I want to be the first to debate loose cats

quirkyquercusOctober 3, 2006

Why do people keep their cats on the loose so they can go all over the city and wreak havok in people's gardens and get hit by cars and so on?

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I don't know why pets' owners do this, but I think a great many of the cats one sees around are technically not pets, but are feral or abandoned animals. Or the products of unplanned litters of cats whose owners can't be bothered to spay their the cats.

It's a stupid human problem, more than anything else.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 4:32PM
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People in cities and towns certainly shouldn't be allowing cats to roam. I lived in a townhome community once where a woman let her cat run around loose, and although we had country around us, it's just not appropriate to allow a pet to roam freely in other people's "space", let alone the danger to the animal.

I also think that a lot of the animals we see loose are not "owned". Someone sets out food to help the animal out because if they end up at the SPCA they will most likely be put down. Such a small percentage get adopted, they figure better to give the animal a chance then send it to a needle.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:39PM
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I agree that many of the cats roaming freely are feral. In some communities it is common practice to live trap colonies of feral cats for vaccination and spay/neuter. They are then released back into their colony. This in and of itself will reduce the number of feral cats as many adults do not have an extended life span like our own pets who live sheltered lives. Once the colony dies out so does the problem.

I also agree that this is a human issue created by people who really feel pots are disposable.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:02PM
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For many years, we were fortunate to live among people who were responsible about their pets--both cats and dogs were kept inside or restrained to a leash when outside. I, myself have a 14 year old cat who has NEVER been out the front door unless she's in her cat carrier on the way to the vet.

Well, all of a sudden, one family has gotten several cats, that they let run. I don't see the point of having a pet, if it's going to be out all day (and these roam all day long--I don't even know if they go 'home' to sleep at night). My yard is starting to smell like cat--yuck! The kicker is, that a while back, the woman of the family actually ran over one of their cats when she had the kids in the car. It was an accident, of course, but wouldn't a tragedy like that impress upon someone that they shouldn't be letting the cats roam loose? But no, the other cats are still roaming--one got all chewed up not too long ago, and they really don't know who/what did it. GRRR!!!!!

You picked a topic near and dear to my heart. I don't believe in having pets and not loving them enough to keep them safe, happy and warm inside.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:07AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

We have a natural solution to outdoor cats in our area. It's called 'coyotes'. The last outdoor cat I saw was two years ago, and it was being chased down the street in broad daylight by a pair of coyotes. They all ran right past me.

Haven't seen that cat since.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 1:16PM
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My neighbors have many cats that all live outdoors. It is just infuriating to me. Besides the fact that they stink up my porches by spraying all over them, poop in the gardens, and kill the birds that I try so hard to attract to my yard, they also carry and spread disease. I know of several that are positive for Feline Leukemia. I've found them hurt & bleeding on my porch on several occasions and even rushed one with a gaping hole in his neck to the vet (and paid the bill!).
I agree with Molly, it is definately a stupid human problem. My neighbors are idiots and don't give a hoot about these cats running all over the neighborhood.
I am a cat owner, but my kitty lives indoors, is spayed, and is happy & healthy.
Be responsible and treat your pets, and your neighbors, the way you would want to be treated.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 7:49AM
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Yep, cats should be indoors. Dogs aren't allowed to roam free and poop in other peoples gardens, why cats?

I guess there's the exception for farmers. They need the cats to kill mice in the bard. But farm houses are far from their nearest neighbor.

Oh! Then there's the poor songbirds being killed off by cats. You can find plenty of info searching for that.

I do like cats. Don't own any because I'm allergic.

(I like having a "ranting" forum. :) )

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:42AM
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I'm a firm believer in keeping your cats inside..I help with a cat/kitten rescue organization...We will help trap ferals, try to tame them and in turn adopt...On occasion we do get a feral that is untamable, and they will be spayed/neutered and then released back to their colony. All our furbabies are given their shots, altered and live in foster homes until adopted...AND, in our adoption contract, it states, these cats/kittens must be inside pets only....I can't see the reasoning that a cat has to be allowed outside...If a cat is altered, they don't have the urge to roam and if they are well fed and taken care of, they won't want to be outside..I have 4 furbabies of my own, 2 had been born feral and rescued and they have no desire to even go near the door.Too many dangers lurking on the outside...Irresponsible pet owners let their cats roam..A pet is a member of the family...How many would put their child out and just let them roam the neighborhood???Ok, I'm finished raning.....

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 12:33PM
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I am a cat owner who would never let her cat run free. I wouldn't do it w children and I wouldn't do it with a cat. So many people think it is part of a cat's "right" to roam free that they rationalize this neglect by telling them it's the cats nature. well my cat will hopefully live a long and wonderful life , free of parasites, speeding cars, coyotes and other cats ready to fight for territory.

My neighbor has lost three cats to coyotes and still has not mended her ways. It's nuts to me. (shrug)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 7:17PM
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"How many would put their child out and just let them roam the neighborhood???"

