• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Leigh Tate
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Greg Martin
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Mike Barkley
  • L. Johnson

Question for people living in a suburban area: Do you let your cats outside?

 
Posts: 112
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've always had indoor cats, but I know my cats would love it outside. I'm so nervous though. What if they ran away or got hit by a car??
 
pollinator
Posts: 11827
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1135
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have had both indoor and outdoor and indoor/outdoor cats. Indoor cats live longer. Indoor/outdoor and outdoor cats are vulnerable to being hit by cars (one of my favorite cats was killed this way a couple years ago ) and attacked by predators (one of our outdoor cats was mauled by some varmint but recovered). Safety can be greatly increased by teaching them to come indoors at night.

Our indoor cats have two big screen porches where they can lounge in the sun, smell the breeze and watch the birds.

(I probably shouldn't have responded to this because I live in a rural area)
 
Posts: 159
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in town and do let my cats go outdoors 3 seasons a year.

But I have a large fenced yard that they are usually content to remain on this side of. It hurts to lose a pet to a driver, but the time they have spent enjoying the sun warmed patio or stalking through the grass is worth it, I think. Or maybe my most recent loss that way was long enough ago that the pain has diminished somewhat.
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
105
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe it's a cultural thing. I've never heard of anyone here not letting their cats outside. Some get run over, most don't.
Actually I just remembered, friends had Burmese cats which are apparently totally stupid about roads and they weren't allowed outside. At over a grand per cat, that's not surprising!
Of course those in apartments don't have a choice.
 
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have 2 indoor cats and one outdoor cat. The outdoor one has been to the vet twice for abscesses after getting wounded in fights. I'd keep him indoors if I could get away with it, but he tends to let me know that he's pissed by well, pissing everywhere. Since it seems his injuries occurred at night, I compromise by shutting him indoors then, and giving him free access during the day.
 
Posts: 187
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have three cats. We have had all three since they were kttens but they are not related to each other. One three year old and two that are about two years old. They were all probably born in the wild and were very keen to go outside anytime they saw a door open.
We could not live in a house with adult cats using a litter tray. It was bad enough when they were kittens so we allowed them to venture outside as soon as they were big enough. The local feral cats showed them the ropes and they have been ok. I would hate for one of them to get run over or something but cats are free and can soon be replaced.
 
steward
Posts: 2482
Location: FL
117
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

gossamermoonspider McCoy wrote:What if they ran away or got hit by a car?(



Defeat Worry with Reason.

The cats have food, warmth and shelter and are familiar with the home. It is as much theirs as it is yours. Will YOU be running away? Cat's come home at supper time.
Cats are just about the most dextrous land animal in the world. Combine this with large, sensitive ears used to pick up the tiny noises of a small rodent, they can surely see, hear, and feel a car approaching. Odds are not in favor of vehicle-cat collision.

 
Posts: 37
Location: Des Moines, Iowa (Zone 5)
12
3
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd rather live happy and free with the possibility of getting hit by a car, than I would staring out at a world full of adventure that I'll never know. To each their own but I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery any day.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3420
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
428
2
forest garden solar
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let let the cat live in a natural/permaculture way. they might only live 90% of the indoor lifespan but they will live happier.
Zoo animals live longer, but I dont call that life.
People with life sentences in prison live longer than the general population.
 
Posts: 47
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My cats were indoor only fr 5yrs when we lived in an apartment. Yes they adjusted but they were depressed the whole time. Now they are back in the garden they are so much more content. They voluntarily come in at night, usually to get the best pillows. I decided it was cruelty to deny a cat the basic right to put its paws on the earth and walk amoung plants. My cats do not venture beyond the garden boundaries and spend their time following the humans around. The biggest danger to a cat is usually other people. So fence the yard to prevent them wandering the whole neighbourhood if you are worried.
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I currently have an indoor cat. He loves the outside, he has large windows where he watches the birds, feels the breeze, and naps in the sun. But we have coyotes here, and they're pretty rampant! So I'd rather protect my baby.
 
pollinator
Posts: 117
23
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My neighbors on both sides have electric fences. We live in an urban area and our balconies are continuous on one side, separated by a ten foot gap bridged by a brick-wall on the other. When the fattest, calmest, and oldest (wisest?) of the cats got out she snuck through the fence and got zapped coming back. I could see the electricity arc going from the fence to her nose in a blue flash. In addition each neighbor has a big mean guard dog. The people who live down stairs have a guard dog too, although it isn't mean, it just wants to play, which puts the cats into attack mode since they have never lived with a dog. The youngest two cats are still in that kittenish "eat anything" stage and the people around here use cockroach poison, and termite poison, and rat poison, and pigeon poison. Oh, and there used to be a beautiful boy cat who would come to visit us - first I had to pull an airgun pellet out of his shoulder, then a month later he disappeared. I think the guy who lives behind us didn't like his singing (he used to meow greetings as he trotted up the road).

