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Old 02-15-2014, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Finland
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What are the pros and cons? What do you think is best? I need to decide whether my kitten will be let outside or not. My first instinct was that of course cats love to be outdoors but my grandad's cat was killed by a car so that puts me off. Please help me decide.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:33 PM
 
Location: zone 5
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Cars, hawks, other cats with diseases, cat hating people, are just some of the dangers out there. And then there is songbird predation to think about too. Some people say, oh my cat only goes in my yard (like my old neighbor- um, no, I saw his cats in other yards too, but he was in denial). They usually don't stay there, no matter what people think. Your cat will have a longer happier life indoors. Just provide plenty of toys, perches and playtime, and he won't feel deprived.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:36 PM
 
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We have two girls and one is indoor only, she has no desire to go outside.
Our other girl goes outside when it is nice for a few hours and sleeps in the yard, climbs trees and wander the timber within 15 feet of our home. When she is tired she comes inside to eat and sleep and play with our indoor girl.
They are both quite happy to hang out in our basement as well, there are mice down there from time to time and they do enjoy catching the mice and playing with them, then eating them (yuk I know).
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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I'll always have indoor cats. There are too many predators, too many evil people, too many speeding cars out there. Too many fleas, too!

No one can tell you what to do with your kitten, but chances are good that your cat will be healthier if you keep it indoors.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
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Indoor only - if you value and love your cat you won't let them outside. There are predators out there that may kill them, people who will kill them, hit by cars, disease, fleas, ticks, can be picked up and carried off by hawks, you name it. They don't miss what they don't have. We have 22 - all inside, all spayed/neutered, all have shots and none are allowed outside. They have access to windows and plenty of toys and things to occupy their minds and stuff to play with as well as each other. It not an option - they don't get a vote on it. It's totally up to you of course, but I agree with Ohiogirl81 - you will have a healthier kitty and she will live a longer life if you do opt to keep her indoors only.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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What animal lovers think on this topic can vary a little bit in different parts of the world. There can be differences in predators, in likelihood of cruelty issues, etc. But cars are certainly universa! Most of us reading this are in the US, and we certainly have issues with predators and usually lots of cars, and occasionally with wackos who will do something cruel to animals. The thinking here is more towards 100% inside for cats for safest. That is how my newly adopted adult cats will live. According to the info from the shelter, their prior homes were also inside. We have unusually complete history for adopted cats. And prior to this I had a cat for 17 years who never went outside. Started with a kitten.

When starting with a kitten there is really no downside to staying in for life. There is no need for them to go outside and only positives for them staying in. There are a few isolated cases of extreme behavior issues that were solved by letting a cat out. In the unlikely event of this, maybe you reevaluate. But it's much simpler just to stay in. Many indoor-raised cats will make no effort to even try to get outside. With Amber, my earlier cat, I could open a door and there was only a small chance she would take enough interest to come over to it. These new cats so far are pretty equally not interested, although it's only been cold cold cold so that may help.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:04 PM
 
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You don't need to decide yet. And indoor/outdoor cat shouldn't go outdoors until much older. Don't base your decision on US responses. You live in Finland. We have no idea what your world is like there. If you live in a rural area where there are few roads and vehicles, your cat may be safe as an indoor/outdoor cat, especially if predators are limited in your area. If you live in a populated city with lots of traffic, you cat will be safer and healthier living indoors. Only you can decide what's best for your cat and lifestyle based on your neighborhood and environment.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Finland
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Yeah I'm hoping for some non-US answers too, I'm going to ask elsewhere too and take all the advice I can get. If it helps I can describe my area, I live right near a busy road and the train tracks but train tracks aren't used often and the road is busy by my standards but is probably pretty normal by US standards but its my main worry. That and the puppy next door which is allowed free when its going between its car and its house. Live right near forests so wolves and other predators are a slight danger but pretty distant really. Cold is my other main worry, its winter half the year. I dunno, I think I'm convincing myself already to keep it indoors but its just that OH thinks it'll be ok to go outdoors and he's had cats before so I feel like he knows better than me.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:39 PM
 
Location: southern kansas
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For all the reasons already stated, indoor only would be best. It sounds as though you have some risks involved where you live, much the same as here in the States. Another reason to keep her indoors is that it will take the worry factor out of the equation for YOU. She will have a long and happy life as an indoor only.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Here's another way of thinking about it:

It's easier to introduce outside later if necessary for behavior than it is to take away outside from a cat already going out if that were necessary for health or safety. I've seen stories where something happens to cat and it needs to be kept inside, and said cat has never even used a litter box before because it always went outside to do that. Probably wouldn't be the case in Finland in winter. But still, the bottom line is once outside is part of the routine it will be hard to break the routine if it were necessary to keep the cat inside. And, it has no need to go outside. The vast majority of cats can spend a long happy life entirely inside.

Another mark against outside is the cat as predator. It might catch and eat small songbirds and perhaps other animals that it shouldn't.
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