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The Indoor/Outdoor Cat Debate

- Posted by in Pet Discussion

The Indoor/Outdoor Cat Debate

For as long as people have kept cats, people have contested the value of an indoor or outdoor lifestyle. In researching the matter, it seems there is no definitive answer and it is left to the individual owner to judge for themselves. Depending on your circumstances and the cat in question, the decision might already be made for you. Some of us would never consider keeping a cat indoors and disconnected from the wild, but there are others who recognise the safety benefits of an 'indoor-only' cat whose farthest venture out is to pay a visit to the vet.

Establishing whether your cat is going to be an 'innie' or an 'outtie' is best done at the very start, when your new kitten is most adaptable. Weighing up the pros and cons of both lifestyles can be confusing and will often leave us with more questions than we started with!

Traditionally, all cats were free to indulge their natural instincts to hunt, mark their territory and socialise. That was until the advent of cat litter, when people first began considering keeping a cat indoors, becoming increasingly preoccupied with the whereabouts of their cat and the threats they were facing in the outside world.

As a nation of animal lovers it is no surprise that we grew concerned about our out-of-house felines, and were no longer so willing to leave them to their own devices, preferring to have them inside at night and at meal-times.

Out of this concern, 'indoor-only' cats have become common, and now 80% of all domestic cats are permanently housed inside – a surprising statistic I thought, and maybe you will agree. It is easy to call this arrangement inhumane when thinking about the primitive lifestyle enjoyed by the cat historically, although when faced with the often dire repercussions of keeping an outdoor cat, it is just as easy to see why more and more cat owners are opting to keep their pets inside. In a comfortable, shielded, and supervised environment.

For the sake of experiencing a free roam in the great outdoors, our cats are falling victim to many problems, from animal attacks to traffic collisions and infectious diseases. Whilst the threat to outdoor cats has always been there, the number one killer - cars - is a product of our developed world. Annually, it is thought that 1.5 million cats are killed by road traffic alone, a statistic that does not account for cats that have crawled into car engines for warmth and been killed when the car starts up. Yes – it happens, and if your cat is unlucky enough to die this way, chances are you will never hear about it. The minute your cat steps over your threshold and into the big bad world, you are relinquishing all control of its welfare. Life is unpredictable, especially for the inquisitive, outdoor cat.

Our 'outties' are also at greater risk of animal attacks, which can result in potentially fatal injuries, as well as infectious diseases such as feline leukemia, rabies and distemper. Parasitic infections are also more of a problem for outdoor cats that interact with other domestic cats and strays, helping to transmit their infestations and bring fleas and ticks into the home. In a similar way, outdoor cats will bring us ‘presents,’ which take the form of unwanted visitors, dead or alive, deposited on our doormats and carpets. Yuck!

Poisoning is another outdoor hazard, with toxic plants and man-made chemicals appearing everywhere, from vermin baits and insecticides, to motor oil, ice-melt products and herbicides. Neighbours are also notoriously unpleasant towards outdoor cats, especially if they regularly deposit on a drive or a flowerbed, and incidences of feline entrapment and abuse are not uncommon. Theft is another widespread problem - for this reason, many owners opt to keep their pedigree, show or breeding cats indoors.

It seems the threats to outdoor cats are waiting around every bend, and while our cats are outside, we are powerless to protect them. Also, with vet bills on the increase, having a cat that is frequently maimed or injured can prove a big expense!

So with all these factors to deter us, why are so many people still keeping outdoor cats? Surely our want to meet their primitive needs is outweighed by our want to protect them?

The answer is simple: many people believe that keeping a cat permanently indoors is an act of cruelty, and is detrimental to its health and happiness. It may be that many of us just don’t have the time to care for a full-time house pet, and find a low-maintenance cat that takes care of itself very appealing. Indoor cats come with problems of their own and for many, these outweigh the drawbacks of owning an outdoor cat.

For a start, indoor cats require far more attention and care than the average outdoor cat. This can be taken to the extreme, and indoor cats can gain weight, being able to exercise very little, or develop behavioural problems associated with dependence. As well as gaining weight more easily, either because of over-feeding or general inactivity, indoor cats will reportedly sleep for 75% of the day, and can groom themselves for up to 4 hours, often resulting in the formation of hairballs.

