I have a friend who keeps cats. At one time he had two and they never went out of his apartment and they were....declawed. He fed them and played with them and emptied their litter box and I assume he took them to the veterinarian whenever they got ill. He was a very responsible pet owner and loved these animals.
I'd heard or read somewhere that a cat that is kept indoors lives an average of two years longer than one that is allowed to roam.
Outside cats get diseases and get chased and bitten by bigger animals. They can be catnapped or maybe even adopt a better provider. Car tires probably factor into the shorter lifespan. When I was a kid, we found our pet feline flattened into a black furry pancake, right outside our house. I understand the desire to protect these amazing creatures. But.....
What if a rich benefactor--it could be a relative or even Uncle Sam--came to you with the proposition that he would feed you and clothe and house you, but you could never travel more than a one hundred yards from your domicile. You could order in all kinds of exotic food and drink, movies, books, games. You could have friends visit. You could marry and even have children, and they could leave, but not you.
Would you go for that deal? Would you trade freedom for guaranteed comfort?
Some of you are thinking: "I could have all that and not give up my freedom. I have it now."
So let's suppose that you knew in advance that the restricted life was going to be more comfortable than the one you were born to. Would you still make the trade?
What about your children? What if you could look into the future and see some terrible hurt or disapointment or disease, and you could prevent it only if you kept them by your side, safe and protected 'til way past adulthood. Would you try to shelter them? Would you make with them the same "rich benefactor" deal and try to convince them it was for the best?
They say a ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for and I think a cat is made for hunting and roaming as well as curling up by the fire, and were I a bitten-eared tomcat I would be much happier that way even if I didn't live as long.
What do you think?