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BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road

McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 12 - 11:23 AM
Ed T 09 Sep 12 - 11:45 AM
katlaughing 09 Sep 12 - 11:54 AM
Greg F. 09 Sep 12 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Ed 09 Sep 12 - 12:32 PM
Ed T 09 Sep 12 - 01:27 PM
Bill D 09 Sep 12 - 01:30 PM
Greg F. 09 Sep 12 - 01:30 PM
Raptor 09 Sep 12 - 01:32 PM
Eric the Viking 09 Sep 12 - 01:41 PM
CET 09 Sep 12 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Sep 12 - 02:09 PM
Greg F. 09 Sep 12 - 02:26 PM
Eric the Viking 09 Sep 12 - 03:01 PM
Deckman 09 Sep 12 - 04:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Sep 12 - 04:09 PM
Greg F. 09 Sep 12 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 12 - 06:45 PM
Jack Campin 09 Sep 12 - 06:59 PM
katlaughing 09 Sep 12 - 07:04 PM
ragdall 09 Sep 12 - 07:16 PM
Sandra in Sydney 09 Sep 12 - 07:47 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Sep 12 - 08:25 PM
Phil Cooper 09 Sep 12 - 08:41 PM
Eric the Viking 10 Sep 12 - 04:36 AM
My guru always said 10 Sep 12 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Ed 10 Sep 12 - 07:26 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Sep 12 - 07:37 AM
Janie 10 Sep 12 - 08:09 AM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Sep 12 - 09:51 AM
ranger1 10 Sep 12 - 12:19 PM
Becca72 10 Sep 12 - 01:06 PM
Bettynh 10 Sep 12 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Ed 10 Sep 12 - 06:56 PM
katlaughing 11 Sep 12 - 12:15 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 12 - 03:48 AM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Sep 12 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Sep 12 - 06:51 AM
Janie 11 Sep 12 - 08:40 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Sep 12 - 09:51 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Sep 12 - 09:53 AM
Janie 11 Sep 12 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 11 Sep 12 - 10:55 AM
Elmore 11 Sep 12 - 11:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Sep 12 - 12:18 PM
katlaughing 11 Sep 12 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Ed 11 Sep 12 - 02:20 PM
katlaughing 11 Sep 12 - 02:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Sep 12 - 04:54 PM
Janie 11 Sep 12 - 07:46 PM
katlaughing 11 Sep 12 - 08:00 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Sep 12 - 08:04 PM
Janie 11 Sep 12 - 08:30 PM
Janie 11 Sep 12 - 08:46 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Sep 12 - 08:46 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Sep 12 - 03:40 PM
Bettynh 13 Sep 12 - 01:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Sep 12 - 04:48 PM
JennieG 13 Sep 12 - 05:50 PM
gnu 13 Sep 12 - 06:08 PM
Janie 13 Sep 12 - 07:07 PM

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Subject: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 11:23 AM

At various times we've had threads about people trying to keep cats out of their garden. Our problem is different - we've got a big garden where lots of cats visit. No problem, we like them.

We've also got two young kittens who are soon going to be allowed out in the garden. But one edge of our garden faces on a dangerous road. It's got a hedge of sorts, and a waist-high wire fence, but it'd be easy enough to get out, if they felt inclined. We'd like to find a way to discourage them from feeling so inclined.

Any helpful suggestions?


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Ed T
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 11:45 AM

I have two adult cats. Both live indoors in an urban setting, but are allowed outoors.

One I have leash trained,on a long rope, with a small dog harness (yes, he is over-weight).

The other is now fearful of straying off very far from our back yard. I seem to recall she was very easy to train to "stay put". But, I suspect every cat is different and there may be "temptations" to lead them away.

If you consider a leash, it works best if they get used to it as kittens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 11:54 AM

It doesn't matter how well trained they may be to stay, something, anything could come along and they can be out in the road in a flash. I know, I lost a beautiful calico when she was out with a family member and his cats. He turned away for two seconds and she was gone. We later found she'd been grabbed by a vicious dog whose owner knew it was running loose and was a cat killer, but nothing was done. I had no proof except a couple of tourists at a gas station who saw her in the dog's mouth.

Best way to keep a cat from harm is build them a run and let them stay in it and inside, IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 11:58 AM

Keep. Them. In. The. House.

