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Old 03-06-2008, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
227 posts, read 931,839 times
Reputation: 66

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I currently have 4 cats. They are strictly indoors. There are arguments, pro and con for both, but we have chosen to keep them and any future cats we will have, as strictly indoors. There's too many things that can go wrong. We want our cats around as long as possible and they're part of our family. In our neighborhood, outdoor kitties become fox and coyote food and we love them too much to allow them to die like that.

FWIW--foxes routinely stroll down our street in broad daylight. One day my husband saw a fox circling a car and trying to peer underneath. This is at 8am. He shooed it away. It walked about 10 feet and came back. He did it again and again it came back. Finally he realized our neighbor's cat Gracie was under the car with nowhere to go. Gracie was an outdoor cat. Finally he had to turn on his car and the headlights and physically RUN AFTER the fox and chased it full on down the block. When he came back to the car, Gracie had poked her head out wondering if all was clear. He picked her up and brought her back to our neighbor's front door. She ran inside so fast.

BTW--Gracie went out two months ago and never came back. This is a cat who usually came back after a day or two. The kids were devastated. Now my neighbor has a new cat and she's completely indoors. Lesson learned.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:54 AM
 
4,541 posts, read 9,495,326 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by americanintokyo View Post
I go up to Longmont to see friends a lot, it's pretty far from the mountains, do don't have anything to worry about.
Have to disagree here. We might not butt up right to the mountains, but it's not far away either. We live in a neighborhood on the southwest side near a creek. Fox family is running around here all the time. We've got large hawks that regularly hang out on our fence. Longmont gets bears in town (we've even had moose believe it or not).
Since there is a river that runs right through town, there is a lot more wildlife here than you would think.
The original question was "would they be safe?" - and it's turned into a debate about whether or not cats should be outside.
We have a cat - I would never let her outside here. Would a mountain lion probably eat her? No. But the other wildlife running around in Longmont might. For her safety, we keep her indoors.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:47 PM
 
20,304 posts, read 37,790,850 times
Reputation: 18081
Quote:
Originally Posted by esya View Post
....Personally I think cats in the house all the time are unsanitary and stink, no matter how litter trained. I have had dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, sheep, and cows. They are animals, not people....
IMO, if it has 4 legs, it's livestock, belongs in a barnyard.
IMO, if it has fins, it's seafood, belongs in the saute pan.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Erie, CO
10 posts, read 26,316 times
Reputation: 10
We live in Erie, right across the street from open space where there are coyotes and the occasional fox. There are several people in our subdivision whose houses back up to open spaces who have had their small dogs attacked and/or killed by coyotes in their own backyards. What's next -- small children? We have two cats and I wouldn't dare let them outside. They are perfectly content sitting in the windows catching the sun everyday.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Aurora
357 posts, read 1,123,896 times
Reputation: 277
we live with three cats and two rabbits. guess we're unsanitary and stink . love them lots and they're family. none of them go outside, ever, unless they're in a crate and going somewhere with us.

we love colorado, love the fact that the great outdoors is full of wildlife. much like our home we left in the los angeles hills (which had deer and coyote, and the occasional puma), this place has tons of animals and we feel we (the humans) are the newcomers. Since this is their turf, we adapt to their rules. Unless we want to feed our cats and bunnies to the coyotes, ferrets and other animals that we see in our backyard here in HR, we don't let them out. That said, we also respect the natural instincts of our domesticated animals. animals kept indoors need stimulation too. we have two 6+foot cat trees in the house, plus smaller trees, plenty of places to scratch horizonally and vertically, toys galore, etc. The bunnies have an area for them to play (in LA it was 500 sqft with tons of toys and chew things, here something similar).

we don't declaw, but then again, with 1000s of years of domestication, my purebred cats are just too dumb to know exactly what to do outside or in a fight. they weigh 6lbs, 7lbs and 9lbs, clearly not "fighting weight". they have no idea where food comes from, other than a can or a bag. to my silly kitties, all humans are friends, all animals are neat and are here to play with them, and so on. it's the saddest thing, lol, but it's the same thing with my sister's cats from the shelter, only they're considerably bigger (15lbs to 22lbs). I know their lifespan is longer and they're healthier than if they were outside.

for rabbits, the extended lifespan is just a given. for bunnies in the wild, lifespan is at most a year. I have one bunny who is 11 years old and healthy . that only happens to house rabbits.

