Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This is my cat rant

Cats do not need to be outdoors.

In fact, letting cats (or any pet) roam free is never a good idea. Yet, many cat “owners” insist on allowing their cats to go wherever they want outside, in the mistaken belief that it’s both their “right” to do so and what’s best for the cat.

These people are wrong twice.

First, no pet owner has the right to let their pets wander the neighborhood. Instead, every pet owner is responsible for keeping their pet on their own property or on a leash when wandering.

Second, cats have no need to be outside. Sure, maybe they’re intrigued by what’s happening outside a window, but that doesn’t mean they need to be outdoors.

Cats on the roam are at risk and pose a threat to others.

Probably the number one risk to a cat is getting hit by a car. Additionally they can be injured by other animals, and be exposed to a variety of diseases. Letting them roam also puts them at risk of abuse.

Cats also pose a threat to wildlife, particularly songbirds. And few people want cat (or dog) feces littering their yards. In homes with children, cats are an especially noisome nuisance using their child’s sandbox as a litter box.

There is nothing cruel about keeping a cat indoors. In fact, the most loving thing you can do for your cat is keep it safe inside.

Not knowing any better, I let my first cat go outside. It was injured by another animal, contracted a disease, and, before I realized what was happening, died. After that, I talked with vets, did a little research, and learned that I had been my first cat’s worst enemy.

I now have two cats and I care about them so much, I have never let them go outside. Ever. And, at 7-years-old, they’re quite happy and healthy and very content to observe the outside through the window.

However, if your cat comes into my yard I’ll make sure he doesn’t come back into my yard again. I don’t want your cat (or dog or other pet) roaming, digging, and pooping in my yard. I don’t want your cat stalking the birds at my feeders. I don’t want your cat getting into my garage. I don’t want to see your cat dead, rotting in the street.

This is one of those issues where there’s no other reasonable response. Keep your cats inside your house or, at the least, inside your yard. If you won’t, then you have no business having a cat as a pet because you really don’t care about their well-being.

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Thoughts?

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