Protect Your Cat, Protect The Environment
In response to two compelling reasons, PAWS has taken an active stance in protecting both cats and the environment by strongly advocating that cats be kept indoors or provided with safe outdoor enclosures. Everyone who adopts a kitten from PAWS signs a contract to keep the kitten indoors-only or provided with an outdoor enclosure for its lifetime.
Owners need to be responsible for protecting their felines from cars and coyotes. They also need to be aware of the impact cats have on the natural environment. Cats are not wild critters, no matter what they tell you! You may think they’re keeping the rodent population under control, but think about this: every rodent and bird they kill is less food for the owls, eagles and coyotes, the natural predators.
The two stories demonstrate the way cat enclosures can protect pets and the natural environment.
"Our cats -- Hannah, Ivan, Sterling, and Mercury -- spent the first 5 and 6 years of their lives with free access to the great outdoors via two cat doors. They roamed far and wide exploring ditches, yards, and the woods. I never turned down our street free of the fear that I would find one of them injured or worse along the side. I attached nametags and reflectors to their collars and worried whenever they didn’t appear promptly when called.
When we moved a few years ago, we made the decision to limit their outdoor adventures to the confines of our backyard. We weren’t sure how it would work with adult cats used to a lot of freedom, but they made the transition with surprising ease. Within weeks, they settled into a routine, casually patrolling the perimeter when they first go out, then forgetting about it completely as they get to the business of romping, sunning, or sleeping.
Keeping our cats in and predators out, the fence has been a blessing all around -- for the health and safety of the cats, the well-being of the birds and other small creatures in our environment, and for our peace of mind.
The enclosure was relatively inexpensive, using black plastic piping and deer fencing, which works really well because it isn’t stiff enough for any critter to use as a ladder to climb in or out. It also has the advantage of being almost invisible to the eye, so we don’t lose the expanse of the natural environment."
-- E. Fox, PAWS Board member
"After losing four cats to cars and predators the past 12 years, we are relieved that Marmalade and his feline brothers and sisters are able to go outside safely. Before the fence was built, Marmalade was chased out of his yard several blocks away and spent two days high in a tree before we heard his loud meows and rescued him. The electric wire on top of the fence delivers a mild shock to any animal or human that touches it. It is used as a deterrent to predators (coyotes) that can climb over fences."
-- Megan Bischoff, PAWS Board member
Outdoor Cat Enclosures
This article has been brought to you as a public education service of PAWS of Bainbridge Island & North Kitsap.
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