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I'm so naive!! What's the difference between an indoor and outdoor?? O_o

I was always told that indoor cats meant they were declawed...but then I was informed that is not the case. WTH? lol.
So, what's the difference? Are they hard to train? Would they be miserable as an indoor cat only?
I'm getting a kitten tomorrow, and I'm paranoid about gently easing her to the outdoors. Mainly, what if she doesn't come back? Is there a certain age they should absolutely be before letting them roam outside?

Answer Question

Asked by K_Sawyer at 1:38 AM on Jul. 1, 2009 in Pets

Level 5 (83 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • its up to you to decide if they will be an indoor or outdoor cat. my cat is an indoor cat, she still has her claws though, but doesn't scratch furniture. the difference is just that, outdoor cats go outside indoor cats don't since mine is an indoor cat, i really don't know when to start allowing the cat outside, but def not until she has had her shots, feline lukemia is very deadly (another cat we had that was an indoor cat got this while moving to a diff state, just from staying in a hotel) and spreads easily among cats. and you'll probably want to wait til she is spade, that way she doesn't get pregnant. as far as coming back, i don't know how to get them to come back.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 1:42 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • We have indoor cats that have their front paws declawed. By no means does being indoors mean they need to be declawed (you just have to be prepared to have everything in your home scratched up). They are not miserable, but quite happy and content. Litter box training is the easiest thing...just stick them in the box and use their paws to dig a little in the litter and VOILA! They're trained!

    We also have 3 outdoor cats that came to us as strays. We feed them and have neutered/spayed and vaccinate them. They stay right on our porch. In the morning when I take food out to them, they are either right there or they come running. Seems to me that if you feed them, they will come (or stay, as the case may be). I would not have a cat outside until it is at least neutered/spayed.

    BTW...If you declaw a cat, NEVER then put them outside because they will not be able to defend themselves.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 1:44 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • like the above post said, that is why most vets recommend only removing the front claws, that way if something does happen and they get into a fight w/another cat, they can use their back paws to defend themselves

    Answer by vabchmommy at 1:47 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • Cats are usually pretty easy to litter box train. Have it set up where ever its gonna be BEFORE you bring the cat home and make sure that the very first place you put the cat is in the litter box. That usually works for us. We have a few cats who were just stubborn and didn't like to use the box and in that case I don't know what to do other than put them outside.
    Don't put your kitten outside until it is at least almost full grown. We learned that lesson the hard way - neighborhood dogs got our 6 month old kitten last month. And if your getting the cat as a baby then by the time it is an adult it should be fine to let him out. He will know where home is no problem. But cats are deffinatly safer indoors.
    By the way we have had indoor cats my whole life and never had one declawed. If the cat ever sneaks out side or runs out when your bringing in groceries or something it would be defensless. Good luck!

    Answer by mrsbvader at 1:50 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • I have never had a indoor only cat. Mine have stayed inside while I was at work and at night. I hate a litter box and have never owned one. My cats have all been trained with my dogs as puppies. The cats meow when they need to go out and when done they come back like my dogs. Way too funny to see as my dogs (at the time I had cats)were 150lbs, 138lbs, and 146lbs. And this little 10 lb cat was running to go potty with them.

    I never let mine out for longer than potty until they were about a year, fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered. My house was inside my fenced in yard and my cats never jumped the fence. They truly thought they were dogs!!LOL!!

    Answer by pitbull4me at 7:51 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • Ok I used to work at a vets office and and Im going to tell you all something about delclawing that Im going to bet you didnt know. When your cat is declawed they dont get their nails pulled out.... the procedure actually amputates their toe from the top knuckle...... so when you think about declawing you cat think about your own hand and how it would feel to have every one of your fingers partially amputated. Its extremely cruel, and its actually illegal in most countries because its considered animal cruelty. If you are worried about your furniture being scratched up 1.) you can either simply not get a cat or 2.) use these little covers called soft paws, you can get them at your vets office.

    You can have an indoor cat with claws, you can have an indoor/outdoor cat or just and outdoor cat it doesn't matter. But as far as letting the cat out, its a good rule of thumb not to let kitty out until after they are fixed.

    Answer by pinkgemini85 at 8:18 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • Our cats were just indoor cats before we moved a few years ago. they all have their claws they do scratch up everything in sight. they have their scratchy posts to use. They wanted to go outside, they come back in when they feel like. Which is usually around meal time and bed time. they do not stay out overnight. They prefer a warm comfy bed. They are spayed and neutered. up to date on their shots and are a lot happier and healthier. They get way more exercise now than they did before.

    Answer by lady-J-Rock at 10:07 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • if u decide to declaw ur cat b/c u dont want them to scratch furntiure then fine but they still can go out side. my dad has a cat that his friend gave him years ago and he declawed in the front here he is is let out side when he wants to go since he is a old man now. when he was younger u would see him stalking small prey in the field and catching it. just b/c they have no front claws doesnt mean they can fight either max,the old man chased a baby fox out of r yard one summer and he'll bate at the dogs if they get to close he is very good at useing his teeth for defense. the otehr cats in r house r kicked out in the summer time and in the other seasons they r aloowed to come in and go out as they please. btw declawing is cruel they have to rip the nail out of the bone to ensure it wont grow back then the poor cat is put on a pain regimained for a week for every year

    Answer by rainmommy at 11:40 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • Our indoor only cats are not declawed. I find the damage they do to the edges of the walls disturbing, but I can't bring myself to have the first joints on their paws removed, so I care for them and keep trying to encourage use of the scratching posts. We've found the cats are much better off as indoor only cats. In the past we'd had indoor/outdoor cats that were poisoned, killed by a fox, had ticks, fleas, and worms. And they can also get run over. Our cats seem perfectly content, and healthy.

    Answer by Bmat at 12:24 PM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • rainmommy- If you feel its ok to declaw a cat and still let them outside please never ever ever own a cat. My father did the same thing and his cat ended up drowning in his pool because he had no claws to help him out. I also worked at a shelter where I saw cats come in the were thrown outside with no claws and were starving to death and had to be euthanized because they were soooo sick. Thats animal abuse, please use your head and heart when it comes to being a pet owner because that is purely heartless.

    Answer by pinkgemini85 at 1:38 PM on Jul. 1, 2009

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