Careful Irish....I just got chastised for mentioning a child in relation to the *outside cat* situation, on another thread!! LOL

I agree completely with you. I haven't been able to sit on my front porch this summer w/o smelling cat urine, and forget walking in my garden! The next door cat has claimed my yard as her territory. My indoor cats are traumitized every night by her taunting them from MY porch. And the owners think it is cute that she roams all over the neighborhood, and to THEIR way of thinking, she comes over because she LIKES me! They are clueless!! I cannot leave my garage open when working outside, for fear of her going in there. She has been locked up by other neighbors several times! Then every other night or so, she wakes me up when fighting other wandering cats. It is just so frustrating. I am about ready to call animal control.
Sorry for the rant!!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 7:25PM
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I might add that I have seen 2 cats on my block, killed by drivers in the last few years. It is so heartbreaking!!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 7:31PM
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Personally, I would never want to "debate loose cats".

Too hard to round 'em up and make 'em listen to you. and they cannot seem to comprehend Roberts Rules of Order.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Hi there.
Before you keep your cat imprisoned for life, don't have one at all!!!!

And besides that, if it wasn't for the cats (and the martens) we would be flooded with mice and rats - esp. in the cities!!

Wildlife is wildlife. Watching TV seeing a lion (just a big cat) killing an antilope is o.k., but as soon as the cat next door kills a bird, people freak out. NOW WHAT?!?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:58AM
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I love cats and don't have a problem with people having them.....as long as they are confined to their owners yard and not allowed to roam free bothering neighbours or other animals. I am fed up with cats fouling my garden beds and in the process digging up newly planted plants and killing the wildlife on my property. I am considering doing the same when I track a cat back to it's owners, perhaps a few plants ripped out of the ground and a little "present" left in it's place would work....what do you all think..:)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 5:12AM
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I agree that cats should be indoor pets only. If you want them to go outside train them on a leash, it's not difficult. It drives me crazy when people say that their cats need to be allowed to roam freely outside. That's a bunch of BS. Cats are much healthier when they are kept strictly as indoor pets. The other thing that infuriates me is when people insist on allowing their female cats to have "just one litter". Unless you are a breeder your pets should be spayed or neutered.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:40AM
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Sorry rose, but I beg to differ. I don't enjoy watching wildlife get killed in my backyard OR on TV. It's not okay to me. I have every right to "freak out" when my neighbor's disease-ridden, filthy cats spend every waking moment in my yard or on my porches, stalking the birds that I am attracting to my yard with food & shelter. Or when they sit next to my pond, waiting for a fish to swim by so they can swipe at it with their claws. It really angers me that people can be so thoughtless. I have a pretty decent home that is clean and welcoming, until you step onto my porch and smell the disgusting scent of cat urine. It's gross and i'm tired of it.
And my kitty is in no way imprisoned. She is happy, safe, and disease free. If she lived outside i'm 100% sure she'd either be sick or dead.
If you think it's okay to let your "pets" run wild then there is something wrong with you. The only exception is someone that has enough property to do so. If you own 20 acres and you know your dog or cat will stay in your own yard, then fine, let them run. Otherwise, it's cruel, dangerous, and rude. And in many places it's illegal.

Sorry, but I just don't see it any other way.

On a positive note, i'm building a new house on 14 acres and moving in the Spring. I will no longer have to put up with my neighbor's cats. : )

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 1:14PM
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I have to disagree as well, Rose, my 3 cats are all house cats, they do not go outside. The 8 cats we have had previously over a 35 year span were all housecats as well. The youngest age that any was when it passed was 15, the oldest was 21. I am concerned about the wildlife but more importantly I am concerned about their wellbeing. A friend mentioned to me that she understood why we keep them inside since the cats we have right now are all registered Maine Coons, but these are the first registered cats we have ever had. Each cat was precious to us, too precious to allow to roam. Too precious to worry about dogs, cars, poison or other life threatening occurances.

Mamabirrd, I hope you are right but sorry to say that it may not make a difference. We hav 28 acres of land but still have a neighbor's cats on the patio nearly every night and it makes me so angry. But nothing compares with the morning I left for work and saw one of her (many) little kittens laying dead on the road in front of her house.....until I came home that night and saw the mama kitty lying dead beside her kitten's body.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 1:50PM
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We have 10 acres and I would never allow my cats to roam as they pleased and we still get strays and neighbor's animals wandering onto our property. A cat doesn't know to stay within a specific boundary. They might not wander often but if they see something that they want to chase they aren't going to stop just because whatever they are after leaves your property.

I've had cats my entire life. All have lived inside and none have suffered because of it. My oldest cat finally had to be put down at 28 years of age. I'm sure if she had been allowed outside without being on a leash she wouldn't have lived nearly that long.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:04PM
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lynn, that's a shame about the neighbor's kitten & mama cat. Just disgraceful. I know that my new home will not be without some unwelcome critters from time to time, but my neighbors are not real close and they are animals lovers as I am and take extra special care of their pets. I'm sure we'll have the occasional stray cat, but I hope that it won't be such a problem as it is now.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 4:23PM
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First, I am the caretaker of three strictly indoor cats. Second, I work for a vet in a mostly rural community where the belief is that cats NEED to roam and be outside. With this being said, I can not tell you how many cats I have seen on the side of the road, hit by cars, or how many cases of FELV/FIV we have diagnosed, or how many times we have been asked to "put down" a litter of kittens that "just appeared" in someones barn, or about the time I saw a coyote carry off the neighbor's orange tabby. Yes, for their own safty and wellbeing, cats should be kept strictly indoors!
As for environmental concerns, cats do have an impact on songbird populations. Also they do carry parasites that can be passed to us thru the feces they leave in our gardens. So, again, Yes, cats should be kept strictly indoors! nova

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:39AM
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EVERYONE who has indoor/outdoor cats does NOT let them breed or be diseased.