And I still wish that my sweethearts could go outside. They love watching the birds, they love sniffing the breeze, they love eating the grass I bring in in pots. The best time of the day for them is early evening when a moth or two will come in and flit around - its like open gym for them.

The reason why I have cats in the first place is because the culture around here is pretty anti-cat. Some americanized people import fancy breeds, and some people tolerate them to get rid of snakes, frogs and rats, but generally they are considered unclean and treazonous. So every now and again I find a poor kitty that needs rescuing, if I can't find it a home it ends up living with me. One day I will be able to buy a house and set up a cat-run. Until then the priority was to rent near to where I work so that I can commute by foot.

I whole heartedy endorse the indoors/outoors idea in most circumstances. If you make a regular schedule of letting them out for a few hours then putting down their food they will come back like clock-work. If cars are a worry you can make an attractive area for them away from the road (bird attracting bushes, sandy area, sunny dry place). If dangerous animals are a worry a cat flap or a refuge might help - not so sure.
 
Posts: 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My cat was just a stray that adopted us he still roams outside and is happy. We feed him give him a bed,love and time to go inside.
If I were you I would let my cat outside. I have neighbors that have inside cats and they always look miserable and stare out the window.
Its your choice but, I would let them outside if I were you it would be good if you have a fence. What ever your choice is remember if you were a cat which would you choose.

 
Posts: 16
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It deeply bothers me that my neighbors allow their cats to roam free...

Why should I have to deal with their cat in my yard, getting into my trash, digging in my kids sand box?
Their cat in my yard cause my dog to bark. This can be a problem at 5am!! or when the baby has just gone down for a nap. It's not acceptable for my dog to run free, why is it okay for your cat?

Most importantly though is that cat owners seem to forget that their cats may carry a parasite that can be very harmful to unborn babies and those with immune disorders, Toxoplasma gondii. Because your cat poops in my yard I have to wear gloves to dig in the yard/garden at all and leery of letting my children dig in their own back yard. I think cat owners should be held to the same standards as dog owners. Cats should not be allowed to roam free in an urban setting.
 
author
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
68
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
when the cat's away the mice shall play....

maybe the problem is that people concieve of owning cats. maybe cats are just part of the urban ecology, and their presence makes it a healthier ecosystem.
nothing healthy or untroublesome about rodents run wild in the backyard.

cats are good when they live like cats. love life.
 
Cd Anderson
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Adam Klaus wrote:when the cat's away the mice shall play....

maybe the problem is that people concieve of owning cats. maybe cats are just part of the urban ecology, and their presence makes it a healthier ecosystem.
nothing healthy or untroublesome about rodents run wild in the backyard.

cats are good when they live like cats. love life.



The same could then be said of dogs. Dogs would keep the raccoons and possums away and my dogs have done better at rat catching than my cats (though I think the scent of my cats keeps most of the rodents away) but no one suggests dogs should be allowed to roam.
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
331
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most cities have ordinances about roaming (unleashed) dogs.
Dogs can be serious threats to children, pets, livestock.
They often revert to their feral 'pack' habits.

Cats, on the other hand are solitary hunters that seldom attack anything bigger than themselves.
They pose no real threat to humanity, or 'village life'.
They have been valued by civilizations for thousands of years for their ability to control rodent populations (and disease).
If mankind was as clean as a cat, we wouldn't need them.
 
Posts: 16
Location: Richmond, VA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

S Bengi wrote:Let let the cat live in a natural/permaculture way. they might only live 90% of the indoor lifespan but they will live happier.



Indoor cats typically live 12-14 years. The average lifespan for outdoor cats is somewhere around 3 years. Between cars, coyotes, FLV, infections from fights, etc, there's a lot of things that can go wrong. Many of them do live long lives, but a lot of them also don't make it through the first couple years.

If your cats are depressed indoors, they need more stimulation. More places to climb, more toys/etc.
 
