Discussion in 'January And Everything After' started by Dan Lawrence, Jan 4, 2012.
Sjofn is a GODDESS, dammit. So I'm more like a deity sexist or something.
Not all free-roaming cats are killers, though. The 'Kitty Cam' Research done by the University of Georgia found that 44% of cats hunted wildlife. It's enough to be a significant concern, but I think a lot more wildlife is killed by feral cats than housecats. Still, if I had a cat I'd probably keep them indoors for their own safety, as well.
"A lot more wildlife is killed by feral cats", true or not, is a meaningless number in this context (ie it's important in the assessment of overall bird welfare, but not in terms of what owners should do with their cats). In the best case scenario of that study, it's still tacit consent to and encouragement of bird killing to take the non-native species you are responsible for and loose it on the environment. So if it drags up a mangled carcass on to a sofa and you find this noteworthy, I would say you either got what you wanted or are in denial about your level of responsibility in it. This doesn't make you a bad person or anything, we all do inconsiderate things from time or just have different levels of concern we accord to things outside of our sight. But once it's brought to your attention, it's probably time to set aside habit and pretense and think it through. Again, unless killing birds is an outcome you find acceptable.
Obviously, I'm not making an argument about the "morality" of cats obeying their nature; the WWF's advice is actually to create a controlled environment where they can safely indulge stalking.
This is pretty much why my cats are strictly-indoor (Hermes) or outdoor-only-under-direct-supervision (Hebe). I feel like I'm doing them a disservice as a caregiver if I let them out and they get mauled by a coyote or a neighbor's dog or hit by a car or contract something horrible from another cat. I felt bad enough when Hebe got fleas and gave them to Hermes.
Yeah I don't let them out and never plan to, for both the bird reason and the not getting hit by a car reason. Before we got Jack (and his predecessor Gilly, who sadly had FIP) I tried to adopt a 2nd cat from a co-worker, who refused to let me adopt one on the ground that I wasn't going to let them outside. That conversation didn't go real well.
Yes, and this is no small thing as it's heartbreaking when pets get out by accident and get hurt. There really is no upside except for a romanticized notion of having a "wild" pet or getting said "wild" pet out of your hair when they get antsy.
I appreciate that the cat outdoor leash is tragicomic on a good day, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I mean, I walk around with a thin-furred mutt in a christmas sweater all winter, it's just the kind of compromise you strike between nature and your pet's welfare.
Is your coworker one of those people that doesn't like neutering animals because it "deprives them of manhood"?
I don't know what her problem was. She was European. /waves hand like that explains it
I'd say you should've just lied and said you totally would let the cat outside and be done with it, but then we wouldn't have had Gilly or Jack, so. Worked out, I guess.
I don't see what's so absurd about thinking there might be a problem with not letting a cat outside. To think otherwise is to assume the cat is entirely indifferent to its environment, beyond obvious extremes. I've known cats who prefer to spend almost all their time inside, and others which are noticeably less relaxed and prone to displays of anxiety when inside as compared to their much more relaxed behaviour outside. I've certainly known cats which appear to love exploring gardens, wooded areas, and above all rolling in the sun.
Inferences here are not proofs, of course, but are not unreasonable to my mind. The majority of looking out for a pet's welfare involves this sort of reasoning from observed behaviour. How this should be balanced, if at all, with the other considerations about birds and safety I'm not sure.
That assumes that the cat can form a preference of an environment it may not have been exposed to. Until his first escape last year, Hermes never went outside and it's hard for me to imagine missing something you don't know about (and luckily for us he's terrified of everything so he promptly got himself stuck under the porch trying to hide from the big scary outdoors, rather than running into the street or something). So, my default assumption is exactly that there's no problem in not letting a cat outside, unless it's one that simply cannot be inside (feral cats, for example). Kittens, however, are malleable enough that there shouldn't be a need for them to ever go outdoors.
I guess the short version of what I'm saying is that it's hard to make a cat that's already an outdoor cat is into an indoor cat, but there's no reason I can think of that a cat can't be an exclusively indoor cat from kittenhood and on.
I should stress that if your cat seems perfectly happy I don't think there's an issue. But you're making a really big assumption there about cat psychology. It's not that the cat would "miss" an environment it hadn't experienced, it's whether the cat (and given the diversity of characters cats seem to have which cat in particular is relevant) has any innate urges for the type of experiences the outdoors provides. A diversity of sights and smells, exploring changing environments, a sense of openness and space. There's no reason to assume these need to be experienced to be relevant to a given animal's welfare.
To give an extreme example we wouldn't say that about an elephant. It's much less obvious in the case of cats, of course, but again, I think there are some reasons to think some cats might lead better lives with access to the outdoors.
Kittens I'd agree with, but kittens naturally spend most of their time in the litter anyway.
Making an indoor/outdoor cat indoor-only isn't impossible either. The cat my family had in NJ was indoor/outdoor for most of his life (he was born a glorified barn cat my little sister adopted from one of her friends, who had a horse farm) (cue Ingmar making a smugface at me about how I grew up in RURAL NEW JERSEY). Eventually my parents moved to a new place, and because they are sometimes terrible people, they didn't want to keep him because shut up, that's why. Luckily, my brother had a friend who offered to take him, and he went about making him an indoor-only cat at the age of 14.
