With a good caregiver the answer is “indoor cats have a better quality of life,” hands down.
An outdoor cat has the benefit of entertaining themselves, they can engage in natural behaviors such as climbing, digging, hunting, and sunning. If they’re a social cat, they may enjoy the company of other neighborhood cats.
However, they would be exposed to more daily stress. Stress scurrying across the road with a car barreling down, stress from trying to keep other cats off their turf, stress from coming across native predators or dogs.
It’s also more difficult to monitor health of an outdoor cat, so although they may enjoy hunting and digging they won’t enjoy having worms. They won’t enjoy struggling to pee, or being constipated, which their owner may not pick up on because they do most of their business in the neighbors garden.
Their deaths are often less “quality” as well, the reason free-roaming cats tend to live shorter lifespans is because of trauma and illness. They may enjoy sunning themselves, but wouldn’t enjoy dragging themselves to the side of the road to die because they chose the wrong patch of asphalt. They may enjoy climbing, but wouldn’t enjoy it if a bird of prey snatches them off a branch.
Indoor cats with inadequate owners will become bored, depressed, and often destructive. If fed poorly they’re more likely to be obese or develop health issues such as renal, thyroid, or urinary problems. This is, clearly, not a good quality of life.
However this can easily be remedied by providing an enriching environment using cat shelves, crinkle tunnels, cat trees, scratching posts, etc. and engaging in daily interactive enrichment.
If the cat craves the authenticity of an outdoor experience enclosures can be purchased or made, or they can be harness trained to safely enable their desire to roam. Ways to bring authentic outdoor fun inside is providing f/t feeder chicks or rodents, letting them hunt purchased feeder insects, or providing a dig box with soil from the yard if it’s pesticide free.
It’s also easier to monitor a cats health. Cats tend to hide if they’re ill, being around them all the time gives you a better feel for their behavior and if somethings off. It’s also easier to monitor their litter use and urine / stool health, which is often an early warning sign. Being able to notice the issue sooner means less time the cat is suffering, and if it’s a serious health issue the cat then has a better chance of recovery.
The quality of death is often better, a well-cared for indoor cat is most probably going to die of age or from euthanasia.
So the quality of life for an outdoor cat may be situationally better than the quality of life of an indoor cat who has a unqualified owner, but an indoor cat with an owner who knows what they’re doing and is willing to put the time and effort into having a pet isn’t missing any of the “pros” an outdoor cat experiences but is spared the “cons” both the outdoor cat and the poorly owned indoor cat suffer.
How do you feel about outdoor cats? (or indoor outdoor cats. basically cats that are allowed to wander.) is it illegal where you live? if so, do people follow the rules? if not, do you think it should be illegal?
First, I would like to relay a conversation that I have at least once a day.
Me: Is your cat a strictly indoor cat?
Owner: Yes, but he goes outside sometimes during the day.
That is not the definition of a strictly indoor cat.
Outdoor cats are permitted under some local council jurisdictions, but there is increasing push to restrict their activities. Some locations have a cat curfew, some estates have an indoor only policy (and all pets must be desexed), and some locations are pushing to prevent ownership of pet cats at all (mostly islands).
There is a large population of stray cats and semi-owned cats. These cats might get fed by multiple people on the street, but nobody steps up to claim ownership of the cat. Nobody gets it desexed or gets veterinary treatment. Nobody goes looking for it if it goes missing, they assume it ‘went home’.
Our local council is pushing for more people to take responsibility for these cats, largely cutting down on adoption paperwork. They’re also allowing businesses and factories to take ownership of semi-owned local cats so long as they’re desexed. The feral colony living of McDonald’s dumpsters is an example. The council can’t force these people to keep barely tame cats inside, but they’ll settle for seeing them desexed. Folks wont hand cats over to the council if they think they’re just going to be put to sleep.
The simple facts about cats permitted to roam outside are these:
They devastate local wildlife populations. Even well fed pets will hunt. If you would like to see the approximately 50 animals removed from one feral cat’s stomach, there is a picture here. It’s a bit gore-ish. They kill a lot.
They do not live as long on average as strictly indoor cats.
This is mostly due to increased viral transmission and accidents - fights, dog attacks, hit by cars etc.
There is a portion of the human population that deliberately go out of their way to harm cats. Shooting in rural areas, running them over with cars, putting out milk with paracetamol (acetaminophen), etc.
People will also ‘kidnap’ friendly cats that they find on the street and ‘assume’ are lost so decide to keep them. I know one lady that picked up a cat on the street on holiday, drove four hours back home, and then presented it to me where I found its microchip. She did not get to keep the cat she kidnapped.
