Are you harming your cats by keeping them indoors?
Q: Last year my two cats were killed on the road I live on. I feel I am now ready to take on another cat, but realise that to keep them safe I will have to keep them indoors. Will this have an adverse effect on them?
A: I am so sorry to hear your last two cats suffered such a fate. However, I may have the perfect solution for you. Every year, thousands of cats up and down the UK are diagnosed with FIV, the cat equivalent of AIDS. Diagnosis often means that these animals must be kept indoors to avoid the fatal disease being passed on to other cats in the neighbourhood via fighting or sexual contact (it cannot be passed on to humans). Cats Protection and other feline-friendly organisations are always keen to find owners who would be willing to give a loving home to these unfortunate cats, so this may be a good option for you. It doesn't suit all ages or type of cat, but some felines are perfectly fine being kept indoors, and many choose such a sedentary life voluntarily. If you visit a local cat shelter, the staff are generally very experienced at gauging the personalities of their charges. They should be able to point out the most likely indoor-loving cats, so you can experience the joys of feline affections once more without fear of another road fatality.
Scott Miller, vet