Adam Klaus
author
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
68
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Quality over quantity, every time, even for cats. I cant imagine how long I would live if I were kept safely inside! In my philosophy, allowing animals to express their innate instincts is a basic tenant of animal husbandry. Cats being cats means cats being outside, for as long as it takes them to expire all nine lives. Avoiding death is no measure of life. It is our human fear of death that leads us to impose this philosophy on our animals. There is a better way, where we facilitate the fulfillment of our animal's inherent instincts. Cows graze. Dogs sniff. And cats roam. That's life.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rich Conley wrote:

S Bengi wrote:Let let the cat live in a natural/permaculture way. they might only live 90% of the indoor lifespan but they will live happier.



Indoor cats typically live 12-14 years. The average lifespan for outdoor cats is somewhere around 3 years. Between cars, coyotes, FLV, infections from fights, etc, there's a lot of things that can go wrong. Many of them do live long lives, but a lot of them also don't make it through the first couple years.

If your cats are depressed indoors, they need more stimulation. More places to climb, more toys/etc.



Just my personal experience. I have always had indoor/outdoor cats (meaning they come and go as they please) I have NEVER lost a cat in as few as 3 years. Not even close. Several of our cats have lived into their late teens and early 20s including one that got nabbed by a coyote 3 freakin' times. Most of them seem to live to the 12 to 17 range.

Some times cats disappear sometimes they disappear and come back but I've never had a cat who wasn't curious about and wanting to explore the outdoors. My vote: unless you're cat is declawed let them roam outside.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
692
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The sellers of pet food would prefer that both cats and dogs be kept safely away from their natural foods.

I'm not sure where veterinary folks stand.

Some cat rescue places will not allow adoption, unless you agree to permanently imprison the animal.
 
Posts: 157
6
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
in case you are unaware.....outdoor and feral cats are the number one reason why songbird populations in the United States are on the decline.....the second are window collisions. Just keep that in mind before you let your cats outside.....
 
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live rural. My cats have always been outdoor cats.... until now.

I lost my best pal to a heart disorder a few years back. He was the world's best mouser. When he died, I tried to remove every reminder of his ever having been here. I was devastated. The missing items just made it worse. So, I went to he animal shelter and got a sickly kitten who looked a lot like my gone guy. My pet limit has long been, one cat that doesn't get pregnant (or impregnate). I'm sticking to that, as I got up to as many as eight cats once.

Anyway, this new kid had never seen a life outside a cage since he was four weeks old. He was 20 weeks when I got him. He had entered the shelter with his mom and healthy brother, who soon were adopted. He was still messed up when I got him, though he's doing well now with no flare-ups of his feline viral rhinotracheitis. He has no idea what stress might be. He is well adjusted to indoor life.

My cat has zero street cred. He'll never be a mouser or a fighter. So, he's my first indoor cat. I have learned that the payoff for not having an outdoor cat is, smaller wildlife is all but tame and the squirrels and chipmunks that have been attracted to my bird feeders will just hang out with me and I can talk to them. I kind of like that.

I'll tell you all this: Marauding dogs and tomcats are problem animals and will likely encounter a .22 short if they come around here. I got in that habit protecting my cats on my property, and I continue it, even with an indoor cat. Tomcat spray on my doors, or the wildlife made nervous by dogs, meets with a zero tolerance program.

=========================================================

Streetlights are for people who are afraid of the dark.

Dogs are for people who are afraid of the quiet.
 
Posts: 153
Location: Southern California, USA
58
homeschooling kids purity books cooking composting toilet
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I’ve only ever had indoor/outdoor cats. The one that lived the longest died at 17 or 18 years old. I too can’t imagine not letting my animals have free adventure time. Even my guinea pigs and parakeets got to have out of the cage time to explore or fly.

In CA, my family members wanted to adopt some cats from the rescue center and in order to do so, would have had to sign documents saying that the cats would not be allowed to go outside, ever. Some places even wanted to do a home visit to assure the home would be adequate. Personally, I love animals (I’ve been known to give my gems Epsom salt baths when they were ill/injured and assist them when they were egg bound) but I found those adopt a pet steps to be quite ridiculous.
 