Cats with white faces are far less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma.
Cats are safer if they’re confined to their home or properly secured cat runs. Both safer for them and it prevents their devastating affect on our environment. I would prefer to see them all contained, though I doubt that will happen. Society’s view of cats and how we keep them would need to change before that happens. Currently they’re perceived as low value pets because they’re so easy to acquire.
Note that a cat on a harness still counts as contained, because they’re not able to free-roam, as do cats in a secure enclosure.
Society is perfectly happy to contain and entertain its dogs. We should be capable of doing so for our cats.
You mentioned outdoor cats are bad for the environment and the cats health, however what if the cats nature/personality would mean it would be miserable living inside all the time?
There are plenty of ways to provide stimulation for an indoor cat without letting them roam unsupervised! Providing window perches, different heights and types of cat trees, rotating toys, food puzzles, hiding spots, and interactive solo toys are all things you can do to keep your indoor kitty mentally and physically stimulated. Also, clicker training and interactive play with your cat are great ways to be directly involved in stimulating your kitty! Here’s a link to a great article about cat enrichment.
Clicker training with my cat, Garrus. And you can see his tunnel in the background, which I rotate with other toys and boxes.
Going outside can be used as enrichment too–but they should be under your supervision, not roaming free. Instead, leash training your cat or providing outdoor enclosures are much safer alternatives. Leash training my cat was the best decision I’ve made for him. He is able to enjoy the outdoors, but in a safe and controlled manner. Here’s a little more information about leash training a cat. Indoor cats can become overweight, stressed, and develop behavioral issues if we as owners don’t make an effort to provide enough enrichment and exercise for them. However, that is not a good enough reason to let a cat roam outside where their health is at risk and the environment is at risk. What I would say for a cat that is miserable inside is that they are not receiving enough mental stimulation, not that they are incapable of living happily indoors. I know it can be hard to keep up with them; my cat spent half the night biting my toes because yesterday I did not do enough to stimulate him so he was totally bored and full of energy. Just keep reminding yourself that keeping them inside is what is best for them and the environment!
Garrus enjoys playing in the grass while out on a walk. Leash training is a great alternative to letting a cat free roam.
Hello! I really love your artstyle, and your passion for animals. This may seem like an odd question, but with the arrival of spring, my cat buddy has been bringing home little gifts, and I don't really know what to do with them. I know I can't change her habits, and it's in her nature, so my question is: what shall I do with the little corpses? I'm personally not vegan, but I love animals, and I want to give them the proper treatment. I thought you might have the right answer.
This isn’t exactly what you asked me to answer, but I need to respond with a question to you: Why are you letting your kitty outdoors in the first place? I love cats, and I know it may seem kinder to let pets roam where they like instead of shutting them up indoors, but in reality, outdoor domestic cats have a MASSIVE detrimental impact to wildlife. They are a non-native invasive species and a significant predator of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and even endangered species, in addition to carrying disease between wild animals. Free roaming cats also have a very short life expectancy and lower quality of life due to exposure to pests, toxins, and dangerous situations – so if you care about her and other animals and must let her outside, please keep her in an enclosed area with a harness where she can’t hurt herself or anything else! You can read this for more information on this subject.
Also, if I’m misunderstanding what you said and your cat IS indoor-only but catching mice and things, a couple suggestions. Make sure your cat has plenty of toys and activities to entertain her, which might discourage her from turning to hunting, if you don’t want these prey critters killed unnecessarily, or for your cat to be exposed to the diseases, poisons, and pests they have a chance of carrying. Cats are a good deterrent to stop mice from even entering the home, but if you have a pest problem anyway, it’s on you to take care of that with a humane combination of repellents, deterrents, cleanliness, sealing of entry points, and, if all else fails, live traps.
As far as what to do with the animals she has killed, I can only speak to what I would do. For me, burying animals in a pretty place and holding a tiny quiet funeral is comforting. If I had a cat who occasionally had a successful hunt, I might be inclined to make a small cemetery as a reminder to myself that I can do a better job of keeping these prey animals safe – but I’m kind of odd like that. Do remember that all wild animals could potentially be carrying diseases or pests that are dangerous to you or your pets, and handle them accordingly. I hope this helps, good luck! <3
While not normally arboreal as adults this large male Blue Iguana climbed this tree after significant rainfall which left the ground slightly flooded.
In 2007 I had the great privilege of visiting Grand Cayman Island to work with and document the critically endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi) with the team at the Blue Iguana Recovery Program founded by Fred Burton.
