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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:50 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:29 am
Posts: 37
Location: Houston, Texas
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I think that as pet owners, we have an obligation to ensure their happiness. And that, in my opinion, could very well mean letting them out (where safe) :?


I have never really understood this argument for letting cats go outside. Why do you think they are happier when allowed out? Isn't that really just an assumption? Cats seem to love to explore but I don't know of any reason to assume that restricting the amount of space they have to explore affects their happiness.

My 3, although they love looking out the windows, also seem to have little interest in getting a closer look at what they see. They don't dart for the door when it is opened.

Medora


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:11 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:54 pm
Posts: 1440
Location: Gillingham, Dorset
cocomom wrote:
Quote:
I think that as pet owners, we have an obligation to ensure their happiness. And that, in my opinion, could very well mean letting them out (where safe) :?


I have never really understood this argument for letting cats go outside. Why do you think they are happier when allowed out? Isn't that really just an assumption? Cats seem to love to explore but I don't know of any reason to assume that restricting the amount of space they have to explore affects their happiness.

My 3, although they love looking out the windows, also seem to have little interest in getting a closer look at what they see. They don't dart for the door when it is opened.

Medora


I see what you're saying - and that's good that your cats don't dart for the door - i wish i could say the same for mine. When we kept them in for 6 weeks after they came to live with us, it was a battle just to get a leg through the door without one getting out :shock: and they'd see other cats through the windows and want to get out too. :?

Animals (not just cats) are not designed to be kept indoors - in the wild, they would be out hunting and fighting. Domesticated cats don't need to do this as much as a wild animal, but they are still animals who, i believe, need a little freedom. If that's on a harness, or an enclosed back garden, great!

I've seen my cats outside, and inside, and they are happier in themselves when they are able to go out. They bask in the sunshine in their wooden house and they love it!

Of course, there are circumstances where letting a cat out simply isn't practical, and as i mentioned previously, if i'd bought my cats as kittens, i would have cat-proofed my garden so they could go outside wihtout fear of anything happening to them.

As they were adults who'd already been allowed to roam outside, i had no choice in the matter. :(

It really is a case by case scenario.

These are just my own opinions, of course, each person has the right to do what is best for themselves and for their cats. x


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:24 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:25 am
Posts: 50
Location: south wales uk
I understand that none of us want to see harm come to those we care about, but, imagine your own life without risks, yes we could all stay inside and order our groceries off the internet, make our friends on line, we would be safe but would our lives be worth living. I love my kids and like most parents live in fear every time they are out of my sight, however if I kept them indoors just for my peace of mind, I am sure social services would intervene.
My neighbour has a Persian cat who has severe brain damage after an accident as a kitten, he was never allowed outside, but got caught in a folding stool in the kitchen.............make of that what you will


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:32 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:29 am
Posts: 37
Location: Houston, Texas
Within just the last 12 months I have:
- Seen a cat at the vet with paralyzed hind quarters from being mauled by an animal.
- Had my vet tell of a current patient whose owner was in the habit of letting her out in a fenced garden every evening where she was content to stay until a neighbors dog broke through the fence and mauled her.
- Had a friends 8 mos old kitten who "always stays close to home" killed by a car right in front of her house. This friend had a previous cat that "ran away".

When I was young my brothers had two friends who derived a lot of 'happiness' from creating small explosives from the contents of firecrackers. One day one of the boys blow half his hand off.

I want my cats to be happy but my first responsibility is to keep them safe.

Medora


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:38 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:34 pm
Posts: 644
Location: Lincoln, Uk
ali wrote:
I understand that none of us want to see harm come to those we care about, but, imagine your own life without risks, yes we could all stay inside and order our groceries off the internet, make our friends on line, we would be safe but would our lives be worth living. I love my kids and like most parents live in fear every time they are out of my sight, however if I kept them indoors just for my peace of mind, I am sure social services would intervene.


I see where you are coming from but you can't really compare cat behaviour to people, cats don't understand about roads, if you live near a busy one you're being irresponsible letting them out, as nine times out of ten they will want to cross that road.

Having lost two cats to the road we live on (they just had to cross it despite having half an acre of garden and nothing but lakes and fields behind us for miles) we decided not to let the new kittens out, they have a cat run we built and if we feel they need it we may extend it, but for the time being they are happy, they can go outside when they want during the day
and have full run of the house.

If we go and sit in the garden they go in their run and are quite happy playing with each other there, sometimes we go in there and sit with them.

You are quite lucky living in a rural place you have the option to let them out knowing they should be relatively safe, a lot of us don't.

Naomi


Last edited by Oscarsaurus on Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:30 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:25 am
Posts: 50
Location: south wales uk
Naomi, I have just looked at your cat run, its fantastic, I wouldnt mind going in there myself, just give me a good book and lock my kids outside. Heaven


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:42 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:34 pm
Posts: 644
Location: Lincoln, Uk
It's usually the other way round :lol: , the kids wanted to go in at the weekend I put them in , then the phone rang and I got distracted completely forgot they where they were unitil they started shouting :)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:20 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:25 am
Posts: 50
Location: south wales uk
Think I have overcome my moral dilema, Kashmir loves his new harness, never thought that would happen. Actually I never thought I would be the sort of woman who had a cat on a lead.....how eccentric, :lol:
There's pics of his first outing on the gallery.


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 4:56 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:49 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Ft Lauderdale, FL
I agree that this has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. When I was growing up in NJ, we ALWAYS had pets, but my grandmother was strongly against keeping them in the house all the time. Cats were put outside during the day, and the dog was let to run around in our huge fenced-in yard. If the cats came home at night, they were let in. If not, everyone went to bed and that was that. We actually never had any problems with any of them, so we were lucky.

Now-a-days, I think it's more practical (and safe) to keep our cats indoors, unless they are on a leash and harness. Leo LOVES to go outside, and will try to dart out the door if he catches you off guard. It usually takes one of us to keep him occupied, while the other turns off the house alarm. When I grab his leash and harness, he KNOWS he's going outside, and will start talking loudly and run over to me. He sits still while I put it on him, and he'll purr like crazy. He knows that he's not to go out without it, because when he does manage to dart out the door, he stops and crouches at the sound of our voice! He usually won't move any father once we yell his name, and go to grab him. But it's obvious he loves the fresh air and abundance of stimuli!

Oh, almost forgot to add... my husband and I currently live in a townhouse, and have started looking to buy a single-family house. One of the things we're looking for is to have an enclosed patio (like most homes in South Florida), so that the cats can have their "unsupervised" outdoor time without us having to worry.


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