I just think cats should be kept indoors. you can set up your house to give them access to the outdoors safely (ads in Cat fancy magazine have a ton of products, ideas, plans, etc for window boxes, enclosures, etc). I never see outside cats here in HR. there's a reason- they're usually eaten, just like in the los angeles foothills. yes you can hope your cats are smart enough to outwit the animals, but I wouldn't risk it. it's like hoping my daughter can outwit automobiles and I place her in the middle of the road. it's not a risk I'm willing to take with my family, and my cats and bunnies are family members.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:32 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,402,860 times
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in laguna mountain we got lots of bob cats & some mountain lions. they will eat your pet in a jiffy.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:35 AM
 
287 posts, read 340,839 times
Reputation: 37
I have two cats. My apartment patio is about twenty feet from a green belt. The cats go into the green belt and play, which is essentially a wooded ravine. (there is water in the ravine during the spring). There are coyotes in the green belt, even though I live in the city (Aurora). I have to go outside with my cats and watch them. Sometimes I get lazy and let them out on their own. They love the outdoors soooo much. I wouldnever deny them fresh air and the ability to climb on trees and hunt through thetall grass. I do not know how keeping cats indoors can help them lead a healthier life,outside dangers notwithstanding. There is nothing more enjoyable than fresh air,the great outdoors.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:43 AM
 
16,438 posts, read 18,513,116 times
Reputation: 9490
I think the greatest danger to outdoor cats is in becoming "flat cat" from inconsiderate motorists (or just an fleeting instant of inattention - been there...). Next is the toxins they expose themselves to such as puddles of antifreeze on the ground, and of course there are viruses from other animals to consider. We once had four cats, three of which were outdoor cats. Only our indoor cat is still with us.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:04 AM
 
Location: Wirral, UK
37 posts, read 133,499 times
Reputation: 46
Not being from USA (I'm from UK) a lot of these comments make me realise just how different our 2 countries are. This is not a critisim just an observation.

Out cats (fortunately, don't have most of the preditors your cats may come across) and most people (and Vets) in UK have a different mindset.

We (mostly) have enclosed gardens, and responsible cat owners (and there are many in UK) who do not allow their pets to roam willy nilly.

My neighbourhood is typical 1930 semi's with large enclosed gardens, most of my neighbours own either cats or dogs or both, personally, i am not bothered if my neighbours cat sometimes takes an afternoon stroll into my garden he often rubs noses with my cat has a mooch around and then is off home again.

Generally, my cat is only out for short bursts of time unless its summer and she's out by our side whenever we are in garden.

I feel a bit sorry that my US fellow pet owners have such restrictions and god, so many things to worry about with their pets.

Please this is a topic (inside/outside) which can get very heated, i am just saying that here in UK it is very different and we are good responsible pet owners. I just feel we are a bit luckier in that we can let our pets have a bit more freedom which is relatively safe.

I don't won't to get on to a heated debate, for i know from other posts regarding inside/outside we can never fully agree with each other.

One lady mentioned her son is a vet and he advised indoors only, well this maybe true in USA, but most Vets in UK would not be so rigid because as i said our terrain and town layouts/lifestyles are so different than those in USA (generally speaking).
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:10 AM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,864 posts, read 7,096,377 times
Reputation: 1543
My dad's persian cat has somehow managed to survive over 10 years of being an indoor/outdoor cat. I don't know how, but maybe she's really smart. My father's property backs up to the garden of the gods, and I KNOW there's plenty of predators hanging around there. They've eaten just about every other animal in the neighborhood.
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