Let the cat decide...

by Tashi
(United Kingdom)

A little bit of background before you read my comment - I live in the UK, where the majority of cats are outdoor cats (excluding, of course, breeds such as Sphynx cats). Over here, it is perfectly normal to allow your cat outside to roam as they please. Where I live, the largest predatory animal is the fox (which is nocturnal, and I don't allow my cats outside overnight). We do not have wolves, coyotes, bears or eagles.

I own two cats; a male and a female, both black and white tuxedo cats that I rescued. The male was rescued from a cat hoarder, the female was rescued from within an abandoned flat.

The male - Casper - absolutely loves going outside. If you don't let him out, he will sit at the door or on the windowsill begging until you obey him and let him out.

The female - Bella - is terrified of being outside. If you leave the door open, she will wander out, perhaps chase a fly or two, but she will make it 5-10 feet away from the back door, panic and come back inside.

In my mind, I believe the cat should decide. I would much rather Casper go out and live an enriched life outdoors if it means he is happy, as opposed to forcing him to stay indoors and be unhappy. Equally, if Bella wishes to stay inside, that is her choice. I won't force her to go outside if she is not comfortable in doing so.

Yes, I understand there are many dangers for cats if they are outdoors - cars, ill-wishing people, dogs, other cats etc. - however, I would feel cruel forcing Casper to stay indoors, as much as I would feel cruel forcing Bella to go outdoors.

In the end, I believe it is the cat's decision; cats are very much free-spirited, and they don't exactly take kindly to being controlled by their human slaves!

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