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Why All Cats Should Be Indoor Cats

Cat Looking In Through Window©

When the stray cat first appeared on the porch, he had long silky fur. I started feeding him and earning his trust. But as the months passed, he got bitten by other cats. He developed enormous abscesses that refused to heal. His coat grew dull.

Finally, the I gained his confidence enough to lure him into a carrier with food and whisk him off to a vet. Sadly, the big, once-handsome cat tested positive for FIV, the feline equivalent of AIDS. Already, the disease had ravaged his teeth and gums. Most of his teeth had fallen out. His gums were flaming red. Eating must have been agony. The disease also damaged his heart. An infection had also spread from his gums, causing irreparable harm.

It was all over. The injection was painless—but not for me. Now I know better.

The Not-So-Great Outdoors

Feline AIDS is a highly contagious, incurable disease for which there is no vaccine. It can only be prevented by keeping cats indoors. It is one of several deadly diseases that cats who roam outdoors can catch. Unattended cats also face dangers posed by dogs, wildlife, and the scariest predator of all, humans.

Feral Kitten in Hay

Thieves, or “bunchers,” cruise neighborhoods for friendly dogs and cats who can easily be picked up and sold to dealers, who in turn sell them to laboratories. Cats are often poisoned, shot, set on fire, or trapped and drowned by intolerant neighbors or bored juveniles. They are hit by cars, accidentally poisoned by spilled antifreeze, or maimed by fan blades when they crawl into warm engines on winter days.

Feral Cat With Six-Pack Ring Around Neck“But he wants to go outside.” “We live on a very quiet street.” “It’s cruel to keep her in.” These are things said by people who would never dream of opening the door and sending toddlers to wander down the street on their own.

The way we learn not to let the cat out unaccompanied is usually the hard way. In Pompano, Florida, lost dogs and cats were found in a large storage warehouse used by dogfight “trainers.” In South Dakota, a fur trader was caught selling cat skins. In Washington, D.C., a cat let out for her daily stroll returned covered in burns from hot cooking grease. In California, a woman searching for her cats found that both had been shot with arrows.

Today’s concrete jungles are far too dangerous for vulnerable, trusting little animals. But how do we prevent Tabby from getting bored in the great indoors? Here’s how!

Six Steps to Having a Happy Housecat

1. Bring joy with toys.

From paper bags and rolled up balls of paper to motorized “mice” and laser pointers, toys perk up even the laziest feline. All-time favorites are Cat Dancer and Cat Charmer.

Adoptable Kittens Warren and Shirley

2. Scratch that itch.

Cats love to scratch. Doing so enables them to remove broken claws, stretch muscles, and mark “territory.” The best way to save your furniture is to provide lots of “approved” places to scratch. Cat “trees” and posts, cardboard scratching boxes, and those ingenious “cat tracks” (a ball in a circular, partially open plastic tunnel surrounding a cardboard scratching pad) are big hits. Sprinkle catnip on them weekly to keep cats interested, and be sure to replace cardboard inserts when they get worn out.

3. Provide a room with a view.

Windows are cat “TV”—a birdbath or feeder placed near a window can provide hours of entertainment. If window sills aren’t wide enough, build or buy a cushioned perch (which are available from pet supply stores and catalogs) to attach to the sill. (For safe window-sill perching, make sure that double-hung windows are propped open to prevent them from falling down on cats, and tuck the cords of blinds up and out of the way so that legs and other body parts don’t get entangled in them.)

Cats watching TV

4. Porches bring purrs.

A screened-in porch or an enclosure accessible through a window is a great way for your kitty to safely commune with nature. KittyWalk Systems makes enclosures in a variety of configurations that can stand alone or be attached to a cat door. If your yard is fenced, another option is Cat Fence-In, a netting kit that attaches to the top of the fence. No existing fence is necessary to install another escape-proof system called Purrfect Fence, although it is advisable to supplement it with sturdy fencing of some kind to keep dogs and other predators out.

5. Take your kitty out for cat walkies.

Cats can be taught to walk on a leash—just be sure to use an ultra-lightweight, retractable leash that’s attached to a harness, not a collar. Let your cat get used to the harness for short periods indoors, and then pick a safe outdoor area to explore. KittyWalk Systems also makes a “pet stroller” that allows for longer, brisker walks and provides a measure of safety from free-roaming dogs.