I've had indoor/outdoor cats for over 40 years.

All were neutered, vaccinated and loved. I've never had a cat run over, eaten by coyotes, stolen, poisoned etc. I've never had a neighbor complain to me about any of my cats either.

My cats have free access to the house and yard. Zipper (10yrs) prefers the house and doesn't go out much. Marmalade (10) spends more time outside. We just adopted Bobcat (1) so I'm not sure yet. He was just neutered, vaccinated and microchipped two days ago. The people that owned him moved away and left him.

All three of the cats follow us about the yard, lay in the sun and play in the grass. All three come when called and are almost always in our yard when not in the house.

We have multiple ponds and water gardens and have never lost a fish to any cat. They drink from them but that is it. They show no interest in the fish. We do electrify a copper fence around one pond because of raccoons, not cats.

Marm and Zip have killed maybe twenty birds in ten years. Mostly non native house sparrows. They've killed about a dozen rats and mice. As anyone who has had a cat knows, they bring their kills home and leave them proudly so I know they haven't killed hundreds of valuable songbirds.

If roaming cats are causing problems for you, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate the problems without expecting everyone on the planet to keep cats indoor only (which is a very new concept for most) or resorting to killing or harming the cats or trapping your neighbor's beloved pet and taking it to be euthanized.

Just because someone lets their cat outside does not mean they don't love it or that they are abusive pet owners or horrid neighbors.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 3:13PM
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I think that anyone who allows their cat outside unleashed is doing them a disservice. I don't think that it means that their cat(s) are not loved or cared for but it does put them at risk for disease and/or injury. Even if your cat remains on your property other animals can enter and injure your pet. You mentioned that you have a racoon problem. Have you seen the damage a full grown racoon can inflict on a cat?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 7:02PM
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If roaming cats are causing problems for you, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate the problems

Why should we be the ones to "alleviate" the problem? We're not the ones causing it. If someone's kids were coming over to our house and peeing on flowers and pulling our plants out, I wonder if we would be expected to just suck it up and deal with it on our own...because it's cats we're talking about, it's not a "real" problem.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 9:46PM
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"Just because someone lets their cat outside does not mean they don't love it or that they are abusive pet owners or horrid neighbors."

Interesting how that statement doesn't seem to apply, in your complaints on another thread, about DOGS pooping on YOUR lawn!! You don't like THAT, but it is OK for your cats to poop on MY lawn??? Seems rather hypocritical IMO!!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 2:34AM
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Have to put in my 2 cents for what it's worth.

I have both, totally indoors and totally outdoors cats.

First I am a farmer and I have never found any better pest control than a cat. Only those who are farmers know the damage mice and rats can do, not only do they eat and contaminate feed, but do property damage and can kill poultry and the smaller livestock such as rabbits.

In my defence, I never keep more than 4 outdoor cats, those are spay females since those are the best hunters, the cost of the spaying is less than the cost of the damage vermin do. They are fed just enough to keep them in good weight, but not so much they they are not hungry enough to hunt. They are tame, have names and I accept the fact that total outdoor cats, for the most part, are not long lived even though I have had some live to almost 20 years of age. And they are not kicked out when too old to hunt anymore for those who may wonder, farmers are not cold hearted. Actually all my cats, all 7 of them are rescues or dump offs. Also being spay females who tend to stay home, thus another reason for spay females, the only one who has to put up with grabbing a handful of cat crap when weeding is me.

My house cats are fat lazy things who spend more time finding the softest place to sleep, usually on top of me, or bug me for more food even though their bowls are overflowing, but they are my buddies regardless of how many times I threaten to throw them outside, lol.

Having said that, no one living in the city should have to put up with any domestic animal coming on their property and using it as a personal releif station. My sister lives in the city and is having to put up with a neighbor who has let her cats breed to the point they are everywhere. She has them bringing fleas into her yard, dumping her trash, they are sick and she has had them die on her porch in front of my neice. She has also had to scrap them off the road. This is unacceptable!!!!! My sister is not cold hearted, quite the opposite. But she should not have to put up with this and I have told her so. It is time for her to call animal control.

In short, cats are fine and dandy outdoors, in the right conditions and with a responcible owner.

Oh yea, for those who may wonder. Since I make a point of raising my outdoor working cats with poultry from kittenhood, they have no interest in birds as a food item, they are actually raised with chicks, ducklings, goslings and poults, they even cuddle up to my poultry, it's so funny to see, I have no problem with them going after the native birds, I feed and invite native birds into my gardens. I see the cats hunting mice, voles and moles and even grasshoppers, but never the birds.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 3:34PM
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Cats hate mothballs.
they are fairly cheap.
I know they stink and I really hate them but...
maybe if you put them around the perimeter of your yard a few times, they would learn to stay away from your yard, I know, you don't feel you should have to do anything but that the cat owners should, go over to their homes and ask them to do this for you, it would blow their minds enough that they just may do it.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 11:41PM
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Extreme care needs to be taken with mothballs.

