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  #21  
Old 05-31-2013, 06:06 PM
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Well, I'm one of those people who think indoor/outdoor cats have the best life...and will likely never own a cat unless it can be an indoor/outdoor cat safely.

All five of my mom's cats (including Apollo) are indoor/outdoor. One of the reasons Apollo is not with me right now is because he would quite literally go insane if he were confined to a one bedroom apartment and not be able to go outside. He becomes increasingly aggressive/unstable if he is kept confined to the house.

All of the cats are spayed/neutered. Mom lives on ten acres away from any main roads. They typically explore our yard, our field, and our neighbor's field. Mikey and Apollo both have needed to have an abscess cleaned/flushed at the vets, and I think it is very important to realize that if you have an animal that goes outside unattended, you need to be extra vigilant about checking them over frequently to make sure everything is on the up and up. We have to keep up with deworming, too, as they all hunt.

If you're okay with the risks (aka, he doesn't come back one day or comes back injured), then I'd say go for it.

I would be devastated if Apollo were to turn up missing one day...but I'd feel even worse if I had to keep him indoors 24/7.
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  #22  
Old 05-31-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by LauraLeigh View Post
That is absolutely not an issue here, we live on 400 acres and the two farms near us are larger, we literally have two neighbors for at least a mile on each side of us...
You might want to rethink this. Free roaming cats can have ranges in excess of 1 sq mile. On a homesteading forum I frequent, the number one cause of SSS of neighboring cats is because they pick fights with those that live on the farm. Also what if they are conservation minded hunters trying to build or maintain small game populations. I don't care if I have 400,000 acres, in my mind that land is for the native wildlife and your nonnative invasive predator is NOT welcome. I might be polite & indirect at first by explaining how dumped & free roaming cats were destroying the resident wildlife AND how I had to go about getting rid of them.
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  #23  
Old 05-31-2013, 06:22 PM
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I never said cats in general, I specifically said owned (as in regularly fed, have a consistent home base with incentive to stick close, neutered so as not to roam) cats. Feral cats, semi-feral cats... no argument there. I wouldn't be opposed to them being exterminated, and I'm not at all opposed to people culling them (though I do really like cats and am saddened by it). And I don't think it's fair to include island ecology in this, because island ecosystems are often unique, extra fragile and without native predators.

I skimmed a couple of the articles you left (and I mean really skimmed, I should go back and re-read the better ones):

Quote:
The magnitude of mortality they cause in mainland areas remains speculative, with large-scale estimates based on non-systematic analyses and little consideration of scientific data... We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually. Un-owned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality.
Of course outdoor (pet) cats kill things. But what are they killing? Native species, introduced species? What are the population trends of those native species? I used IUCN to look up the species of birds I can remember us getting around our place:

American Robin—least concern, population increasing
American Goldfinch—least concern, population increasing
House Finch—least concern, population increasing
Black-Capped Chickadee—least concern, population increasing
Fox Sparrow—least concern, population stable
Dark-Eyed Junco—least concern, population stable
Spotted Towhee—least concern, population stable
House Sparrow—least concern, population decreasing (**introduced species)
Song Sparrow—least concern, population stable

None of them seem to be in trouble (though I'm sure I missed some). As far as mammals go, most of our small mammals are introduced anyways (grey squirrels, house mice, Norwegian rats)... otherwise there are some species of vole, which I'm guessing aren't in any sort of trouble. My guess is that the majority of wildlife you find in developed areas has adapted to living with people and isn't in any trouble (I'm sure there are exceptions).

One of your articles says:
Quote:
Native species make up the majority of the birds preyed upon by cats. On average, only 33% of bird prey items identified to species were non-native species in 10 studies with 438 specimens of 58 species.
So it may be 1/3 of birds killed by cats are invasive competition for native bird species.

Other things to consider: what is the health of the animals they are killing? Are these species impacted by density dependent factors (e.g. do only xx% of them survive the winter due to competition over food; do only xx% win appropriate breeding sites )? To what extent have has cat predation replaced that by native predators whose populations have been reduced by human activity?

That said, in some areas I'm sure pet cats do have a significant impact on a population (maybe one of the few nesting sites for an endangered species), and yes they should be kept out of those areas, pets or not.
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  #24  
Old 05-31-2013, 06:41 PM
Adjecyca1 Adjecyca1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xandra View Post
I never said cats in general, I specifically said owned (as in regularly fed, have a consistent home base with incentive to stick close, neutered so as not to roam) cats. Feral cats, semi-feral cats... no argument there. I wouldn't be opposed to them being exterminated, and I'm not at all opposed to people culling them (though I do really like cats and am saddened by it). And I don't think it's fair to include island ecology in this, because island ecosystems are often unique, extra fragile and without native predators.

I skimmed a couple of the articles you left (and I mean really skimmed, I should go back and re-read the better ones):



Of course outdoor (pet) cats kill things. But what are they killing? Native species, introduced species? What are the population trends of those native species? I used IUCN to look up the species of birds I can remember us getting around our place:

American Robin—least concern, population increasing
American Goldfinch—least concern, population increasing
House Finch—least concern, population increasing
Black-Capped Chickadee—least concern, population increasing
Fox Sparrow—least concern, population stable
Dark-Eyed Junco—least concern, population stable
Spotted Towhee—least concern, population stable
House Sparrow—least concern, population decreasing (**introduced species)
Song Sparrow—least concern, population stable

None of them seem to be in trouble (though I'm sure I missed some). As far as mammals go, most of our small mammals are introduced anyways (grey squirrels, house mice, Norwegian rats)... otherwise there are some species of vole, which I'm guessing aren't in any sort of trouble. My guess is that the majority of wildlife you find in developed areas has adapted to living with people and isn't in any trouble (I'm sure there are exceptions).