Aside from their safety, do the local wildlife and your neighbors a favor by being a responsible pet owner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 12:32 PM

I fear you've opened a can of worms here, McGrath.

Whilst George Bernard Shaw famously once said that"England and America are two countries divided by a common language" we are perhaps even more divided on the issue of letting cats outside.

Simply put Amercans tend to favour indoor only, the British prefer to let them roam. A quick google search will provide you with more on the issue than you could ever hope to read.

Back to your original question, you've got no chance of persuading them to stay in your garden. Set them free and let them take their chances. Better a life lived well than a long one.

But then I am English...


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Ed T
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 01:27 PM

""Better a life lived well than a long one"".

Has anyone posed that question directly to the species in question, and actually received even a "somewhat" democratic reply?

;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 01:30 PM

Sadly, it really depends on the cat. I have had cats who 'knew' about traffic, and just paid attention....including one who, when we moved, disappeared and was found a week later back at 'his' old stomping grounds, after a 5 mile trip thru all kinds of roads. We brought him home, and he just said "ok" and didn't try again.



Often, if the kittens spend enough time learning where they belong, they don't have urge to travel. (A male cat is easier if neutered)
That garden area being right on the road, it might be good to line the road part with a fence of something like 'chicken wire' to discourage direct access.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 01:30 PM

Amercans tend to favour indoor only

If only that were true!

Yup, "a life well lived" outdoors where they can pick up various disabling & often fatal diseases & parasites (& transmit diseases to other animals & humans as well), be savaged by dogs & other creatures larger than they are, get run over, crap & piss in neighbors' gardens, decimate small creatures & birds.

Sounds good to me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Raptor
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 01:32 PM

For the sake of the birds keep them inside.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 01:41 PM

Loki (Our half ferral, Westray, long haired cat) is lead trained.He has been since he arrived at 8 weeks five years ago. He travels with us in the camper or the car. We have long leads in the garden which he is attached to when he goes outside. More often, just open the door and he runs to the camper meowing to be let in !! He will spend all day inside the camper. Water and food and his outside litter tray are always there for him. If he "escapes" out through the door, he runs to the camper. He's travelled thousands of miles and for weeks at a time. He sits by Aragon (The lab) when they are both on the grass. He never attacks birds or anything else either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: CET
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 02:08 PM

You could try appealing to their sense of social responsibility.

Failing that, you're probably stuck with designing and building a cat proof fence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 02:09 PM

They are kittens. Keep them in the house. They will never develop wanderlust if you keep them in the house.

You will be protecting them from cars, dogs, fleas, worms, other cats, feline leukemia and other dangers I can't remembe right now.

You will also be protecting wildlife, especially small birds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 02:26 PM

He never attacks birds or anything else either.

So you keep him under continual observation 24/7/365, eh? Must be quite a chore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 03:01 PM

Ha..... Well I've nothing better to do other than answer idiotic comments Greg, but for anyone else...Loki isn't outdoors 24/7. He is outside most days in the camper especially if wet. If not he's on a lead where he is observed.(The word, "when" should have given the clue that he is not outside 24 hours a day) Loki doesn't attack anything even when small birds fly into the garden..alright, maybe flies. Bearing in mind that we live in a very rural location with a large population of wild birds from Osprey to finches etc. Our garden is often visited by finches of several species, sparrow, robins.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 04:03 PM

I got very tired of picking up dead cats off the road where I live. so a dozen years ago I built a very nice "cat house". It's alongside the front door, connects to the inside with a cat flap door. It's large, 4X8X12. It contains trees, many shelves, ramps and fresh sand for their needs. It's gotten a lot of attention over the years and I've built several for other folks/ And ... my cats have stayed healthier and longer lived. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 04:09 PM

I've seen that enclosure that Bob built - it's quite ingenious and looks like it's a great option for cats that want to go in and out.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 04:09 PM

No, you've entirely missed my point, Eric. Does someone have their eyes on him continuously every minute he's outside (on the lead or off) to substantiate your "never" claim? (I'm assuming when he's in the camper he has no access to the "outside" & is thus actually "inside")

Or is this a case of Oh, nooo, MY (cat, dog, child, etc) would NEVER (whatever- fill in the blank)

Tnx- Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 06:45 PM

They will never develop wanderlust if you keep them in the house.

You want to see them sitting by the patio door looking out at the garden...