Black Cat on Leash

6. Plant a garden—of catnip.

Cats will nibble on it and roll in it. Other healthy snacks are wheat grass, alfalfa, and oat grass. (You can buy seed starter kits at companion animal supply stores.) You can also find catnip toys at the PETA CatalogCatnip toys

For more information about how you can make your feline’s life more felicitous, read PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s book, 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You.

PETA is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide websites with a means to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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  • Karen says:

    I am an advocate of indoor cats for the reasons listed in this article. If you truly love your cat, I would think that you would want to keep it safe. There are too many mean people in the world today that would like to do nothing more than to kill an animal “just for fun.” In fact, I heard about an incident just recently where six boys tortured and killed a kitten “just for fun.” Worse, one of the parents actually defended her son’s actions! So, it’s not just the ones who hurt (or worse) the animal, it’s also other people who condone it! There are also adults who don’t like cats coming into their yards to do their business who set out traps or poison to “get rid of them.” They consider cats to be a nuisance. I admit that I do not own a cat but it does not mean that I don’t like them. I just don’t have one right now. When you consider all of the dangers lurking outside your house, it would seem more humane to keep them inside. My last cat was an indoor cat and she lived to be 18 years old and I never saw any indication that she was unhappy. I played with her, gave her toys and catnip, built a shelf for her to sit on to look outside, and kept her litterbox clean. She was a very happy kitty. So, if you really love your cat, and want to keep her safe from mean people or getting hit by a car, keep her indoors!!! The people in the large cities keep cats in their apartments or condos and the cats live longer than they would if they were let out on the streets. Please, do your cats a favor, keep them inside!!!

  • Sanjeev says:

    For last 6 months a cat used to come regularly to my house in morning and evening and we used to feed her but unfortunately a week back in the morning street dogs killed her which was very disturbing for me and family.She was having 3 kittens which are only around 6 weeks old and we are daily taking care of them but are concerned that they will also be killed by dogs.We wanted to keep them as pet to protect them but seeing the experts comments now is confused as to how to keep them all safe alongwith giving them a natural habitat.I have a small house.Please suggest.

  • Boo says:

    My little baby had to go outside, I took her outside on her last day alive to feel the grass, the sun, she walked not real far and would need to rest and I shadowed her to protect her then after following her for a long while I gently held my frail sweetheart in my arms and walked her around the apartment complex. When I owned my house I installed a kitty door for Boo could go out she came home with her ear messed up from a fight with another cat and her daddy fixed her up. If I hadn’t have let her go outside I would have missed some of the best parts of her personality. She would love to lie in the hot sun and for me she always rolled onto her back exposing her belly, I caught her hissing at a racoon and rescued her, I would take her up on the roof if I was working up there. I felt guilty after selling the house and renting an apt. she had no cat door and would sit and stare at the front door like sling blade. We went for walks and the other tenents were facinated by the way she would follow me, I always kept her safe. I hope we meet again my little baby, I hope we meet again.

  • Faye says:

    Of course there is a vaccine for feline AIDS, and has been for about 11 years. It’s called Fel-O-Vax. My kitten has had a full set of immunisations including this one and feline leukaemia. And she would be extremely miserable as an indoor animal. Bottom line is, cats are predatory animals and are not meant to effectively be imprisoned indoors. I understand owners’ concerns, and, yes, some animals do go missing, but if an owner is not prepared for this risk, then a cat is not the animal for them. They should get a dog or a rabbit instead. Cat owners need to accept the fact that their animal is not something to be caged. The animal may be ‘ours’, but their life is ‘theirs’. I find it astounding that, in the US where 25% of cats have their claws surgically and painfully removed and this is seen as acceptable, it is deemed ‘cruel’ to let a cat behave like a cat. Mind boggling. Tell people here in the UK to keep their cat indoors. Even the RSPCA, the largest animal charity in the country, doesn’t endorse indoor animals.

  • Ruth says:

    We have a 4 year old male cat. We got him from a neighbor when he was 8 weeks old. He has only been outside when we brought him home and when we showed him off at 6 months old and 2 years to a neighbor. He has lots of toys and his own bed (our loveseat). He is loved and he knows that HE is in charge. He is a very spoiled little boy.

