Originally Posted by thekimballs
Those of you who insist that cats should be allowed to be out under their own recognizance, how do you answer the environmental concerns? And from a "it's not fair" perspective, don't the small mammals and birds that actually belong here have a right to live without an introduced predator that they have no defenses against?
For starters, I'm against caging animals...I've had hamsters and rats, and a cockatiel at one point, but I would not, and could not ever buy another pet that requires a cage. I don't think it's natural, and honestly, the small animals at pet stores are just bred to be pets and spend their lives in cages, and I have serious issues with the ethics behind that. I also have major ethical issues with breeding dogs and cats for show or for pets.
As far as the environmental aspect, it's the least of my worries. I'll worry about the impact of outdoor cats on the environment when the meat and dairy industries stop destroying animals and the earth. Even when outside, my cat will still come inside the garage to use her litterbox. She's hardly a dangerous predator, unless you're a mosquito or a housefly that's made it's way into my house. A mouse or a bird could probably walk right up to her and sit down, and she'd either run away or completely ignore it. And regardless, as much as it makes me sad, many animals, cats included, are predatory in nature. In my perfect world, all animals would be vegetarian, but that's not reality. I don't get any more upset over a cat catching a mouse than I do over an animal in the wild preying on other animals.
As far as I'm concerned, my cat's healthy, she's safe, she's happy, and she's better off in the situation that she's in. If I thought otherwise, I'd re-assess the situation and find something more suitable to her well being. But her spending a few hours a day in my yard is really not hurting anyone.
As far as the allergy aspect, someone is far, far more likely to have an allergic reaction to pet dander when they are in an indoor environment with a cat or with someone who has cat dander on their clothing. When my nephews come to our house, we have to put the cats outside, both for the safety of the cats, and for the safety of the kids, who will chase the cats, open doors, and climb to get at them. My oldest nephew also has severe cat allergies, and can't breathe when the cats are in the house with him.
FWIW, I've had cats before who had no desire to ever go outdoors, and those cats have been 100% indoor cats. I have no issue with people who keep their cats indoors. I just don't believe that it is necessarily better.