10 Honest Insights: Why Do Americans Keep Cats Indoor?
Cats are some of the more popular domesticated pets in the U.S. However, other countries are curious about why Americans keep their feline babies indoors versus allowing them to free roam like animals outside. After someone asked a community of Americans online why they harbor cats indoors, these were the honest responses.
1. Invasive Species
Cats are incredibly efficient hunters. So being allowed to roam free outdoors makes them a dangerously invasive species on our continent, which is already the case with stray cats. One notes, “They’re not one of the super devastating, ecosystem-shattering invasive species,” However, they have a measurable effect on local wildlife. Cats can decimate native bird populations.
2. Outdoor Predators
Another reason Americans are keen about keeping their feline friends indoors is primarily due to the dangers of wildlife. Predators regularly attack and kill cats, including raccoons, hawks, foxes, rattlesnakes, and coyotes. Furthermore, large dogs have been known to maul kitties.
According to one fur baby mama in the thread, the average lifespan for an outdoor cat is between 2-5 years. In contrast, the average lifespan of an indoor cat is 10-15 years. As already noted, predators are a threat. However, traffic is another significant killer of cats. People living in urban areas, especially, should not allow cats outdoors.
Do you know people out there will honestly steal your cat? Unfortunately, it’s true, and sadly, I know first-hand. About twenty years ago (oh no, I’m dating myself here), I had a cat named Squeakers. This cat was a hellion. She refused to stay in the house.
She would wait at the door, hear my keys, and dart between my legs. Once, she knocked me into the door and even jumped from a second-floor window and balcony to run freely outdoors.
Nonetheless, there was this weird older lady in the complex, and no lie, I caught her feeding Squeakers lasagna. As in, my cat is not Garfield. So what is going on here? Anyways, one day that lady moved, and my cat never came home. So I know she stole Squeakers. It was painful. I loved that little terrorist so much.
Allowing cats to roam freely outdoors will enable them to catch and drag in parasites, including fleas, ticks, ear mites, and worms. Not only are these bugs hazardous for your pet, but they can also be detrimental to your own health. And they are expensive to treat.
In addition to bringing home bugs, allowing your cats to go outdoors opens them up for catching diseases such as rabies, toxoplasma, and Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
For the love of kitties, please spay and neuter your cats! Bob Barker didn’t spend all those years asking you to for no reason. But, unfortunately, people don’t do it. So allowing cats to free roam creates a problem of unwanted cat litter populating from stray and feral cats.
8. Watching Their Diet
Another reason many Americans give for keeping their cats indoors is so that they know what their babies are eating additionally, so they can monitor their food intake.
9. Getting Stuck
There is a reason there is a trope about calling firefighters to help get your cat out of a tree. Unfortunately, they climb and can often get stuck. FYI, good luck. I saw a cat get chased up the top of a telephone poll. A large Great Dane scared the bejeezus out of it, and it full-on darted for its life up the pole.
I attempted to coax it down with canned wet food and watched it struggle with ideas for getting down. The pole was near a fence. However, the fence was far from the at least 30-foot tall telephone poll. I called the fire department, and they legitimately laughed in my face.
Eventually, the poor guy flew down the pole at mock speed before landing on the fence and darting off. Still, the cat sat up there for at least two hours, terrified and alone.
10. Animal Torturers
Sometimes stealing a cat has nothing to do with wanting it for their own and more to do with a sickness of torturing animals. Maybe you’ve heard people do terrible things to black cats around Halloween. I’ve heard it and only recently researched and discovered it’s rooted in legend and not fact. Nonetheless, some sick people will harm animals and Americans choose to keep their furry little loved ones indoors.
This thread inspired this post.
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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,