  • Claudia Thompson says:

    I have had two cats run over and another go missing. You know, some people say leave them outside because that’s where they were meant to be. That would be great if we were still living in the Garden of Eden and there were no sin in the world. But let’s get real! Now because of sin, there are horrid diseases, horrible cruel people, cars that run over cats… and more. I have seen kittens that people threw off a bridge outside and I tried to rescue it but the Doctor had to put it to sleep. I have seen a cat outside with leukemia covered with ants hiding under a table that just came wandering to our house… and I had to put it to sleep. Use common sense. You are not “giving your cat a happier life” by throwing them outside to fend for itself. That’s why the cat has an OWNER. You are supposed to protect it from harm.

  • Kay says:

    We have just got our first kitten, he will be and indoor cat, he will have everything he needs. My family have fallen out with us I’ve the decision to have him as an indoor cat, they think we shouldn’t keep him in as its cruel but if we let him out we live on the busiest of roads therefore they think we shouldn’t of had him at all. I cannot understand it he will have a high quality of life, has never been outside and is much safer inside, I would beer tell someone they were wrong to have an outdoor cat as it is down to choice and where you live.

  • Veronica says:

    I let them go outside, BUT only when i’m outside with them. We live in a small apartment and the landlord HATES cats, so I have to be careful with my cats…

  • sally says:

    I am a huge huge animal lover, and I’m absolutely vexed as to why people would advocate indoor cats. If its seems happy indoors truly, than that is completely okay and good. Though Ive met many cats that are not. Yes, maybe they have a higher chance of being hurt, or wounded, but I think whats important here is for people to remember simply because you love the cat does not mean it is ‘your’ cat. Some people have very close bonds to their cats, but at other times the cats need a high amount of stimulation, fun, experience. Maybe your cat wants to experience the outside world and will die happier because of it. some indoor cats get very psychologically damaged by too much repetition It varies from cat to cat. Though its the same question you can apply to a human. Would you rather have a very rich high experience life and die much earlier? Or would you rather have a calm stable life and die quite late? That’s NOT to say an outdoor cat will die early, it just may face more battles. You may own the cat. but you do not ‘own’ the cat. Simply because it may be in more danger outside does not give you the right to deny that option for it. Its a creature, that was a genetic code, with natural inclinations to do certain things. Preventing that, CAN, not always, be detrimental to the cats psychology. I advocate may right for animals, but why in this case I think some people should be more responsible and respectful to an animals wants and needs, not altering its potential healthy existence to suit their own needs. Not always, but sometimes by restricting an animal youre doing so for your own needs, for your comfort because you love the creature and the ego driven aspect of humanity can overshadow the rights of another creature. Being completely safe does not always equal good, positive, and happy. being completely safe can also mean psychological damage. Therefore, simply see what your cat wants, observe, watch closely and lovingly to its needs, if it wants to stay in fantastic, if not, give the cat the respect and rights it deserves.

  • Ken says:

    PETA is right, unfortunately. I have three cats, and when they were allowed to roam, a neighbour attacked two with a weapon and they had to have a very expensive operation to repair their jaws and remove a tooth.

    The biggest hazard for outside cats is intolerant people.

    Now they are inside…no more freedom, but at least I can relax and they are safe….and pretty happy too, as I look after them.

  • coytle says:

    My cat is an indoor only cat. He doesn’t mind though. He likes to look out windows and climb tall furniture. I play games with him and let him claw things. I have catnip and wheat grass for him and plenty of treats and toys. I play a game with him that he loves, I chase him through the house and when I turn to run he chases me and lightly bites me when he catches me. Ive recently bought him a harness and tie out and I go into the backyard with him while he stalks things that are far too fast for him. He is a happy cat. He comes when I call his name and he will follow me when I want him to. He sleeps on my hip and meows when I talk to him or if I sneeze. I could not imagine letting him roam unsupervised, not that it is wrong. It is just wrong for us.

  • Lee says:

    To me,keeping a cat indoors all the time would be just the same as keeping my daughter in the house for her entire life. Sure, I can keep her from getting hurt, keep her safe and so on… but it would also mean that she never has her own life. Truly ethical treatment includes, necessarily, FREEDOM. Keeping a cat indoors is more about the needs of the keeper than the cat and completely ignores the fundamental nature of a cat. Perhaps you can defend treating dogs this way, since the environmental niche of dogs appears to be that of a symbiote or even a parasite dependent on humans. But the whole reason that “cat people” are cat people, is that they like an animal that has a degree of independence and wildness to it. If we recognize that trait in cats, then we have to respect their fundamental right to freedom.

