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652 posts

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  Reply # 2030728 6-Jun-2018 12:24
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Rikkitic:

 

Many city cats spend their entire lives inside apartments and never smell the outdoors. I have known some. They seem perfectly happy. I think it is essential that only very young kittens who have never been outdoors are made to live this way. Any older cat will definitely miss its freedom. I once looked after an indoor cat that suffered from major agoraphobia. That cat would have a complete panic attack if it was placed outside or anywhere without four walls and a roof.

 

My current cats live on a farm. Some go in and out, others never come in. Cats do target anything that moves and mine catch the occasional bird, but what they mainly bring inside are rats and mice. I know cats attack native wildlife, but I wonder if any kind of study has ever been done on the balance between the bad they do and the good that comes from the rodents they remove. It isn't all one-sided.

 

 

 



This could be relevant...

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12003469

 

I have three cats, that spend nearly all their time outside, only come in to be fed, or when it's cold/wet.
Their mother and father were feral cats, and I have raised them from when they were kittens. I got them neutered/spayed when they were old enough to start breeding. Brooklyn vets did them for half price because they were feral cats and they follow/agree with the TNR policy in dealing with feral cats. (Trap/Neuter/Release)

 

Like yours they most often catch rats and mice, and rarely catch birds. They have 'cleaned up' most of the large rat and mice populations that lived in and around my and my neighbours address.

 

 


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  Reply # 2030730 6-Jun-2018 12:32
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The two we have now are inside only cats. That's because we've had three run over that were all quite young. Prior to that every cat I've had in my life was free to come and go outside at it pleased.


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  Reply # 2030733 6-Jun-2018 12:36
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2 cats and I live in native bush with abundant birdlife (not far from the Karori Sanctuary) in 8 years they have killed about 100 rats and mice and about 5 birds - mostly blackbirds and 1 Kingfisher. They sleep most of the day so only really hunt at night when the birds are asleep in trees hence the majority of kills are nocturnal rodents.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about letting them outside.





When you live your life on Twitter and Facebook, and are only friends with like minded people on Twitter and Facebook, you are not living in the real world. You are living in a narcissistic echo chamber.

 


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  Reply # 2030916 6-Jun-2018 14:46
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Paul1977:

 

I'd personally never go for an indoor-only cat because of the litter tray requirement. They smell, make a mess, and you are constantly cleaning them out. I can deal with this while they are a kitten, but not for the entire life of the cat.

 

 

Monitoring a cat's toilet habits, especially urine, especially if it eats dry food, and extra super mega especially if it's a male is really important.  Litter boxes are more than just convenience, they are a means to keep a watchful eye on your cats, even if they are outdoor cats.

 

They also don't have to smell.  Raw diets more closely approximating a natural feline diet of small rodents, birds and that sort of thing, that is to say, a mixture of raw meats, organ, bone, and a small bit of fibre tend to have the effect of making poop not smell (or be much of), the smellyness of cat poop is due to diet.  Frozen raw pet food is easily available from many supermarkets, pet stores and online in some areas (but usually only if you have a big freezer to store 10kg+ at a time), my local Animates actually has 3kg bags of frozen meat pucks for a good price.  Raw meat on it's own isn't a complete diet though, I'll leave the google reading to those who are interested.

 

For litter, it doesn't have to be messy either, "fire pellets" are popular as kitty litter (and also used in it's expanded form for equine stable bedding), it's cheapish, clean, bio degradable (it's just dried and compressed untreated sawdust, no additives etc, dig it in your garden if you want) and doesn't smell.  As soon as the pellets get urinated on they go foof into instant sawdust piles, the sawdust will naturally settle to the bottom if you shake the tray, you can make a double-tray with the top one holey to sieve it out, or just scoop the sawdust piles.  Not all cats are keen on it, but if you can get them onto it, then it's pretty good.  It should be "kiln dried" to have removed the pine oils (which are not good for cats), but I am pretty sure that will go for any fire pellet that meets the necessary standards and certainly the pellets don't really smell of pine (or anything much at all).  I use OnFire or Firetime from supermarkets/warehouse/bunnings which are both brands made by Azwood, don't think there is a difference other than packaging.

