Working for a vet, I have gotten her opinion on the matter: she thinks we should let them run about outside. It may reduce their aggressive play towards our lone girl cat, she argues, and she thinks they'd be happier overall.
My reasons for keeping them in since they first came to us (each of them at about three months) were pretty well-thought-out:
- It reduces the chance of death by car to zero.
- It makes parasites almost a non-issue.
- It keeps them out of fights with other cats.
- It preserves the local bird population.
- Is it right to imprison them?
- Would they be happier going out from time to time?
- Since they get out sometimes anyway, would it make more sense to work out a system for them to go in and out, so they know how to get back inside?