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BlessedMommy

The Indoor/outdoor Cat Dilemma

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Our first kitty that we got, we adopted as a stray last year. He just stopped by our house....and never left! :) We checked around and after being unable to locate his owner (placed ads, checked for microchip, etc.) decided to keep him.

 

He is a fantastic cat, very loving and good with the kids. He's been microchipped and rabies vaccinated now (plan on doing the feline leukemia shot and distemper shot soon as well) and he's a very loving and cherished part of the family. He goes outside frequently but is allowed inside as much as he wants and I try to always bring him inside for the night. We live out in the woods on a large acreage about 1/4 mile from the road, so risk of getting hit by cars is lower. He loves stalking the edge of our property and seeking what he may devour. That's one reason why I hesitate to make him an indoor only cat, because our mice problem out here is BAD, and it's gotten a lot better since he's joined our family!

 

But I'm reading and frankly the statistics about cats being outdoors frightens me. It seems that the odds are, that a cat who's outdoors is likely to die a premature violent death. I kind of experienced that growing up, because my parents lived on a farm and had cats that were pretty much strictly outdoors and almost solely there for control of the mice population. I never ever had a cat that lived to old age. All were eaten by dogs, coyotes, drank anti-freeze, etc. It was very traumatic for me to see my pets get killed so often. I suppose that my cat's odds are a bit better than that, considering that I make him sleep indoors, but I'm pretty concerned still. 

 

Does anybody know if the presence of cats in a house makes mice less likely to enter?

 

The kitty gets very restless if we make him stay indoors for a long time though. He will start pacing around, looking out the windows, and standing by the door meowing. So I'm also worried that we would drive him stir crazy.

 

I suggested adopting a feral colony to keep in our barn to help with rodent control, since those cats can never be tamed anyway, and by feeding them, vaccinating them, and giving them an outdoor shelter, we'd be helping to improve their quality of life, but I don't think that my husband really likes that idea.

 

Anyway, any thoughts on this subject are welcome, including how to acclimatize any indoor/outdoor cat to staying in, if that's the route we end up going.


~Ruth

Gluten free since 2/14/2010 after suffering a rare and serious complication from my gluten challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had indoor/outdoor cats for most of my life. Then I moved into the home I am in now and have a neighbor that detests cats. After one was almost killed by him with a bat they became strictly indoor. It did take both of the kitties a while to get used to not going outside but they did accept it after a time. I made sure they had plenty of toys and that did seem to help. I don't have a big mouse problem but have on occasion had them in a spare room. Kitties kept wanting to get in there and I couldn't figure out why until I saw the tell tale signs.  I have never had any mouse issues in any other part of the house so I do think a cat in residence helps. 

I did find that my kitties have had a much longer life when kept inside. I rarely had a cat live more than 7 or 8 years when they were indoor/outdoor kitties. Once I started keeping them inside most have lived to at least 16 or 17.  The 2 I have now have never been outside since I got them as kittens although one would love to go outside and chase the birds. She sits in the window and chatters at them but has never tried to sneak out.

I think the barn kitties idea is a good one. Many shelters can lead you to some or may have some there. They are not always feral and some may enjoy a pet along with their food. If you do decide to get barn kitties do make sure that you spay or neuter them as that also will increase their lifespan.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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My cat has been indoor only all her life. I have a screened in porch where she can go to THINK she's outside. Maybe you could install a kitty door that leads to an enclosed "run". If it opens on the outside too, you could put a litter box at the far end with a gate you could open to take care of cleaning it.

 

Having a cat indoors will definitely cut down on the mice indoors. And adopting a feral colony is a WONDERFUL idea!


gluten-free since June, 2011

It took 3 !/2 years but my intolerances to corn, soy, and everything else (except gluten) are gone!

Life is good!

 

 

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I believe that indoor/outdoor cats don't live very long because of the elements outside. My cats are indoor cats but i have a screened in pool area and they go out there. but they can't go really outside its almost like they are looking out the windows with a screen. I feel if the cat is tame you should keep the cat inside away from the elements. Barn feral cats is a great idea you are saving cats from being killed and they are solving your rodent problem. its a win win situation.Just make sure you fix them you don't need any more babies. I LOVE your idea....

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adopting a  feral family  is wonderful.  Make  sure  they are fixed  & given  shots. Rabies  shot  is  so important  when  cats  are killing & eating  rodents....We  lost  the last  feral cat  at  age 18 , we  started out  with 8....we  did  supplement  their  rodent  lifestyle  with  feed  but  not so much they wouldn't  hunt...also  they  need  some interaction..we  could only touch 2  of the 8  but  we  talked to them  daily  &  let  them  see our  presence  so  in a  way they  did know us....We  live trapped them  every two years for  shots...

We  have  an indoor " king"  that  goes  outdoors  & does some hunting  but does not eat  the kill...it's just a gift  to us!!!!!! 

 

If  you decide  to get  feral's  keep them  in the closed  barn  for  awhile  so they get used  to the  area or  else  they will just  take  off & run  away\........I will say I still cried  when  everyone  passed  on.....I'm a member of trap/neuter release....

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