Cat Owners

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott L, May 4, 2006.

  1. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    First off, I'm a dog person as I'm allergic to cats, but my roommate has 2 of them. He's a pretty lazy guy. Gives them dry food (never the fancy stuff), the area around the litterbox is messy, never lets them out... or maybe I'm just overreacting.

    We're in a smaller place (townhouse) than they're used to so they've been having cabin fever. They have little fights much more than normal, they meow & scratch at the windows, and try to go out when we open the door. My roommie says it's not a good idea to let them out because they could get hurt or lost, but I see another black cat walking around & my boss said he lets his out.

    Do other townhouse dwellers make their cats stay inside? I know these guys are bored as hell. In the end they're just cats but it irks me, just a little bit [​IMG]
     
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I think you're considered a bad pet owner if you let your cat outside.

    But, I do it anyway. [​IMG]

    Hey, she found me, and she has torn up the carpet from day one if I don't let her out. I could declaw her, but I don't want to do that. Besides, she's about 14 now, has all her shots, is spayed and neutered (sic), etc. The only ones who have to worry are the birds she loves to eat and the vacant house next door where she likes to do her business.
     
  3. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I live on the second floor in an apartment, but I do let my cat out and I always go with him. It's like recess in school, I allow him about 20-25 minutes play time outside before I have him come back inside, which is easier said than done sometimes because a lot of times he doesn't want to come in just yet and, like a human 5 year-old, he'll flop down on the ground when I try to pull him up to come in lol.

    He'll actually go limp sometimes too lol. I love my cat. [​IMG]
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Have the cats been outside cats in the past? Are they declawed? Have they had all the required vaccinations, etc? Do they wear flea collars (or other flea treatments)?

    If they are declawed, aren't vaccinated, and aren't treated for fleas, you would be doing them a huge disservice by letting them outside.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Many, many people don’t let their cats outside, as it is generally considered that cats who are 100% house cats live longer than those who are not. We did not let ours ouside until we moved to a home that is entirely enclosed with walls.

    Although you did not give any of the cat’s background, I’ll make some general observations: cats are not pack animals (like dogs) and like their own space (which they can normally find even in a small home); many cats that have been ‘only’ cats for a considerable period of time cannot adjust to other cat(s) in their environment (but no problem for cats who have lived in multiple cat homes); and some cats (just like people) just don’t like certain other cats.

    As Seth has already mentioned, your rommie should be cautious about his cats going outside. For example cats who have been de-clawed will have a hard time surviving outside (unless supervised as in John’s case), cats without flea treatment will get fleas (and subsequently worms), cats who have not been neutered will produce kittens (or roam in the case of males) and on and on.

    You did not ask, but it sounds as though you have more problems with your rommie, than just his cats.
     
  6. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    The bigger question is if you're allergic to cats how do you live in a townhouse with them?

    I'm allergic to cats also, and if I'm in a house with cats, I can't touch a damn thing and even if I don't I have about a two hour window until my eyes swell shut.

    Do you take medication or is your allergy extremely minor?
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    If cats are raised from their youth to be indoor only, they will usually accept being indoors only. If your roomies cats were used to going out, then they will have a harder time adapting to an indoor only life, but they can do it.

    As others have said, outdoor cats will get fleas or if they are intact, breed. Since you haven't complained about these cats spraying (in the case of males) or going into season (in the case of females), I'll assume they've been sterilized.

    Outdoor cats may get lost, attacked by dogs or other cats, hit by an automobile, stolen, lost, killed by wildlife (coyotes live just about everywhere). Too many bad things happen outdoors.

    I was at a spay/neuter clinic once and watched a vet remove a cutareba (spelling?). Its a parasite that burrows into the skin of a dog or cat. They are acquired when the cat sticks its head into holes in the ground looking for something. The vet massaged the cat's neck under his head and this worm came crawing out. Disgusting. Just one of the many things cats can get when outdoors.

    They could contract fiv, felv, rabies, worms, fleas, and I'm sure there's more. An outdoor cat will probably be more expensive to keep, because vet bills will be higher.

    If the cats are uptight, try getting some Rescue Remedy (you can find online or in health food stoors). Put a few drops in their drinking water, it has a calming effect.

    So, in a word, indoors.
     
  8. Wendy_L

    Wendy_L Supporting Actor

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    I agree with everything that has been said in this thread. My cats have always been indoor cats and have no desire to go outside. Sometimes they wonder into the hallway when I keep the door open bringing up groceries and that seems as far as they want to go.

    I just want to reiterate the flea thing. Fleas are a major pain in the ass to get rid of if the cats should get them. That is reason alone to keep the cats indoors. Fleas, blech!
     
