Something that really bothers me is people acting like we’re somehow bad cat owners for keeping indoor cats and ‘not letting them go out!’. Most UK cats are outdoor cats, and so we get bad looks and accusations of being ‘cruel’ for keeping our two boys indoors.
But there’s just so much wrong with that mentality.
1. They’re not the usual wild-at-heart moggies. They’re ragdolls, a breed that is extremely well-suited to indoor life. Whilst I am a huge supporter of adopting and have many issues with breeding pedigree animals, we got our two specifically because ragdolls make good therapy/emotional support animals and my husband grew up with one. We went out of our way and found the most responsible breeder we could. But the point is, these cats are bred to mostly be indoor pets.
2. We hope to own our own home in the next few years rather than rent, and our first 'home improvement’ priority is going to be to build a large outdoor run attached to the house, so they have the freedom to enjoy the sun and fresh air.
3. Even for those with moggies, you’ll find that most cats can live content lives indoors providing they have adequate stimulation. Our boys have a large cat tree, many toys (including interactive ones they can use when we’re not home), and until recently also had a water fountain and a 'cat grass’ pad to graze from. They have a lot of things to keep them entertained.
4. Bonus of having them indoors; they don’t hunt or hurt any local wildlife, which in the UK is being decimated by cats. Instead Marius brings us offerings of potatoes, christmas baubles and freezer bags from around the house.
5. Truth be told, I don’t trust people; there’s a lot of dodgy people in this town, and I don’t want to run the risk of someone stealing or hurting our babies. I also don’t want them getting run over by cars. The honest truth is just that indoor cats = less chance of injuries that may require veterinary treatment.
6. We always have cats in the house to cuddle! Win-win!
No one can say we’re not responsible cat owners. Our boys are neutered, vaccinated, regularly get health checks, are microchipped and have collars with name/ID tags AND a 'I am microchipped!’ tag just in case…even though they never go outside.
I’m never going to tell someone they’re wrong for having an outdoor cat. Not ever. I’m sure there are some cats that simply cannot be kept indoors - it’s not in their nature. But likewise, I’d like people to stop acting like having indoor cats is some kind of crime against catkind. Trust me when I say our boys are spoiled and happy beasts.
(On top of all that, Enjolras has an anxiety disorder and literally doesn’t like being outside. Sometimes we let them into the high-walled courtyard to stretch their legs, but Enjolras dislikes the outdoors and rarely ventures out of the house even when allowed.)
My whole life was finding ways around blocks, and more blocks, and more blocks… and now those blocks are finally dissolving, and I feel so wonderful and free and is this what it was like for everyone else all along?
Example: I can watch and enjoy th animals my husband keeps in tanks because it doesn’t overwhelm me to the point of nervous breakdown to contemplate the innumerable microscopic variables changing every millisecond and having innumerable cascade effects in a physical environment as opposed to the relatively predictable digital environment of my computer