Besides being toxic to the environment (they dissolve in the rain), mothballs look like candy to small children. Simply tasting a mothball can be lethal to humans and animals. I remember playing with them as a child....my grandfather used them in his garden. Yikes! I wouldn't recommend using them.
A cat could easily be poisoned and I do not condone that under any circumstances. I did own several outdoor cats as a young child.....we lived in a very rural area. My favorite cat had wandered to the neighbors and this man poisoned her. It was quite traumatic for me as a youngster. If my cats would have been indoors, it never would have happened.

chocolateis2b8, I totally appreciate your post and wholeheartedly agree with you. That is the point I was trying to get across in one of my previous posts. You have the perfect place for outdoor cats. I'd love to see them snuggling with the poultry! How wonderful. : )

buyorsell888, I agree that not all outdoor cat owners do not let them breed or be diseased, which was the case when I was young. We took good care of our pets. But they still roamed and ended up dead because of it.

If you are a cat owner, it is YOUR responsibility to take care of them and be sure they don't roam into neighboring properties.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 7:06AM
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I have a real problem with cat owners who allow them to roam and kill at will any wildlife they so choose; it is very irresponsible imho. In this area Fishers and Coyotes have really had a population resurgence and one result is a LOT of "lost cat" posters up on utility poles and the like; score one for mother nature:).

You want a cat for rodent control? Great, keep it in your house and your house will be rodent free, I have no problem with this. By allowing your cat to roam and kill MANY other species you impact the natural environmental severely.

It's funny too that the very same people who let their cats roam would be the first to complain if my dog was allowed to roam free and crap in their yard or bring their cat to their step as a trophy.

[/end rant]

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 7:15AM
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Neighborhood cats dig in my garden, chase birds at my feeders and birdbath, and howl and screech at night in battle. My cat stays indoors. I'm frustrated.

buyorsell888...."If roaming cats are causing problems for you, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate the problems". Okay...what are the plenty of things I can do?
Why do I have to do anything to get cats to quit crapping in my garden, or digging up newly planted flowers, or eating birds that are on my birdfeeders in my yard?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 10:15PM
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I used to be in the camp of let the cats roam..I was raised that they were to be let in and out as they chose. When we moved here, we had a cat, she was promptly stolen, but did I learn my lesson??? No not at all. A couple of years later my DD got 2 more kittens..inside and outside cats. One was run over in front of the house..I live on a dead end street.
Did I learn my lesson then???..No Coon was used to coming in and out and then we adopted my Mil's cat(Questions) who was also used to coming in and out as he pleased. Coon disappeared, even though I still see him from time to time hanging out in a barn down the road.
If none of the above made me change my mind, then what could have??

..Questions was beat to death by a teenage boy with a metal pipe..
There were 2 cats in the neighborhood that looked alike. One loved to climb on cars, get into garbage to try to scrounge for food, and just cause trouble. The other was Questions who had a collar on, was well taken care of and only allowed outside when he wanted to go, and I will say LOVED BY ALL THE NEIGHBORS..(including the teenage boy and his family.). He was always in before bedtime. The boy's brother later told us his brother saw Questions laying on their porch and thinking it was the other cat BEAT HIM TO DEATH.

I learned my lesson then. It took us 4 years to get another cat. Pound rescue..but Lexie is a house cat, she doesn't want to go outside and has no desire to go out. Today we accidentally left the patio door open and she laid in front of it, but never even offered to go out.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 12:39AM
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The fact of the matter is you don't "have to do anything" though if it is bothering you so, you may *want* to.

Things I have done include:

*Identifying the cat in question and speaking frankly and politely with the owner as to your feelings.

*Catching the animal in a live trap if it has tags doing the above. If there are no tags deliver it to the local shelter or ring the warden.

*Do nothing and let it go emotionally.

You are a part of complex society and unfortunately things are not always simple and pretty as we naively expect them to be. Should you *have* to do anything? Well no, in a perfect world this would not occur, unfortunately this is not the case, but you have options as a rational thinking person.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Keeping cats indoor only is a fairly new concept in pet ownership, especially outside major cities. It isn't the norm and it isn't the law in most places.

I'm not saying it isn't best for the cat, I'm saying that everyone who lets their cats out doesn't let them breed or be diseased. The tone of this thread was that anyone who lets their cats outside is evil. It isn't true.

Letting your dog go on someone's lawn while holding onto it's leash is a different subject.

Yes, I know what a raccoon can do to a cat. My cats are inside at night, asleep on the bed while the raccoons are destroying my ponds.

Raccoons are living in urban areas nationwide in the USA and their feces are very similar to cat feces in appearance and odor. We thought a cat was going on top of our shed until we found out that raccoons very commonly go on roofs. Trimming overhanging evergreen branches back solved that problem.

As pointed out earlier in the thread, many loose cats are strays or feral in the first place.

