinder to let a cat out at 2am to see her insides get ripped open by a fox and see her guts in front of me as she breathed her last breath?

Am i right? Or is my wife's argument of "you can't keep her in, she'll just be miserable" the more sensible one? By the way, she hasn't cried to be out more than a couple of minutes in a week so she's obviously not missing being out that much.

Maybe she wanted to be out so much before because she wasn't getting any attention and had a hyper dog pestering all the time. And now she has that attention she won't want to be out as much. Surely the longer we keep her in she'd soon get used to it.

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KittyWitty
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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by KittyWitty » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:17 pm

I agree that it is far from cruel keeping a cat indoors - both of mine are indoor only. BUT to appease your wife - is there any way you could cat-proof your garden? (if you have one) or get a outdoor run/pen for kitty to relax in a few hours a day?

glendvd
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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by glendvd » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:41 pm

KittyWitty wrote:I agree that it is far from cruel keeping a cat indoors - both of mine are indoor only. BUT to appease your wife - is there any way you could cat-proof your garden? (if you have one) or get a outdoor run/pen for kitty to relax in a few hours a day?
I've already tried that approach. She just thinks i'd be being cruel not letting her wander the streets as she's currently used to. It's a very narrow minded view she has unfortunately that can't be changed it would appear. I'm a worrier about small things and know i would spend my time constantly worried about the cat whenever she was out and i can't go through it either going missing or getting killed as i have in the past. I'm sure i once read a stat somewhere the average ages of outdoor cats compared to indoor ones and the difference was vast. For my money, every time you let your cat out alone to wander wherever it wishes, you're putting its life at risk and that's not right to me. I'd rather it stayed in and was safe and died of old age, not by being shot or getting run over when it could easily be prevented by using a bit of common sense.

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KittyWitty
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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by KittyWitty » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:49 pm

glendvd wrote:
KittyWitty wrote:I agree that it is far from cruel keeping a cat indoors - both of mine are indoor only. BUT to appease your wife - is there any way you could cat-proof your garden? (if you have one) or get a outdoor run/pen for kitty to relax in a few hours a day?
I've already tried that approach. She just thinks i'd be being cruel not letting her wander the streets as she's currently used to. It's a very narrow minded view she has unfortunately that can't be changed it would appear. I'm a worrier about small things and know i would spend my time constantly worried about the cat whenever she was out and i can't go through it either going missing or getting killed as i have in the past. I'm sure i once read a stat somewhere the average ages of outdoor cats compared to indoor ones and the difference was vast. For my money, every time you let your cat out alone to wander wherever it wishes, you're putting its life at risk and that's not right to me. I'd rather it stayed in and was safe and died of old age, not by being shot or getting run over when it could easily be prevented by using a bit of common sense.
The comparison is massive average outdoor cat lives to 5-7 years old, average indoor cat lives to 15-17 years old.

I am in complete agreement with you - although I have no problem with how other people choose to keep their cats, for me full outdoor access is dangerous and I believe it is cruel - unless you live absolutely no where near roads which is very unlikely.

I have sort of been in your position - right now I do not have a garden but if I did I'd want to cat proof it but my partner wants the boys to have full access which I outright refuse to even entertain - the way I have started to get him on my side is to collect facts - indoor vs outdoor life for a cat. You could try this with your wife? But at the end of the day, if she still refuses you have a very hard decision on your hands - do you know what route you would take?

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by booktigger » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:12 pm

KittyWitty wrote:
glendvd wrote:
KittyWitty wrote:I agree that it is far from cruel keeping a cat indoors - both of mine are indoor only. BUT to appease your wife - is there any way you could cat-proof your garden? (if you have one) or get a outdoor run/pen for kitty to relax in a few hours a day?
I've already tried that approach. She just thinks i'd be being cruel not letting her wander the streets as she's currently used to. It's a very narrow minded view she has unfortunately that can't be changed it would appear. I'm a worrier about small things and know i would spend my time constantly worried about the cat whenever she was out and i can't go through it either going missing or getting killed as i have in the past. I'm sure i once read a stat somewhere the average ages of outdoor cats compared to indoor ones and the difference was vast. For my money, every time you let your cat out alone to wander wherever it wishes, you're putting its life at risk and that's not right to me. I'd rather it stayed in and was safe and died of old age, not by being shot or getting run over when it could easily be prevented by using a bit of common sense.
The comparison is massive average outdoor cat lives to 5-7 years old, average indoor cat lives to 15-17 years old.