These behavioural problems can lead to destructive boredom around the house, and far more domestic damage is caused by an indoor cat than an outdoor one. Such damage includes furniture scratching, urine marking and general indoor wear and tear. Unlike outdoor cats that only shed in spring, a house cat will shed continually, and regular grooming (as well as vacuuming!) will be necessary.

While nature provides a myriad of potential threats for a cat, so does the home, and appliances such as washing machines pose a grave hazard, as well as dishwashers, toilets, and exposed wires and sockets. Hiding, especially in dark, warm and concealed spaces, is a popular hobby of the house cat, and injuries can occur just as they would outside, with you being unable to locate your distressed feline friend.

If your cat happens to escape and finds itself outdoors, having been raised inside from a kitten will make it more likely to panic and lose itself, being unable to cope in an unfamiliar setting of busy roads, loud noises and wild animals. If it hides, locating it again will be next to impossible. For this reason, always ensuring your cat is identifiable is crucial - either by an ID tube or pet tracker - whether it is an ‘innie’ or an ‘outtie,’ so that whatever happens you stand the best chance of being reunited with it again.

Ultimately, the decision to keep a cat indoors or out lies with you, its owner, and hopefully this article has reassured you that with such varying opinion on the matter, and with so many pros and cons for either, there is no concrete right or wrong. It all depends on what you hope your cat to gain from its life, and what you yourself are willing to invest.

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Comments

20th Sep 2013

Very interesting article Hannah. Our cat is in an outtie but our compromise is in that we have always encouraged 'him' to stay within the bounds of our garden - not always possible but now that he is getting older (approx 11 years) thinks that climbing fence or hedge is just too much trouble. However, the most important factor is that he never goes out after dark (cat flap shut time) and has happily accepted that situation since in our care (now 7 years). I should say that statistics show that a lot of the cat- car etc fatalities occur after dark. Hope you may find our strategy interesting.

20th Sep 2013

I found your article very interesting and of course the comments from Glenys. We have 3 cats now having previously had numerous with 3 of those being killed on the road (during daylight hours). Until recently we had a 14 year old cat who lived as an indoor cat for 11 of those years.
When we moved to a property further away from a road she wandered outside and seemed quite happy just being in our garden. She then had an accident and broke her back and following weeks and weeks of physio and 3.5k she made the choice to revert to being an indoor cat and never showed any interest at all in the great outdoors.
Our previous neighbour also had cats 4 of which were killed on the road and she then paid an awful lot of money having a 'dog fence' installed meaning the cats then wore a collar and were 'trained' to stay within the boundary of the 'fence'. This subject no doubt will cause great debate AND after this one of her cats discovered a way out and still got killed on the road. (again daylight hours).
Our cats are 6, 4 and 2 years old and are all rescue cats. They are all indoor cats. They are kept happy with interactive toys, huge amounts of exercise, they are given items to hunt and they play together wonderfully.
They are given all the love and attention in the world, they are in tip top condition, suffer no illness or weight problems and are SAFE for us to love.
So what if we have to do a little more vacuuming, what is that little effort in return for the love we get from them. And accidents within the home? not too sure about that aspect - we keep our eye out for where they are and what they are doing as you would with any member of you family.
None of them show any interest at all in going outdoors and you know the times we all sit and watch the TV? well are cats have huge TV's all over the house that they watch and get entertained by every day - our windows. :)
For us - love them, keep them safe and keep them indoors.

20th Sep 2013

Thank you for your comments Glenys and Judie.
The indoor/outdoor debate is proving quite controversial amongst cat owners – perhaps the best decision is actually not ours but our cats – after all, they know better than anyone where they want to be! As you mentioned Glenys, using a cat-flap can offer the flexibility for them to come and go as they please, while it gives you a degree of control over their movement. Keeping your cat inside after dark when there are more predators roaming about and less visibility on the roads is a very good idea. By securing your cat inside you can make sure it is fed, groomed and has a comfortable place to sleep until morning.
Although there are threats after dark, as many cats are killed or injured during daylight hours, as your unfortunate account supports, Judie. During the day, far more traffic is on the roads and motorists are just as likely to miss a fast-moving cat on their periphery. As long as a cat is well catered for in the home with interactive toys, scratching posts and companionship, there is no reason why it should not live a happy and fulfilled life. Whilst some of us will see windows as a good thing, allowing a cat to view the great outdoors, there are grounds to argue that windows pose a constant torment for the confined indoor cat, who can glimpse a world of outdoor activity and free roaming cats that it can never access or be a part of itself. Indeed, it is a difficult one, like the whole debate. I think as long as your cat appears happy and healthy there is no need to alter your routine.

