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Indoors or Outdoors? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melanie   

Here we look at the many advantages of keeping your cat indoors and what measures you need to take to have a happy indoor cat. We also answer some commonly asked questions on the subject to help people be fully informed and consider this decision carefully. Finally we share some emails from very distressed customers that have lost their beautiful burmese purely because they let them outside. 

Q: Should I keep my kitten indoors or let him outside occasionally?

A: There are many advantages to keeping your kitten and cat permanently indoors. It only takes a couple of visits for your cat to learn what is on offer outside and good luck keeping them in after that! By keeping your cat permanently indoors not only will you find that her or she will bond to you and your family rather than the entertainment of the exciting world on offer outside but you will also find that your cat will want to spend more time with your and your family when you are at home. You may even find that your cat/kitten will hear your car pull into the driveway or your key going into the lock and run to greet you.
Here are some other reasons to keep your cat 100% indoors!
 
 
1.       Think of the Wildlife – If you do decide to let your cat outdoors PLEASE ensure that he or she is always locked up at night. I do a lot of volunteer work for Sydney Wildlife a staggering number of animals (possums, lizards, birds etc) come to us with domestic pet injuries. Where possible I look after them, rehabilitate and release if possible but a large number often have to be humanely euthanized. This is extremely sad, costly and time consuming and so easy to prevent if people were responsible pet owners.  PLEASE HELP PROTECT OUR UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL NATIVE WILDLIFE!

           

2.     You will save a heap of money!
If let outdoors cats are bound to get into fights with other cats, dogs or worse get hit by a car. Money spent on vet bills to fix wounds and the cost of medications and antibiotics to treat infections will be considerably higher on cats that are allowed outdoors.


You will also save money on flea and worming treatments. It is important to regularly worm and treat your cat for fleas and ticks. For indoor cats this is more of a preventative and can be done a little less regularly than a cat that goes outdoors. Outdoor cats need to be treated religiously especially for paralysis ticks in tick season. (See the Health category for information on symptoms of tick poisoning.   
 
 
3. Burmese get involuntarily re-homed and/or Lost
Being such an affectionate breed if Burmese are allowed out doors they will go visiting. They love company and will go looking for someone to give them a pat. Consequently Burmese are one of the most common breeds to go “missing” (get stolen). They are a beautiful looking cat and with their loving, “go to anyone” nature people often decide that they would like to keep their new found friend.

4. Burmese have very little Road Sense.
Burmese are a very smart breed but they lack road sense and I commonly get phone calls from distressed people that have lost a cat that was hit by a car. Please save yourself and your family the distress of this by keeping your cat indoors. 

 

 

 

 

I found the 2 articles below and thought they made some very relevant points so I would share them with you all.

The first article I found it on   http://www.catworld.com.au/KeepingIndoorCatsHappy.htm and the second article I found on http://www.catprotection.org.au/pdf/fact_sheet_indoors_cat_170708.pdf

  

ARTICLE 1

More & more cat owners are realising the dangers of allowing a cat to free roam & it is very common for cats to be entirely indoors now. There are so many benefits to keeping your cat indoors, a few of which are;

  • Dogs - Unfortunately many outdoor cats are killed & seriously injured in dog attacks. 

  • Cars - Another common fatality in cats. Unfortunately some breeds of cat (including Burmese) have no road sense. 

  • Cruel humans - Sad but true, not everybody loves animals, and some derive great pleasure in killing cats. I have also heard from pet owners who's cats have been deliberately poisoned by irate neighbours who resent cats entering their garden. 

  • Preventing hunting of native wildlife, plus eliminating the risk of your cat picking up a disease from an infected animal. 

  • Greatly reduces the chances of your cat picking up a parasitic infection such as fleas & worms. 

  • Preventing injuries from cat fights. The most common injury is an abscess which is incredibly painful to a cat, and will need to be treated by a veterinarian. 

  • Accidental poisoning. 

  • Theft - This may occur because somebody takes a fancy to your cat, there are also sinister reasons to steal cats such as to provide them to animal laboratories for testing.

  • Lower veterinary bills. Due to the reduced risks of injury & parasitic infections in indoor cats you will have much lower veterinary bills.

It is quite possible for an indoor cat to be a happy cat. Below are some suggestions on ensuring your indoor cat remains entertained & happy.

  • If it is at all possible you can give your cat the best of both worlds. Provide it with a screened in porch or outdoor cat enclosure so your cat can enjoy the great outdoors without the risks associated with free roaming cats. Enclosures come in all shapes & sizes, they can be home made or supplied by a specialised cat enclosure company. 

  • Train your cat to walk on a leash. It is quite possible to do this with a little time & effort.

  • Provide your cat with a cat tree. This will enable your cat to indulge in it's love of climbing, and will double up as a place to sharpen it's claws. 

