Some Pet Cat Ownership Myths
Pet ownership is a tremendous responsibility, but for many animal lovers, cats are often seen as a better choice than some other more demanding animals. On a lighter note, whenever I think of an amusing cat anecdote, I always recall a couple of cat conversations that I had with my father when I was very young and we lived on a farm with outdoor animals, including kitties.
One day, I went up to my Dad and asked if I could use his ladder to which he questioned why I needed this particular tool. I told him that my cat was up on the roof and I needed to bring her down. He responded by saying, "Ever seen a cat skeleton on a roof? I'm sure she'll come down when she's good and ready," and eventually she did.
Years later, after I had moved out of my parent's home in the country, I stopped by for a visit and my Dad pulled me aside and asked for a favour. "Could you please climb up that tree and get your Mum's cat down?" Naturally I couldn't resist the obvious response, "C'mon Pop, you ever seen a cat skeleton up in a tree? I'm sure she'll come down when she's good and ready."
But then he told me she'd been there, some fifty meters up in the branches, for three days and wouldn't stop crying. Yes, I climbed up and saved her thanks to my excellent tree-climbing skills and didn't even require stitches from her resistance to the rescue.
But it begs the question, are our cats more safe being outdoors or kept inside with us? After hearing that story, the latter is probably a better choice. So here's four popular myths about keeping a cat indoors versus outdoors and why they are untrue:
There's no evidence to suggest cats that live inside are heavier than their outdoor counterparts. It depends on whether or not they're being overfed and not getting enough exercise. Feeding them properly and playing with them on a regular basis will keep them from becoming obese.
MYTH #2 - A house cat is bored...
If your house cat has nothing to do, that's really the owner's fault and not the animal's dilemma. Cats should always have indoor perches and playthings to keep them occupied. They also find access at least one window or sliding glass door to peer into the outdoors. But remember, most cats sleep 12 to 16 hours a day anyway so that doesn't leave a lot of time for boredom.
MYTH #3 - Indoor cats are destructive...
While some felines have been known to claw up a curtain or scratch on the sofa, this behavior is almost always avoidable through training and the use of scratching posts. If they are being destructive, they could have a health issue, perhaps they have a problem with their claws that should be addressed by a veterinarian.
MYTH #4 - Outdoor cats stay closer to home in the city...
Although that statement would seem to make perfect sense, the opposite is actually true. According to a study of outdoor farm cats versus city kitties who both roamed freely at night, those in towns travelled almost five times as far as those in a country setting.
Whether your cat is kept indoors, outdoors or a little bit of both, that's entirely up to you and your feline. In the long run they might be safer inside, but many of them do enjoy the great outdoors.