20th Sep 2013

Many of our cats have arrived fending for themselves. Three came 'with' our current house when we bought it. One was a very spunky, fluffy tabby, who when I was sitting out one evening and a fox came close, leapt down and faced off the fox. The second was a slim, tall elegant pale ginger gentleman. The third of the three died from feline leukaemia within a few months of our arrival. But, she had won my heart to the house by leaping up to my shoulders via a quick paw hold to my waist and keeping me company as we looked around. She was a lithesome grey short haired cat. One who later replaced her was living on our slow-worms and loved to chase squirrels up our trees until the space between the branches was too small for him to follow. He was unable to leap from tree to tree in the same way as the squirrels. He was fairly long haired and a deep marmalade colour. We have taken a homeless cat back from the cattery from the days when we went on holiday.

Our earliest cat (as a family) was another ginger, short haired, tom who found us when he was unwell, and I was a young Mum working in London. He would entertain our toddler for short periods when I most needed his help and before my husband was in from work.

All our cats have lived longer than 10 years, quite a few into their late teens (vet's guesstimates if not known). All our many cats have been much loved, and have seemed to love us too. They have been allowed in or out at their request, whether by day or night.

Our current, and probably last cat, as my husband and I are well into our seventies, is beautiful and black. He turned up hiding under some of our bushes, with only about a third of his fur, well infested in many ways and confused and lashing out.. He was probably less than six months. I left food and water near him. After some days he came and sat in the garden with me. Then he tried to trip me up when I was hanging washing on the line. I think he wanted to play football with my feet. Sometime later he decided to investigate inside the house. He was fast, able to leap fences, choosy about his human friends, but so gentle. We had a young visitor with her Mum. When the others were out of the room she closed the door, and proceeded to manhandle him. I was about to intervene, when he gently drew a claw across her forearm. She screamed that he had scratched her, and dropped him. There wasn't even a white mark on her arm. Her mother, without looking for the scratch, instantly insisted that he be put down as a dangerous animal. I said that it had been only a warning and asked her to show me the scratch. The mother couldn't find any mark on her daughter's forearm. I explained that this cat was a 'free' cat. He chose to come in and he was allowed to choose to go out. (Month's later the daughter was proudly saying: "he gave me a Warning!"). 'He' is still a free cat, but he is 9 and a half years old now. Our grandson, now nearly a year old has visited us a few times. The second time he came and was moving about on the floor, our cat recognised him and allowed that grandson to touch and follow him. The cat used to eat any cat food, but now his marked preference when not offered fish or meat is Purina One. He no longer eats the solids in Adult pouches, but likes to lick them He is happy with their Senior pouches and their 7+ dry food, as well as Hill's mature dry food from our vet's. I don't think he is able to tolerate other things that he used to enjoy, and I would not want to force him. He stays in and sleeps much more when it is cold now. He is still very gentle, communicative and aware but much less active.

21st Sep 2013

I agree that whether you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat is personal choice. I do feel indoor cats miss out a bit and my biggest nightmare is mine getting run over, but I know they enjoy going out. I currently have 6 cats, whom do like the outdoors to some degree, but seem to wander less since we moved to our current home just over a year ago, it might be because it has a bigger garden and loads of trees and shrubs to hide in / under and leap out to surprise whichever cat might be passing, and they can still maintain their personal space. They are aged between 3 and 7. Two of my current cats belonged to different neighbours but decided to move in wth me a couple of years ago, even though we were already a multi-cat & multi-dog household. All my animals are insured and eat better than I do, but I wouldnt have it any other way. Sometimes they come for short walks when I walk my dogs but I dont cross any big roads if the cats come, only a little side turning in my close.