Using mulches and groundcovers can discourage cats from digging in your garden. Fences both electrified or not can work too. There are motion activated sprinklers you can buy or make yourself. There are sprays too. There are also plants they don't like.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 3:22PM
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"more to grow"...of course I don't "have" to do anything, nor do I... except to rant on this board because an irresponsible cat owner states that "there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate the problems"...while THEIR cats are allowed to roam outdoors.
Trap the cat? Where I live the animal shelter has an agressive stray animal/kill policy.
Talk to the owner? No clue where the cats live...no collars.
Let it go? Yup.The cats deserve better owners.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 10:14PM
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My kitty will always be inside but I guess I am not as dead set against indoor/outdoor cats as some are. My cat growing up was in/out -- he lived 19 years, never got a disease, did get into a few cat fights and even hit by a car once (we think -- he broke his jaw).

There are two indoor/outdoor cats around my house and for the most part, they keep to themselves. Our next door neighbor's cat pretty much keeps to his own yard even though we don't have fences and the other cat does kind of roam the street (with a collar on) but doesn't cause me any grief.

I have never heard of so many people having problems with cat poop/urine but I guess I don't have any landscaping to attract them.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 1:50PM
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I will put my two cents in, even though everyone pretty much knows my position on this topic.

In a previous post some one said:
"Wildlife is wildlife. Watching TV seeing a lion (just a big cat) killing an antilope is o.k., but as soon as the cat next door kills a bird, people freak out. NOW WHAT?!?"

I think a lot of cat roaming supporters believe this philosophy.

The problem with this comparison is that a lion killing an antelope is a natural phenomenon where both species evolved together over thousand of years developing instincts and reproductive habits to maintain a certain balance in the circle of life.

(Now it is a given that man's disturbance is the largest disruptor to habitat balance.)

The current situation of domestic and feral cats roaming the wild, consuming North American wild birds and rodents, is different from a lion eating an antelope because these types of cats are not indigenous to North America (they come from asia). The wildlife in North America has not evolved together with these cats, so there is a lack of natural instincts that develop over thousands of years to balance predator and prey. There are North American Cats (bob cats and mountain lions) but they have evolved together with the wildlife here. But the domestic/feral cats are foreign invaders and when they eat North American birds and rodents it is not a natural phenomenon. North American wildlife has not evolved to instinctively balance the predation of these type of cats.

Leaving these cats roam is just one more straw on the camelÂs back that adds to the ecological disturbance of man on wildlife habitat.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 11:01AM
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I have three indoor-outdoor cats. The oldest two are 12 now. Most of their outdoor-ing is confined to my front and back gardens, especially as they've gotten older. I didn't plan for it to be that way, but...

The first cat came as an indoor-only cat. He was content with that until one day he shot out the back door after a bird. He's never been satisfied with just inside ever since--and it isn't for lack of us trying. There comes a point where you just (as a human) can't do the door-dance any more because YOU aren't as young or as agile as you used to be. That first cat is too old and lazy to get out of the back garden with high fences on all sides now, so we prefer to let him out the back door.

The other two cats were outdoor cats who adopted US and became outdoor-indoor cats. I haven't been able to break them of the outdoor part, either, although they are getting more inclined to prefer the back, fenced garden to the more dangerous front garden.

I wish they *were* all indoor-only cats, but at least they are all current on their vaccinations and neutered. They have also prevented any mice (our neighbor does NOT understand the concept of cleaning up/out his yard and garage and they are mouse-infested) from coming into our home. They aren't nearly as good at catching birds, and even the mousing is kinda iffy.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 7:48PM
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I did not know mothballs were hazerdous to the enviroment, thank you mamabirrd for pointing that out to me, my kids hate the smell of them and won't go anywhere near them but.. I also never used them when they were small, my neighbor uses them all the time to keep the snakes out from under her house, and she is always saying use mothballs! So she gave me some one time to keep the cats and armadillos out from where I had just planted, those are the only places I have used them and just until the ground firms back up again, but if they are hazerdous I will figure something else out, I retract what I said in my earlier post.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:53AM
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I am not a cat owner and my property is and will remain feral cat free (I set the bar pretty low--any cat on my property is feral), of this you can be sure. I have a nice community of critters my family enjoys, who belong here and will not be a buffet for some feral cat.

I was merely offering some possible solutions to something that seems to bother you. I have chosen to actively manage my property with success.

I have never been one to wish a problem away and simply venting about it, is for me, simply wishing it away.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 1:12PM
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Great that you are actively managing your property with success. Like I commented before...I have tried your "suggestions". However, in my case they aren't effective. So...like you said...I let it go. I'd rather not have a 7' privacy fence. BUT...it does irk me when people freely state that they don't have a problem letting their animals run loose. Their comments probably irk me more than seeing that black cat pooping in my shade garden! HA!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:05PM
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There are a lot of PETS in my neighborhood that roam free. They have collars. I have even called one owner, assuming the cat was lost. "No, I just let her roam around when I get home from work." In my yard?

The others terrorize my cat, sitting outside the patio door, causing problems.

We do have coyotes here in the 'burbs, so I am sure it's only a matter of time before they become lunch. More than a few small pets have been eaten around here.

I have had indoor/outdoor cats before, but their longevity was not good. 1) drank neighbor's antifreeze in the carport, and died; 2) got worms and could not get rid of them, eventually got hit by a car; 3) crawled up in a car to get warm and was run over.

