If you have cats as pets, at some point you have to decide whether they are going to be indoor or outdoor cats.
It may not seem like a big decision at the time, but according to Cats Indoors! The Campaign for Safer Birds & Cats, there’s a lot to consider. Each year, millions of cats are run over by cars, mauled by dogs, poisoned and lost. Hundreds of millions of birds and small mammals are killed annually by free-roaming cats, according to the organization.
Here are some tips on keeping your cat happy indoors:
(Note: Kittens which are kept indoors usually show no desire to venture outside as cats.) For more information, visit www.abcbirds.org or call your local Humane Society of the United States or American Humane Association office.
Indoor or Outdoor Children? A Parody
By Sue Claus
(Editor’s note: This is Sue’s funny response to the above article.)
If you decide to have kids, at some point you will have to decide whether they are going to be indoor or outdoor children.
It may not seem like a big decision at the time, but according to Kids Indoors! The Campaign for Risk Free Childhood, there’s a lot to consider. Each year, hundreds of children are run over by cars, mauled by dogs, poisoned and lost, and thousands of valuable commercial advertisement viewing opportunities are lost due to free-roaming children, according to the organization.
Here are some tips on keeping your child happy indoors:
- Provide a safe, outside enclosure, such as a McDonalds ™ Play-Place.
- Provide TVs in children’s rooms to allow them to monitor the outdoors from the safety of indoors.
- Play with your children every day. Computer games and cable-television are sources of unending delight when you are away.
(Note: Children who are kept indoors usually show no desire to venture outside as adults.) For more information, read Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder by Richard Louv, available at your local library.
Other Boom This! readers weigh in on this debate:
Gloria in Guelph writes:
The old debate about cats has cropped up on more than one occasion in my community. At the time that the City was considering passing a By-law outlawing cats from the great out doors . . . we had three cats that roamed free range through the day and stayed indoors at night. Yes, they were very guilty of doing what cats do and did bring home their fair share of so-called 'presents'. We have since those days become 'Empty-Nesters' and we still have two of our original cats. They are now indoor cats exclusively mainly because we live in an apartment. The older fellow, a true hunter, is quite content to sleep on the settee outside. Our first year here we were nervous that he might be a jumper.
So I bought harnesses for him and his sister which was a total waste of money since they could escape from them very easily as they were made totally from a type of nylon that they could ease out of. I would have to say that they are both much healthier as indoor cats than they ever were when they were allowed outside. They enjoy their retirement! I know that harnesses can work on kittens. I think that I would use one if we ever got another kitten.
Peggy in Ottawa writes:
No, cats do run free in our neighborhood, but we don't agree with letting animals run free in our neighborhoods as they crap in peoples gardens etc, etc. I trained Sapphire as a kitten on the harness and Sophie was almost a year old when we did it. I had to work daily with them for a couple of weeks to help them adjust and they were fine with it. Now they actually come to me when I take their harnesses out so that I can put them on. I always stay with them in the backyard and have the harnesses attached to a big tree stump. They love being outside. I only walk them on our long driveway and in the yard, as they don't like the cars and would be upset if they saw a dog!
Sophie and Sapphire lounging outside with their harnesses.