I'm noticing that the comments that say that letting your cats outdoors is okay tend to get more dislikes...?
There's two sides to this scenario. Jeez, people that have commented have absolutely no filter. This is yahoo answers not a war zone. If a person asks a question, just respect their curiosity and answer it if you must. There's no reason to start stringing out curse words just because of a question...
Anyway. Like I said, there's two sides. I personally have a few cats, but there is one special cat who I keep inside 100% of the time. I used to hold her in my arms and take her outside for fresh air, but the poor thing would get so scared that she would start shaking and meowing constantly. This cat, clearly, is not made for the wild. She is a gift to me from a cat breeder, and she was raised inside all her life. She's already a flighty cat as is, bless her heart. She looks out the window all the time though! She loves to watch the cars run back and forth, and she obviously doesn't actually want to be outside.
My other cats, however, are allowed to go inside and outside. Both my indoor/outdoor cats were strays at first, and I took them in after looking after them for a while. They are used to being outside and surviving in "the wild". They are both at least 8 years old now and they're happy, healthy cats. Is it "irresponsible" or "cruel" to let pets go outside? Absolutely NOT. Animals were born to be outside, not kept in the captivity of a house. Yes, indoor cats are proven to live longer, however they don't get the taste of freedom that they were made to have. Calling a pet owner that lets their animals go outside "irresponsible and cruel" is absolutely ridiculous. It's far from "cruel" and it is not "irresponsible" either. On the contrary, there are definitely more risks of something happening to outdoor cats. This depends purely on the owner's awareness of the cat's ability to survive in the wild. If said owner really does not think that their cat can survive outside, then just keep the cat inside! It's simple. Nothing to start arguing about.