Gransnet forums


To think it's cruel to have a house cat?

(175 Posts)
snowberryZ Wed 30-Mar-22 10:57:12

The people opposite have a cat who never goes out.
Every day its sat in the front window watching the world go by.
It makes me feel a bit sad that this poor cat is being curtailed from doing what cats should be doing.
OK it will probably have a long cosseted life, because it won't be facing the same risks that a cat with a normal life would face.
But if I were a cat I'd rather risk having a short exciting life than a long boring one stuck indoors, where there's no fresh air or sights, sounds and smells of nature.

My son and daughter in law have an indoor cat and their argument is
"but we've tried letting him out but he gets scared and runs straight back in"

So would I if I hadn't been out for a year!
I can remember feeling institutionalised from spending just 3 weeks in a hospital!
The world was a very scary noisy place at first.
I'm sure animals must get the same way.

Then there are the
"my cat is a rare breed and might get pinched" lot.
So I can kind of understand that, even though I still think it's cruel.

What do others think?

dragonfly46 Wed 30-Mar-22 11:05:19

My DS and DiL have indoor cats but they do go out in their garden and never venture beyond.
They seem quite happy.

snowberryZ Wed 30-Mar-22 11:08:13

If they go in the garden then they are not true housecats.
I'm talking about people who never let their cats out at all.

GagaJo Wed 30-Mar-22 11:12:21

My 2 cats are rescue cats. The alternatives to making them house cats would have been, 1) leaving them as strays, 2) putting them down.

My solution isn't perfect, but I think it's better than the two other options.

On the other side of the coin, in my nieghbourhood, there is a very expensive, unneutered male, purebreed Bengal (absolutely gorgeous) allowed out. He patrols the neighbourhood, yowling. So far, he's OK, but sooner or later he's either going to get stolen, get into a severe fight or killed by a car.

paddyann54 Wed 30-Mar-22 11:16:56

We lost our last cat when he was run over by a car .When we got the two kittens we have now we decided they would be house cats ,we changed our minds .We get as much joy out of watching them chase squirrels up trees and run over garage roofs and think they're big cats in the jungle stalking prey as they do.They are very happy cats .Confining them would ,in my opinion,be cruel.They are nearly 4 now and I've losy count of the times theres been a kind soul at my door to tell me theres a cat sitting on my they can get up they'll manage tp get down

snowberryZ Wed 30-Mar-22 11:18:39

I think letting the cat out into the garden at the very least, means the cat gets to experience fresh air and the feel of earth and grass underfoot.

But then most cats can scale a 6ft fence no problem.
You would have to have really high fences and for the garden to be ultra secureconfused

Maggiemaybe Wed 30-Mar-22 11:20:33

When we got cats from Cats Protection we had a visit from a very earnest woman who made us promise never to let them out at night as “bad things happen to cats out in the dark”. She wasn’t really happy about them leaving the house at all, even though we’re surrounded by fields. After a few nights of one of them yowling and butting at the locked cat flap we went back on our solemn word.

I agree that it’s cruel for some. That particular cat would be out adventuring much of the day and most of the night and just appear for food and a long sleep occasionally. He’d also come in to use the litter tray, then dash back out. smile We’ve had others who’ve chosen just to go into the garden for a bit of sun and scuttle back if a leaf rustled.

A cat flap is a wonderful thing.

snowberryZ Wed 30-Mar-22 11:20:35

I wonder what most vets think?
They must see their fair share of cats who have had car accidents.

Thoro Wed 30-Mar-22 11:21:46

Nesting birds think house cats are great!

timetogo2016 Wed 30-Mar-22 11:23:41

I have a neighbour who has cats,and one will not venture out at all but seems happy to watch the other cats do their own thing.
He/she seems contented enough.
Can`t see the problem tbh.

tanith Wed 30-Mar-22 11:26:57

I’ve never kept any of my cats in they were free to come and go as they pleased. Over my lifetime and many cats we only lost one to a road accident. Most lived to a very happy old age. So I don’t agree with house cats but everyone’s circumstances differ I guess.

GagaJo Wed 30-Mar-22 11:29:49

My family have always had cats. My granny lost many cats (she never knew how). My mum had an outside cat who would come and go, using a lift to get to my mum's floor when he couldn't be bothered to walk. I've had 8 cats. I've lost 4. 1 moved house, up the road. No problem there. But the other 3, went out and didn't return. It's heartbreaking, and I'm not going through that again.