Tyler still occasionally attempts to go outside, not to escape but just because. Hey. It's only outside, what's the big deal? But he's otherwise adapted quite well to life indoors, and even has a new BFF (the friend's dad is sort of a recluse due to a crippling anxiety problem, and he and Tyler wub each other).
Also Tyler was a murderer, so I'm glad he's finally indoor-only. :P
I'd argue that you could provide these things to indoor-only cats, but I realize that it's not always possible to do so, due to cost or inattentive caregivers. So, fair enough.
At the same time, we get awesome things like these when problem-solving this sort of issue:
Totally on my wishlist for my dream home. I'd love for Hebe to be able to go 'outside' without me watching over her or having her in a harness.
Oboe has finally accepted his indoor life (we adopted him as an adult and he was clearly an indoor/outdoor cat). I think the last time he got out and nearly got mauled by no shit like 8 alley cats -- we finally found him and he was on a stoop with seriously eight cats staring and starting to bristle and hiss at him, partially because the crazy old man down the block leaves fucking cat food out (and used to leave it in my fucking driveway, which just tickled me pink with frothing rage) -- scared him straight.
He's also been crazy-freaking snuggly for the last few months. He's always liked me if not any other humans, but now he luuuuuuuuuuurvs me all the time and is pretty friendly with other folks. It's weird. I figure he's just getting old and slower, though he still plays like a boss when the mood strikes him.
EDIT: Obligatory photo, here with him being very affronted at the emptiness of his food bowl.
Oboe is a funny name, and he is very handsome.
Agreed! Hallo, handsome kitty with a very classy name. :D
Our cats are indoor/outdoor and it worries me. As they get older they are in more often, and we try to get them in around sundown (we have a cat door that can be set to let them in but not out). The male is really dead set on going out; the female likes to sit on the patio but doesn't really go outside of the yard most of the time.
The male regularly brings home rodents (mostly voles which are pests around here, with the occasional mouse and on one noteworthy occasion a rat). He's brought home about 2 birds a year, which makes me sad. He's very proud of his kills, so I hope we see most of them, but probably there's a lot more out there.
I have in fact made a conscious choice that this is acceptable to me, but as he gets older he stays in more, and I'm hoping we can transition him to an indoor cat eventually. One of those outdoor enclosures would be perfect.
I do think part of the reason Tyler adjusted to being indoor only in his later years is because they are, indeed, his later years, and he just plumb doesn't feel like dealing with outside as much.
He brought a dead rabbit to a party once. Good times.
I have no problem with Charlie bringing in dead birds or mice etc. It's the live ones that I take issue with. I think it's considered much less normal in the UK to confine a cat to the house. I would feel cruel confining him.
Why did this thread become about animal politics rather than just posting pictures of one's buddies? :(
Don't take my picture, I'm tired!
I'm taking an inordinate amount of joy out of scraping the plaque buildup off my dog's teeth with a tiny flathead screwdriver.
Simon's Cat Poem competition \O/ :D
In Britain, at least, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds states it believes "there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide".
You're right, of course. Here is a brand new animal ownership politics thread.
I find this hilarious coming from a Californian! *handwave*
Man, that cat is still totally plotting escape. Every cat I've owned has acted like a closed door is some sort of deeply personal insult. They don't actually want to go through the door, they are simply offended by not having the option!
Sorry human, I am fresh out of fucks to give.
Oh I'm sorry Johnny, I forgot you were still there. You may go now.
Heh, I only just noticed because I was on my phone before, but my dog is sneaking a look over the edge of the couch.
Update on Min from Saturday's painful meowing episode: lab tests found nothing and she's acting normal now, so WTF. Anyway, whatever was wrong seems to be resolved so all's well that ends expensively.
I leave for two weeks and my petsitter has Vlad doing bong hits.
He just wants you to know.
He has pretty much handed down this sweater to our other dog, for whom it is slightly too large.
So my wife had to go to a baby shower, and bought the gift weeks in advance. She ended up having to get another after she was compelled by an unseen force to unite a soft object with a soft dog.
Sometimes he spaces out and forgets that his tongue is out of his mouth, and it just sits there. I never noticed it until my wife pointed it out, and now I find it much more entertaining than I should.
See what I mean?
Oh, and we still have two dogs of course. Just one is significantly less likely to sit still for a photo.
But they make a good pair
Without the sweater and the three black dots you'd barely even know he was there.
You have no idea how often we repeat that same observation to one another.
The one with him and the teddy bear pillow thing is fucking adorable.
Lizard_King I've known dogs (and cats) that do that tongue thing. It is, in fact, hilarious.
Yeah, my wife has had several blankets 'stolen' by our first pup. And by 'stolen', I mean, my wife has given it to the dog and claims it was stolen by the dog.
If it is possible to transmit snorgles through the internet, please give some to your puppies from me. :)
your dogs are cuties!
Somebody has had too much to drink, I think.
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