  • Lyn says:

    Hi Matt. What ever you do don’t let your cats outside unsupervised. We own 3 indoor cats 12yrs, 8yrs, 5yrs all rescued as kittens. They have lots of cat posts to scratch on and windows to enjoy the sun and view. We owned a beautiful natured desexed boy bedfore these guys came along. He was an outdoor cat brought in at night. He was 18mths when our neighbour ran over him and left him in the gutter to die. We had called him in at 5pm but he decided to run back out. We didn’t worry to much as he hadn’t eaten and we thought he would soon return. He was hit soon after he ran out. It rained heavily that night, we found him the next day soaked and dead in the gutter that would have been flooded. Terrible way to go! We cried so much. The fact that your guys don’t try to escape tells us that they are very happy indoors. Their skittish nature would probably work against them outdoors. Our cats have lots of toys but their biggest love is chasing a screwed up envelope across our wooden floors! They go outside in our backyard for short periods, always, supervised. I wonder if this has made it more difficult for them to stay in. The girls often try to escape but we feel its best they stay in for their safety and for the wildlife’s. Our boy tries to eat everything green when he goes out so would probably poison himself pretty quickly if left alone. The down side for us is no indoor plants and lots of sweeping up fur but I wouldn’t risk letting them out unsupervised ever. If your boys aren’t desexed then DON’T let them out as toms fight for territory etc. You didn’t mention if your 2 were desexed as spraying is also an issue with undesexed boys. A vet will advise you on what is best here. Enjoy your companions and well done you for providing them with a safe and happy home! P.S. Our boy is 8yrs old, he was with his mother till 8weeks and he still hides from selected visitors. A real scaredy cat!

  • Queneke says:

    I have two cats. One just turned 1 on the 18th of July. The other will be 3 on the 28th of July. I was debating whether or not to let my younger cat go have an adventure in the yard. But I thought about how he is very adventurous and would be all over instead of in the yard just like a kid. My neighbor tear things up on their fence so that’s not an option. I have looked past outdoors. Cats are happy with a cracked window or wide open. In the back of the house they look at the neighbors dogs on the back street. In the front they see and hear all the scooters, cars, kids, etc… I open a few windows. I have 2 cat trees and a post. All are in a different window. They run through the house and I just see the happiness. So now I don’t worry about them going out. They aren’t missing anything. They are both neutered. The baby wants to follow me everywhere. I open the front door and he is there. Cats like open doors too. I have screen doors. They just lay there and hang out. Cats are always going to look out a window. I give them some treats open a door and some windows I just hearing them purr. It’s refreshing. Moral to the story, they are happy with the things they have inside because they match outside. I cleaned the windows today and they are ecstatic!

  • Emily says:

    Hi Matt
    I understand your concerns as I also have an indoor-only flat cat.
    There are a lot of good reasons for indoor-only cats. I think it is reasonable to be concerned about cats getting hit by cars and suffering other injuries and accidents. Cats also like to hunt wildlife, which may be a concern to some.
    If you had adopted adult cats who were used to roaming around outside, then it may be more difficult to justify (and enforce!) keeping them inside. However given you got them as kittens, this is what they’re used to.
    One of my reasons for wanting to buy my own place is so that I can build an outdoor cat enclosure, and perhaps this is something you might consider in the future?

  • Matt says:

    Hi i’m after some advice really. I took on 2 male cats who are now about 10 months old. They were abondoned when they were only 2-3 weeks old (best guess) and one had a bit of his ear missing. Which I was told was possibly done by whoever abondoned the litter to tell them apart. They were very nervous at first and still are with new people. It took one of them a week to stop hiding behind his bed. But they quickly became very affectionate with me. I worry that I am being cruel by keeping them indoors. But I live in a 2 bedroom flat and I think if I let them out they would be straight on the road. Some neighbours have cats that they let out and they are fine but im not sure mine are streetwise enough to avoid the road. The problem is also I work Mon-Fri so if they were lete out in the morning they would have to stay out all day as there is nowhere for me to put a catflap. They seem happy enough and have never tried to get out when I come through the front door. They have each other to play with and chase around the flat and so get plenty of exercise. They have a large scracthing tree/activity centre which they love. But they do spend a lot of time looking oyt the window which is making me think i should test them outside? One of them in particular is very nervous and meeows frantically if I leave a room and shut the door. This could be attributed to being taken from their mother so young I guess. But im not sure how he would cope with other animals and people in the outside world. I would value any input from cat lovers?

