Dear Animal's Advice:
My owner is a prison warden holding me prisoner. I am a male cat and it is spring, I would really like to be outside now. There is so much to do outside. Why is my owner so cruel to keep me indoors, how can I escape?
It may seem to you that your owner is being mean by keeping you indoors, but your owner is actually doing you a favor, and is being a responsible cat owner. It is recommended by nearly every animal welfare group, including the SPCA, and humane society, that cats be kept indoors only and not allowed to roam freely even if laws allow it.
Cats who go outside face many risks. Being hit by a car is probably the most common risk, but cats who are outdoors are also at risk of being poisoned by neighbors (either intentionally, or accidentally). Cats who go outside are often taken and dumped in other parts of town because other people don't like them being out (pooping in the yard, spraying, meowing, digging). You are at risk for diseases from other cats, cat fights, and even other animals – depending where you live.
Cats who go outdoors are said to have much shorter lifespans, on average, than cats who are indoors only. On farms the average outdoor only cat only lives to one year of age (although certainly many live longer, most die while young). In most cities the average lifespan for a cat that goes outdoors is two years, cats who are kept indoors only often live well into their teens.
If you are not neutered this could also be a reason your owner has you confined indoors only. Male cats who are not neutered tend to roam further, and can get lost, as they look for female cats. They also tend to get into more fights and will “spray” to mark territory – which lots of people do not like. Cats who are not fixed (spayed or neutered) should not go outside at all.
As well a cat who is not vaccinated should not go outside. Cats who are declawed should not go outside either! It is just too risky, what if you are attacked? You cannot climb a tree. Some declawed cats try to look tough by fighting back but that is a bad idea too as you have no weapons.
What I am saying is that your owner is not being cruel, they are being responsible.
An other idea is a “catio” or cat enclosure. This would be an area that is built so you can go outside without leaving your owners property. Some people go so far as to put up a cat fence around their yard to contain their feline, or have it leash trained. Leash training a cat takes time and you should not be tied up outdoors or you could be at risk from cat thieves, wandering dogs, and so forth.