11th Aug 2014

I now have 3 cats, and have the damage to show for it. When I first moved here I had my one ginger female cat, and after keeping her in for amonth, I let her go out into the garden to explore, things were good. About a year later, my carer had a friend who was going to have to move house, was threatening to throw his 2 cats into the canal, but they ended up at my home. Well being kept in to get them to think of here as home. One morning there was a shout, the 2 new cats had caused a lot of damage, to furniture and walls, not very heppy, but the damage is done. They were castrated and have stayed, and now try to eat me out of cat food, if I let them. These 2 cats go out during the day, and get them in during the night, so all three cats have sleeping spaces. the two boys are adept at catching the wild life and little presents are still upsetting, birds, mice and shrews have been brought home. There is also a daft staffy dog, who can drive a saint mad, with loud barking and getting in the way, and prefering human food to his own, all our meals are inspected for his preference, and he inspects the shopping for things for him to eat, and now the two boy cats do the same, noses into shopping bags for inspection, except when their food in 44 pouch boxes is like a traffic island, and they recognise the box and start yelling at me to feed them, fast. Such is life with pets, things are never straightforward.

13th Aug 2014

I have 2 indoor ginger cats, although neither of them were originally kept indoors. Charlie is now 5 and we've been told by our vet that he's part Maine-Coon. I found him when he was a stray, around 6 months' old wandering around the stables where I keep my horse begging for food so I took him home (not litter trained at that time by the way). He has the best of both worlds, he lives indoors as we live next to a very busy road, but he goes out for walks with my husband in the park at the back of our house - he walks to heel! When he's had enough he heads for our front door, he is more like a dog than a cat and even sits by command and can beg. Then there's Jasper who is 17 and has been living indoors for the past 7 years and doesn't want to go out even on a harness, he's too anxious. He has an over-active thyroid. The downside of having indoor cats is that ours can be quite demanding, as soon as you're anywhere near the kitchen they start miaowing for food - they would do it all day if you let them. Then the moulting - Charlie is long-haired and his cotton-wool-like fluff gets everywhere, so constant vacuuming. The great thing about having indoor cats is that you can take them on holiday with you, ours have been on several holidays and they seem to enjoy it.

14th Aug 2014

I have a 2yr old tabby , she goes out during the day if she wants to but I always get her in at night ,well before it gets dark ,she never asks to go out again until morning when she wakes me with a gentle tap on my forehead .I prefer to have in in at night and This decision can only be made by individual owners , so each to his own as they say

26th Aug 2014

We have a cat for the first time. His name is Charlie and he came from the Cat Protection League, ostensibly for our son who was 7 at the time, he would have like a dog, but as working parents we could not condone leaving a dog alone. Charlie was very athletic as a kitten and his play displayed many behaviours that we felt he could inlduge more fully as an outdoor cat. As we were at work, when he was big enough to hold his own with neighbouring cats, we fitted a cat flap so that the choice to be in our out was his. We are fortunate to live in an area with large gardens far enough away from a main road to give him other more interesting options for exploring. We have had numerous calls from people who have checked his ID and one from a Vet who scanned him when he inadvertently travelled in someone's car to another town for a few days. He is a much loved character in the neighbourhood as he is very good with children and any friendly people or animals. We discovered his other homes when we organised a street party a few years ago, so he now has fewer unknown foods and upset tummies. He keeps an elderly lady company when I am at work, we have only spoken on the telephone. She could no longer keep a cat of her own. He seeks out company and is here on the windowsill as I type, he could be out in the sun. When we or neighbours are in our gardens he appears from nowhere and sits and watches. We have been scared for him at times when he hasn't arrived home, he has had an operation for an infected cat bite, but life is not without risks. The vet says he is very healthy and well-adjusted - he must like his lifestyle. My friend's cat is very timid, goes briefly into the garden and loves being at home. Like us, they are all different and our circumstances are different, you can only do your best by them.

21st Jan 2015

have two rehomed cats that are indoor cats -- so they've stayed that way as apparently they can lose their ability to navigate if they have been indoor fro kittens -- bro and sis -- they have fun, but need a lot of attention and playtime -- and there is a dependency prob with the male who overgrooms and pulls out fur. Any suggestions? and I've never heard of taking indoor cats on holiday...that works??? where do you take them -- caravan? can't imagine hotel allowing it... its a big prob as I have to get some one to house sit... otherwise can't leave them and a cattery is no option -- they would freak out being in a cage... cant risk it... .. help....

