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Do you let your cats go outside?


Prophet Zacharia
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No.  Although my last cat was a backyard stray and it took almost a year to get him comfortable enough to stay inside.  For a few months I left food, but couldn't touch him, and eventually he could be tempted inside to feed him, but he'd get frantic and want to go back outside.  One day he came in badly injured, probably from a fight with a squirrel, and he was sick enough that he let me take him to the vet and keep him inside while he healed.  By that point he had gotten used to being an indoor cat.

Cheesy is strictly indoors. She spent the first year of her life living on the streets of NYC and she's more than happy to sleep on beds and be fed regularly.

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For decades I never let the cats out except on a leash.  Then the last two loved being out so much that we let them.  They stayed within our yard however and were never allowed to stay out for more than an hour or so and never at night.

Our feral cat Earl the Grey is never an indoor cat.  He has been sleeping in a house on the deck most days though.  He may never become an indoor cat as we have been feeding him for a couple of years now and he's still very nervous around us.  He has certain ingrained habits at feeding time and will usually only run to his food at the first sign of the slider door closing.

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Yes. 

I noticed footprints in the snow about six winters ago. I had some kibble that my cats didn't want, so I would put some out at night where the footprints were. I eventually saw the cat. He was a gray and white, really skinny. I kept putting out food and he started hanging around. I couldn't get close to him though. I started moving the food dish closer to the back door of the garage. After a while I could talk to him without him running away. One day it was raining when I was putting out his food. I decided that was dumb for him to have to eat in the rain, so I moved his dish into the garage. He was hesitant but he came in and ate. Finally around Thanksgiving I was able to coax him inside the house. 

The other two cats we had at the time enjoyed outside time. We eventually installed kitty doors so they could all come and go. Hammer and Aimee had collars for the invisible fence I had installed. Gray Cat has always had free reign. He is street wise.

He also appreciates his home.

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Sid’s only allowed outside under strict supervision. He likes to eat Wo2’s ferns then come inside & puke on the light carpet. We’ve fed a variety of traveling cats over the years. Currently, Leo an intact orange kitty, is here a lot. Kind of feral, you can touch him, but only a little. There’s a heated cat hooch, but he hasn’t spent much time in it the last 4 weeks or so. He tries to come in & Sid tried to get out when we open the door to feed him. I call it “The two cat shuffle”

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I hate litter boxes, most of our cats over the years would go to the door and meow to be let out. I had a litter box downstairs for emergencies. Sometimes it would go months without being used. When I went on week long bike trips I left Oreo stay in the house all week. I set up two litter boxes for him and had an automatic feeder and water jug.

Oreo knew how to fend for himself and I used to set the feeder on the table on the deck but the food in it didn’t last long with all the feral cats and raccoons around. 

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11 hours ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

I did as a kid, all my cats were indoor/outdoor cats. They never had any problems.

As an adult, all my cats have been indoor cats. They’ve kept their claws, but don’t get to go out.

We’ve put out a cat shelter this winter. There is one main cat who sleeps there often, and three others that do a drop-in. And the raccoon seems to eat most of the food. And an opossum makes an appearance at times. We have a trail cam and now an adjustable wi-if connected camera monitoring the creature activity.

As a kid, absolutely had the cats going in and out all day and into the evening. They generally were both - Cotton and Spike - home before we went to bed.  Since we had dogs too, often it was a revolving door of pets going in or out all day.

If I had a cat now, it would 100% be an indoor cat.  My brothers have cats, and they're indoor cats (occasionally get to hang on a deck for a few minutes.  My one sister rescues strays, so they generally start out as outdoor cats, then indoor-outdoor cats, and eventually mostly if not full time indoor cats (but maybe back porch and backyard cats).

So, if you get them as a kitten, you can pretty much make them "think" indoor is all they want/need. Give them a nice window perch or two, and they seem to be happy.

My walk with the pup yesterday morning had this cutie relaxing in a tree/bush. He seemed okay, but I'm guessing he's feral and not a house cat. There are townhomes 40' behind him, though, so could be getting fed or cared for in some way?

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Our backyard has a concrete block wall. We started letting Meeka out when we moved here and she loved it. We acquired a pet door that fits in the sliding door track. She figured it out. We could seal it at night so she had to stay in. We took out the door after she passed.

The grandcats are still with us. We let them out in the daytime hours as well. Marina, the female, loves it out there. She will do a lap of the backyard then sleep on the patio furniture. Jora, the male, is more of a homebody. He likes to be out some, but is happier to come inside for nap time and sleep on a bed or couch….or my lap, currently. 
We have hawks, owls and occasional coyotes so we keep them in at night. There are still many feral cats in the neighborhood. Apparently the other predators haven’t been in the area much lately. 

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My sister has a doggie door that lets her dogs into the back yard and cats wherever they choose to go.

There's no problem, though the cats sometimes come back into the house and present a dead bird at my sister's feet.

My neighbor Ron's cat spends a lot of time in my yard as does a black cat that occasionally meows at my back door begging for food.  That's fine with me: they don't destroy property and can catch or scare away rodents.

As I'm designing the newly-built-this-Spring/Summer, about 6' x 6', deck and steps coming off my enclosed back porch, I'm adding enough extra room to the deck so a doggy door alongside the main door can open onto it in case I get a dog/cat. I won't put the door in until I decide to get the animal, but want to have the deck ready for it, including low railings at the edge of the deck so the animals won't slide off in bad weather.

This Spring/Summer, I'm finally putting up the fence around the back and sides of my property after losing a battle with the county to run the fence all around the front - not permitted today on corner lots.  So there's plenty of room for a dog to run.

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