Blue Iguanas are endemic only to the small island of Grand Cayman and as such are at risk habitat destruction, road kills, free-roaming dogs, and feral cats. Thankfully the Blue Iguana Recovery Program (B.I.R.P.) has brought this beautiful iguana back from the brink of extinction with breeding and release programs as well as the acquisition of habitat.
It is the largest native land animal on Grand Cayman with a total nose-to-tail length of 5 ft (1.5 m) and weighing as much as 30 lb (14 kg).
Its the stray cats and not so much domestic cats that cause the problem because those have to hunt to survive, domestic cats that only hunt for fun arent a problem for populations most of the time, so its more selfish if you dont sterilise your cat or abandon it for example. (I would link you to the article but its in german) There are things you can do to minimize the harm your cat causes and still let it go outside so yes it is a choice
Feral cats are a bigger problem but free-roaming domestic cats are still a very significant predator of wildlife, precisely BECAUSE they kill for entertainment and not to eat. They also spread diseases to wildlife. There is already universal consensus between animal welfare experts and environmentalists that cats should be kept inside. This is not a debate, this is me informing you of research that has already been done by people way more informed than you or I.
“Feral cats and housecats are very different, a feral cat can’t properly live indoors. Trap/neuter/release programs are a better idea especially in a place where they have some form of shelter and protection.”
Sorry, not on board with this. All TNR does is prevent some cats from being euthanized. It doesn’t address the ecological damage free roaming cats do, and keeps the idea that “cats belong outdoors” alive.
The other day there was an adoption event at work, one of the volunteers with the cat rescue had with them a kitten they were fostering. Young kitten, maybe just old enough to be away from Mom. Cute orange tabby.
This little kitten had a huge, healing wound stitched from having their leg amputated. Before coming to the foster the kitten had been a stray, and was attacked by a dog. The leg couldn’t be saved.
Fortunately, the kittens life could be saved and this adorable tripod doesn’t seem to notice he’s short one limb. Not all cats are so luck, though.
Free-roaming cats can climb into a dog’s fenced yard and be attacked, or grabbed from the bushes along the walk path, or any number of situations where it’s not the dogs fault.
Hi! I know you're not the most experienced with parrots, but you have great general knowledge and you're followed by thousands of experienced people! Anyways, my parrot, Lola, is a Green-Cheek Conure around 7 years old. She's normal by all means, except she has zero interest in her toys. She physically cannot be on me all the time, nor can she free roam (cats). She just sits in her cage, which is redone every week to make it new and exciting. Proper diet, everything! I'm at a loss!
Hmmm. Yeah, not my wheelhouse - although I’m curious, has she never had any interest in toys or did she lose it over time? - but I’ll boost so people can weigh in.
5. First headcanon that pops into my mind:
Rin often passes by one of those free-roam cat stores and stares at them through the window for like a half hour, but never goes inside because her allergies would be the actual death of her. It’s hard.
6. Favorite line:
It’s okay, we can practice in this weather!
[Proceeds to get poured on four seconds later]
7. One way I relate to this character:
Self consciousness about the way we look and dress. Rin was able to get past it though.
8. Thing that gives me second hand embarrassment about this character:
Nozomi making Rin squeeze through two trucks after Nico because she had the smallest bust. (Totally laughed tho.)
9. Cinnamon roll or problematic fave:
Cinnamon roll with extra sugar.
♡ You are a dog owner. Your neighbour, Min Yoongi, is a cat owner. The two of you are constantly arguing over your pets, bickering about how they cause so much trouble. Will the two of you ever be able to see eye to eye?
genre: fluff word count: 2.0k
known to be excitable, loving, and loyal.
known to be standoffish, cold, and aloof.
You are what
people would describe as a ‘dog person’. You adore dogs, and are like one in
many ways, enjoying the simple things in life, and getting easily worked-up.
Min Yoongi, on the other hand, is a cat owner – a quiet young man, who spends
most of his time indoors, and tends to seek out comfort. The sort of guy who’s
always bundled up in scarves, or drowning in woollen jumpers.
you let your dog free roam? Am I understanding that correctly? Isn't that illegal?
I live in Thailand where most dogs are left outside to free roam, much like cats. The only difference between a stray dog and a pet dog is a collar.
Zep was a stray who, for some reason, decided she really likes me–and has never left since. She’s very nervous/fearful inside the house so it appears she’s never lived in a house before. I also don’t have a fenced hard currently, so she’s made her home on my front patio and patrols the street at night with the other local strays. I look forward to having her safe in a yard.
