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Indoor only or indoor/outdoor cats?

Growing up, even though we lived in an apartment building, our cats were always indoor/outdoor. When I was a teenager, my cat (my best buddy and pal) was killed by two dogs who came with their owner to visit my parents. However, even when I got two cats after moving into my own place, the cats were allowed outdoors on a daily basis. We would even take them camping and houseboating with us :)

Fast forward several years, we now live in the city and our Devons are indoor only, no exception. Although we live in the city, we get coyotes right in our backyard. Chances are that if we let our Devon's out they would become coyote food. At first we would allow Jonesie outside on a leash but this only got him motivated to sneak outside. He has been an indoor only cat for most of his life and has little desire to go outside. I've read comments from people saying that it is cruel to keep cats inside, but the fact of the matter is that indoor only cats enjoy a much longer and safer life span.

I would love to hear other member's thoughts on this subject.

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  • Also like you when growing up our cats were indoor/outdoor.  Even after my marriage we lived in the country & the cats were always the same, but inside at night.  Now, except for one all my cats are indoor only.  They have a cat run & park & seem perfectly content & have no desire to go outside

  • Oh, that would be scary having coyotes coming into your backyard Susanne. 

    I also grew up with indoor/outdoor cats. I remember a time when you would put the cat out at night - it's quite the opposite now!

    Our cats are required to be indoors at night but I wouldn't have it any other way anyway.

    We have one elderly Devon that likes to spend his days out on our back patio area but our other Devon's are all indoors only. We have a nice outdoor enclosure that they can access at any time which they love, especially on warm sunny days. 

    We also have a Burmese and he has only recently been allowed out for a short period of time during the day. He just walks around our back garden. He is always keen to come back in though. Since we have allowed him to do this he has become a far more settled and happy cat. He used to spend his days pacing and yowling. 

  • Yes, the idea of our Devon's getting outside accidentally is actually quite scary knowing there are coyotes around. More so in the winter months. Thankfully there is no way Jonesie would even try to sneak outside if there is snow on the ground Smile.gif.

    Glad to see I am not the only one to keep our Devons inside. Every so often I will see someone commenting on a forum that keeping cats indoors is cruel. If you adopt a barn cat and try to confine it to a small indoor residence, there could be some truth to that. However, if the cat never goes outside in the first place then he doesn't know what he is missing.

  • I keep my boy inside, but I take him out on the leash for walkies. While he kind of just rolls around on the ground in the sun rather than walking, I take him in my arms up to the mailbox, or just around the backyard when it's a nice day.

    He also tries to sneak out though once he realised how wonderful it is outside - he does just complain like a spoilt brat when he is cold though. Definitely an indoor kitty!,n

  • I specifically chose the Devon Rex breed because I wanted a smaller cat that would live indoors. Baggins loves to be in the sun in the windows and I take him out into the yard once a week on his lead to eat some grass and have a sniff around. He occasionally tries to sneak out when my hands are full but less so now he is older. I agree it is a safer life for cats to be indoors and if you play with them and keep them stimulated I don't think they are missing out on anything.

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