  • Barbara,Doncaster says:

    I have a beautiful Siamese boy,he’s a house cat,he has everything he wants,indoors,we love him to bits,i would hate someone to take him,or a car injure him,as long as he has his mum an dad,he’s happy.

  • PETA says:

    @Tom That’s great! Also, please check out PETA UK. 🙂

  • Tom says:

    We have two cats from a rescue centre in London. They are both indoor cats now and are very, very happy. We are fortunate in that we have a large place in which they can roam (with lots of stairs), but I think the key to their happiness is the love and attention we give them. They have plenty of toys and a stimulating environment. Consequently the furniture remains intact! We let them out on the roof terrace occasionally, which they do seem to enjoy, but they never seem anything less than blissfully happy whilst indoors. They were both in quite a bad way when they were brought to Battersea, despite being allowed outdoors in their previous life. The dangers for a cat outside in London are simply too numerous. There is no question that an indoors life is right for our two beautiful ladies.

  • Lorraine. says:

    My daughter and i have 4 cats, 2 from the cat and dog home, one from a friend and another from a friend. We would not let any of our cats out, too many dogs who are unleashed and we would just worry far to much. The thought of something happening to them makes me shudder. Please keep your cats indoors, they depend on us to keep them safe.

  • Anna says:

    I rescued my cat and she is 15 with out claws, I have only had her for for 2 months she started peeing every 1/2 hour and then she developed loose stools that started to turn grey and she had trouble getting to the litter pan ib time. It smelled awful. I changed food and she was getting sicker, I finally took her to the vet. She has Kitty aids. I had got her booster shot when I got her. If I ever adopt a cat again I will pay the fee to see if they have any disease, I was told that who ever had her before let her out a few times by mistake. That is possibloy how she got nailed. I can not afford the special HIV meds that could prolong her life. She is in terrible pain. Her stomach area is very ridged. I goofed. She is so personable. I hope her spirit comes back as a human.

  • kirstie says:

    I need some advice I have a 3 year old neutered male cat. He’s lovely and friendly and a real joy in my son and mine lives and part of our little family. 6 months ago we moved to the other side of town my sid went out after a month and I felt really settled in. He loves the the outdoors and is a bit of a a hunter. He’s chipped and up to date with his jabs and didn’t see any problem with him going out. But last week he disappeared for two days I found him in my old neighbourhood and brought him home fed him lots and he slept a lot. Two days later he escaped through my son’s legs while he was going out and that time disappeared for 6 days again I found him in our old neighbourhood last night. I don’t know what to do!! Its so hard keeping him in he’s crying to get out this morning. I had to shut him in a room just now so my son could go to school. What do I do how can I stop him from wanting to go back to his old stomping ground? Please help!!!

  • Bobkat says:

    I have an indoor cat that is a very happy cat. He has plenty of toys and a huge cat tree. I walk him every day on a lead and he loves that but also loves to come home and snuggle with me on the sofa. There is no way I would let him outside alone. Too many cars, dogs and even thieves and my boy is a beautiful bengal.

  • kathleen says:

    last friday i found my beautiful black cat “little bit” gasping for breath in my carport. I raced her to my vet but she could not be saved. I will never know what caused her death, but am now solidly in the -keep them indoors camp- and urge others to do the same. I pray wherever she is she forgives me for my carelessness

  • Ashlea says:

    My cat used to live outdoors, but then we had an angry talk with a neighbour. A ginger cat was harrassing his birds. I seriously doubt it was my little boy, but none the less, we had to keep him in at night. But one night, he didn’t come home. Or the next night. Or the next. It was about a week before I saw him again. He was lying in the garden with a big bald patch on his head. He looked miserable. Of course I carried him back inside, but when I put him down he was so weak and shaking he could barely sit up, let alone stand. We took extra special care of him and he stopped shaking, but he still couldn’t walk or even stand without falling over. We ended up taking him to the vet. I burst into tears when he told me what was wrong. A car had fractured his leg and broke his pelvis. If he had been any slower it could have been his skull. It took weeks to heal, but he made it. He was an inside cat now. He got lost again while I was taking him for a walk -with a collar, which is why you should always use a harness- and was missing for 5 days. Again he found his way home, but he just isn’t the same. He often looks out of the windows, distantly, as if he is remembering his life before. I know that if he never went out, never got lost, never got hit by that car, he might have been happier. Nothing to miss, nothing to remember. He is absolutley petrified of cars and I suspect it has something to do with his fear of bells and plastic bags. I wish he’d never gone out, and my next cats will NEVER go further than a covered, fenced in backyard.