 

Otherwise if you or your cat doesn't like fire pellets then if you only have a couple of cats (else it's rather pricey) the "Petzone Premium Clumping" litter from the Warehouse is very good fine grain and consistent, but you do have to keep on top of removing the clumps, they also have a standard clumping litter, which is larger gained.





---
James Sleeman
I sell lots of stuff for electronic enthusiasts...


Glurp
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  Reply # 2030947 6-Jun-2018 15:27
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I have a couple litter boxes indoors for our cats just in case they need them. I just fill them with ordinary dirt from outside. Our cats do use them sometimes, though they mainly go outdoors. No odours or mess of any kind even though the dirt doesn't get replaced for months. The boxes never seem to become full or overloaded. I just refresh them from time to time when I think about it as a matter of principle. 

 

Our cats mainly eat dry food, with a little meat as an extra treat, though one cat only likes the bikkies. That one is the main mouse and rat catcher, though it doesn't usually eat them.

 

 

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 2030971 6-Jun-2018 16:35
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sleemanj:

 

Paul1977:

 

I'd personally never go for an indoor-only cat because of the litter tray requirement. They smell, make a mess, and you are constantly cleaning them out. I can deal with this while they are a kitten, but not for the entire life of the cat.

 

 

Monitoring a cat's toilet habits, especially urine, especially if it eats dry food, and extra super mega especially if it's a male is really important.  Litter boxes are more than just convenience, they are a means to keep a watchful eye on your cats, even if they are outdoor cats.

 

They also don't have to smell.  Raw diets more closely approximating a natural feline diet of small rodents, birds and that sort of thing, that is to say, a mixture of raw meats, organ, bone, and a small bit of fibre tend to have the effect of making poop not smell (or be much of), the smellyness of cat poop is due to diet.  Frozen raw pet food is easily available from many supermarkets, pet stores and online in some areas (but usually only if you have a big freezer to store 10kg+ at a time), my local Animates actually has 3kg bags of frozen meat pucks for a good price.  Raw meat on it's own isn't a complete diet though, I'll leave the google reading to those who are interested.

 

For litter, it doesn't have to be messy either, "fire pellets" are popular as kitty litter (and also used in it's expanded form for equine stable bedding), it's cheapish, clean, bio degradable (it's just dried and compressed untreated sawdust, no additives etc, dig it in your garden if you want) and doesn't smell.  As soon as the pellets get urinated on they go foof into instant sawdust piles, the sawdust will naturally settle to the bottom if you shake the tray, you can make a double-tray with the top one holey to sieve it out, or just scoop the sawdust piles.  Not all cats are keen on it, but if you can get them onto it, then it's pretty good.  It should be "kiln dried" to have removed the pine oils (which are not good for cats), but I am pretty sure that will go for any fire pellet that meets the necessary standards and certainly the pellets don't really smell of pine (or anything much at all).  I use OnFire or Firetime from supermarkets/warehouse/bunnings which are both brands made by Azwood, don't think there is a difference other than packaging.

 

Otherwise if you or your cat doesn't like fire pellets then if you only have a couple of cats (else it's rather pricey) the "Petzone Premium Clumping" litter from the Warehouse is very good fine grain and consistent, but you do have to keep on top of removing the clumps, they also have a standard clumping litter, which is larger gained.

 

 

Even if we locked our cat in at night he wouldn't use a litter tray. We've had to keep him in for a couple of days after a vet visit, and he just held on the whole time and refused to use it. Ended up letting him out earlier than advised l because I thought he'd do himself some damage holding on so long.


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  Reply # 2030978 6-Jun-2018 17:04
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mdf: ...I had been very reluctant to agree to a cat, as we live near an area of native bush and have plenty of birds and other wildlife nearby. ...

