My outdoor cat lived to be ten years old. He died from antifreeze poisoning. Had he lived inside, he would have lived longer. There are poisons, dogs, wild animals, owls, cars, disease outside. If you were to have an indoor cat, you eliminate all those hazards. I learned a tough lesson, and the cats I have now are indoor cats. If I could have gone back in time, I would have kept him indoors. If the meowing to go outside drives you insane, try a cat pen if you have the room, or try a leash and harness. Just don't let it wander off by itself.
I agree indoor cats live a lot longer. I have my Henry that can't live in my home. He pees on everything. I have him living in my garage with a cat door. He is old 14 so he doesn't spend much time roaming around. He sits on the deck and then comes in and meows for his brushing and then takes a nap in his bed. The garage is heated and A/C so he does have the comforts of indoors.
I have taken him to the vet about the peeing. He is fine just gets mad at me if I'm not there to let him out. He will not use the litter box and this is why he makes a mess in the house.
My parents had a cat strictly outside who lived to be at least 14.. Not sure what took her in the end though.. The one they have now is at least 11 or 12.. We've had so many its hard to remember who came when!! For some reason our house was the house all the strays migrated to :)
Our cats are strictly indoors now.. Every now and then one slips out and rolls in the sand for a few minutes, but that's about it.. Our oldest was a stray we took in and he cried to go out for a while, but now he's ok with being inside, laying in the window, eating tuna (he's an old skinny boy, so he's slightly spoiled), and sleeping between "mommy & daddy" under the covers and all..
We also have one who is kenneled.. Silly, huh?? Well, he was a "Oh, we'll find him a home" kitty who just happened to stay.. He wasn't neutered til he was over 6 months old and peed on our bed and a big chair in the living room.. After that he was a kitchen/garage kitty and that worked fine for him.. But now he's figured out that he can jump the baby gates just as easily as the other cats.. We've got handmade screen doors up on all the bedrooms (a great tip from our midwife for when the baby came home) so he can't hide anywhere.. He's allowed to roam the rest of the house since its all tile.. But he's in a kitty "playpen" at night and when we aren't around.. He doesn't seem to mind.. He lays on the top shelf in the sun and bakes himself..
I don't think i could ever go back to outdoor animals.. I'm just too worried when they aren't around!!