I am in complete agreement with you - although I have no problem with how other people choose to keep their cats, for me full outdoor access is dangerous and I believe it is cruel - unless you live absolutely no where near roads which is very unlikely.

I have sort of been in your position - right now I do not have a garden but if I did I'd want to cat proof it but my partner wants the boys to have full access which I outright refuse to even entertain - the way I have started to get him on my side is to collect facts - indoor vs outdoor life for a cat. You could try this with your wife? But at the end of the day, if she still refuses you have a very hard decision on your hands - do you know what route you would take?
Actually, those statistics are for completely outdoor cats such as ferals, the OP's cat us an indoor outdoor cat whose lifespan is closer to an indoor cats lifespan. Indoor only cats do need a lot more stimulation or they will be hired and frustrated.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by glendvd » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:38 pm

KittyWitty wrote:
glendvd wrote:
KittyWitty wrote:I agree that it is far from cruel keeping a cat indoors - both of mine are indoor only. BUT to appease your wife - is there any way you could cat-proof your garden? (if you have one) or get a outdoor run/pen for kitty to relax in a few hours a day?
I've already tried that approach. She just thinks i'd be being cruel not letting her wander the streets as she's currently used to. It's a very narrow minded view she has unfortunately that can't be changed it would appear. I'm a worrier about small things and know i would spend my time constantly worried about the cat whenever she was out and i can't go through it either going missing or getting killed as i have in the past. I'm sure i once read a stat somewhere the average ages of outdoor cats compared to indoor ones and the difference was vast. For my money, every time you let your cat out alone to wander wherever it wishes, you're putting its life at risk and that's not right to me. I'd rather it stayed in and was safe and died of old age, not by being shot or getting run over when it could easily be prevented by using a bit of common sense.
The comparison is massive average outdoor cat lives to 5-7 years old, average indoor cat lives to 15-17 years old.

I am in complete agreement with you - although I have no problem with how other people choose to keep their cats, for me full outdoor access is dangerous and I believe it is cruel - unless you live absolutely no where near roads which is very unlikely.

I have sort of been in your position - right now I do not have a garden but if I did I'd want to cat proof it but my partner wants the boys to have full access which I outright refuse to even entertain - the way I have started to get him on my side is to collect facts - indoor vs outdoor life for a cat. You could try this with your wife? But at the end of the day, if she still refuses you have a very hard decision on your hands - do you know what route you would take?
I think i'm going to refuse to take it in. It's sad but i'd rather her blood be on someone else's hands than mine.

Argue over those statistics all you want, but here's my statistics. I've had 2 cats who were allowed out, the 1st was killed by a car after after 18months, the 2nd by a fox after 2months. So based on those, they didn't even get anywhere near the average. Why would i choose to have a cat and have it only last a couple of years before another inevitable incident. And when my wife has lived through both heartbreaking incidents i'm in disbelief she's willing to let it happen again. We had 2 indoor cats from 12 yr old and they lasted 5 years each, dying of old age. The maths are so easy it's unbelievable. Common sense is such a rare commodity in people these days.

I'm not saying to let your cat out means you have none, i'm saying when you compare all my cat experiences, why would you choose to let another one out?

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KittyWitty
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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by KittyWitty » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:41 pm

Heart breaking but as you say - needs must, you don't want the guilt of having another cats blood on your hands and that is completely acceptable.

I just hope the poor kitty does find a loving home eventually!

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by glendvd » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:10 pm

KittyWitty wrote:Heart breaking but as you say - needs must, you don't want the guilt of having another cats blood on your hands and that is completely acceptable.

I just hope the poor kitty does find a loving home eventually!
She'll just end up back at my i laws house, with a dog she tries to keep out of the way of, going out all the time because nobody gives her any attention. Or she could stay here with people who will give her loads of love and attention, but with someone who doesn't agree with the wishy washy attitude to letting her out, and almost inevitable have to deal with another horrible unnecessary young death.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by Hunnybunny » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:25 pm

Personally I'm 100% apposed to indoor cats as yes it is cruel if the cat does not choose to that lifestyle but instead has it enforced on them.

