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OPINION: 10 reasons to keep your cat indoors

Published on

George Mathewson

Last week The Journal revealed how City Hall has received more than 1,000 calls this year from residents cheesed off about domestic animals, especially cats, running at large.

Here are 10 reasons why you, dear cat owner, should keep Tinkerbelle indoors:

1 – Your neighbours: They don’t like it. Even the most tolerant does not want to step in your cat’s calling card, smell its spray on the basement windows, or see their own indoor animals go berserk when Blackie pussyfoots by the window.

2 – Disease: When your cat runs loose it can come in contact with feral cats, many of which carry respiratory infections, distemper and feline AIDS. Think the odds of encounter are low? A Sarnia organization called Cat Chance has trapped, neutered and released more than 2,000 feral cats the past two years.

3 – Cars: Even the wiliest veterans meet their match crossing the road and suffer excruciating pain, debilitating injuries or worse.

4 – Hitchhikers: Ticks are now common in Sarnia. Not to mention intestinal worms, ringworm and fleas. When kitty picks up parasites and brings them home they can infect your family and are often difficult to eradicate.

5 – Predators: Sarnia’s cat population dipped after coyotes moved in, especially around Canatara Park and along the city’s nature trails. Cats may be good hunters but they also get preyed upon.

7 – Pregnancy: Your cat. Their cat. It’s irresponsible.

6 – Poison: Cats come home suffering mysterious ailments. Vehicle antifreeze is toxic but sweet tasting to pets. They can also be exposed to rodent poisons or eat a mouse that’s ingested poisonous bait.

8 – Cruelty: Don’t think it happens? Three words: Joe the Cat. The Sarnia and District Humane Society says animal cruelty has surged lately. Sadly, there are unhinged people out there who trap cats and abuse them in the name of “sport.”

9 – Nature: If all of the above risks still haven’t swayed you, maybe your cat’s depressing impact on urban wildlife will. The average outdoor house cat kills between 10 and 12 birds a year, according to the director of wildlife research at Environment Canada. The federal agency estimates domestic and feral cats killed an almost incomprehensible 196 million birds in Canada last year.

10 –It’s against the law: Under Sarnia’s pet bylaw anyone has the right to capture and turn in your cat once it leaves your property. If you love your pet as much as you think you do, you will pay dearly to get it back.

Please, dear cat owner, before you send me hate mail understand this. I like cats. We have two of our own, Tasha and Louie.

But they live their safe and pampered lives indoors, where they belong.




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