Please Keep Your Cats Inside This Season

The weather is finally starting to warm up and I’ve been feeling claustrophobic due to this quarantine, so I was standing in my doorway, gazing out into the back yard. Then a male Dark-Eyed Junko landed on the deck and kind of danced in front of me. He was quite agitated. I couldn’t imagine what I had done to garner so much attention. Then his female counterpart, heavily pregnant, came on the scene and gave me a stern talking-to.

Ah, so there must be a nest nearby. Good on them. I quietly left the area, and will do my best to not be an intrusive part of their lives in the next few months. Fortunately, we are rather isolated, and I’ve never seen a stray cat in our yard.

I’m not saying I dislike cats. I actually love them. If I weren’t so allergic to them, I’d probably have one. But I do have a problem with people who let their cats roam outside. According to this article, cats are responsible for the deaths of up to 3.7 billion (yes, with a b) birds in the continental US each year. When you consider that 1/3 of the bird species in the US are endangered, that’s a horrifying number. These same cats also kill up to 20.7 billion mammals annually.

Yes, I get it. These cats are doing what cats do. Nature is harsh. But here’s the thing. These are your pets. You are the responsible one. You can keep your cats indoors, or at least in a catio, at a bare minimum from Mid-April to the end of July, can’t you? Sure you can. You can also have your cats spayed and neutered to reduce the stray cat population. These are the actions of a responsible pet owner.

I know your cat wants to roam. But another thing to consider is that your cat, unsupervised, is in quite a lot of danger. The average stray cat only lives for 2 years. On a daily basis, outdoor cats have to survive cat fights, cars, dogs, coyotes, weather, and other predators. They are eating disease-carrying animals and spoiled food. Their stress level is always high. These factors reduce the lifespan of even beloved pets who only go out occasionally. So keeping them inside is also the kindest thing you can do for them.

Do the right thing this spring. Please be responsible. Keep your cats indoors.

cat dead bird

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6 thoughts on “Please Keep Your Cats Inside This Season

  1. Helen

    Unlike you, I despise cats. Not only only am I allergic, but the very fact you mentioned…they kill birds! But as you also said, it’s the OWNERS that are at fault. Even more annoying are people who feed feral cats. More dead birds.

  2. Lyn

    https://www.livescience.com/27330-dogs-disrupt-wildlife.html. To be fair, dogs have their issues too. It depends on your perspective as to who is increasing bird mortalities. According to this https://www.sibleyguides.com/conservation/causes-of-bird-mortality/ the worst offender is windows. Notice these offences are human generated. We domesticate nature in so many irresponsible ways for convenience and comfort. What species systematically organizes and justifies the daily mass killing of birds (which carries its own health impacts) for human consumption? https://sciencing.com/ecological-impact-chicken-farming-5005.html Can’t blame that on cats. From a birds perspective, humans cause their unnatural deaths. While enjoying that chicken dinner, or clear window view, recognize your own impact on nature. Protecting birds isn’t as simple as controlling pets. Up close, it’s easy to point fingers outwards and cherry pick our views and villains, but from a birds eye view it’s humanities refusal to respect it’s interconnectivity with all nature that’s to blame. Every human is responsible for this imbalance.

    1. Well, I don’t know many dog owners who allow their dogs to roam free outdoors, completely unsupervised, so I stand by my complaint. And while I agree that chickens are birds, too, and have been reducing my meat consumption of all kinds for many years, those birds are raised and produced by us to feed us, whereas songbirds aren’t caught up in that evil form of domestication. And if windows kill more birds than cats, we’d have birds crashing into our windows daily and dying, and I can’t remember the last time that happened to me, so I stand by my plea.

  3. Lyn

    For reference, none of the articles cited are from fringe, conspiracy sites. Most are dated later than your 2013 USA Today article.
    ‘Free-roaming dogs (ones without an owner or otherwise left to run free) are thought to account for about 75 percent of the global dog population’…
    https://www.livescience.com/27330-dogs-disrupt-wildlife.html
    I haven’t had a bird crash into my window either, but trust the research done by scientists and organizations whose main objective is to protect birds.
    ‘Up to a billion birds die in collisions with glass each year in the United States. Although most people have seen or heard a bird hit a window, they often believe it is an unusual event’…https://abcbirds.org/program/glass-collisions/ ‘Collisions with glass are a serious threat to avian life and are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds per year in the United States’…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889704/ ‘Bird-window collisions are an unfortunate side-effect of urban environments and are a proven problem in Minnesota and throughout the world. Every year, hundreds of millions of birds in the U.S. die as a result’…https://www.audubon.org/news/building-collisions-kill-hundreds-millions-birds-year Here’s some solutions… https://abcbirds.org/program/glass-collisions/
    On this Earth Day I felt moved to highlight that all nature is negatively impacted by irresponsible human activity. Of course cats and dogs are not responsible but in different areas they’re being euthanized as a solution. (Hungry coyotes might take to hunting songbirds once they get rid of the feral cats.) I don’t place more value on any living species over another because we’re all connected and dependent on each other equally. I’m only advocating for humans to see this bigger picture before nearsightedness kills us all. We need to look beyond our personal perspectives before setting our opinions and intentions. If climate change and this covid virus hasn’t taught us that, what will?
    I’ve also never seen a meteorite strike earth but space.com says thousands of meteorites hit the ground each year and though I respect their expertise, I’m still watching the skies during this Lyrid meteor shower to see one hit for myself. Hope you have a good view from your yard.

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