Indoor vs Outdoor – which is best for your cats?

We all have different opinions about all things in life.  

The way I live is not totally ideal to someone else, and vice versa.  We all have our own routines, and way about our day to day lives.  For me, my kitties live strictly indoors.  I have a strong opinion about this due to personal reasons which will be what this post is about, but I have friends who have argued with me that it is just not a quality of life for my boys.  I tend to disagree.  So here are my opinions about Indoor vs Outdoor.

Indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats

This I have put into practice, not intentionally of course, but I have lived on both sides of the fence.  Sasha and Dizi were both outdoor cats.  We lived in an area that was on quiet roads, it was like a farmland type of environment.  There was really no real danger for them.  The came and went as they pleased, and we got the odd “gift” from them as well. I did not enjoy this part of it, but I knew that it was all part of their lifestyle, and mine!  As mentioned in my introduction post, we lost Sasha and Dizi 3 months apart from each other in 2012.  It was devastating and so unexpected.  I still battle coming to terms with what happened exactly to this day! One would say, I don’t have complete closure.

Sasha, being my first cat was my baby!  One day, I was sitting at work when my phone rang.  It was my husband.  He told me that they found Sasha’s lifeless body in our next door neighbour’s yard.  Our neighbours, who knew our cats, knew who she belonged to, so when they found her they immediately went to call my husband.  I just remember crying out when he told me, that even one of my colleagues at the time thought that one of my human family members had passed away.  My boss at the time, who also loved cats, sent me home!  I was devastated.  I never saw Sasha’s body, my husband and my father took her to the vet, and they cremated her, I never got the ashes, I never asked for them.  I was in such shock; I could not comprehend what had just happened!  To this day I still don’t know what killed Sasha.  I always just put a story together that she died from a heart attack. One thing I know for sure, as my husband said that he had checked her over, was there was no sign of injuries. She was just stiff, lifeless, and seemed peaceful.  That being said, I just put the ideal thought in my mind that it was quick, and there was no suffering.

outdoor cat

Three months later, Dizi was not himself.  He was moping around and would not eat.  His tummy looked bloated, and all he wanted to do was curl up in my cupboard amongst my clothes.  He would hiss at me each time I tried to go in to get him out for dinner or breakfast.  I gave it literally a day, then I rushed him off to the vet.  They did tests, and they came back positive for FIP.  No, not FIV or known as feline aids, but FIP.  In layman’s terms this is a disease they can get in their intestines; it is most likely in cats under the age of 2 years. Basically, the intestines fill up with fluid, and it is fatal. I just remember the vet explaining it to me over the phone, she said that we could put him on pills to ease the pain and prolong his life for a month or two, but eventually he was going to die from it. I was devastated. Having just lost Sasha so suddenly, now this?  I just fell down on the floor and started crying, but I knew what was best.  To keep him alive would be selfish, it would not be doing him any favours. His quality of life would no longer exist.  It was the toughest decision of my life, but it was the only logical one!  My husband and I got into the car, and off we went to the vet.  We got there, Dizi already had a needle in his leg from the tests, so the vet said at least we didn’t have to put him through that!  I took him out of the cage and put him onto my lap, and she proceeded to inject the euthanasia medication.  Within one minute or so, I heard his last breath! I was devastated!  After Dizi went to Rainbow Bridge I was adamant, my life and thought process about the care for my cats had changed forever!  Then and there!

My life and thought process about the care for my cats had changed forever!

Why Indoors?

Travis was only 12 weeks old when we brought him home, and Dizi had gone within that same month Travis was home.  So he was still little enough for me to decide, in or out! Travis was and still is a timid cat, so the decision was easy.  In it was. We put mesh on all the opening windows, and that was it!  He was an indoor cat from that very moment, and he has been ever since.  It has been 6 years, and he is still thriving.  He doesn’t have any injuries, he is clean, I can monitor his behaviour, what he eats and drinks.  I feel like I can put 100% of my care into him and his brothers, because I have direct access to them, 24/7.  Their entertainment thrives too, if you put in the extra effort to play, and make sure all their instinctual needs are met, you have a happy kitty

We have since moved into an apartment in Sandton, and even though we are living in an urban area, and the road next to us is a main road, I am thrilled that my cats don’t have any harm, other than each other ***smirk***.  So, to answer your question, indoor cats do live longer, why indoors, its simple. They are more relaxed, and you have more control on their wellbeing.  The debate has always been the quality of life.  My answer is this… my cats have the best life.  I make sure they have everything they need!  They have toys, they have each other, and they have their favourite thing in the world… food to their hearts content!  So, why NOTindoors?  I believe it is the best choice for me, for them.  I have experienced both sides of the story, and the side that I’m living on now, is purr-fect!

With love,
Kat

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