It's an interesting cultural difference between over here and over there when it comes to cats and the indoors/outdoors. In its rather different way, it's as deep as the thing about the right to bear arms. We can't get our heads round that one, and Americans, it seems, can't get their heads round the idea of a right of cats to roam free. They both seem pretty crazy concepts to the culture that doesn't see them as pretty inalienable. Even if it's not in the constitution we haven't got.

Fortunately our garden is pretty big, and the gardens adjoining it on the other sides are probably much more attractive than the noisy road, if a cat wants to leave it. At least that's been our experience with previous cats. There's always a danger, but we want to find ways of reducing it.

Bill D's idea with chicken wire sounds as if it might be worth trying. That and some kind of cat repellent sprayed along the fence area, perhaps...

As for birds, as I said, there are a fair number of neighbours cats who come in and look around, and the birds seem to cope pretty well with that, as they did with our previous cats. The little ones get up out of reach, and the big ones stride around looking scornful and a bit menacing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 06:59 PM

Most cat shelters in the UK will not release a healthy cat to a home where it will be kept inside all the time. The only exceptions are cats with conditions like FIV and ultraviolet sensitivity. They do home visits. No outside, no adoption.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 07:04 PM

I don't know where any of you get the idea that the majority of Americans don't like to let their cats outside. If you only visited ONE animal shelter you'd find that is NOT the case. Our town has so many feral cats..most people are complete idiots about their pets AND kids when it comes to watching the streets, traffic, etc. Loose cats area a huge problem in a lot of areas.


It pays to remember our country is vast in size, compared to England...lots more territory in which to lose a cat. For many good reasons to keep them in, please see THIS and keep an open, non-supercillious mind, yeah?


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: ragdall
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 07:16 PM

Greg,
The 3 male Siamese cats I've had never showed any interest in birds. Probably it was too much bother to chase them? Unfortunately, they also had no interest in catching mice.

   My neighbours' female cat, on the other hand... http://www.flickr.com/photos/diffuse/7164051959/
I've read that female cats are the hunters and males are the fighters/defenders of territory.

   Back to the original question, when I first got the kittens they were only outdoors if I was with them. I taught them their boundaries and that the road was out of bounds. As they grew up and when they were adults I only let them outside when I was at home and could watch them. They stayed safely in their own yard, with only occasional verbal reminders needed. I don't know if other breeds are as easy to train as Siamese?

   McGrath, If the road beside my house was as dangerous as yours sounds, I think I would have put up cat proof wire screening barriers to make it next to impossible for any cat to go out there.

rags


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 07:47 PM

great pics, rags

I have friends who keep their cats inside & others who let them out. One friend has a mesh over her small inner-city yard - the cats walk around & on her car & climb over the garden fittings. Another has a large cat run in her yard. We get a lot of warnings from cat organisations saying to keep cats inside & away from birds & small native creatures.

I "have" a cat I call Tabby Next Door - she is an indoor cat (our inner city apartment buildings have only a small concreted rubbish area between us) & we look at each other from our respective windows.

I've also seen cats being walked on leashes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 08:25 PM

If you don't want to let your cats run free, don't keep cats.

As for cats killing birds, well yes, they do. Obviously. But cats are almost certainly not the cause of decline of bird numbers, ever. Do read this, which is from the RSPB website, and stop worrying about your cat killing birds.
   http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/birddeclines.aspx

I've had cats for most of my long life, and I can see all too plainly when they've had birds. It just isn't that often. My current cat, which we've had for almost three years, has left us evidence of just three bird kills, and I promise you that I never turn a blind eye. On the other hand he's had dozens of mice and rabbits, for which I am most grateful, and I haven't seen a rat round here since we've had him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 08:41 PM

Keep the cats inside if you live near a busy road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 04:36 AM

In response to Greg's question. Loki is pretty much observed all the time when he's out on his lead. Not to say (My child,NEVER etc) that he wouldn't kill anything but in the five years we have had him since kitten, he has NEVER even tried to attack or chase any on the wild birds that have visited our garden. From Wrens aand their fledglings nesting in the ivy just a few metres away from him to the pied wagtail chicks who practiced their crash landings in front of him. It's not that he can't be fierce. It's not that he is fat or overweight. He is just calm when outside on his leads (Which by the way are quite lengthy) He is just as calm in the camper. He's just a laid back cat when outside.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: My guru always said
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 06:41 AM

In answer to McGrath's original question I do know of a solution although it can be distressing for all concerned. I will, however describe it here but please don't shoot me.....

