Litter boxes used to be for emergencies only and for a cat’s overnight needs. Few people kept their cats inside all the time. Cats were meant to frolic out of doors in the grass, among the tulips, taking in sunshine and communing with the birds. I must say I don’t recall many birds visiting our yard when we had indoor/outdoor cats.
We had small children, so it was practically impossible to keep cats that wanted to be outside inside. Kids open doors. That’s what kids do—and they leave doors open. With three children under four, how does anyone have time to make sure the cat’s inside along with the toddlers. Besides, keeping a cat indoors with three active toddlers would probably be considered cruelty to animals.
Fast forward many years and the loss of some lovely cats to the dangers lurking out of doors, we have totally indoor cats now. I do enjoy visits from the outdoor cats that still roam, but the dangers are still real—maybe even more perilous.
Here in our community last week a spunky black cat that was left outside over night, met up with a cougar around 2 am. It was recorded on one of those cameras everyone has to identify porch pirates and watch the goings ons with the wild life. The cat survived to tell the tale the next day and to request he be allowed to sleep at the foot of his human’s bed from now on at night.
The encounter was so close that when the cat went up a tree to avoid the cougar, the big cat went up after him. According to the video, the two of them sat in the tree together for a good while.
Folks, if you must let your cats out—if they demand that you do (yes, I’ve had a couple of cats like that)—please make sure they come in at night–a time when anything bad can happen under a shroud of darkness.