Posts: 31
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
11
plumbing building
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do let my cat go outside, but with many restrictions. I used to just let her and her sister go outdoors at their whim through a cat door. Her sister died several years ago of kidney failure and I still wonder if she got into antifreeze or some other poison outdoors that caused it. Then the remaining cat got bitten by a coyote cause she was out a little later than usual. After that, I only let her out during the day time to keep her safe. But then, she started killing birds. Given that creating habitat for songbirds is important to me, I decided that she could still go out, but only with a Birds Be Safe collar. It helps the birds see her before she can get them and fly to safety. She isn't allowed outside unsupervised even with the collar during nesting and fledgling season, since fledglings can't fly off reliably and adult birds are distracted courting and gathering nesting materials. Unfortunately, this collar doesn't protect reptiles or mammals. Cats take a huge toll on wildlife every year, even those they don't immediately kill, since a tooth or claw catching an animal often leads to infection and death. This isn't "natural" since we brought cats here. I also don't think allowing that to happen is very responsible or respectful of wildlife, who are already struggling due to many other human influences. Making my cat wear a collar and watching her to ensure she isn't killing for funsies seems like the least I can do.

More recently, a neighbors cat has been roaming in our yard and harassing our cat. He or possibly some other roaming cat attacked our cat and nearly got her eye. If it had been worse and I didn't manage to take care of it myself, that could have been a vet bill, on top of the harm to our cat. So now she doesn't go out unsupervised anymore for her safety. This situation has caused a tremendous amount of stress for us and our cat. She knows when he is out there and acts very stressed out, which is obviously upsetting to me too. This cat is also using our garden as a litter box, so I am constantly stepping in cat poo and smelling cat pee everywhere when I'm outside. It makes me worry about the safety of our food. And he is obviously killing the birds I work so hard to make a safe haven for. I'm also concerned because we are about to get chickens and fear that even though we will have a super secure run for them, he will hang out and stress them out by trying to hunt them. We tried talking to these neighbors once already, but unfortunately they seem to have the attitude that cats are just supposed to be able to roam freely wherever they want. I don't think that's very reasonable given the negative impacts they can have on people and other animals around them. It's also against city ordinance for cats to roam free where I live. The neighbors can be fined and I believe ultimately, their cat taken away. Though I'm a little afraid to go that route, as I fear that it'd be a huge hassle to get anything done or that the neighbors would retaliate. Needless to say, this is putting a real strain on our relationship with our neighbors and leaves me feeling pretty disrespected and like I can't relax and enjoy my own home and garden. If this were a dog coming onto my property daily, attacking my cat, threatening my livestock and damaging my garden, no one would consider it acceptable. I don't see why so many consider it to be okay for cats, because it really isn't. It is possible to give them outside time with limits.
So while I think cats ought to be able to have outside time, I think it needs to be supervised or controlled to keep the cats safe, as well as respect the lives of wildlife and the spaces of others. I have trained our cat to stay in our yard at all times and always supervise her when she's out anymore. It really isn't that hard to do. An enclosed space like a catio or some kind of fencing that is capable of containing cats seems like another good solution. Or they can be leash trained.
 
pollinator
Posts: 160
Location: Southern Utah
35
chicken building homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You can if you keep in in your yard.  I am aware of stray cats in our community that have killed pet rabbits and chickens at several homes and now there are several people who are relocating all the stray cats they catch to a few ranches about 40 miles away.  They have barns where the cats can catch all the mice they want, but the ranchers keeps asking for more because the coyotes keep eating the cats.  The best guess I have from the few conversations I am aware of is over 100 cats the past few years.
One persons pet is another persons problem if not properly cared for, or contained.  It may sound cruel for the cats but the rabbits and chickens were in their daytime enclosures when someone elses pet pet cat killed them.  Just be mindful and take measures to protect your loved one so that the loved ones of others can remain safe as well.
 
Alana Rose
Posts: 153
Location: Southern California, USA
58
homeschooling kids purity books cooking composting toilet
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great points! I don’t like the death of the native songbirds either. I’ve never heard of such a color. I’ll have to look into it.

My family’s cats now (3), since we have coyotes and wildlife in the backyards are usually only allowed out when someone is home and during the day when coyotes are almost never out in our area. 2 females and 1 male, all fixed. Generally, they come in when we rattle the dry food bag. These three kitties are less hunters than those we’ve had in the past so my observation has been that their rare killings are less than the birds that have flown full speed into our windows (*sigh.)

When I had 6 hens at my old house, our cat and the 3 Tom cats in the neighborhood didn’t bother them but I adopted the hens after they were bigger. They were Orpingtons and since most of the time they traveled as a group the cats were actually more afraid of them. The moving group and their instincts also had them avoid run-ins/fly-ins with the hawks. We didn’t lose any hens to predators and they free ranged in our gated backyard/front yard from sunup to sundown. We later adopted 1 more hen. She was notorious for being the ring leader, flying into the house, knocking over the gate and stealing the cat’s dry food.

We did need to secure the chicken coop closures to prevent sneaky raccoon entries.