TerriBull Wed 30-Mar-22 11:35:43

I love cats, I don't have one right now due to family members with allergies sad In the past I lost a cat to a road accident even though we weren't living on a busy road at the time. Ideally I think cats would be free to roam but I wouldn't condemn anyone for having a house cat, better a loved house cat than a neglected stray, I imagine they adapt to their environment.

snowberryZ Wed 30-Mar-22 12:17:54


Nesting birds think house cats are great!

I think cats should be made to wear a bell during nesting season. It would give some birds a chance. If not all.

Elizabeth27 Wed 30-Mar-22 12:22:48

I do not like to see any caged animals. Cats are obviously not happy as indoor cats as they will go out if given the chance.

SueDonim Wed 30-Mar-22 12:54:51


I do not like to see any caged animals. Cats are obviously not happy as indoor cats as they will go out if given the chance.

Our last three cats have been rescue house cats and they are most definitely not unhappy! The first had a serious congenial heart condition and would have been euthanised if we had not taken her as a house cat.

The next were a pair who had never been outside and wouldn’t have thanked you for it. They never bother go to the doors. Or get out of windows. One has sadly died and the remaining one has kidney disease and is blind. All they ever wanted was to sit on us all day, draped round our necks or on our laps.

HowVeryDareYou Wed 30-Mar-22 13:25:05

I've always had cats (42 years) and they're always been allowed to go out, but kept in all night. I believe all animals should be able to see and feel the outdoors. As Terribull says, though - better to have an indoor cat than a neglected stray.

My old boy was feral until I got home. He's never caught a bird or mouse in the 11 years he's been with us.

HowVeryDareYou Wed 30-Mar-22 13:25:22

until I got him, not home!

Rosalyn69 Wed 30-Mar-22 13:38:32

I’ve always had cats and all have been outdoor cats but I think if cats have always been indoor cats they adapt very well. It’s unfair to criticise what people do. My Lily can go outdoors but she likes nothing better than sitting in the glass room watching the garden.

Oldbat1 Wed 30-Mar-22 13:59:05

Some cats shouldn’t be allowed out due being Positive to easily transmissible diseases to other cats. They would otherwise be required to be put to sleep. I think one disease is FIV but I cannot remember the other. My daughter has a house cat and she doesn’t seem to want to go out. We’ve always had cats since we’ve been married but as our cats have all lived to 18yrs at least it isn’t fair to take on another for our remaining lifetime. All our cats had free access via cat flap at all times.

Aveline Wed 30-Mar-22 14:21:38

Over the years we've had cats that go out and also house cats. Our current two are rehomed house cats. They've never been out and don't show any sign of wanting to go out. They're sleepy old boys and seem happily contented.

Nandalot Wed 30-Mar-22 14:35:30

I know you don’t live opposite me, snowberry, but you could be describing my cat who sits on the front windowsill for the morning sun and the back bedroom windowsill in the afternoon. She will occasionally come downstairs and ask me to open the front door where she stands half in and half out, sniffing the air for an age with me getting inpatient, and in the winter shivering and thinking of my fuel bill. Mostly she then turns and runs back upstairs, but if she feels conditions are just right she might venture out to be found two minutes later at the back of the house on the kitchen windowsill asking to come in.

Hithere Wed 30-Mar-22 14:35:54

Here in the US, when you adopt and unless it is a barn cat, they pretty must request the cat is to be indoor only.
If not, they deny the adoption
They also demand for the cat to be spayed/neutered

That Bengal owner is very irresponsible and should not have a cat

It is for safety of cats and wild life

My cats are very happy and refuse to go outside. I open the door and they run inside.

One of my cats likes exploring and we take her for walks and rides - she refuses to go out w/o us

Shinamae Wed 30-Mar-22 14:48:54

I have just recently got an eight week old kitten, he will be a house cat, since I’ve lived here I have had two cats run over and I am not willing to risk this one, I might let him out in my garden but then I think I would get a run for him …

BlueBelle Wed 30-Mar-22 14:51:43

In my eyes it’s very cruel because it’s totally alien and against the nature of a cat

It would be the equivalent of us sitting out side a window watching all the family have a slap up meal with lots of laughter and fun while we are shut out alone

If a cat refuses to go out it’s because they have been conditioned either as kittens or through a faulty gene cats love to explore, climb, jump, hunt, and socialise

It’s more of humans conditioning animals against their instincts to fit in with humans needs
Nasty stuff