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Outdoor vs. Indoor Cats

Fairy Dogparents Newsletter
May 2005

Making Pet Wishes Come True!
Sitting pooch
Please scroll down for links to our newsletter archives

Outdoor vs. Indoor Cats?


So many times we see cats out wandering, particularly in urban areas.  It is difficult to tell if the cat is homeless, or actually belongs to someone.  Many of these cats appear to be neglected in other ways:  no collars/tags, unspaid/unneutered, have they been to the the vet?

While cats may enjoy the great outdoors, it really isn't great for them.  Outdoor cats face a multitude of risks, and suffer from a very short life expectancy. Among the dangers:  They are exposed to contagious diseases, most of which are fatal. Traffic takes a huge toll on free-roaming cats, and while many people believe their pets are street-wise, no cat looks both ways when being chased by another animal. Further dangers include poisons, leghold traps, pet theft, injuries from fighting other animals, capture by animal control - where an owner may not know/call in time to save their cat from euthanasia, and inhumane treatment by cruel people. 

Outdoor cats can cause problems, too. They dig and defecate in neighbors' yards, beg for food, water and attention and may fight and make noise. Unspaid and unneutered cats can create litter after litter of additional homeless pets, which are already in very high supply all over the U.S.

What does your indoor cat miss?

Problems and an untimely death, mostly.  Things like:  getting hit by a car, feline leukemia, attacks by dogs, poisoned food, pesticides, cat fights, fleas, ticks, worms, abscesses, injuries, getting lost, getting stolen, human cruelty, wild animal attacks, cold, rainy weather, hunger, thirst.

Benefits of life indoors

The average life span of an outdoor cat is 2 to 3 years, whereas an indoor-only cat can live 15 to 20 years. Indoor cats are usually healthier, too, which saves on veterinary bills for treatment of contagious diseases, parasites, and abscesses from fights with other animals. While it is true that cats enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and exercise, they do not need to roam loose outside to have these things.   Some creative planning on the part of their human friends can help indoor cats live happy & amused.  A nice perch in the sunny window with some fresh air + cat grass, a kitty condo or tree and some toys will make most cats more than happy to stay home.  Other options include taking your cat for walks on leash (be sure to attach the leash to a harness, not a collar & note that this may take some getting used to), or creating a safe enclosed play area for your cat outdoors (please monitor your cat outdoors).


Additional Notes for Spring and Your Cat

Never leave a declawed cat outdoors alone, even on a leash or in an enclosed play area.  Claw removal makes your cat less agile, and leave your cat with insufficient means to defend himself.

Be careful of over the counter flea and tick medications!  Many of the store brand flea and tick preventatives are toxic to cats.  Please read the labels carefully!

Please, please, please never dump a cat, indoor or otherwise, on a farm.  The farmers don't want your cat, and this is not your cat's "dream home".  Take your cat to a no-kill shelter for re-homing.

The Puppy Press Archives
Click a link below to read other online additions of The Puppy Press:

A Reminder on Heat Stroke - August 2004

How to be a Responsible Pet Owner - September 2004

Does Your Pet Have Separation Anxiety? - October 2004

Happy Holidays with your Pets - November 2004

Canine Rivalry & Dog Aggression in the Home - December 2004

A List of Shelters & Rescue Groups in Minnesota

How To Help a Lost Pet - February 2005

What to Do About Puppy Biting and Jumping - March 2005

Life Lessons I've Learned from my Pets - April 2005


Good kitty

May's Featured Shelter of the Month:
GENTLE TOUCH ANIMAL SANCTUARY in Brooklyn Center, MN is our featured shelter for May.  In their own words:

"Our mission is to end the abuse, neglect and abandonment of animals. We are dedicated to saving as many homeless animals as we can. One day at a time, one animal at a time.

The animals are placed into an environment where they can be socialized with people and other animals. They are given vet exams, vaccinations, medical care if needed, microchips, and are spayed or neutered. Then we try to place them in the perfect forever home.

A large majority of the animals we rescue come from situations that are unhealthy or neglectful. We also receive many abandoned or homeless animals. These animals many times come with various health issues. The financial obligation for treating and caring for these animals is at times very trying. We receive no grants or funding at this time and rely on the generosity of the public for donations. We charge an adoption fee to help cover some of the veterinary costs of each animal.

Our goal for the future is to have many acres of land with buildings for adoptable as well as unadoptable animals. We would then be able to offer a life long home to animals with various illnesses, diseases, or disabilities.

Gentle Touch is run by dedicated, caring, hard working,  and committed individuals. We believe animals should not be disposed of, discarded or forgotten about. They are dependent on people to care for them. Without the support of the numerous caring rescue organizations millions of animals would die each year."

Visit Gentle Touch Animal Sanctuary online at:

Fairy Dogparents
Making Pet Wishes Come True!

Black Cat

Fairy Dogparents
 Plymouth, Minnesota