  • Jordan says:

    I have always found it important to keep my cats indoors. Unfortunatly my parents thought it would be good to let them outside. Finally they just all disapeared. I was so heartbroken with each cat I lost. I now have a new kitty, Chewy, and he is and forever will be a strict indoor cat. I cant bear to lose another one this way.

  • Kitty Friend says:

    Message for Bruce – Hi, sounds like your cat may be an unspayed male? If so, maybe think of having him done. Then he won’t want to roam so much. Regarding indoors versus outdoors, I live in the UK and rescued a stray mature male and he liked indoors and outdoors, though as he got older I made sure he could not get out of our garden after he misjudged a wall and had a bad fall. I put up a tall wire fence he could still sit and see through. I guess a caring, stimulating environment is key mixed with the kind of temperament of the cat you choose to home, and whether the area you live in is potentially hazardous.

  • noname says:

    My poor kitten, just got mangled by my neighbor’s two dogs that were NOT supposed to be roaming. She was an outdoor cat. 🙁

  • Tim says:

    I adopted Margo after her previous owners’ landlady banned cats from going in the garden. Margo went crazy, attacking other cats and humans when kept indoors. Now she has a large communal garden, albeit frequented by other cats and the occasional fox and full of spikey plants. But Margo’s ultra cautious with other humans and animals, sees off the other cats and foxes (and I know would be vicious if attacked – I don’t trim her claws and anyway fox attacks on cats are extreemly rare) and she doesn’t go anywhere near the road. She’s only once cut herself on a thorn as far as I know. She only goes out once or twice a day and doesn’t stay out for long or go further than the garden – but she does need to go out. Margo is neutered, vaccinated and microchipped and I give her prophylactic wormer/defleaer (she doesn’t catch birds or mice though). Margo still attacks people (including my parents) quite viciously when confined indoors for any length of time. So in my opinion, it depends on the cat and on the situation. People and the animal welfare organisation in the UK (incuding the RSPCA) take a much more open-minded/balanced view on the indoor/outdoor question. There is no absolute right or wrong – I think Peta are being overly dogmatic here. To all the people who say “how would you feel scraping your cat off the tarmac”, I did worry myself sleepless the first few times Margo went out. But I’ve never had any doubt that it’s right for her to have outdoor access

  • kai says:

    i live in the uk and at one time had 6 adult cats and 4 kittens. all the adults used to go outside unsupervised, after i found my first cat laying in the road dead i stopped letting them out at busiest times for traffic, i know i shouldve learned after finding my first cat dead but 4 weeks exactly after the first incident, my second cat was found outside injured, late at night. i called the emergencey vet who asked me to check my cats claws and they were shredded…he had been hit, the vet told me to make the cat comfortable and warm and bring him in to the vets in the morning. 6 hours after that phonecall, my cat died in my arms. 2 cats in 4 weeks was too much, rehomed the kittens and the remaining cats are now all house cats, they have a huge 6ft play centre and are acting a lot happier. cats should be indoors, if they are that “special” to you, keep them safe!

  • Kt says:

    Cats are happier being able to roam outside. My parents have always had outdoor/indoor cats, and most of them have lived 20+ years. I attribute their long lives due to a healthy life. Cats are smart and agile and it is rare for them to get injured outside. Also, I feel that while they may risk injury, they often live longer lives having a healthy existence. So keeping them inside, while preventing a rare accident, also may shorten their lifespan. I don’t think that it is cruel to keep cats indoors only, as sometimes it is just practical to keep them indoors. But it is definitely wrong to say cats should only be kept indoors, due to seeing the joy going outdoors brings to cats, as many other commentors also report.

