Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !
A lot of it, I think, depends on the environment. I live in the middle of a large city, and I wouldn't think of letting my cat out. There's just too much danger from cars, dogs, disease, sadistic children, weather. If you raise your cat as an indoor cat from the beginning, as a kitten, it works out quite well, though the wife and I would never have dreamed of declawing her, as there's the mouse population to deal with. So, we make sure to give her plenty of options for places to work her claws and plenty of positive reinforcement when she uses them; our sofas are remarkably unclawed, although the top of one of the sofa backs has a large permanent indentation as it's one of her favorite napping spots in the house.
When I was a young teenager, our family lived in a far suburb -- "exurbia", as it's called -- far enough from the city that it was borderline rural, and so there was plenty of space for cats to range without having to go anywhere near a highway. We had a nice, big yard that bordered on a small meadow between our neighbors' back yards, and that was the local cat hangout, as well as the source of the field mice that showed up in our garages. Our cat never had to go near a busy street or highway as he could do all his socializing and hunting in our backyard (plenty of mice and moles) and in the little meadow (many a half-eaten rabbit turned up on our back patio in the early morning). We collared and tagged him in case he got lost -- he never did, in sixteen years -- and he got on great.
In the city, it's way different. We have some neighbors who let their cats out -- I recognize some of the "locals" and know where they live -- and they seem to do OK, but the wife and I were not very comfortable with the idea, and so we raised Minnie as strictly a house cat. It's a pretty big house, though -- an old three-story townhouse -- so she has plenty of room to hang out, and good hunting in the winter when the mice start sneaking in.