I was so surprised when our veterinarian asked if our kitten was going to be an indoor cat or an outdoor cat. As if there is an option and it is alright for cats to roam free. Sure the cat wants to go outside but I keep her inside.
Cats roam free in my neighborhood and they make little cats too. There are people who believe that it is alright to let their cat roam as long as it has been spayed or neutered.
It isn’t illegal in St. Paul to let your cat roam free:
“You have the right to own a cat. In addition, your neighbor has the right to have a garden or sandbox. You are responsible for keeping your cat away from your neighbor’s property. City ordinances require that all cats must wear an anti-rabies tag when outdoors. Rabies vaccinations must be current. [From the St. Paul dot gov web site]
Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.
The house cat has long been listed among the 100 most dangerous invasive species. They kill millions of birds and other small animals each year to the point of extinction. A cat is a pet when kept inside but once when outside it is a heartless killer.
“If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy [wildlife management institute]
There was a study that shows that they only bring home about 25% of what they kill. They eat some of what they kill but they leave a lot of it where they killed it.
Being a free-range cat in St. Paul is not good for the cat either. Here are some statistics:
200 cats are killed annually in traffic
Life expectancy of a cat allowed to roam is only three to four years
Confined cats can live beyond 14 years
Over 1,200 cats are picked up each year by St. Paul animal control
Roaming cats may be a nuisance by urinating and defecating in sandboxes and gardens
Outdoor cats are susceptible to injury or death from other predatory animals
Outdoor cats are predators to wildlife such as birds
Please be a good neighbor and keep your cat inside, or on a leash.