21st Jan 2015
  • Customer Since: September 2014
  • From: Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Hi there. I enjoyed the read. Our cat Cappaccino is nearly 24 years old. Her sister who sadly past 5 years ago were very outdoor cats. They roamed the back garden and not the front luckily as we are on a busy road.Having marshes that belong to a water company behind us they brought home many a gift for us every day. Cappaccino is now, naturally, more an indoors cat. She is in very good condition but a lot thinner and I's very hungry more often, I think a thyroid problem. Litter wise she is not great either, but that u feel is natural at her age. I hope she datays happy and healthy for a few more years,

21st Jan 2015

We had no option but to let Blackie come + go as he pleased because, having been my mother's cat for 10 years, he was used to going out at night. There was no problem with this as she lived in a quiet cul-de-sac with no traffic. When we adopted him 18 months ago, we knew it would really stress him not to be let out .. in fact as soon as he looked out the French doors, he miaowed constantly to be let out. To say I was panicking the first time I let him out is an understatement because we live on a road where traffic does occasionally pass by and can come quite fast around the bend just further down from where our house is situated. 18 months later I still worry when he clambers up the side fence and over the gate and usually manage to make him return with a shake of some kibbles in a bag. I always try to get him indoors during the day if I know we're going to be out.

I would say the biggest threat to him being outdoors during the day, apart from when he goes out into the front garden, is other cats as Blackie can't fight his way out of a paper bag!

But from staying out all night when he was with my mother, he now returns to our house around 10.30pm to sleep on either on his chair or on his bed upstairs. He's now nearly 12 and I'm looking forward to the day when he begins to feel its too much trouble to clamber up the side fence!

22nd Jan 2015

I have two young cats that I got from Cats Protection. Their mother was feral and until they were 8 months old they only knew what it was like to be outdoors. One of their littermates was killed on the road, apparently.

However, I am lucky in that I live at the end of an unmade road. You can't drive down it at more than 5mph without taking your exhaust off and the cats have around 100 acres to play in before they get to a metalled road. I got them for pest control, which they are very good at.

They have surprised me though. They've gone from being outdoor, feral cats to trying to eat my cheese on toast and drink my tea within a matter of months. They still love being outdoors, it's just that being cats they've sussed that indoors it's warm, and there's food.

22nd Jan 2015

Our 2 cats love being in the garden (have a cat flap) but they don't seem to wander too far as always come when called. My sister who lived on a busy road had the top part of her garden fenced using special cat fencing (it bends at the top so they can't climb over) with a gate in so they could themselves get to the lower part of the garden. When they moved to a smaller garden they had the whole lot done with the fencing. It has worked well for them over the years as it gave her 4 cats the option of being in or out and has kept them safe.

24th Jan 2015
  • Customer Since: January 2015
  • From: Staffordshire, United Kingdom

I wanted to keep my cats as indoor cats after my landlord lost 2 to being poisoned by anti-freeze but one of mine is just desperate to get outside so we allow her outside, my other 2 cats just don't like the out of doors and even if I take them outside they will just run straight back in.

26th Jan 2015

Apart from all the excellent points made for the cat's wellbeing, in or out, I have had to consider neighbours in the debate. This was brought to my attention at my last house where I let the cats out for periods during the day. My neighbours were elderly and prided themselves in their veg plot which was amazing. Beautifully 'manicured' with divine veg which they were generous in sharing. Eventually, they gently asked if I could keep my cats off as they messed in his fabulously tilled soil and he hated putting his hands in it, OBVS.
Subsequently I was cat-less at my current address for a brief time and other peoples cats used my garden as their toilet and fished my expensive koi carp out of my pond. Cats would rather not soil at home, they prefer other people's gardens and I wonder if this is fair and should be taken into account. I have heightened my six foot boundary with plastic mesh to prevent escape now and my rescue kitty is a bit arthritic so couldn't jump anyway. Thoughts?

26th Jan 2015

My Tonks were breeding females but as they are now spayed, my vet almost insisted that they should have a `normal' life and venture out. Of the four, two just don't bother to go out especially if the weather is bad, one enjoys going out but just in our garden which being rural means she brings in an assortment of wildlife. Lily just decided that further and further was irresistible and apart from a neighbour siting her, I haven't seen her since last August so just pray that she found somewhere nicer to live.

6th May 2015

I have 2 cat . Both go in and out,one wanders in other garden but my oldest just goes in our garden and runs in quickly if you touch the door.

