Should Cats be Allowed to Roam

401 Words2 Pages
Many people believe that because of cats’ independent nature, they should be allowed to roam free. This allows them to satisfy their hunting instincts and to function within cat society, one that has its own rules and structure. Some people assert that free-roaming cats are happier cats, living a life closer to that intended by Nature. This is all true, but it is not compatible with modern life in suburban North America. Roaming cats are susceptible to attack by other animals, to trapping by angry neighbours, and most of all, to traffic accidents. Despite leash laws in most communities, mauled cats often turn up in veterinarians’ offices and city pounds. A cat raised with dogs may not recognize a dangerous dog quickly enough. Also, coyotes are a concern in most parts of Canada, including suburban areas, as most domestic cats have lost the degree of wariness they need to protect themselves against wild predators. A cat is also unequipped to protect itself against traps set out by angry neighbours. Some cities, such as Edmonton, provide live capture traps. In most other cities the traps can be rented from private firms. The welfare of the cat is then in the hands of the person who was angry enough to trap it. Cats in the suburbs have to live with other people, not just with other cats, and they cannot be expected to understand the human notion of territory. Do pet owners have the right to make neighbours “share” their animals involuntarily, especially when cats exercise their feline rights to spray, dig gardens, and fight? The serious injuries seen most frequently by veterinarians are those caused by cars (next is injuries from falls). According to the Humane Society, free-roaming cats live shorter lives than those kept contained. Car accidents are a major contributor to the shorter life expectancy of outdoor cats. Cars are not

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