Cats are awesome. Survivalists. Throw it into the yard. If it dies, it dies. No seriously most stuff has been covered here and your average cat is really easy, Phil is right there (Kitty proofing is indeed goofy). But some will have kinks and personality oddities that can bite you in the ass. Litter discipline is a common one, but so are bouts of sudden aggression or a tendency to go hissy randomly. Come back if you run into any of them. Also: Oh no you din't. If you want a pet that sits at your feet all day, available at your beck and call, to walk at your leisure. Get a dog. People who walk cats on leashes simply do not understand cats. They're misguided dog lovers. Or people who own $1000-dollar cats. I'm not totally surprised you of all people would prefer to turn your cat into a recluse because "OH NO THE GERMS" but c'mon, it's a cat. If you have a yard, hell yeah he/she should be able to roam free. Just chip it and/or collar it, then let it loose. Cats are survivalists, even housecats. Other than cat HIV (getting them fixed if they're outdoors or even indoors is a must anyway, the pound I volunteer at is full of dumped off bastard kittens), there's not a lot that'll commonly threaten cats. Getting scratched or hurt outside generally doesn't faze them because of the way catskin isolates and heals. And only recluse cats are dumb enough to sit around on a highway. Street cats have street smarts, not like those locked-in retards. De Bies has always been allowed to roam free. Bitch ruled the street. Any tomcats in the neighbourhood gave our fiesty little queen a wide berth (not the same since we moved, but oh well, she's getting on there in years, somewhere around 15 or 16 years old now. Still hasn't gone into true decline though, cats have amazing lifecycles). Used to be we had moles in the neighbourhood. After one year of finding a fresh mole on our carpet every week, no more moles appeared. Little fuckers. Your cat's name is The Order.