  • BRUCE says:

    I gave my cat all kinds of toys and we use to play all the time we even played in the yard, now he is 6 mo old he only want to come in the house to eat and sleep,if I don’t let him out when he wake up he act very CRAZY and makes all kinds of LOUD SOUNDS when I can’t take it anymore I let him out I may not see him for up to 2 days, when he return he eat we play he sleep and when he’s ready to GO.i don’t know what to do anymore,I am SAD:)

  • Kitty says:

    To all who think cats belong outdoors: You are stupid! Cats should only be aloud outdoors when supervised. Seriously letting your cat out by itself is irresponsible! Do you let your dog out without some boundaries? No you don’t, so why do you let your cat roam around your neighbourhood. You people are just making excuses so you don’t have to take responsible care of your cat! They need to be watched when outdoors if they are not in a enclosure. BE A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER AND LOOK AFTER YOU’RE CAT! People who let their cats have free range of the outdoors because they think their cat is a ‘wild animal’ are stupid, ignorant and are irresponsible pet owners and should not allowed to own a cat!

  • Shelly says:

    No, Nat, are YOU serious? No matter how you try to spin it cats are NOT wild animals. They are domesticated animals who have been used for thousands of years alongside humans to hunt mice and other vermin. They aren’t mountain lions or panthers.
    I am sure my pet fish would prefer to swim in a lake as opposed to a small tank, I am sure my dog would prefer to roam around on his own outside, I am sure my former hamsters would of prefered to go outside, but we don’t let these animals out ever, and unsupervised as is the case with dogs. Where is the outrage over all the other animals who spend their lives in small cages? Not to mention not all cat breeds are suited for outdoors, a fact people ignore? Would you put a Ragdoll cat, who lack the instinct to protect themselves, outside to wander?
    The fact is getting a pet period is a selfish act.

  • Dave says:

    For Fifty-five years, I never gave a thought to a housecat’s place in the U.S. I kept quite a few from going hungry in my neighborhood, and, even brought home kittens to my family. I created indoor habitats with climbing and scratching posts,I/we cleaned the cat-boxes, and even had two kittens that played outrageously funny hide-and-go-seek games with out parakeet! That was in Denver during the eighty’s. Later, in the late ninety’s,I became interested,(recreation ally), in ecology, and the human footprint on Earth.This is when I learned that the common house cat is a genetically modified species created by the ancient Egyptians; A dead culture of death-worshipping people who at least where smart enough to make the exportation of these creatures a capital offense.That’s right the ancients knew the dangers.
    Also, the house cat behavioral pattern makes them predators with an 80% kill ratio. This means that a cat kills 80% of what it sees, whether it’s hungry or not. If it’s moving, the cat will kill it first, just to look at it.
    We might think that that’s cute, but, what about pollinators? Beneficial insects, amphibians,small fish,mosquito-eaters from dragonflies to bats? The best-fed cats are the healthiest ‘mini-chernobles’ when it comes to destroying bio-diverse habitats.
    And who wants cats using their vegetable patch for a poop station? Not me.
    There’s no ‘leash law’ in my little town, and good neighbors accept responsibility for their pets and live stock. If I have a dog that I can’t, or won’t keep out of my neighbor’s chicken coop, Then I can’t fault him for protecting his property, or his live stock/pets with extreme prejudice.
    Accept responsibility for your beloved pet. Not all of your neighbors feel the same way as you do about your pet.

  • victoria says:

    I believe cats should be free to roam that is one of the wonders of owning cats, I have 2 very happy healthy cats who have a great life, I don’t believe in house cats its no different to keeping a rabbit in a hatch with a run in the garden completely unnatural, that may suit the owner but not the creature. I do though keep them in a night so they are safe. If there is lots of traffic or you dont have a suitable home then you should not have a cat, lets not go the way we have with children where people are scared to let them play in the street when in fact a child is more likely to be harmed by a family member than a stranger.

  • Eleuthera says:

    I simply can not believe that this opinion would appear on a PETA website. Of course cats should not be kept indoors. Here’s a thought:If you can not provide a cat with an IDEAL environment then don’t have one. I have cats, two of which I saved after their breeder decided she would have them put down. They had never been outside and lives in a tiny apartment with a dog.They were timid with dull coats. Now they live with me in a house away from any major roads, with a huge garden full of trees that backs on to fields. They have grown strong and healthy with gleaming coats and full of energy. Of course I have them vaccinated against disease. I truly love my cats, I give them the best life I can because I feel honoured to share my life with them. They are not toys or ‘things’ you can have because you want them. If you love cats and want to do something good for them raise money for a project that neuters feral cats or for the CPL or whatever but don’t deny an animal it’s right to a good free life. You know, people can live in prison, and they can have lots of things to do, and people to talk to and good food to eat but if you can’t get out you are still a prisoner.