All the best
35F11305-2F63-4D77-938C-FD8CDF8A2F3D.jpeg
Hen scheming on rain water catchers
Hen scheming on rain water catchers
 
Posts: 122
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love being outside and cannot imagine a more miserable idea than being forced to live my entire life indoors.

I had a cat for almost 19 years. He was an indoor/outdoor cat that mainly was inside at night and during uncomfortable weather. He let us know when he wanted in or out, and he always got his way. We lived very near a highway. Did I mention he lived to be almost 20? The next door neighbors had a cat as well, same situation. He also lived to a very ripe old age.

I loved my cat so much I would have risked my own life to protect him; he was my baby. There is NO way I'd have deprived him of playing in the grass, stalking grasshoppers, or lying on the deck soaking up the sunshine in the fresh air.

He crossed that darn rainbow bridge a few years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think about him. RIP little one....
 
M James
Posts: 122
22
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alana, I, too, refuse to sign the control freak adoption forms. The folks at our local humane society came up with a 7 page contract that included never allowing the cat outdoors, ever. They took it further by declaring that if your cat was ever seen outside, they would confiscate it and you would lose your beloved cat forever. No thanks.

Like most dictators, they wanted to legally control YOU, but not even ONE of the board members followed their own rules. Can we say hypocrite (sp)? Each and every board member had at least one cat, and all of them were free to go outside whenever they wanted. Some even had doggie doors for them.

If I ever decide to adopt another cat, I will simply wait til somebody's cat has kittens. Plenty of people advertise free ones on facebook and craigslist. Freeeeedom! Lol!
 
pollinator
Posts: 920
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
316
kids dog home care duck rabbit urban books building writing ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Most cities have ordinances about roaming (unleashed) dogs.
Dogs can be serious threats to children, pets, livestock.
They often revert to their feral 'pack' habits.

Cats, on the other hand are solitary hunters that seldom attack anything bigger than themselves.
They pose no real threat to humanity, or 'village life'.
They have been valued by civilizations for thousands of years for their ability to control rodent populations (and disease).
If mankind was as clean as a cat, we wouldn't need them.  



To be clear, we are speaking of an subURBAN environment, a city, houses, lawns, backyards - not farms, acreages, fields etc.  So I ask the following questions, keeping in mind we are speaking of a location where you will often find 10-20 cats per city block, and factoring the damage this concentration will do to local songbirds, mammals, reptiles, insects...

HOW can free roaming cats EVER be reconciled with permaculture???  Does a roaming cat not have the same effect as "toxic gick" when they are literally denuding the neighborhood of beneficial insects, birds, mammals and reptiles with ten times the efficacy of chemical poisons???

Why is it cats are the only domesticated animal allowed to roam at will; tell me, are your pigs, fowl, cattle or goats allowed to eat and poop on your unwilling neighbors property?  
Why do cats engage in that most uncommon of character traits, of killing for fun; in humans we call that being a psychopath.
Why are my friendly, roll over and lick your toes friendly, 5-7 lb dogs considered, supposedly, dangerous, and yet the nasty, hissing neighbors cats not???
Why are dogs not allowed to poop wherever, whenever they want; yet the neighbors cats can defecate and spray all over MY property???
Why is it I can be fined for wildlife harassment if my dog(s) chase, interfere with or injure wildlife; but for a cat it is "meh, he is only doing what comes 'naturally'."
Why is it dogs are subject to noise complaints; yet the neighbors unfixed cats can yowl and screech all night long???
Why is it that when a cat kills a bird or lizard or bunny it is "nature" but when the eagle picks off their pet cat it is called "murder"???  (I do wildlife rescue, you would not believe how often I get this call, AND they want something "done" about the eagle!!!).
Why is it everyone touts what is "natural" for cats when they are NOT naturally occurring in MOST parts of the world; IF they are NOT naturally occurring then they are an "invasive" species, that should be contained.

NO, I do not hate cats, I just spent 4 mths fostering a near death neonate kitten, and I have been owned by cats in the past.  I just am SOOOO tired of all the excuses folks have for cats, the "exceptions" that exist for cats, that NO other domestic animal gets; and I am sooooo tired of the blah di blah blah about rats/mice - plenty of places have figured this one out - nature will balance itself, assuming we allow only those who should be naturally out there, be out there.

Let your cat out or not, that is your choice - but do at least contain your animals to your own property be it with a CATIO, securely fenced yard, or other means such as a leash; as is expected with ANY other sort of domesticated animals or livestock.

