It’s a topic that I find divides the public down the middle – which is better: Indoor cats, or outdoor cats?
Our Transition From Indoor Cats to Outdoor Cats
When I was younger, our cats were strictly in the latter camp. There was a cat flap in the kitchen letting them wander in and out as they pleased. In a house of four under five year olds, I imagine the peace and quiet was appreciated. Moet and Chandon ultimately died of old age, but they both had scrapes with the outdoors at different points.
When we got our most recent feline additions however, they were always strictly indoor cats. Anyone whose met Hector can confirm that he doesn’t have the common sense to cope with a busy road. Roxy had always been an indoor cat when I got her, and her reaction to an oncoming car would probably be to just flop. It seemed unfair to just let Archie out, and PJ was so fed up of the outside when she came to us that she hardly even joins the supervised trips to the garden. As a family, we’re firmly in camp ‘Indoor.’ It just seems to make sense for our situation. But I know many people in the ‘Outdoor’ camp, and can understand where they’re coming from.
I just don’t know if it’s worth the risk.
Harry & Hugo
We have – had – two lovely ginger kittens at my workplace. It ultimately wasn’t my decision to as to whether or not they were kept inside, and a few weeks of litter trays settled the debate – they were going out. To begin with, there were no problems – although the boys continued to come inside to do their business in the litter tray, much to everyone else’s disdain. Then they started to bring in dad mice and birds, which disgusted people more than the litter trays but hey, that’s just what cats do. Then, one of them didn’t come home one night. Then, only a couple of weeks ago, the second dashed out in front of a car and sadly didn’t make it.
It’s sad whenever you lose a family pet, but this death hit me especially hard. I had warned, over and over again, that it just wasn’t safe for cats to go out when there’s a main road right there. In my brief time as a van driver, I was moving dead cats out of the road every week. Surely it wasn’t worth it?
There are many arguments for letting your cat out but for me, the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. The risks aren’t just to your cat – it impacts the wildlife too. The Mammal Society estimates that cats in the UK kill up to 275 million items of prey each year. With the number of domestic cats rising, it’s likely that this number will too.
I encourage everyone to investigate the pros and cons themselves. I’d love to hear your thoughts regardless of which side of the fence you are on! Do your cats live a pampered life inside, or do they live on the wild side?