One of your articles says:


So it may be 1/3 of birds killed by cats are invasive competition for native bird species.

Other things to consider: what is the health of the animals they are killing? Are these species impacted by density dependent factors (e.g. do only xx% of them survive the winter due to competition over food; do only xx% win appropriate breeding sites )? To what extent have has cat predation replaced that by native predators whose populations have been reduced by human activity?

That said, in some areas I'm sure pet cats do have a significant impact on a population (maybe one of the few nesting sites for an endangered species), and yes they should be kept out of those areas, pets or not.
Cats create competition for natural predators, and take food sources from them,also un vaccinated cats have the potential to spread diseases to wild cats.

Just because cats kill some invasive species, and native species that aren't in trouble doesn't mean cats aren't negatively impacting the environment, we have often in the past brought in an invasive species to take care of another invasive species and it usually just makes things worse.
Cats do not know the difference between an endangered animal and one that is not.Most areas aren't monitored enough for us to know whether there is a decent population of least shrews (which are endangered in my area). Most people wouldn't know if their cat was killing an endangered rodent or not.
There are a lot of small animals and birds that are endangered in my area, and the number of cats in the area probably isn't helping. I bet in most areas there is a decent list of small birds and mammals that are endangered and are probably seriously threatened by the increasing cat population. Cats hunt more than our native predators, are higher in numbers, and are on average more successful with their hunts, and therefor cause more damage for native small mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, as well as some predators..


And really how many people can tell the difference between the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel and the Grey Squirrel? If there yard was full of the endangered species their cats were killing they probably wouldn't have a clue

Last edited by Adjecyca1; 05-31-2013 at 06:51 PM.
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  #25  
Old 05-31-2013, 06:57 PM
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Our cat is indoors only. He goes outside, but it's an upstairs patio, shaded and it's where his litterbox is. He's only allowed out there, supervised inside, or in his kennel. He seems happy enough. He's just a naughty boy kitty at the moment that gets into everything, so he needs safe places to play.

I can't let him completely outside, though. He's not an outdoor type of cat. Too people-oriented and he really doesn't like stranger cats. There's a few that comes by and he gets VERY amped up and territorial. He's gotten down once or twice, but he usually comes right back up.
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  #26  
Old 05-31-2013, 07:39 PM
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I hate the idea of outdoor cats. Its my job to keep my cat safe and I can't do that if he's roaming (plus its annoying to others yada yada).

We've had multiple cats come in on the brink of death, their owners have no clue what happened or what they got into because the cats go outside. Usually it is too late for our efforts and best guesses to do any good. And yes, it frustrates and angers me because its completely avoidable.

If my cat wants to go out, he's confined to the backyard.
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  #27  
Old 05-31-2013, 07:52 PM
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Leash train the cat. Have a tie out for the cat. Please do not just let the cat out to roam - too many things can go wrong. We do it for dogs, why is it so difficult for people to do with cats?
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  #28  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:16 PM
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Quality of life vs quantity.

That's the question I ask myself everytime I think about indoor/outdoor cats. We currently have one indoor/outdoor cat and one indoor cat. I'll be honest, I feel sorry for our indoor cat. He seems deprived and just....bored. Bored in a way that playing with him doesn't seem to fix.

My family has always kept indoor/outdoor cats. We've had some disappear, some come back injured and some that live to a very old age but one thing each and every one of those cats had in common was this sense of enjoyment that I couldn't bring myself to take away from them no matter the inner turmoil of worrying if this will be the day they don't come back.

I really think it comes down to your cat, your location, and what you yourself are able to deal with.
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  #29  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julee View Post
Leash train the cat. Have a tie out for the cat. Please do not just let the cat out to roam - too many things can go wrong. We do it for dogs, why is it so difficult for people to do with cats?
I can see a great many ways he could hurt or hang himself on a leash... I'd rather keep him in than do that, we're not talking about a young cat here, but a full grown male cat..

And I understand the worries, but my two were 8, home every night and always within shouting range, they never got hurt or injured and about the only extra was extra shots and dewormer...

They were happy and healthy loving boys right until their last day, they weren't feral by any means and actually didn't even ask out all winter or if they did promptly asked back in LOL they were rather spoiled fair weather kitties...

My childhood cat was also indoor outdoor and lived to almost 20 when Mom had to put her down from cancer

This has been my first attempt at strictly indoor cats, and Hannah is totally ok with it... Boozer not so much...
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  #30  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Linds View Post
Quality of life vs quantity.

That's the question I ask myself everytime I think about indoor/outdoor cats. We currently have one indoor/outdoor cat and one indoor cat. I'll be honest, I feel sorry for our indoor cat. He seems deprived and just....bored. Bored in a way that playing with him doesn't seem to fix.

My family has always kept indoor/outdoor cats. We've had some disappear, some come back injured and some that live to a very old age but one thing each and every one of those cats had in common was this sense of enjoyment that I couldn't bring myself to take away from them no matter the inner turmoil of worrying if this will be the day they don't come back.

I really think it comes down to your cat, your location, and what you yourself are able to deal with.
Perfectly worded. This is exactly how I feel about the whole situation

Combine that with a total hatred of litter boxes and an ambivalence towards cats in general.. and I do believe the outdoor/indoor cat thing would most likely be my preference if I ever got saddled with a cat in the first place.
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