  • Place perches on windowsills so your cat can enjoy the sun & watching the outside world. 

  • Keep a supply of  toys on hand. Indulge in your cat's natural instinct to prey & hunt by providing appropriate toys. These could include toy mice, corks from bottles, wand type toys. Cats love to hide, you can provide it with plenty of entertainment just by giving it an old box or two or a paper bag (never use a plastic bag) to play with & hide in. 

  • Make some time daily to play with your cat, this will not only provide him/her with stimulation but also encourage exercise. 

  • Plant some catnip or cat grass in a planter for your cat to nibble on. 

  • Put a bird feeder or bath outside for your cat's entertainment. 

  • You can now purchase videos especially for cats to watch. I tried one such video on my two Burmese cats & they loved it. The video contained footage of birds & insects. They sat there glued to the television, occasionally taking a swipe at the screen. 

  •  Consider having two cats so they can play together. 

  • If you have the time, energy & money, purchase a fish tank to keep your feline amused. Obviously make sure this is a tank which your cat won't be able to easily knock over or climb into. As fish keeping does require time & effort in order to keep the tank clean & the fish healthy, this should only be something you do if you are happy to take on the extra work involved in keeping a fish tank. On the upside, your cat & you will be entertained for hours watching the beautiful fish. 


    ARTICLE 2

    Having a happy indoor cat 

     

    Cats can live very happy lives indoors. By keeping your cat indoors, you are benefiting 

    your cat, yourself and the environment. There are a lot of hazards for a cat living outdoors 

    and their average lifespan is many years lower than for indoor cats. 

     

    At the Cat Protection Society, we encourage all cat owners to keep their cat indoors.  

     

    The key to having a happy indoor cat is to provide them with enough stimulation so they 

    don’t get bored. Although cats sleep a lot, you will need to provide at least 30 minutes a 

    day of play time for your cat. This applies to cats of all ages. 

     

    The following suggestions will ensure your cat has stimulation throughout the day. 

     

    Toys 

    There is a huge variety of cat toys available to keep your cat happy for hours, even some 

    you can enjoy as well. You can make toys from toilet rolls or felt. To stimulate your cat 

    even more, get a few toys that you can hide treats in; your cat will spend time trying to get 

    the treats out. Always remember not to give your cat too many treats as overfeeding can 

    lead to obesity. 

     

    Hiding spots 

    Cats need a quiet place they can retreat to if they get stressed. Provide your cat with an 

    igloo bed or a box they can hide in if they need time out. Ensure any unsuitable hiding 

    spots, like behind the fridge or under the stove, are enclosed. This will minimise the risk to 

    your cat and encourage them to use the hiding spots you have provided. 

     

    Greenery 

    Provide your cat with some cat grass or catmint in a pot. Your cat can chew on the foliage 

    safely. Cats will naturally do this as a way to aid their digestion. 

     

    An outside run 

    Make a cat enclosure in your yard so your cat can sit outside without the hazards of being 

    on the street. You can download instructions from our website. You can also look at 

    companies like ‘Catmax’ and ‘Catnip’ who supply pre-made enclosures in many shapes 

    and sizes. The enclosure can be as elaborate as your imagination.  

     

    Walk your cat 

    Cat harnesses are available for all size cats. These fit around your cat’s body and attach 

    to a lead that lets you walk your cat safely outside. Remember to only do this in areas you 

    know are safe. 

     

    Scratching posts 

    Cats need to scratch things in order to shed the dead nail sheath from their claws. Provide 

    your cat with a scratch post, or a few, to save your furniture! There is a huge variety 

    available, even with cat activity centres attached. 

     

    Windows 

    Install a window seat or place a piece of furniture under a window so your cat can look 

    out. Cats love to sun themselves in the window and look at the world outside. Remember, 

    if your cat is light coloured they can still get sunburn through the glass, so take 

    precautions for this. Also remember your cat will be happy looking out; this doesn’t mean 

    they want to get out. Most cats still try to pounce on bugs and birds through the glass. 

     

    Clean the litter tray 

    Cats are very clean animals with a very good sense of smell, so ensure you remove any 

    solid waste from your cats litter tray daily. Aim to clean the litter tray entirely as per 

    instructions on the litter pack. Provide your cat with a couple of trays to avoid any nasty 

    surprises when you get home. You may want to try the litter trays with a hood or lid as this 

    will help minimise smells around the house. 

     

    Spend time with your cat 

    Nothing beats spending quality time with your cat. Studies throughout the world have 

    shown that patting your cat can reduce blood pressure and has a relaxing effect.  

    Every cat has a different personality, so this may mean just a few good pats or the chance 

    for your cat to sit on your lap when you watch TV. Get to know your cat and what they like. 

    You will benefit from this as much as your cat. This can also be the perfect time to groom 

    your cat. 