Put on thick leather gauntlets.
Hold kitten firmly under engine of car - a harness would be good aswell.
Have someone switch on engine.
Hold kitten under working engine for several seconds.
Take kitten back into house and give it treats.
They tend to avoid cars afterwards and are very careful with roads.

Might help!


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:26 AM

Katlaughing,

You suggest keeping an open mind, yet link to an entirely one sided argument.

You accuse those of us who think cats should be allowed to roam as supercilious. We're not. We simply have the cats' welfare at heart.

I know one thing. I'd prefer to live somewhere where cats go free, but mad people with guns are banned rather than somewhere that mad people with guns are allowed to go free and cats are locked up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 07:37 AM

As Jack Camplin pointed iut "Most cat shelters in the UK will not release a healthy cat to a home where it will be kept inside all the time." I know the cat sanctuary that let us have these kittens would never have let anyone have them who didn't intend to allow them out.

We go out with them on a leash sometimes, while they are too young to be allowed to go out on their own. The thing with cats is, you don't take them for a walk, they take you, and you follow. It's rather like Les Barker's "Guide Cats for the Blind" -

"This master/servant things o.k. but not that way around
We don't do the 'faithful' subject, we don't do the daily grind


My guru always said's approach reminds me of the way my wife dealt with our last cat when he was young - she'd carry him out by the forbidden hedge while the traffic went past and growl at him. It seemed to work all right - at least he never went out that way so far as we know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Janie
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 08:09 AM

Most Americans, unfortunately, think it is absolutely fine to let their cats (and dogs) have the run of the neighborhood.

I've done a 180 on this issue over the course of years. That cat run that Bob designed sounds like a great idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 09:51 AM

Google image search cat runs

Cats of Australia - cat enclosures - check out p.3, Luxury outdoor cat run


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: ranger1
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 12:19 PM

In the UK, you don't have to worry about your cat being picked off by the local coyotes, foxes (our foxes do eat cats, btw), fishers, great-horned owls, and other predators. As a ranger, I have also seen what cats can do to the local bird populations. In Australia, cats have done a number on the populations of many of the smaller marsupials. It's not cruel to keep them in, it's thinking of the broader environmental picture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Becca72
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 01:06 PM

Are dogs allowed to run free in the UK?


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Bettynh
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 05:08 PM

The fashionable name here is catio, a cute turn of the term patio. They certainly look like a good idea for city high-rise apartments with tiny otherwise useless balconies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 06:56 PM

Are dogs allowed to run free in the UK?

Yes they are, but don't generally do so. If they worry pregnant sheep, for example, they're liable to get shot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 12:15 AM

I posted a reply, Ed, right after ranger1, but the 'cat crashed. I'll try to rewrite it & post tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 03:48 AM

There are, in fact, restrictions on dogs running free here which do not apply to cats. It would not be legal, e.g., for a dog to be allowed near a busy road without a leash, but cats can wander where they list and take their own chances. Our cat generally goes out of the back door, where there is open country for some distance. On the few occasions she goes out thru a carelessly opened front door on to the road, she soon gets alarmed by the traffic noise {she's a slightly nervy creature; even hates the vacuum cleaner in the house} and makes her way round to the back or darts straight back in again.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 06:37 AM

love the term 'catio', bettynh, thanks for the clicky


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 06:51 AM

Steve wrote:

As for cats killing birds, well yes, they do. Obviously. But cats are almost certainly not the cause of decline of bird numbers, ever

While I agree with the sentiment that cats should be able to come and go as they please (our certainly do) surely at a local level it is a shame the little wrens disappear from the hedges when you have cats. The price we pay, possibly, for the cull of mice and rats the cats also take care of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Janie
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 08:40 AM

I agree that "cats should be able to come and go as they please" is a sentiment. It is not a well thought out position, however. At present there are at least 9 cats in my neighborhood allowed to run loose. There were 13 when I moved here, but the four neglected cats next door have all died from disease or cars in the last 3 years.