That was the end of that. Now I have only indoor, or I dont have one at all. I certainly do not think my current cat feels "imprisoned". She's queen of the roost, enjoys playing on our spiral staircase, and sits out on the screened porch enjoying fresh air, and sleeps on our feet at night.

She has a basket of toys, that she visits, gets toys out, and has a ball (now if I could only train her to put them back) :-)

She is spayed, still has her own claws, which we keep trimmed, and is up to date on all her shots and maintenance.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 10:13AM
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If your neighor's cat is a problem, talk to the neighbor or talk to the city officials. If it's a feral then find humane ways to deter the cat from your property if you don't want it there. So many cat haters are just looking for an excuse to hurt a cat. It's really sad that grown people have nothing better to do than harm a 7 lb. animal who is only trying to survive like the rest of us.

For the lady having to put up with the neighbor's neglected animals spraying her property, etc., I wouldn't put up with it and would find a way to deal with it that hopefully would not be harmful to the animals, but would make the neighbor's take responsibility for their pets.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 10:27PM
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Hi brutuses,

I have spoke with my neighbors on several different occasions regarding their so called "pets" (The cats aren't my only problem). They are very unreasonable and always end up doing nothing. I've begged and pleaded with these idiots and they always try to make me look like the bad guy. We have a nice house, theirs is ratty with junk piled up everywhere. It's a jealousy factor and I know that has tons to do with torturing me.

They have a dog that is chained to an old car for the past 10 years. A few years back, this dog had puppies. As soon as the puppies were a few weeks old they began spending all their time in my yard. I'm talkin' 8 HUGE Husky mix pups. They pooped everywhere and chewed several prized Rhododendrons down to nubs. After knocking on their door twice and politely asking for some relief they basically laughed in my face. I ended up circling my gardens with chicken wire fencing that cost me a fortune. The puppies were actually climbing it! It didn't work and the torture continued for quite a while.

As for the cats, I know for a fact that this problem will never go away. Just this week I see a brand new one and it's been on my porch several times. Talking is useless. Unless the people truly care (which they don't) then I don't see a solution. I've tried for 17 years. Now i've got 2 different neighbors dogs swimming in my pond (with the $1000 rubber liner) and i've just had it. I've caught the dogs, called the owners, and sure enough, they are back the next day. Animal control has warned these people but it hasn't stopped their carelessness.

Of course I would never want to harm the animals. It isn't their fault.

When moving day finally arrives I will be so happy.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 10:54AM
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I like cats and would own one if my allergies would allow it. I own a dog, who is up to date on shots and licensed - BOTH REQUIRED BY LAW. We also have leash and pooper scooper laws, with hefty fines. There are no similar laws that apply to cats here. I wouldn't dream of allowing my dog to wander the neighborhood, poooping and peeing wherever he likes. Nor would I expose him to the dangers of traffic, untended toxic stuff, or cruel people who just like to hurt things.

Thank you, Thank you, joepyeweed for mentioning that housecats are NOT native to North America. Feral cats do inflict significant damage to the ecosystem, especially in areas where the animals that would be their predators (wolves, coyotes, bobcats, etc) are limited in number. Areas with large feral cat populations see a decrease in the songbird and small rodent population. Since some birds and small rodents eat many insects as part of their natural diet, the insects numbers increase. While I understand the compassion that inspires people to feed strays, I think it's a little misguided. The cat gets fed so it can continue to live...... untended, no shots, vulnerable to disease, traffic, coyotes. Better to trap it and find a no-kill shelter.

As for allowing your cat to roam outdoors - go ahead if you like. I won't like it and if efforts to deter it from spraying and defecating in my yard are unsuccessful, I will trap it and take it to the SPCA, where it will likely be put down. If you care for your cat, get it fixed, keep up to date on shots, know where it is at all times, put a collar and a tag on it, and please keep it out of my yard. If you feel your cats must spend time outdoors, build them a kennel with a roof or cover it with fencing. (Working farm cats are excepted, of course.)

THE best cat deterrent I have found is Black Pepper. (Actually works for ALL mammals) Buy large jars at the dollar store and sprinkle it liberally in the areas you want to protect. Reapply after rain. STAND UPWIND!!! :)
Most animals sniff an area before doing their business. A couple snootfuls of black pepper will rapidly teach them to go elsewhere.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:49PM
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HI, I'm new to the Garden site. I just had to mention that I have a relative that swears by dried coyote urine, it's a product you can buy on the net. She had a cat that kept coming around spraying her windows, one night using this stuff it never came back! I wonder if it would work in an area that coyotes are not native, or if the cat would instinctively recognize a predator. We do have a FEW long lived ferals in AZ not many though!
I am a dog trainer and know that black pepper works great on keeping dogs out of areas so I guess it would do the same for cats.
Don't even get me started on people negelcting their pets by not keeping them safe! I'm a dog trainer and believe there are no bad dogs just idiot owners that should be put down!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 11:00PM
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When I was a child, Mother and I always disagreed over the cats. She believed it was cruel to keep a cat in the house. Consequently, I lost a lot of pets when I was a child. They were either killed by cars or worse yet, just disappeared and I never knew what happened to them.

My cats are all indoors. They have a safe outside enclosure which is like a big chain link cage on a concrete slab. They enter it through cat doors in garden level windows. There is an A frame set of shelves for perching. That is their only outdoors.

