Cat Scratch Fever

Finally, someone in authority has said it: house cats should stay indoors. 

A lot of people disagree with that philosophy. Plenty of cat owners believe cats should be able to roam and exercise their natural instincts of hunting and exploring. I think that’s hogwash. Today’s house cats are about as far removed from natural hunters as we are from Cro Magnon Man. They still have the instinct but not the street smarts.

The head of the Ottawa Humane Society wrote a blog post last week that caught a lot of attention for its anti-outdoor stance on behalf of cats.¬†Executive Director Bruce Roney says the streets are no place for cats, but the message isn’t getting through.

Close up of Sugar's face, grey with white markings, peeking over my arm as I hold her and take a selfie of us

They’re getting hit by cars, picking up diseases, getting attacked by other animals and succumbing to extreme cold. And if they’re not fixed, they’re contributing to cat overpopulation.

And let’s not forget what an outdoor cat will do to others. They kill songbirds, poop in flower gardens, and if they’re not wearing a collar they can’t be returned home easily if they get lost or hurt.

“But my cat wants to go out”, people will lament. Yeah, so does mine, and he did get out a couple of weeks ago and it wasn’t the great adventure he likely imagined it would be. I find that if I walk away from the door, he follows, because a belly scratch or a toy might suddenly appear. Who’s in charge, anyway? We love our cats to pieces but the creatures with two legs make the decisions in our house.

I don’t see a grey area unless you can keep your cat in your own yard. Good luck with that!

3 thoughts on “Cat Scratch Fever”

  1. Our neighbours have cats (some of which are declawed) and yet they are outside cats. On occasion I will come home from work and one or the other of them are sitting at the front door of their house and letting you know in no uncertain terms that they want inside. As I have a key, I will let them in. I am also of the feeling that if you are going to insist that they are out during the day that you should at least make sure that they are in for the night. The cats may not be happy about it but they will be safe!!

  2. Safety is key! I signed agreements for both Spice and Sugar that they would be indoor cats only. They are both declawed and seniors. Letting them out would be putting them in harm’s way. It’s nice of you to let the kitties in. They’re probably looking for a bite to eat and a nice place to pee!

  3. Nope. By the time I have let them in the house they have probably used someone’s yard as an outhouse. The neighbours do leave their garage door open and keep food and water in there for them (it is more of a man cave then a garage) but it is not the same as being able to cosy up on someone’s pillow!!

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