Life for domestic animals is so much different and so much more dangerous in these parts of the world than you can probably imagine. The lack of resources, laws, and infrastructure in place to help deal with their well being makes it difficult to own an animal responsibly by western standards. There are very few of us who have the luxury of being able to try our best despite it.
Thailand still has a multitude of human rights issues that need to be addressed before an informed and healthy culture can develop around responsible pet ownership and animal rights. So, is it illegal to let your dog free roam here? No. Government resources are still being poured into addressing they myriad of other basic rights problems such as the rampant human trafficking and exploitation. Even if free roaming dogs were illegal, there’d be no one and no funding available to enforce it. Not yet. Priorities lay elsewhere at the moment.
TNR -- It's not just numbers, it's about improving the lives of the animals
Feral/free-roaming cats devastate local ecosystems and transmit diseases, propagating FIV, feline leukemia, and rabies. Sounds, like a problem, right? How do we mitigate this problem?
Just about every other Saturday, our clinic is closed to our clients, but we are still in the building. We go by a different name and our Saturdays are devoted to TNR (trap, s/neuter, return) and more. We have clients and community members bring us feral/free-roaming cats so that we can end their reproductive capabilities. We provide live traps and instructions for people too.
We spay/neuter TNR cats for free.
We vaccinate them for distemper, rabies, and leukemia for free.
We treat any wounds we find for free, including using a therapeutic laser, sometimes surgical intervention.
We deflea these cats for free with an agent that lasts for a month
We deworm these cats for free.
We treat the cats who have ear mites for free.
We ear tip their left ear so they can be easily identified and do not have the stress of being trapped again unnecessarily.
We make sure the kind people who brought them to us can feed them while the cats recover from their surgery for free.
To date, we have TNR’d 1161 feral/free-roaming cats in our community. I have had people tell me TNR doesn’t put a big enough dent in the cat populations to work. We have one veterinarian on our Saturdays who had made all of this possible. I think if we as a profession made an effort to tackle this problem together, we could make some real headway. One veterinarian and her volunteers can do this much good, what if more of us stepped up?
Will it cost you money? Currently, our operation is completely refunded by our state for the work we do. We use the equipment we already have, the staff we have trained, and the same treatments we have for our clients.
Will it cost you time?
Yes. I suspect this is the greatest downside in our profession because we have so little spare time as it is. Now, I’m not saying you have to do multiple days a month, sacrificing your days off. Even one day a month would make a difference.
That’s what we’re here for, to make a difference in their lives, not just their total numbers. I think people have lost sight of that fact. It’s not about keeping score, it’s about making their lives easier. After all, didn’t we as humans create this problem?
I went to San Juan, PR a few months ago. There are cats everywhere. Most are incredibly friendly, and very aware of their charm. We met a few that wanted nothing to do with us, and a few that were fascinated by the camera. It’s a beautiful city, with tons of free-roaming cats. Enjoy!
If Ash catches Litten, I wonder if they would be like the reverse Charizard. In season 1: Charmander was pretty affetionate and grateful to Ash for saving them from their abusive trainer, as Charmeleon: they were sort of a stubborn but still a cooperative hothead and Charizard was…well, Charizard (albeit he got much better when Johto rolled around).
With Litten, we see that they’re pretty harsh with Ash at first as means of showing off a rebelious and free roaming cat-like nature. Maybe as a Torracat, they would be a bit rough on the edges but much more accepting. Then as a fucking Incineroar…a big, hulking and seemingly intimidating but loveable and affectionate giant cat that takes turns between piledriving or supplexing opponents to just asking for pets, tummy rubs (reference to the leaked Incineroar art we got earlier with Ash, Pikachu and Mallow) or treats from Ash.
It would be a nice way to give off some continuity to show off how far Ash had come compared to season 1 where if a Pokemon was difficult with him, they remained difficult with him. (Charizard not obeying Ash was a big factor as to why he scored low in the Indigo Conference)
sorry if you've been asked this before, but what's your opinion on outdoor cats? my friend is really against it, but my cat goes both outside and inside as he pleases. not something i can do anything about anyway since it's really up to my parents, but i was curious what you think
uh tbh im ok w it, just make sure that your cat is chipped/has a collar and is fixed and also be prepared for the consequences of having a free roaming cat like getting hit by cars/getting lost/hurt etc
if you want to still let your cat go outside then a great alternative is a closed outdoor enclosure. you don’t have to do something as extravagant as these even a large dog kennel will do. it keeps them safe and also allows them to go outside, it’s no different than a yard for your dog