When I was a young girl I always had a cat for a pet. It was always a male because my parents did not want kittens. Sadly, it seemed that around the age of two years, my cat would disappear. In those days everyone let their cats outside and hardly anyone spayed or neutered their feline pets.
I never connected the dots about this of course, I was too young. I didn’t realize that an unaltered male cat would go very far to answer the call of a female in heat. And often, on their journeys, they would meet a foul end.
Today we know better.
Sadly, not everyone acts on that knowledge. Some people continue to let their cats outside because “they want to go outside so badly and it’s cruel to make them stay inside all of the time”. This is simply not true. By keeping them indoors you are doing them a favor and you are also doing a favor for the songbirds and other small animals such as squirrels and chipmunks. Yes, cats kill many animals when they are allowed outdoors, but it’s not their fault. They are born with a hunting instinct and it is up to pet owners to prevent this, by keeping their cats in the home.
I have cats, and while they often sit in the windows and watch with interest the things going on outside, I don’t think they are suffering too much.
They have food when they want it, they have lots of things to play with,( especially each other), but most of all they are safe and warm. Sometimes one of my males will try to make an escape, but on the very few times he managed this, he hid under the deck for a few minutes, then wanted back inside.
If you want your cat to be able to go outdoors, you can train them, usually at a young age, to feel comfortable on a leash and harness. Still, they should be supervised.
In the last three years two of my cats died from old age. One was 19, the other almost 20 years of age. That’s a good life for a cat, but had they been free to go outside they probably wouldn’t have made it past the age of five.
Cars, dogs, and now foxes can be enemies for the outside cat. They can also get worms and other sicknesses from eating birds, mice, rats, garbage etc.. not to mention fleas!
One of the things that people do if they get a kitten and plan on keeping it inside, is to have it declawed. Thinking that their furniture will be safe from damage due to claw marks , they make this decision. But it is a horrid one.
Declawing is cruel. Period. There are many vets who now refuse to perform this surgery and with good reason.
When a cat has surgery to remove it’s claws, it suffers. Not only the claw is removed, but the first joint of the toe is taken as well. For humans, this would be the same as having the first joint of every finger removed.
The declawed cat can develop other issues.. They no longer have that grip which they depend on when jumping or climbing and often this can affect the cats psychologically . It makes them feel less secure and powerless when it comes to defending themselves. They can turn from being a sweet little guy, to one that is nervous and timid. Add that to the fact that your cat may sneak outside on you and be totally defenseless against dogs or even other cats and you’ve got trouble.
You may tell yourself that you paid good money for your leather furniture or whatever and don’t want to see it full of cat scratches and this justifies removing your cats claws. It doesn’t. If you are more worried about your furniture than the well being of your pet, then don’t get a cat!
Or, check out places like the Humane Society or The Animal Assistance Group. They sometimes have declawed cats that have been rescued and need homes
Even if your cat is an indoor cat, you still need to have them neutered or spayed. Male intact cats will spray all over your house and females will go into heat on a regular basis, crying and moaning morning, noon and night.
And of course, there is the chance, once again, that your kitty will somehow get outside and if there is one thing we need less of , it’s cats.
It’s estimated that there are thousands of feral cats living in this city, and they breed, unchecked, over and over. And there are simply there are many many more cats than there are homes for. The Animal Assistance Group and the Humane Society are overrun with cats and kittens looking for homes and if you are looking for a feline companion, you should check those places first. Never buy a kitten or cat. Always adopt.
There are a few pet supply stores in this city who have cats up for adoption. This is NOT the same as buying a cat. These pet stores work with rescue groups like TAAG and the Humane Society to get some of the unwanted cats a good home.
There was one pet store (that shall go unnamed) that sold kittens. The last time I saw this was over a year ago and I don’t support that store anymore because of this. They sell the kittens for around 60 dollars, but there is no neuter/spay agreement as there is when you adopt from a rescue group. As far as I’m concerned selling kittens like this just adds to the overpopulation problem.
Cats can be wonderful companions. While some people will say they are aloof, they can also be affectionate and loving. personally, I can’t lie down or have a nap without a couple of my kitties jumping up to join me. One of my cats, a beautiful, loving male waits on my bed at night until I go to bed. He waits until I’m under the covers, then taps me on the head so I will let him under there too. He’ll then curl up beside me, often grabbing my fingers in his paws as he goes to sleep, holding my hand to somehow reassure himself that I’m there.
The good thing about cats is that they are independent creatures, that you can leave at home when you go to work, and not have to worry that they are missing you too much. They probably spend most of that time sleeping. They don’t have to be walked, or taken outside to do their business and for the most part are clean. They are also very amusing and entertaining because they love to play.
They are easy pets. Just provide them with good food, a clean litter box, some affectionate playtime and of course your love.
What could be simpler?
Adopt a cat and you will find that your life gets a lot brighter ..and so does the cat’s1