Reader wants to clarify the benefit of keeping cats indoors


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Reader wants to clarify the benefit of keeping cats indoors

Updated Dec 21, 2021

This references another letter in the post “Helping a grieving cat”

Dear Cathy,

In your letter to Mundy Rado from Lawrenceville, Georgia, why didn’t you take the opportunity to tell the owner that cats should not be loose outside?  You could have given her stats on the longer life of housecats at the very least. You shouldn’t suggest a future kitten without encouraging responsible pet ownership.

– Cris O’Keefe, Setauket NY

Dear Cris,

I have been in the animal welfare field for 25 years and try to use every opportunity I can to educate readers on responsible pet care, so I went back to the letter to see what I missed. She was talking about a kitten who was mourning the loss of another kitten who “disappeared.” I focused on addressing the kitten’s grief and what she could do to alleviate it, and glossed over the word “disappeared,” which certainly could have indicated it was an outdoor cat who slipped away.

I don’t know for sure if that was the case, but I am happy to use your letter to encourage responsible pet ownership and advocate for keeping cats indoors. On average, outdoor cats live three to seven years compared to indoor cats who can live 14 years or more. Several of my indoor cats, in fact, have lived past 20.

So keeping your cat inside not only reduces the chances your cat will “disappear,” but ensures more quality time with your best friend. 

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, children’s author, syndicated pet columnist, and pet expert with more than 30 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

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Cathy Rosenthal (aka The Pet Pundit), CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 35 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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