“Oh by the way, my husband thinks we should let him outside but I’d feel safer if he stayed in, what do you think?” This was the question posed to me at the end of my first consultation with a newly acquired little ginger kitten named Harry. The client had already started to pack up her things and head for the door, but she didn’t get very far as there was no simple answer to such a seemingly simple question.
It’s a question that I get asked a lot, and I must admit it was one that took me a while to learn how to answer. Growing up in New York and practicing in Chicago, such a question from an American client would have seemed silly. Of course the cat should stay inside, it would be cruel to let him out into the big bad scary world full of cars and poisons and little children that like to pull tails! But then I moved to England and was suddenly forced to develop a real and educated opinion on the subject. Over here, most people consider it cruel to keep a cat entirely indoors…….