  • Vicky says:

    Yes it is more dangerous for cats to go outdoors. Same applies to people. But we don’t lock ourselves away because the outside world is such a dangerous scary place…

    Cats are independent creatures. I will never own as a house-cat and stand by the fact that it is cruel to keep cats indoors.

  • Nat says:

    Are you people serious? You all know that cats are wild creatures and the living indoors is a man made creation, actually not true other species do live inclosed, but not cats. I understnad there are dangers outside that they cannot respond to appropriately, ie: cars, but that’s why you shouldn’t have a cat in the city. Also, when you keep a cat indoors you take away everything their instincts are telling them to do, could you imagine what that’s like? You’re indoors and you have these strange urges which cannot be satisfied. I know there are exceptions like bred cats which have a bit less of that instinct and probably more human induced characteristics, or sick cats, but keeping an animal indoors is like keeping a bird in a cage. It completely makes no sense.

  • Diana says:

    I took in a cat I believe is a stray and one of my neighbors keeps harrassing me in person and email about him. I was told he likes to roam around the village and goes to several houses to be fed.

    He’s been hanging around this building for a long time and I decided to take him in. My neighbor just sent harrassing emails claiming that the “owner” of this cat asked him if he saw it and my neighbor claimed he told her “no,” but that he would tell her the cat is with me if I didn’t let him out.

    A couple of minutes later he sent another email saying she was angry the cat hasn’t been there in awhile.

    This neighbor has been physically and emotionally abusive towards me over the past few years. He knows I love animals and seemed jealous when he found out I took in the cat.

    I believe he’s doing this to harrass me. Is there any way I can get him to stop, short of getting the law involved?

    I’m in the process of moving and am in not the best of health and so don’t need this jerk’s harrassment.

    What if he is telling the truth about the cat (which I don’t believe)? I checked Craigslist and local bulletin boards for notices about lost cats and haven’t seen anything about him.


  • Joolskoko says:

    I live in the UK and I keep my beautiful Bengal girl indoors.I rehomed her and she was already indoor accustomed. I felt mean at first keeping her in. I wanted her to experience the outdoors and fresh air and nature. She went out on a leash at first with a soft body harness and gradually now she will potter in the garden under my watchful eye. I don’t feel mean now. She has a lovely life, warmth, good food, attention,love lots of play, toys, proper care and routines for vaccination and flea and worm treatment. I get so distressed seeing animals killed on our far too busy roads. Signs up for “lost cat” animals with scars from fighting each other or having been harmed by humans. I fear if I let my girl out because of her breed and appearance that some unscrupulous person would steal her and I honestly believe no-one could give her as much love as I do!
    The bottom line is she is a PET. My pet and that is a responsibility I take very seriously. I’m not cruel, unkind or controlling, I just want what is best for her and if that means limiting her freedom and risking upsetting a few old-school folk, then so be it.

  • Lemon says:

    Is this article mainly for an American audience? I think most cats in the UK are outdoor cats, and most people consider it cruel to keep them indoors. Mine has access to the outdoors but is microchipped so is trackable. Our problem is neighbours’ cats coming in and stealing his food!

  • ashley says:

    I recently adopted a cat that I wanted to be an indoor cat only. I worry with all the stray animals in my area that he will get hurt, lost, or sick if I let him out. Sarge has made us realize that our house is not all that cat safe. He keeps getting into my vents (I suspect chasing mice) and every time I fix one area of my house so that he can not get into the vents he finds a new way in, he has even figured out how to get our vent covers off. I live in a mobile home and the fresh air vents he keeps getting into led under the house so I know where to find him but I am wondering if he is not happy inside, just having fun chasing mice, or what the problem is. Any advice I know mice are trying to come in but they are to smart for any of the traps I have tried.

  • Lily says:

    I love that Peta want cats to be indoor cats. Sadly I live in the UK where pretty much all cats go outside. I hate it, I’m always seeing them at the side of the roads, or owners complaining their cats are sick. What idiots, its their own fault for letting those poor babies outdoors.
    My fiancé and I are getting our first cat together soon and that kitty will NOT be allowed out! Yet people have actually had the nerve to tell me I’m stupid and cruel for wanting a house cat. Ugh.