 

Comparison of predation by two suburban cats in New Zealand


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  Reply # 2030990 6-Jun-2018 17:59
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geekiegeek:

 

2 cats and I live in native bush with abundant birdlife (not far from the Karori Sanctuary) in 8 years they have killed about 100 rats and mice and about 5 birds - mostly blackbirds and 1 Kingfisher. They sleep most of the day so only really hunt at night when the birds are asleep in trees hence the majority of kills are nocturnal rodents.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about letting them outside.

 

 

 

 

That is probably only the birds you have seen killed.

 

 

 

We keep ours inside, partly because the neighbors dog comes into our property and steals their food and chases them. I find dogs far more annoying than cats, mainly because of the amount of barking they do, and all the attention they need. Most people who have dogs seem to work most of the day and leave their barking dog at home to annoy those people who work from home.


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  Reply # 2031003 6-Jun-2018 18:34
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+1 for Sureflap Microchip Pet door, also their Microchip pet feeders are good too (took a awhile for the cats to get used to them).

 

We generally keep ours inside over night from about 9-10pm till 4-5am, and they have free roam outside during the day. They catch a fair amount of mice and rats and the occasional bird (haven't seen them catch native).


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  Reply # 2031041 6-Jun-2018 19:55
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Wiggum:

If you live on a lifestyle block or something similar then nothing wrong with having a cat. IMO its just cruel to keep cats in suburbia, let alone locked up behind closed doors all day/night. The ones that do go out are certainly going to be a menace to your neighbors.


What about a bunny or two? Our kids have 2 bunnies. I built a nice large hutch for them so they stay outside. They are actually very good pets for kids. Many people in the UK even keep them inside and apparently have them house trained.



What size cats would you need to menace the neighbours?!





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2031856 8-Jun-2018 08:22
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I'm impressed by the cat whisperers on this forum. I've been telling my cat what to do for 8 years and it goes in one ear and out the other. Our cat hasn't been in the house for about 12 months. He sleeps on the back porch in a basket. Probably more to do with our kids than anything else, hes not that keen on being patted by toddlers.

If you decide to have indoor cats you could build a 'catio'
https://mymodernmet.com/build-your-own-catio/ some of them look awesome!

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  Reply # 2031900 8-Jun-2018 09:24
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Probably hugely expensive, but the Oscillot Fencing System seems like a not entirely stupid idea.

 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2031932 8-Jun-2018 10:02
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lapimate:

 

mdf: ...I had been very reluctant to agree to a cat, as we live near an area of native bush and have plenty of birds and other wildlife nearby. ...

 

Comparison of predation by two suburban cats in New Zealand

 

 

 

 

Not very convincing, pretty much "we can't find as much rodent kills as we'd like see we assume they are left in the bush" with "we think all these birds were killed by cars and windows" (see the conclusion).

 

We have rodents and stoats in the area, the local cats do nothing to dent the population (and yes kill the native birds).

 

 

 

Also the TNR thing with ferals is silly, you don't want to come face to face with a feral cat on a farm or in the bush. They're nasty things and there is only one sensible solution for them.


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  Reply # 2031937 8-Jun-2018 10:10
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mattwnz:

 

geekiegeek:

 

2 cats and I live in native bush with abundant birdlife (not far from the Karori Sanctuary) in 8 years they have killed about 100 rats and mice and about 5 birds - mostly blackbirds and 1 Kingfisher. They sleep most of the day so only really hunt at night when the birds are asleep in trees hence the majority of kills are nocturnal rodents.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about letting them outside.

 

 

 

 

That is probably only the birds you have seen killed.

 

 

 

We keep ours inside, partly because the neighbors dog comes into our property and steals their food and chases them. I find dogs far more annoying than cats, mainly because of the amount of barking they do, and all the attention they need. Most people who have dogs seem to work most of the day and leave their barking dog at home to annoy those people who work from home.

 

 

Cat's like to bring home their kills to show them off.

 

I know what you mean about dogs. Probably 95% of them are fine but the 5% left-home-alone barkers are so annoying.

 

 


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  Reply # 2031940 8-Jun-2018 10:12
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Paul1977:

 

Probably hugely expensive, but the Oscillot Fencing System seems like a not entirely stupid idea.

 

 

Genius.

 

 


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