Our City has an ordinance against cats running at large. It is enforced only when there is a complaint. I would never want my cats to be a nuisance to anyone. I also want them to be safe from predators.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 1:06AM
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Its good to hear from you catladysgarden. Your cat enclosure sounds very nice. I wish that more cat owners would follow your example.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 8:39AM
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You not the first QQ. Didn't really believe that did you?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 6:33PM
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The lion on tv killing prey is in it's natural habitat. There is a reason it is called a HOUSE CAT. It is because it belongs in a HOUSE. That is it's habitat.

If those free range cats were carrying diseases that humans could catch, you might be more sensitive to the problems. As it is, free ranging dogs and cats can catch and carry all kinds of nasty diseases that they then pass along to your pet, by bringing it to your doorstep,as it were. Parvo comes to mind. FeLV is a horrible problem, too.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 2:38PM
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I suppose its the same inconsiderate mentality (letting their cats roam) that thinks its their right to take their animals into dept stores and such with total disreguard for others(esp those who are allergic to animals).

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 5:44PM
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You're probably right, pamven. Some people just don't care, whether it's the cats runnin' wild or the jumping dogs in the store. Also, the allergens. I'd never consider taking my dog into a store for that reason, among many others.
Not to hijack the thread, but I had to comment on this one....
I am 8 mos. pregnant. I frequent the local pet supply store (where leashed pets are welcome), but lately i've been afraid to go. Seems like everytime i'm there, someone lets their dog jump on me. What is with that??? Even with my bulging belly, a couple irresponsibly allowed their huge dog to get too close. I actually had to walk out of line to a safer spot. I was worried i'd be knocked to the ground.
I don't see how that is much different than letting your cat run loose or allowing your dog to do his "business" in other folks yards.
It's a total invasion of privacy. If you can't control your animal, then you shouldn't have one.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 6:09AM
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Here's my compromise, my indoor cats have a cat house.
It cost me less than $100 to make. It's a picnic house
re-enforced with rebar.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 6:05PM
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Stupid people: Cats that are allowed to be inside and outside in my experience, pretty much end up to be dead cats in a lot less time than your aveage house cat.

They get hit by a car, or poisoned by eating something bad, or they get eaten by a coyote or a fox (see all this).

I don't have much of a problem with cats on farms where there are no other houses around and they eat mice and rats in the barns, but folks that let their cats wreak havoc in neighborhoods are just inconsiderate. Coming from a person who deals with it ALL the time, stinky pee and poops in your garden bed are no fun. And finding birds with broken necks and beheaded squirrels and baby rabbits (never the adults) ... yuck! These stupid people are totally inconsiderate. And you just can't talk to them. May as well talk to a brick wall.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:31AM
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Amen the brick wall. My wifes Persians are , 18 years, 14 years and 5 years old, my 16 year old English Snepherd died 16 March, 6 days after his 16th birthday, he was of a litter of 16 and had the longest life of them all by 1 year.
I think we finally have the "cat lady" up the road educated to letting her cats and dogs run. She now knows they are gonna be dealt with by ALL of the neighbors. She is a very nice woman and liked by everyone but very ignorant regarding reponsible dog/cat ownership. Now if they would clean up the property!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 1:13PM
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Mostly I have had problems with older folks. They just keep doing like they have all their life.

We had a cat lady next door, she would keep feeding the wild cats. I kept telling her not to and they wouldn't come around. Like talking to a wall.

Finally the one feral cat had kittens in my windowell. Finally we had to trap the Mom cat "catlady" kept feeding, after this litter, her 4th, who was in really really bad shape healthwise. Rescued out the kittens. Mom had to be euthanized so she was in such bad shape... broke my heart. If people only could figure it out.

Sometimes if people really hate the stray cats in their yard, they resort to shooting them with BB guns or poisoning them... that is what these ignorant "let cats outside" folks don't get.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 2:18PM
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WOW, seems like nothing gets a person fired up like a cat discussion. If cats are pooping in your garden why not turn the hose on them? Cats hate water. And why is it that the people who are really rude, angry and insulting are the ones getting pooped on? How do you all feel about the rats and mice running around your property that you don't see?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 2:49AM
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Mice don't eat birds.... and yes I do trap mice that come into my house in the winter because they poop and can spread disease. I really don't understand what your comments about the rats and mice running around are meant to say....

And the cats usually poop when you aren't home because when I AM home I chase them away. And yes, they have been squirted with water. And I have put out cat repellent where they spray directly under my dining room window.

How would people feel if the neighbors just let their dogs out to run around wild and kill rabbits and poop in your yards. Or let their horses run around and poop in someone's yard.

It is with ANY pet... people need to take responsiblity for the actions of their pets and when folks let their animals run all over unsupervised, it is irresponsible.

And NO it is not just the rude, angry and insulting folks... your comments are really weird and uncalled for! How stating that having feral cats running all over your yard killing the native species and defecating in your gardens is rude and insulting is really beyond me.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 10:09AM
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I've pretty much ignored this thread because it seems to be the same people, stating the same views, with more and more strident and rude language.

