Indoor Only Cattitude - Better Safe Than Sorry...
Q: Murgatroyd, you spend your days inside as a house cat. Why don't you go outside?
A: You're kidding, right? My perch is here, my bed is here, I have a clean litter box and a full dish. Why would I want to go outside where there are dogs, other cats, vehicles, and worst of all - weather!
Q: You mention several of the hazards for outdoor cats. What is your biggest fear with going outside?
A: The world can be a dangerous place. The neighbor cat is mean and twice my size! You think I have a chance against that? Plus he could have feline leukemia and if we get in a fight I could get infected. With everything that can happen to an outdoor cat, it is no wonder they tend to have much shorter lifespans than indoor cats.
Q: How do you feel about wildlife?
A: I love watching birds - I chatter at them through the window but that's close enough for me. We cats can decimate wild song bird populations and that means I don't get to enjoy seeing them. Plus cats that hunt mice and other rodents can get intestinal worms, fleas and other parasites. I'll stick to my toy mousie, thank you very much!
Outdoor Access Advocate - Variety is the Spice of Life!
Q: Berlioz, if you don't go outside you throw a fit. What is the big deal?
A: The outside is awesome! I get to practice all my natural cat behaviors and there is this great patch of cat mint that I love to roll in. Chasing butterflies is so much fun and mom loves it when I help her garden. All the exercise I get keeps me way fitter than my fatty brother Murgatroyd.
Q: Some people think outdoor access provides enrichment and reduces stress in our pet cats. Do you agree?
A: Definitely. A lot of indoor cats get really stressed; my brother hates company and doesn't handle any change in the house well but I'm fine with it all. Plus mom says that outdoor cats tend to have less issues with urinary tract issues, inappropriate elimination, and excessive grooming.
Q: What about the dangers associated with going outside?
A: I can handle it - due to a kittenhood accident I only have three legs yet I can climb and get around fine. I usually stay in my own backyard and try not to ever cross the road. My mom keeps my vaccines current (I have to get three shots each year to protect me from leukemia, rabies, and feline distemper) and I get a monthly heartworm preventative and dewormer - it is awful but I guess it's important to make sure I stay healthy. I do occasionally get in a fight or come home with a wound so my mom stays diligent about checking me over and getting regular full health exams.
Please share your thoughts below!