     

    Get TWO CATS!!! Keep your cat entertained by getting them a friend. This will ensure 

    your cat is never lonely and always has a playmate. 

     

      

 

Some emails and stories from our customers that have lost beautiful burmese because they let them outside...

We have had a couple of the cats we have sold be hit by cars (one in front of the families 3 children), two that we know of have been stolen and at the end of last year one beautiful boy we bred about 2 years ago was killed by a dog. That cat was owned by a family that had purchased two of our cats and they now have built a cat run for their other cat.
 
***** 

We sold the most stunning burmese cat to a young lady about 2 and 1/2 years ago and she thought she may like to show the cat as he was just beautiful and had done very well on the show bench as a young kitten. A few months after she picked up the cat she started letting him outside. On one of these occasions she let the cat out while she hung out the washing and another neighours cat came into their yard. The cats fought badly and the little burmese ended up receiving bad damage to one eye and is now permanently blind in that eye. He also ended up with a badly torn ear and a pussy infected wound that cost them over $450 in vet bills and medications. Consequently his show life was instantly over and although he is still a lovely natured little cat he is no longer the beautiful looking cat that he once was.
 
***** 

I have put a couple of emails below of people that have lost stunning Burmese we have sold them purely because they let them outside. Please consider letting your burmese outside carefully as these cats will become a special part of your family and to have them stolen, hit by a car, attacked by a dog or die from tick poisioning are all things that you can stop by keeping them indoors.
 

Hello Melanie

We have some very sad news, our sweet little Brownie was hit by a car on Tuesday morning and died.   We found out when Bruce came back from his morning walk and there was a message on our phone.  A kind person had seen him and rang us up.  In appearance he was hardly damaged but sadly dead.

He was the most dramatically different cat Bruce and I had ever, ever had, an independent spirit, extremely affectionate, knew exactly what he wanted at any time and was friends with the whole neighbourhood.  

I think we told you Brownie had made a friend of a neighbour's cat, Pascall, we were going to leave Brownie with you last Christmas, however Pascall's parents wanted him to stay otherwise Pascall became depressed and would keep looking for him.  We are a bit like Pascall, missing him desperately.
 
 
 
Dear Melanie and Nathan,
 
Some very sad news I'm afraid. A dog has just killed Gus! We don't know who the the dog belonged to,the next door neighbour came to get us,we just let them out as usual. Just thought that you would won't to know! As you can Imagine we are all very upset at the moment,I know I have been through the loss of a cat before, but it doesn't get any easier!
 
Regards Chris and Brian
 
 
 
Hello Melanie,
 

When I last contacted you one of our cats had just died (tick paralysis) and since then we have now lost our last cat (disappeared). Needless to say my wife is totally distraught.......
 
 
Joe 
 

 

CAT SET ON FIRE -Article - SMH Saturday 3rd July 2010

 
A family cat is fighting for his life in Sydney after apparently being set alight in an incident described by the RSPCA as a callous act of animal cruelty.

Snowy, a 19-month-old domestic longhair, crawled back to his Bankstown home about 4am (AEST) on Saturday suffering severe burns to most of his body.

He was found by his distraught owners with cut ears and evidence of tape on his legs as well as the horrific burn injuries.

"... It's hard to believe that he could have accidentally sustained those sort of injuries, so it looks like a more deliberate and callous attack," RSPCA Chief Inspector David Oshannessy told AAP.

"There is a suggestion that he may have been held down with tape while the attack was committed." 

Mr Oshannessy said Snowy had been sedated and was on pain relief while undergoing treatment at the RSPCA's Sydney Veterinary Hospital.

Vets are unsure if he will survive.

"We are significantly worried about him at the moment because he has burns to a large majority of his body," Mr Oshannessy said.

If he pulls through, the recovery process could take months.

Mr Oshannessy said the attack on Snowy had particularly affected RSPCA staff.

"He would have suffered significant pain as a result of the injuries sustained," he said.

"And if he is to recover, he is going to have a long and difficult road to recovery."

The maximum offence for serious animal cruelty is five years' imprisonment under the Crimes Act.

Mr Oshannessy is calling for anyone with information to contact the RSPCA on 02 9770-7555 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

"We are talking about a young animal who is essentially defenceless, who has endured significant suffering as a consequence of the offender's actions," he said. 

"Vets are just cleaning his wounds and are hopeful that he will respond to treatment." 




 

 

 

Suchi is a registered breeder with the New South Wales Cat Fanciers' Association Incorporated. Lic No 125232.

All information, photographs and graphics on this site are copyrighted 2004 by Catatonia. No warranty is proved for any ommission, inaccuracy or otherwise of any of the data, information or opinions included in this site whatsoever. Independant professional advice is advised, paticularly with concern to medical matters. 

 


 

Last Updated on Friday, 25 March 2011 22:21
 

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