Until my recent visit to my Mother’s home, I have always felt sorry for cats that are never allowed to go outside. It just seems to go against the intentions of Mother Nature. My own two cats really enjoy their cat door we had installed just so they can go in and out as they please. And it gives me so much peace of mind knowing they can get in when I am gone, especially if they aren’t in when I go. Before having the cat door, if they weren’t in when I left for work, I would feel so bad knowing they had to spend the day outdoors waiting for my return, even though I knew there were places they could take shelter from bad weather.
However my sister has expensive, adorable cats, especially chosen to minimize allergy problems, and they are as happy as any cats I have ever encountered. Why? Well start with all the crazy and imaginative toys she has for them. This long tunnel thing they run around in; the circular toys with the balls they bat around. Various perches and hideaways. She even got a very nice bird cage and put several parakeets in it, made sure it was constructed so as to keep the cats out and sturdy enough to not tip over as they are checking it out, and it’s like their own personal TV show. Same with the aquarium, with colorful goldfish. They can’t get in but they sure enjoy looking in.
And here’s the clincher. They go out for “walks” in her Kittywalk Stroller. They love it! She also just takes them out in it when she works in the garden, and positions it in different places in the yard, so they can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and be close to her, which appears to be their favorite place to be. No surprise there…
So I have had to revise my opinion, these cats look as healthy and happy as they get. Having said all this, I have no regrets letting my own two go outdoors, and would not change that. I even go spend time in the yard just to please them, as their favorite time to be out there seems to be with us. The longer we are out there the longer they stay out too. The playful one likes to jump on my back from behind and leap over my head as I squat down to pull weeds. I guess I have a strong heart as the shock hasn’t caused a heart attack yet.
So I know there are pros and cons as far as the indoor vs. outdoor approach with cats. I can happily say mine don’t have a strong hunting instinct and don’t bring me dead birds or rodents (have had those kind in the past). A lot depends on one’s lifestyle and living situations. In the end I think our cats can be healthy and happy with either situation, if we are responsible and loving owners.
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Tags: cat toys