  9. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    Just to clarify things....there is no such thing as a cat owner (it's the other way around)

    Mort (whose last cat was outdoors only and lived to 17)
     
  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Yeah, what he said.[​IMG]
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    What Lew said. For example, urban outdoor cats have a lifespan of about two years, give or take. Indoor-only cats have lifespans averaging from fifteen to twenty years. What a cat has not experienced or does not know is something he or she will not miss. My beloved companion, Attila the Cat, has been an indoor-only cat all his life. He is happy, loyal, and content -- a friend in every sense of the word.

    If one lives in a city it is irresponsible to let one's cat outside unattended.

    In my apartment building, nearly everyone lives with a cat. We were all surprised when the newest resident, a younger woman, insisted that her two cats be allowed to go outdoors (she modified her window screen with a small cat door). He friendliest cat, who I really liked, spent that first month after they had moved in in the back of the apartment. Less than two weeks later, the little thing disappeared.

    The woman put up some pictures of the cat on street lights on our block (though, as far as I know, she didn't do the basic stuff -- i.e., knocking on doors and asking people if they had seen her cat). But given how friendly that cat is/was, I suspect she wandered into a friendly environment and is now an indoor-only cat. I certainly hope so.
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Outdoor cats may also go "shopping" for a home environment they prefer.

    I'll never know where Fluffy Pumpkin came from...he just started showing up in my backyard when he was about 4-6 months old. After a while he moved in with me. Right now he's been living with me for 9 years.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    My cats are indoor only. I live in a 3rd floor condo and have a screened balcony that is their "outside" area. A glass panel with a cat-door sits in the track of the sliding glass door, so they can go "out" whenever they want. Their litterbox sits in the bath tub of the guest bathroom, behind the drawn shower curtain. (Nobody ever uses the bath tub) It is a Littermaid self-cleaning one that rakes the clumping litter clear after each use. The waste gets transferred from the receptacle to a garbage bag and disposed of every other day. There is next to no dust or odor from the litterbox even with two cats. My brother in law and nephew, both allergic to cats, were able to help me paint four rooms of my condo (including the guest bathroom) thanks to the Littermaid and the relative isolation of the box. Admittedly this was only after I had had the rugs removed and hard surface floors (title and wood laminate) laid down. I suspect the 20+ years of pet dander from many animals trapped in the old carpet would have been too much for them. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe

    P.S.


    Dogs have owners. Cats have staff. [​IMG]
     
  14. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Well, I live in the suburbs, so maybe that's the difference, but my outdoor/indoor cat is 14 and in great health. Vet bills are extremely low, actually. I can barely remember any reason for her to be at the vet other than her shots, really. At any rate, I don't really have a choice. Like Fluffy Pumpkin, my cat found me. She's demanded to go out from day one, and the habit stuck. She generally stays in the back yard and can always be found somewhere on the property.
     
  15. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    I find pro’s & con’s for both sides. I am a prime example of the terrors & joys of indoor/outdoor.
    I’ve had 4 cats in my life and all were given the choice to come in & out as they please.
    One died at almost 18 of natural causes. One is 13 going strong.
    Two were hit by cars. One a foundling kitten found dying on my front porch one cold wet stormy night (really) in the fall who caused major vet bills & had non-stop bad luck his short life ...he was hit by a car at 6 months. He was such a mess & holy terror and ungrateful to boot...I felt as if I had failed him miserably as a caretaker but was not crushed by his death...(a terrible thing to admit).

    The second I lost...was Ben...at 10 months; again hit by a car and this destroyed me (still does.) He was the only kitten I kept out of dozens from 3 different litters of feral kittens in my neighborhood which I caught, tamed, vetted, fixed and adopted out. Ben was different...he was huge, with the sweetest most comical personality. When he was tiny he raised hell unless I carried him non-stop on my hip (like a football against your side) he continued this for his first months as he grew so I had this huge ball of fluff, head and feet dangling down. (only supported by my arm across his middle) ....and happy as lark if I kept him against my body in this manner. When he was older he took to clopping (did I mention he was huge [​IMG] ) like a horse into the bathroom every time he heard the potty flush...just to watch the water swirl down...he would even butt my husband out of the way to do this.

    When I lost him I thought when Tailspin (my 13 yr. old) goes, I will never own another cat. I can not handle Ben’s death....but I disagree with indoor only cats. Throughout my life I’ve known several owners with cats raised from kittenhood as indoor only. Every single one of them is distrustful (and sometimes downright vicious) towards guests in the home and neurotic to some greater or lesser degree. Maybe it has just been my luck and these cats themselves (and sometimes their owners) who have been ‘off’ and strange, and this is not always the norm; but I have yet to meet an indoor only who acts ....like a normal cat.