6th May 2015

We have always kept cats as pets in our family for well over forty years. Most of those have been outside cats because access to a large garden area was available.

However, in more recent years we have kept our cats indoors. The main decision for this was because a busy side road backs onto our present home. We had Tilly for 13 years who was a X Maine Coon. She was quite happy to follow us outdoors like a 'lap-dog' but enjoyed being indoors more. We presently have a female rescue cat called Heidi who is permanently inside. This was one of the stipulations of ownership from the cat charity because she had been previously ill-treated, was extremely timid & had never known the outdoors. She is far less timid now and the odd thing with Heidi is that she can sit next to an open door and show no interest in what's outside or desire to venture out.

By contrast, we also have a male cat called Jasper who is also a rescue cat. We took him on for companionship for Heidi as she pined for Tilly when she passed away. He too is an indoor cat but it is a little more tricky with him as he will make attempts to go out through an open window.

They are both very contented cats and we do interact with them a great deal each day. I think it it is important that they receive the extra stimulus from us for play and grooming otherwise they would easily become bored and depressed. They are groomed regularily, and the litter tray is rarely soiled being cleaned more than once each day. which we think is only fair on them, as cats are fastidious creatures.

6th May 2015

My little tabby appeared out of the blue one morning just over 5 years ago. She was very much an outdoors cat at first where she would come around occasionally which then became every day, until after 4 months, she was sleeping every night. I’d put her out in the morning before work and she’d be waiting under my front privet for me to return on an evening.
After 5 months I decided to make things ‘official’ and Lucy was vaccinated and chipped at our local vets and I duly fitted a cat flap to my back door with the reasoning that I had no right to take away her freedom.
At first she could come and go 24/7, but after a couple of episodes of me having to catch mice she’d brought me in the middle of the night and once coming home from work to find someone else’s cat coming down my stairs, I decided enough was enough.
I then fitted a new cat flap that reads her microchip so that no other cats can come in. I also have it set at ‘in’ only so that I can decide when she goes out. She’s got used to staying in all day if I’m at work and is happy being let out when I return. On being brushed on my patio wall each evening and rewarded with little treats she then goes for a mooch around the neighbourhood and is usually back within an hour for her tea. I won’t feed her before I let her out although she always has some dried food in a bowl.
I think pets feel secure and loved when there’s routine and Lucy seems happy to follow a set pattern, although she’s probably around 12 years old now so a little less adventurous.

7th May 2015

This is an interesting and very topical article. I live in a town in a fairly quiet road and have always had outdoor cats with no real problems. However, due to all the current dangers mentioned in this article which concern me, the two three- year olds which we have had for about 18 months, have, to date, been kept indoors with access to an adjoining pen. One was an indoor cat before we got him and shows no interest in going outside and is happy sitting in the pen watching the world go by. The other was found as a stray with kittens and, we have found, that keeping her indoors for a long period has caused behavioural problems of over grooming and not eating properly. So, about three months ago, we allowed her to go out and she seemed much happier and resumed eating normally. Unfortunately,we have foxes living in the neighbour's garden and three weeks later, our girl was attacked by one of them. Luckily, I was in the garden at the time so able to intervene and she wasn't injured. She is now back as an indoor cat but, as I feel that cats should be allowed access to the outside as is natural for them, we are currently having our garden cat proofed. There are a lot of stresses being confined indoors, including, in multi cat households, being confined with other cats, which, we as owners, do not recognise and which a lot of cats are subjected to and have to endure. So, I err on the side of cats being outdoors where possible but I totally understand those owners who prefer their cats to stay indoors for safety's sake.

7th May 2015

Our cats have been a mixture over the years. The normal domestic short hairs have always been allowed to go out but, over the years, we have had three Persian rescues and they have been indoor only cats. If your are thinking of buying a pedigree cat, then I would advise keeping it in. After all, there are some people out there that would happily take a pedigree cat home with them. If I paid anything like £500 to £1,000 for a cat, I would want to know where it was at all times.

7th May 2015
  • Customer Since: December 2013
  • From: Cornwall, United Kingdom

My cats are both innies. The eldest of the two would be dead by now if he was an outtie, because he eats plastic of any sort and when I see all the bags from supermarkets flying around the area, plus the fact that most households don't own a dustbin - therefore, leaving their rubbish out in a bin bag - I know I am doing him a favour.

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