Cats are creatures that enjoy an easy life and the comforts of home. The home that she is coming from seems to be unsuitable for a cat so in a better, quieter and more loving home without the stress of a dog she will stay home far more. Certainly keep her in at nights but no, don't take on a cat just to imprison it because you think its the right thing.

I have said it before but we are our cats guardians not their keepers. We either respect them for the creatures they are or we don't have them.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by Crewella » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:21 am

I agree with Hunnybunny - why not compromise and let her out in the day and lock her in at night. We lost one cat to the road many years ago (at night), but the remaining five of my original cats lived to their late teens with outdoor access. As they got older I started locking them in at night, and all cats that have moved in with me since are also locked in at night - several of them are ex-strays so really love the great outdoors, but have no problem with a night curfew.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by Themogfather » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:58 pm

It sounds like this cat may prefer the out doors due to circumstances rather than choice.
if you have been keeping it indoors while looking after it as it been happy?
I agree its cruel to force a cat to be an indoor cat when it wants to be a out door one but by giving this cat the affection its missing and provoiding a safe dog free enviroment it might prefer living with you indoors rather than were it is with out door acsess.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by glendvd » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:27 pm

Themogfather wrote:It sounds like this cat may prefer the out doors due to circumstances rather than choice.
if you have been keeping it indoors while looking after it as it been happy?
I agree its cruel to force a cat to be an indoor cat when it wants to be a out door one but by giving this cat the affection its missing and provoiding a safe dog free enviroment it might prefer living with you indoors rather than were it is with out door acsess.
To be honest i genuinely can't understand why my wife is so dead set on letting the cat out. For the week we've had her, she has never shown any signs of unhappiness at being kept in, never cried at the door or the window to be out, never scratched any doors or anything to be out. She's been perfectly happy in our house getting all the attention and playing with us loads. Once or twice she's ventured towards a back door which has been ajar, but then just walked off without any interest of going out of it.

I think to be honest I will take her after reading the helpful posts on this thread, and only let her out in the day (if she so desires), and hope she comes back for the night time. If we let her go back to the house with the dog, she'll be let out anyway and still won't be getting any attention so better off at ours I think. Thanks.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by Crewella » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:00 pm

With my lot, I started feeding them later so they get called in to eat, and then I shut the door for the night. Hope that helps, best of luck!

And I agree with you - I always tend to let the cat judge and let it set the pace. I would neither force a cat in, or out.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by glendvd » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:47 am

Crewella wrote:With my lot, I started feeding them later so they get called in to eat, and then I shut the door for the night. Hope that helps, best of luck!

And I agree with you - I always tend to let the cat judge and let it set the pace. I would neither force a cat in, or out.
Good idea, ta.

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by Themogfather » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:47 pm

Glad you have decided taking the cat im sure they will quickly settle in to a routine. If you are still worried about the cat being outside you can get trackers that fit on a cats collar and which allow you to track were your cat is and as been so you can monitor if its going in dangerous places. Also if you offer the cat the chance to go out in the day and it still stays indoors this should settle your wife to the fact that the cat wants to be a indoor cat.
good luck with your adoption

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Re: Taking a new outdoor cat

Post by Grace56 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:48 pm

I had two indoor/outdoor cats who were shut in at night, who lived to be eighteen and a half years old. I don't like the idea of a cat being kept in and prefer it to be able to choose.
I remember my late mum taking in a stray cat after her boy was PTS, and she tried to keep him indoors. But he howled to be able to go out and was very unhappy with the situation to the point where he was messing all over the house instead of his litter tray. :shock:

However, if I lived near a very busy main road, rather than keep cat indoors,I wouldn't have a cat at all. Luckily, I didn't live near a busy road when I had my brother and sister cats and I don't now. I have a big courtyard. So, I will be taking a stray cat in soon, and after keeping him in for a week or two...I will let him choose. My late, much loved Oscar was with me for seven years there, and he died of renal failure in 2012.

Good luck with your little cat, and I hope she will be very happy with you. :)

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