    Never say never, but it is a dilemma for my future, risk all......to raise a healthy happy one, or just forgo.

    If you knew the drill, when you moved in with your roommate, it is really his responsibility and choice to decide, if he acquired them after you co-resided without factoring your opinion...that is different.

    My 2 long-lived had/have only dry food till age made them incapable of chewing enough of the hard stuff. But I supplemented the dry with “people” beef & chicken all their lives.
    My vet has always commented that their teeth were in excellent shape for their age. I credit the low tarter teeth to keeping them off mush-in-a-can throughout their growing & prime years.
    Just a yr. ago I had to start supplying my 13-yr. old with soft canned, he teeth are too old to eat enough of the dry food. Since, his teeth have gotten incredibly dirty ...and have been cleaned once already. I have to watch their condition carefully. So dry ....is not a bad thing (there are quality issues between brands )...but an unkempt litter box is unhealthy not to mention the stench.

    ...all of mine were taught to not use a litter box...they only go outside ....like the dog. (they hate this when it rains for three days [​IMG] ).
     
  16. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    After losing several cats to the outdoors (venomous bites, cars, disapperances) when I was younger, I made a vow when I decided to keep cats as an adult that they would be indoor-only. I've never had a problem with them wanting out except for my siamese who was rescued from a life on the streets. She was severely malnourished when I found her and her tail had been broken sometime in the past stunting it's growth. She'll never have that beautifully long siamese tail. Her vocal chords were damaged as well, robbing her of that distinctive siamese meow (she has the softest meow I've ever heard). Because of her semi-feral nature she had to be totally declawed, since she tended to be claws out all the time. My vet guessed that even though she's pureblood sealpoint, because her coloring isn't perfect that she was dumped out in the neighborhood. She misses the outdoors sometimes and I walk her on a harness & leash out to the mailbox and back everyday if the weather is nice. Otherwise she has a great vantage point to look out from my second story apartment living room window.
     
  17. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    After I lost a very loved cat to the outdoor life, my wife and I vowed that all our cats would from then be indoors. They are all happy and well adjusted. We do have one who frightens easy, even we can frighten him, but that is is personality, and not a result of being indoor only.

    If indoor cats are exposed to strangers in the house on some sort of regular basis, the will handle it fine. If you have virtually no visitors in the house, yes, they may be frightened of them. In this case the usual reaction is to hide, agression will happen only if they are cornered.

    I agreee that a "quality" dry food is preferable to wet food. There will be less tartar build-up on the teeth and they will last longer. Our vet has even said that when the teeth are going bad, the cat will often learn to swallow the kibbles of food whole.

    Of course the older the cat gets, the more we seem to spoil them. So they do get treats, but they are treats and not a substantial portion of the diet. One treat many cats love is plain non-fat yogurt with an active culture such as acidophlis.

    Don't get me wrong, some of our older cats did have to go on a wet-food diet, but we try to avoid it.
     
  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Try cantaloupe...every time I cut up some cantaloupe, Katiekat comes around whining and begging until I give her a small plateful cut into small cubes.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Wish my outdoor cat would do just that! All my previous cats were indoor cats, this one refuses to stay inside, yowling like a banshee until I relent and let her out and more often than not hissing and clawing at me on the way out.

    She generally spends the whole day outside while I'm at work, and runs in the door when I open it so she can have her dinner, then 5 minutes later howls to be let out.

    Once I came home and she was in her usual waiting spot in the front yard but didn't get up and run in. I went over to her and found her horribly twisted and unable to stand up, as if she'd been hit by a car. One back leg was bleeding and it looked like her spine was twisted.

    I rushed her to the vet in tears thinking she'd have to be put to sleep, but the vet cleaned her up and gave me some antibiotics and painkillers for her, and said if she didn't start eating and drinking in a few days to bring her back and he'd put her out of her misery.

    I made a little nest for her in a dark corner of my bedroom closet with food and water readily available. She actually was very good about letting me give her the medicine and 3 days later she was drinking the water and eating a little food. She continued to recover and after a few months you'd never know she'd been injured.

    I was hoping that this would end her incessant howling to be let out into the dangerous outside world, but no such luck.
     
  20. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    One of my girlfriend's indoor raised cats got out when I was coming in one nite and I spent the next 2 hours searching the whole neighborhood on foot for her. (turned out she was right across the street though) Now she ALWAYS tries to shoot out when we open the door. She might think she's tough but the Berkeley/Oakland cats/raccoons would HAND her ass to her if they wanted to. She is an INDOOR cat and shall hopefully remain so.

    [​IMG]
     

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