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.
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!