***again, to be clear, the question was about subURBAN cats, not rural cats.
 
M James
Posts: 122
22
  • Likes 1 Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lorinne,

Several of our close neighbors had cats at the same time we did, and there were still plenty of birds, snakes and mice. It seems to be true that cats kill for the pleasure of it, but God created them to do what they do.

As for me, I'd much rather the cats kill the mice and all the grasshoppers they can find. It saves me having to do it. I won't allow grasshoppers to devour my garden plants if I can help it, nor will I willingly allow mice to share my home.

As for snakes, I absolutely hate them. I felt safe from them with the cats around. I'll undoubtedly catch some flack for that statement, but, alas, I don't care. I hate 'em.

As a child, we lived in an old house with a basement built of rock and cement. It had a crawl space with a dirt floor under the kitchen. We almost always had a mouse problem in the winter. Plenty of cats outside, but still plenty of mice. Imagine how things would've been without the cats. Overrun with disease carrying mice. Same with the awful snakes. I even saw one in the basement. The cat population was a blessing.

Many occasions, I'd hear a nasty mouse making noise upstairs where my bedroom was. Chewing away at our house, wiring, or belongings. I'd go get the cat and he'd take care of the problem in an instant.

As far as I could tell, the ecology wasn't harmed the least little bit by the behavior of the cats. Furthermore, using cats as exterminators saves the environment from toxic, unnatural poisons, and they accomplish the same goal. Win-win.

The problems with cats defecating and destroying other people's properties can be a problem. It's mighty difficult to keep a cat from going where it wants to go. Never would I consider tethering my cat outside because cats would be like sitting ducks to any stray dog wandering through. Nor do I believe they should be kept indoors all their lives. Maybe catch the cat on trail camera and you have proof of what happened and whose cat did it. If the cat's family is reasonable, they'll compensate you and try to remedy future problems. If not, there's always taking them to court.

Your scenario with the eagle: Because the eagle ain't a family member and the cat is, that's why the outcry. Wouldn't you be upset if a wild animal killed your family member, or would you just shrug your shoulders and get back to what you were doing before the incident?  I can't justify them calling animal control because of what the eagle did, however. It's nature, and sometimes she's rather cruel. But I can absolutely understand the emotions.

Cats and dogs are very different creatures, so we can't expect them to behave the same way. My experience has been that dogs strive to please people, but cats are much more independent and aren't quite as focused on pleasing people as dogs are. They do occasionally hiss and snarl. That's a sign they should be left alone at that time. Plenty of dogs have their moods as well. I don't consider cats a threat nearly much as dogs. I can't recall that anybody has ever been attacked or killed by the common house cat, but many, many people have been mauled and killed by dogs. As a child I was always outside, and have a lot of not-so-good dog stories, which is why I fear dogs if they're medium or large sized, even though I have one of my own lol! I'm not afraid of ours though lol!
 
Lorinne Anderson
pollinator
Posts: 920
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
316
kids dog home care duck rabbit urban books building writing ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To be clear,  we are speaking about URBAN and SUBURBAN areas; cities not acreage, bush or farms.  

M James:   you don't like grasshoppers, are "afraid" of snakes (who would EAT the unwelcome grasshoppers!!!); suggest it is "wrong" for a cat to be killed by wildlife in NEED of a meal, but it is perfectly "okay" for cats to kill wildlife for TOYS because "GOD MADE THEM THAT WAY"!?!?!?  Based on this ideology,  then I guess some humans were "made by God" to become serial murderers also, and we should be okay with that?!?!

Personally, I find these justifications seem completely illogical, and at direct odds with the permies philosophy.

In my opinion, NO person or domestic animal (dog, chicken, pig ,duck, horse, cow, goat etc.) has the RIGHT to roam on anothers PERSONAL PROERTY, to predate on native flora and fauna (frogs, toads, songbirds, dragonflies and other beneficial insects) OR others pets, be a road hazard, or be a nuisance to neighbours.  It is morally, and I suspect in most areas, legally offensive. That folks think CATS are different or should somehow "get a pass" is, to me, ludicrous.

More and more, in URBAN and SUBURBAN
areas, by-laws are rightfully being enacted that restricts cats, in the same manner as dogs.  They must be confined to your property,  under control,  not roaming or at large.  This does not mean "locked up"; they can be fenced,  in a catio, tethered, or on leash (yep, that IS a thing!), and are subject to fines, incarceration, or confiscation.

