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So I have always wanted my cat to be an indoor only cat. I worry about him getting attacked by a wild animal or hit by a car, or just lost. However, my cat wants to go outside. Sometimes he manages to run past me. He likes to lay in our bushes and go in the wooded area. I've been kind of letting him out with supervision but he's been wandering more. He doesn't stay outside too long.
So here is my question. Should I let him outside and risk him having a shorter but happier life. Or should I keep him inside for safety? He is micro chipped and wears a collar with our address on it.
I also don't want him in the neighbor's yard or catching any wild animals but this I can't really help.
I wouldn't let him out at all (and personally have had 3 cats and all have been indoors). You risk early death, injuries, disease, and being one of the wonderful neighbor's who gets the neighbor's cat defecating in her yard I can tell you that that is really obnoxious. Obviously once you let them out the world is their litter box and when cat urine kills plants and stuff easily, your neighbors may not be wonderfully thrilled. I know a friend of mine had an outdoor only cat and he was mauled by a wild animal, they found him in multiple pieces, shredded, near their home. She's been pretty traumatized by it.
So, for what it is worth, I would keep your kitty indoors. Maybe do things to play with him such as toys, interaction, etc so that the outdoors don't look so enticing anymore.
My cat goes insane inside. We kept him in for the first 6 months when we adopted him and he chewed EVERYTHING. Worse than a puppy. Paper, metal, wood, carpet, walls, wires, whatever, he'd chew it. One day he figured out the dog door and hes been a chill cat every since. He mostly hangs out in the backyard, sometimes wanders. I tried a collar but it kept going missing. He is microchipped. I keep him vaccinated and on flea prevention. Hes happy The dogs dont like being inside 24/7 so why would the cat? Growing up my cats always had the option and they all lived to 16yrs and older.
I was in your position recently! we moved from an apartment in the city to 50 acres in the country... Our kitty was exclusively indoors, but when we moved she would go out with us. Although we are in the country and have a huge property, we are right on the highway, and I worry about her getting hit as well. We also have many bears and wolves etc and those things worried me too.
The poor kitty sits at the door and cries for hours or until someone lets her out! She has done good staying away from the road, but obviously when she is out she could potentially wander anywhere. We went out with her often at first because we wanted her to know this was home, and how to get back to it. Then we let her out alone more and more. She will go outside for the better part of the day unattended, but I do still worry.
I think it would be unfair to keep her cooped up all day when we have a cat's paradise in our own backyard. I do love my cat, and worry about her getting killed, but I also keep in mind that she is an animal with instincts, and hopefully those will serve her well. She has regular vet check ups and gets her shots, the vet also gives out worm pills. and she is fine. She even caught her first mouse a few weeks back (I was very proud/grossed out)
IMO let her out. If you aren't worried about her being a sitting target for larger prey why not try a harness and long chain.... that will give you piece of mind, and kitty the chance to soak up the sun, and get some fresh air.
Both of mine are indoor/outdoor cats. One was born outside and lived outside for 5 months before we adopted him so he was already use to being out there. Our youngest one about drove us crazy to go out, so we eventually let him out. There are pros and cons to both and as the pet owner you have to make the decision that is best for you and your pets. I wish mine didn't go out b/c I get scared that something will happen to them, but they love to go out and are happy furbabies
If you really want to allow your cat the freedom and benefits that fresh air and sunshine can offer while keeping kitty safe you could consider building a 'cat room' as I call it. Pick a window that has a nice patch of ground on the outside, some sun and shade maybe a little grass to play in and built a screened 'room'(including roof so kitty can't climb out) and leave the window open so he can come and go. He'll feel free to 'roam' outside while being safe. You can always close the window at night and during bad weather if needed for heating and cooling reasons or put a kitty door in the window. Something like this Cat Doors For Sliding Windows