Most of them like to hang out in my yard, because I like to watch birds and have numerous birdfeeders. They also like to sleep on my porch furniture, shedding hair and fleas. My laundry closet is outside on the carport. They also like to lay on warm, clean laundry if I don't immediately carry the baskets inside. They also like to chase the squirrels, knocking over and breaking flowerpots. They also like to sh*t in my raised flower beds. I am sorry, but I don't think other pet owners have the right to allow their pets to become a nuisance to me on my property.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 09:51 AM

My garden is in a remote rural location and is surrounded by scrub, hedges and pasture. I let the brambles and nettles run riot round the edges. There is plenty of cover for birds. Wrens, blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, robins, sparrows, dunnocks, jackdaws and goldfinches all nest in or round the edge of my garden. We also see lots of chaffinches, greenfinches, song thrushes smashing snails, fieldfares, redwings and long-tailed tits as well as big fry such as wood pigeons, collared doves, rooks and magpies. We get occasional bullfinches, greater spotted woodpeckers, coal tits and nuthatches. The front of my house is ivy-covered and is used by wrens by the dozen who roost there. I feed birds all year round. My cat (was multiple cats until recently) occasionally catches a bird but overwhelmingly goes for mice and rabbits. He leaves my thousands of frogs and toads severely alone, which is more than can be said for my prized nestful of grass snakes (actually two nestfuls this year) who must think they're in food heaven. I know I'm biased, but I'm as certain as can be that I am overwhelmingly in credit in the balance book between birds that have done well as a result of my encouragement versus the few lost to my cat. And I don't suffer damage from mice or rabbits in my garden. I wish my cat ate roe deer though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 09:53 AM

I forgot the blackcaps and chiffchaffs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Janie
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 10:51 AM

Context does matter.   In town and in populated areas however, an amazing number of people with cats seem to think that because their cat is on the front porch waiting to be fed when they get home from work, the cat must have spent the entire day there. Either that, or they just really don't care if their cat is a nuisance in some one else's yard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 10:55 AM

I agree with you Steve although while the cats seem to pick off the odd tit or blackbird without too much damage, any wren the comes to within view of the house only seems to last a few days. No problems with roe deer though and I don't expect the cats to take on the pine martens and badgers that frequent the garden. Now, magpies, they should get onto them a bit more often (although this spring one of our younger cats made a point of climbing into magpies nests and just sit there for a few hours fighting off the upset birds. She managed to force them into making a new nest three times although she didn't succeed in shifting them from out land altogether.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Elmore
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 11:25 AM

We love our cats more than many of our relatives. We would never let them outside to be devoured by wild animals or hit by a car, whether we lived in New Hampshire or New South Wales.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 12:18 PM

It's very much what the song "What's the Use of Wmgs" is about.

..."I know I heard them tell me that they loved me
That they'd care for me, without them I would die
But what's the use of roots if you can't spread them?
What's the use of wings if you can't fly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 01:42 PM

My cats don't have wings, but you should see them fly up and down the hallway, out through their window, onto their "balcony", down the ramp, roll and play in the dirt, dash back in like mad hatters, chasing one another and having a blast.

As to the original question...I suggest we kill all motorised vehicles. It'd be a lot safer not only for our pets, but also our children, other pedestrians, and the wildlife population.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 02:20 PM

What's the use of wings if you can't fly?

Amen to that, Kevin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 02:53 PM

So...for our differently abled folks, what's the use of legs if you can't use them?

Facetious maybe, but c'mon...cats never have had wings!**bg**

(And, just so you know I am not a dumb 'merikun...I know you didn't mean it literally.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 04:54 PM

I think that that's one of the things the song is actually about - the way that well-motivated protectiveness can be over-restrictive.

I don't think there are firm rules on these things. But sometimes the right thing to do if we live in places where it would be wrong to let a cat outdoors is to recognise that maybe we shouldn't have a cat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Janie
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 07:46 PM

I agree, McGrath. But people are often not prone to do the right or sensible thing when it comes to pet ownership. Or more likely, simply do not think through the impact of their choices on others in the neighborhood. I understand that because when I was younger, I was one of those oblivious people, and have also had the experience of living in very rural, suburban, small town, and urban environments as a pet owner.

I will say that in my time I have lived in apartments with plenty enough rodents to keep indoor cats busy and as happily hunting and stimulated as would a horse barn with a grainery. I also think it quite possible to have a healthy, happy and well adjusted animal that is not allowed to simply go out the back door at will.

