My cats are 99% indoor cats and I would never think of letting them roam freely outside. My opinion on indoor vs. outdoor depends on where you live. If you live in the city please don’t let your cats roam freely outdoors. If you live in the country and it’s not highly populated (except with animals, lol) than I’m ok with people letting their cats outdoors.
Risk for Indoor City cats that are let outside and cats that are strictly outdoors:
- Being hit by vehicles.
- Being stolen, lost, trapped, shot, or re-homed.
- Being attacked by other cats.
- Toxins and poisons: Outside cats also face danger from coming into contact with toxins, such as antifreeze, that are often ingested because they have a pleasant taste. Cats may also end up accidently exposed to rodent poisons when they hunt and eat rodents that have recently ingested poison bait. (http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/caring-for-your-pet/indoor-cats-vs-outdoor-cats.html)
- Health issues: worms, ear mites, rabies, URI (upper resporatry infection) among many other illnesses.
- Annoyed neighbors who don’t appreciate cats using their gardens as litter boxes.
Another thing to consider is that indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats. Indoor cats tend to live from 12 to 20 years of age, while outdoor cats typically live 10 years, and stray/feral cats live to 5 years of age.
Today I saw a dead cat on a country road. It always breaks my heart when I see dead cats on the road. I’m sure everyone has heard about the cat who got shot with an arrow. On Instagram someone had their cat stolen, numerous cats have been run over, and a cat died when he fell off a fence. If these cats would have been indoor cats, their deaths could have been prevented. Harsh, but true.
I do occasionally take my cats outside with a halter and leash. Eddie and Java hate it outside, while Dac loves it.