I would like to respond to your advice to one of your readers who asked why her indoor-raised cat would not come inside. She moved to the suburbs and started letting the cat stay outside at night, and you explained to her that it was a cat's nature to seek the outdoors. However true this may be, you failed to mention how inconsiderate this may be to her neighbors. Indoor cats that are allowed to roam seek loose soil that we use for flowers and gardens, for their toilet. They also prey on birds that gather around our feeders. Many people, especially seniors, take pride in their gardens and flowerbeds. They spend a considerable amount of money and effort maintaining them, only to find that they have been used as litter boxes and/or destroyed overnight. You could have mentioned to that reader that she should supervise her cat when letting it outside and provide a litter box within her yard that is covered, cleaned, and kept dry. Please tell your readers that they should be considerate of their neighborhood by not allowing their cats to roam and not abandoning them if they move.
Jun 12, 2011
If you were a regular reader of my column, you would know that I encourage all cat owners not to allow their cats outside unsupervised. Otherwise, the cats' nature will trigger the desire to roam free and "walk on the wild side" once they get a taste of the great outdoors. Cats can be walked on a leash and harness, and if let out, they should be in a large yard enclosure or fenced, cat-proof yard with a shelter from the elements and covered litter box. Some cat owners have a door or window flap connecting to a chickenwire-covered walkway that leads to an outdoor cathouse or enclosed feline gazebo. Readers have sent me photos of their various designs. I agree and sympathize with you and appeal to all cat owners to be good neighbors by not allowing their cats to roam off their property. Many municipalities have strict ordinances such as any cat being allowed outdoors with no collar and rabies tag will be trapped and impounded by animal control.
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