Again, we are speaking about CITIES not farms, acreage etc.  To me these are very separate issues; the concentration of urban,  roaming, cats "per acre" is generally ten to one hundred times that of rural areas.  Add to that the vastness of urban sprawl, the lack of natural habitat found in URBAN areas, noise, artificial light and vehicle traffic - wildlife has ENOUGH pressure already.

No one would be okay with a Terrier running loose, getting into backyards, digging,  pooping, chasing and killing birds etc.; yet somehow cat owners suggest that their pet is "different" ???  ...Pretty sure "God" made terriers "that way" also, just saying...

50 years ago there were no seat belts, personal computers did not exist, no one drove at 50-100kms/hrs in urban areas, and yes, cats AND dogs roamed free.  

Perhaps it is time to truly look at how much things have changed, and change how we value cats.  They should be as cherished and protected from harm as our dogs.  That means contained, so they are not at risk of death from humans,  vehicles, wildlife or a host of other harmful situations cats encounter whilst roaming free.

 🐕‍🦺 🐈 🐕 🐈‍⬛ 🐩 😺 🦮 🐈‍⬛ 🐩  😸 🐶 😻 🐕‍🦺

***I foster critical care cats and neonate kittens; so NO I am not a cat hater.  Cats I raise are harness and leash trained - MUCH easier than dogs - as most go to urban homes, where it is illegal, here, for kitties to roam unattended or at large.


 
pollinator
Posts: 148
Location: Western MA, zone 6b
51
dog forest garden urban
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My cat went out on a harness and leash with us when he was younger.   Now at 9 years he's very reliable off leash in the yard,  he goes out WITH me and the dogs,  he does not stay out on his own at all.   He's also had a screened in "catio" so he can get fresh air and watch the birds, etc. without wandering.   I just put a cat door in the screen of a window and had that go out to his catio.   It's closed at night and during the winter.
catyard.jpg
[Thumbnail for catyard.jpg]
 
Michael Fundaro
pollinator
Posts: 160
Location: Southern Utah
35
chicken building homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A pet is a pet.  Regardless of the species, if you own it and love it you should consider keeping is safe in your home or on your property.  Any effort to rationalize allowing your pet to roam onto someone elses property is just an excuse created to fit your opinion.

If I had a dog, and when I had a dog, I would keep it on my property or on a leash when out for a walk.  We keep our chickens in their run, they are never on the neighbors lawn or in the neighbors garden.  We do not let our turkeys onto our roof simply because we don't want them to stray onto the neighbors roof, to ensure this they are put into their enclosed run before the sun begins to set.  The horse stays in his enclosure unless out for a ride, and if he drops some apples we go back and collect the pile.  I won't even let my fish swim in the neighbors pool regardless of how often they ask to go out and play.   =-)

As I have mentioned before, if a cat strays anywhere near our chicken run and happens into the live trap it will be relocated to a friendly barn where it can play with the field mice.  The one time a dog climbed into our chicken run the sheriff deputy was called because the dog had no tag, and we were unable to locate an owner and every time we eased up on holding the dog it tried to go after the birds again.  The deputy said it was a 90 minute drive to take the dog to the pound and said it would have been easier if the dog was put down when it was attacking the animals, as the law allows.  I don't want to put down a dog because it's owner wouldn't keep it safe at home but if a good kick doesn't make the dog back away we will protect our animals.  

Regardless of your pet, please keep it safe  in your home or on your property or on a leash.  Our pets health and safety is our responsibility.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2701
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
458
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've buried tons of cats. Definitely pet cats. Came into the yard and were murdered by our dogs. We buried them without informing the owners. That said we have 5 cats outside right now. Some city person abandoned a mama cat who kept having babies in our garage. It got out of hand. We've fixed them all now, and we are bitter about it. They are a great annoyance. That said they also kill things with joy in their heart and we've noticed a decrease in the local rabbit population, so that's nice!
 
Michael Fundaro
pollinator
Posts: 160
Location: Southern Utah
35
chicken building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

elle sagenev wrote:We've buried tons of cats. Definitely pet cats. Came into the yard and were murdered by our dogs. We buried them without informing the owners. That said we have 5 cats outside right now. Some city person abandoned a mama cat who kept having babies in our garage. It got out of hand. We've fixed them all now, and we are bitter about it. They are a great annoyance. That said they also kill things with joy in their heart and we've noticed a decrease in the local rabbit population, so that's nice!