But I'm glad I checked in -- easy stitches, that's a lovely compromise! Maybe it's just because it's in what seems to be a wonderful yard, but it look like a cat paradise. I'm sure your cats really enjoy catching a breeze in such a relaxing setting.

How did you use the rebar? Along the bottom, to sink the posts? I'd be worried they would crawl underneath the edge -- or does this have the floor sewn is as part of the tent?

Very nice idea!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Hey, there's a family in my subdivision that allow their two dogs to run the freely. And they do poop in my yard, and eat my plants, and dig, and... well you get the picture!

It really p*sses me off! There are loose cats around too. I haven't seen them pooing in my yard, but they lay on my front porch and drive my dogs INSANE. Not to mention me!

I can't believe that these people keep letting thier cats out (my neighbors), especially after one went missing and it is not uncommon to see coyotes walking down our street after dark. With this in mind, I wonder if the problem of loose cats will ever be resolved.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 1:55PM
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IMPO, loose cats should be treated the same way as loose dogs.
There is no difference...do you think we would have TNR programs for a pack of feral dogs?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 5:31PM
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I take care of two feral/stray cats that were abandoned as kittens right before Hurricane Wilma. There were 3, I found one a home, but the other two are sooo wild (I cannot even get close to the female).

I guess my question is what would you have me do? They are not "my" cats, but they were about 4 weeks old and starving. I have a heart, and tended to the cats. If I were to take them to a shelter, they would never be adopted out (either killed or live in a cage for the rest of their life). I trapped them and paid to have them both spayed/neutered. I have two indoor cats that do not go outside. I wonder if the neighbors think that the cats are mine? I keep trying to find people with barns, etc, to take them. But in the interim, I do feed them daily (in hopes of if they are not hungry, they will stay away from the birds). I have not seen a rodent in a long time though! I have never seen feathers or any evidence of bird catching.

Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 9:06PM
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I wouldn't worry about it, outdoor only cats don't live very long anyway. They get hit by cars, eaten by coyotes or get some cat disease. The average age of the stray cats around here is about 2 years - then they just disappear.

Just make sure you don't attract more if you put out food. Then you will be known as the nuisance cat lady.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:32AM
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Joepyeweed: I've always told my students that it's important not to use a "false" argument. Your statement about cats not being indigenous to North America sounds good except that most of the cats prey (rats, mice etc) are also not indigenous. Instead they hitchhiked across the ocean on boats.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 5:23PM
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Bluesbarby, that is not true. A quick google search shows several types of mice and rats that are native to North America. Christy

Here is a link that might be useful: World Almanac for Kids

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 1:25PM
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I didn't say "all" I said most.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Hmm...sounds like a "false" argument. Prove it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:31PM
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I have a question...would it be different if people let their dogs roam all over the place, kill wild life, and poop in their neighbors yards, and breed like wild fire?

Now we all know that owners of such dogs would be fined and the dogs impounded, why is it not the same for cat owners?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:21PM
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So christy.....you're saying if rats and mice are not indigenous then it's OK to let another non-indigenous animal go feral and hunt them down?

I live on 25 acres in the country and have a large barn. Not a single mice in that whole barn....and no cats either. I have a much more effective method of dealing with rodents. I bring home rat snakes and turn them loose in there. Since I started doing that a few years ago, there are no more mice. Problem solved, no cats to bother the neighbors or birds. Our neighbor has an indoor/outdoor cat. That stupid animal spends every night climbing on cars, ripping inulation out under my son's mobile home, tearing into garbage. The cat was actually shot once and cost the owners over $500 to get him fixed up....and still they didn't learn. The cat is still allowed to roam around at night and cause problems. Not at my house though....my pitbull dislikes roaming cats almost as much as I do. lol!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:12AM
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Honestly most cat owners I have known do not spay or neuter their cats and allow them to roam. I have always lived in the suburbs near Los Angeles in upper middle calls neighborhoods, until recently. (Moved to Texas...where apparently I can't do anything about it here either). It galls me to know end the irresponsibility of most (not all) cat owners. Before I moved one neighbor's female cat was on her 4th litter in a year!!! I called the humane society and they would do nothing, I even told them it had no shots and was unlicensed.. still NOTHING...but 2 years ago I got fined for not registering my dead dog!!
Go fig!
In Los Angeles all dogs must be chipped and licensed!!
Do cats? Umm no.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 2:14PM
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Ccoombs1, absolutely not. I just disagreed with Bluesbarby stating that cat's prey is also indigenous. I disagree, a quick google search confirmed that many of cat's prey is native to this country. I like cats, but I don't like loose or feral cats. I hate having paw prints on my car or finding the tell-tale sign of a native bird that has been caught and killed. What baffles me is how arrogant "some" cat owners can be, those that let their cats roam free. I almost get the sense that they feel entitled to having a roaming cat. It's their right. In many cases it is not, but in some counties it is completely legal. A leash law is laughable for some cat owners. Why? Train your cat like you train any other pet. I've seen ferrets on leashes! I think it is irresponsible and inconsiderate and unfortunately it is the cat that usually suffers in the end (not including all of the prey, that 'their cat' doesn't catch!!) I do however love all of those outdoor enclosures that responsible cat owners have constructed. Those are some loved kitties :) Christy

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 7:57PM
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