Responsible Cat Ownership
What Is Responsible Cat Ownership?
Cat owners have a responsibility to their cat and the community to ensure their cat is housed, managed and kept responsibly. Irresponsible ownership can jeopardise the safety of the animal and further tarnish the reputation of the cat when it is simply behaving as a cat does.
People often have divided opinions about cats, you either like them or dislike them. Cats are seen in the community as either a friend or a pest.
This information is designed to help cat owners and/or people thinking of getting a cat to house and manage their pets. This is healthier for the cat, the family and the wider community.
Housing & Management of Cats
Traditionally cats have roamed the neighbourhood making themselves at home with everyone. Cat owners are now realising the benefits of keeping their cats as indoor only pets. Statistics show that indoor cats have a healthier and longer lives than their outdoor cousins.
Before you let your feline friend outside you need to ask yourself…
“Is it fair to let my cat out to wander in other peoples properties? Possibly causing damage and pooping and peeing on other people’s gardens?” “Would I allow a dog the same freedom? “How would I feel if the neighbours dog or cat came over to my place and did the same thing?”
Cat owners can give their cat the best of both worlds by providing a safe outdoor enclosure for their cat. This allows the cat to experience the outdoors but in a controlled environment. Enclosures can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
The ideal cat enclosure will contain space for the cat to run around with climbing options and plenty of shade and resting places. There are many companies who manufacture cat enclosures or you may pick up a second-hand aviary or similar which can easily be converted to a cat enclosure. Online auction sites often have cat enclosures and aviaries for sale at reasonable cost.
Benefits of Keeping Cats Indoors are:
- Dogs – Many cats are killed or seriously injured in attacks by dogs.
- Cars – Cats do not have any road sense. Many cross the roads successfully but one day their luck may run out and they could get hit by a car & possibly die a slow and painful death.
- Wildlife – Prevent your cat from hunting native wildlife. Hunting is a normal behaviour for cats and they can’t be blamed for this when humans allow them to roam uncontrolled.
- Better health for your cat – Indoor cats don’t get into cat fights causing nasty abscess, which are very painful for the cat and needs to be treated by a veterinarian.
Understanding Cat Behaviour
By nature, cats are predators, they need to hunt for food to survive. Humans would go to the supermarkets and cats look around the environment. Cats also roam to provide themselves with mental & physical exercise. Unfortunately, your neighbours many not appreciate your cat coming onto their property. When cats roam they often urinate and defecate on lawns and gardens and can cause damage to cars by jumping on and off them.
Roaming Cats & the Law
There is no law prohibiting cats from roaming. Cat owners need to be aware that if their cat roams onto private property and causes damage it may be declared a nuisance cat.
If you have a stray cat around your home or work place you should leave the cat alone as they are known to roam long distances from their own property & will go back, there as long as you don’t provide them with food or water as this will encourage the cat to stay hanging around.