The responsible cat owners I know in town either have cat runs or make sure their cats have the care, attention and stimulation they need inside the house or apartment. The responsible dog owners I know take their dogs on long walks 2-4 times a day, and also make sure the dogs are well socialized to dog parks, are well trained enough to be let off lead in the back yard to be played with or to hang out while the owner is out there with them, or otherwise understand they are responsible for attending to the psychological needs of their pets if the pets live in a restricted environment.

In my experience of dogs and cats, my own and others, it is not so much whether the animal is allowed to be turned outside without restriction, it whether the pet owner is attentive and provides for the emotional needs of the animal. It takes more intention and attention from the pet owner to see to the emotional and psychological needs of a dog or cat that is not turned loose at will, but many pet owners are up to the task and understand their responsibility.

I'm betting you are one of those, Elmore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 08:00 PM

Well put, Janie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 08:04 PM

There is no convincing evidence that magpies, even in areas where they have become abundant, cause long-term damage to songbird populations. Predation is often not nice for us delicate humans to behold but it is an entirely normal part of the natural world, and nature depends on its occurring.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/m/magpie/effect_on_songbirds.aspx

What could only be called the agricultural vandalism of the last few decades is, by a massive margin, the main enemy of songbirds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Janie
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 08:30 PM

It would seem that folks posting on this thread are all involved pet owners attentive to the needs of their beloved family members, regardless of their position on this issue of "letting them loose."

However, too many pet owners, regardless of whether their pets are allowed outside or not, really do not pay enough attention to what their animals need emotionally and psychologically and do not put the energy into training and socializing their pets. Good for you, Kevin, for working to figure out how to allow your kittens safe freedom. Hope you are able to do so, and in a manner that also respects any near neighbors you may have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Janie
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 08:46 PM

Steve, I haven't taken time yet (my kid is saying "come on, Mom, let's watch something!") to explore how reliable this article may be, but I'm gonna post it anyway.   Don't know about in the UK, but feral domestic cat populations are significant throughout the USA, and that is in addition to the number of cats intentionally fed, if not turned into pets, by households in both rural and urban settings.

Cats and wildlife: A conservation dilemma


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 08:46 PM

I have no neighbours and the nearest road is almost half a mile away. Not bad for cats. It's not bad for mice, rabbits and moles either, and I don't mind making things just a touch worse for those three.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 03:40 PM

From long experience, if you let cats out of the house, you have less chance of keeping them off the road, than you have of nailing jelly to the wall.

If, however, you live in an area with lots of cats about the place, they will tend to be territorial.

My two have become largely house and garden cats as a result. We rarely see them more than fifty yards from our boundary.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Bettynh
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 01:05 PM

A tip from the tv program "My Cat from Hell":

The host maintains that a cat can and will climb a fence of any height, but will be defeated at the top by a strip of wire netting set at a 45 degree angle pointed in and down. This blog is the chronicle of a guy's struggle with his cats. One note about plastic netting: I had a cat that lost a leg because he tried to climb plastic netting in the garden (designed for peas to climb). He got tangled half-way up and hung from it overnight, cutting off all circulation and eventually killing his leg. I'd just use what is called "chicken wire" here in the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 04:48 PM

One suggestion I came across was to use chicken wire, but by laying it flat on the ground. The idea being it's uncomfortable to walk on. I'm not sure that sounds too convincing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: JennieG
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 05:50 PM

We have two cats, and they live their lives indoors quite happily. We moved to this house in May 2010 - prior to that we lived in suburban Sydney. Our pure white 9YO cat has always been an indoor cat because of the harsh Aussie sun, while all other cats we have had over the years have been in and out during the day, and always in at night. Now, because we live on the edge of natural bushland, they are both indoor cats.......and two less stressed cats I have never seen.

At the end of the day it should be about the cat's welfare rather than the human's feelings, yes?

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: gnu
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 06:08 PM

You can teach a cat the boundaries of their territory. They will go beyond and you have to teach them it is not acceptable. At that point, if they do not learn, you have a decision to make. Keep them in the house or... let them go. Natural selection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Keeping cats from dangerous road
From: Janie
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 07:07 PM

I would doubt chicken wire on the ground would be much of a deterrent, Kevin. It will keep a cat from crapping in amongst the kale, but not likely to keep them out of the road.


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