Clan of 10
by Marcia Dunn
I have 10, all rescued from abandonement outdoors, or adopted from rescue groups. I grew up on a farm, where we had seperate "barn cats" and then those that were indoor/outdoor as they chose. One 20# indoor/outdoor lived to be 19 years old. He would have lived longer, but used up some of his lives after being hit by a car, and apparently "rescued" from the accident by someone. He was gone for 49 days, but returned at half his original healthy(not fat)20#. He had to drag his hind legs to get home from wherever he was, and it wore off the fur on top of his feet, and was black from the asphalt. It healed. Our vet said his hips had been broken, and then properly treated by someone to set it back into place. He must have come home as soon as he was able. None of our other outdoor cats ever lived longer than about 10 years. Cats attitude prevents them from respecting road traffic, and I see soooooo many hit by cars. They just don't get it, the cars don't know cats are royalty to be yielded to. Even with spay & neuter, fights, injuries and severe abscesses occur in outdoor cats. And then there's the parasites. In 25 years, I have only had to treat my indoor cats for fleas twice, and never for ear mites or intestinal parasites.
Then the final issue is wild birds, house cats kill an estimated bird per cat/ per day, (Audubon) just because their instincts and playfulness drive them to. They can even do this when well fed.
Mine all now stay indoors. They live to 20+ years routinely, and are very happy and healthy. I have fish aquariums for their (and mine) entertainment in addition to toys, climbing & scratching posts, screen porches and window seats for sunning.
Indoors is best for them, for your home and for your wallet!