(not arguing, just curious)
I understand but, is the local wild rabbit population a bad thing?
And with that, the stray pet cats in our community killing the pet rabbits in the enclosed rabbit area (open top) and a large amount of chickens in chicken runs from several families is why the locals here started either relocating the cats, or removing them permanently.  The rabbits and chickens were not doing anything wrong and the stray cats were where they should not have been.  The lucky stray cats go into the hills to chase field mice and be chased by coyotes, the unlucky stray cats are put down by the few that are tired of losing their own critters.
I have also noticed a huge reduction in the wild rabbit and wild jackrabbit population the past few years.  Since there is rarely a pack of coyotes howling in the hills at night I suspect the stray cats may be to blame for their decline.
Is the cat owner to blame or the owners of the victim rabbits and cats?
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2701
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
458
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael Fundaro wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:We've buried tons of cats. Definitely pet cats. Came into the yard and were murdered by our dogs. We buried them without informing the owners. That said we have 5 cats outside right now. Some city person abandoned a mama cat who kept having babies in our garage. It got out of hand. We've fixed them all now, and we are bitter about it. They are a great annoyance. That said they also kill things with joy in their heart and we've noticed a decrease in the local rabbit population, so that's nice!



(not arguing, just curious)
I understand but, is the local wild rabbit population a bad thing?
And with that, the stray pet cats in our community killing the pet rabbits in the enclosed rabbit area (open top) and a large amount of chickens in chicken runs from several families is why the locals here started either relocating the cats, or removing them permanently.  The rabbits and chickens were not doing anything wrong and the stray cats were where they should not have been.  The lucky stray cats go into the hills to chase field mice and be chased by coyotes, the unlucky stray cats are put down by the few that are tired of losing their own critters.
I have also noticed a huge reduction in the wild rabbit and wild jackrabbit population the past few years.  Since there is rarely a pack of coyotes howling in the hills at night I suspect the stray cats may be to blame for their decline.
Is the cat owner to blame or the owners of the victim rabbits and cats?



Right so this would be a long answer but I'll keep it short as I can. Everything permaculture I've done has made an amazing habitat for wildlife. Add to that our dogs, who keep almost every predator off our property, and it's a sanctuary.  It became such a sanctuary that our neighbors commented on how many rabbits they would see on our property as they drove past. It was out of hand. The only way to feed that many rabbits through the winter is if they eat EVERYTHING. Every single tree. Every single bush. Everything I planted. Let me assure you, we had TONS of rabbits.

Then the ground squirrels. The earthworks became a playground for them. Every time I planted a garden they were there. They were eating the tree roots. I lifted one tree completely out of the ground after it was eaten away. They were eating everything. Add the oil drilling around us and they were flocking to our property in droves. They were also dying from disease and it was just yuck.

Also, birds. We have A LOT of birds. like A LOT. We have a lot of shrubs that feed them and I don't mind them one bit EXCEPT they will not stay out of anything ever. Kids keep leaving the door to their clubhouse open and they'd get in to nest. Except there wasn't enough space and the babies were always falling out and smashing on the clubhouse floor. The clubhouse is completely unusable. I keep trying to keep nesting areas blocked but they are far more determined than anticipated. I thought spray foam, the black kind, would keep them out but they just pecked it out making a massive mess. It seems like the tiniest hole and they're in. Also the greenhouse. I don't want birds in there but somehow they keep finding their way in, getting stuck and dying everywhere. It got so bad with birds in the barn that I was getting crap on my head every single time I went in there to feed the pigs. I started going in with a tennis racket.

So, it's way more under control now and I can't complain about the mass murder of all these creatures. I feel a little bit bad about it, but if my bushes and trees survive the winter I might just encourage more cats. Though the cat crap in my garden and them sharpening their claws on the trees and constantly trying to get into the house is exhausting.
 
Michael Fundaro
pollinator
Posts: 160
Location: Southern Utah
35
chicken building homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rabbits are an abundant and delicious meal and the reproduce abundantly for such a purpose.  Squirrels can be a good meal or a nutritious meal for your dogs.  A properly maintained habitat will have an abundance of food for most all habitants, so if the rabbits are over abundant use them as a nutritious meal.  If the squirrels are plentiful feed the dogs.  For every perceived problem their is a solution.  If everything seems to be flourishing you are doing things rights, but if the rabbits and squirrels seem to be overwhelming you need to create a use for those critters.
 
If you two don't stop this rough-housing somebody is going to end up crying. Sit down and read this tiny ad:
Pre-order Certified Garden Master course - LIVE Stream
https://permies.com/wiki/170833/Pre-order-Certified-Garden-Master
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic