Should your pet cat be allowed outside? That’s a real question coming from me, a dog lover for as long as I can remember. I wasn’t really prepared to take care of a cat but that’s what I did since I took home Bentley, our rehomed calico.
It’s been a decade since I got myself involved with cats. When I was in college, I had two male cats who ran away from home and never came back. Dogs, on the other hand, have been loyal to me and I knew why I preferred the canine to the feline species.
But enter Bentley, a cat I took from his former owner because the hub wanted one. He claimed he’s more of a cat lover and felt he wanted one because he got envious of my brother’s cats. And he also missed his cat (already dead many years ago) that he loved dearly. Instead of buying from a breeder, I decided to look for a stray one because there are lots in our neighborhood (unspayed/unneutered cats without owners remain a problem in the Philippines). I ended up with Bentley, although she wasn’t a stray.
Long story short, what happened was I became the one who’s more attached to Bentley. Note that I’m not fond of cats since I started caring for dogs.
One day, Bentley got out of the house because the maid left the front door open. She didn’t come back that night. She had me worried because she’s not a full adult yet and she’s used to mostly indoors. Also, I was worried because Kai, who didn’t get my dog lover genes, is so fond of her. They’re practically BFFs.
The next day in the afternoon, Bentley returned. I was so happy and relieved I told myself, “I won’t let you out anymore.” But curious Bentley’s been looking out the window and meowing loudly at times as if she wanted to be out there.
Meanwhile, we got our couch repaired looking good as brand new. It’s also faux leather and we had it done using our hard-earned money. We realized we should not have gotten that material – we have indoor pets. What’s done is done, though, and I just thought we should buy a protective/decorative cover for the couch. That we did but it certainly didn’t do a job in protecting the leather from Bentz’s ultrasharp claws.
No damage yet, but soon there will be if we won’t do anything. And that’s when the argument started – I say let’s look for another cloth alternative while he says Bentley should be an outdoor cat.
I can’t believe what I just heard from someone who I thought wanted a cat. The stealing of food off the table also didn’t sit well for Ivan. We’ve been arguing about that since we got our couch and he justified that Bentley should be outside because she’s also showing signs of wanting freedom.
So it got me thinking really. So I asked a good friend, a genuine cat lover (also a crazy dog lover) about an outdoor cat. By genuine I mean stray cat feeding, adopting many cats and giving food and shelter to cats that need them. She told me that cats should also be allowed outside. That it would be okay if I decide to let Bentley out because we live in a closely guarded neighborhood.
So, I decided to let Bentley become primarily an outdoor cat. I put on an elastic collar I sewed for her because the one I bought doesn’t fit. The next thing will be to have her fixed. She’s still not matured enough to get spayed but she will be in a few months.
She already found a spot where she feels comfortable. I spied on her one evening and saw she’s been climbing our small tree. She really doesn’t wander off far and she stays inside our gated property. She’s also perched up on the unused AC unit we have. I am now considering making a cat condo for her, just like what one of the residents here did. We do want her to get inside from time to time for cuddles and play.
Should cats be allowed to stay outside? Let me know your thoughts.