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#301 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And then there's the possibility that your cat will kill you if you let it roam...

My husband is a microbiolgist, studying Yersinia Pestis (the Plague). Y. Pestis is prevalent in the US, especially among prairie dog populations, but among other rodents as well. The rodents do not get the plague, but they carry the fleas that transmit it. Dogs don't get it either, but cats do.

He told me about a case in Colorado in 1992 where a domestic cat, allowed to roam, contracted the Plague, and transmitted it to his owner (by coughing and sneezing, not by carrying the fleas).

http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/content/abs...1/1/109?ck=nck

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#302 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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Again, no one is saying cats should never be let outside, only that it should be done responsibly (meaning supervised or enclosed). You cant know what your cat does outside if you are not watching them. Just because you see them in your yard at 11 and again 1 doesnt mean they were there the whole time.

Also, I am so sick of the indoor cats are so sad arguement....no they are not. As said before, if they are, it can be fixed in a way that does not include going outside (or going out resposibly)

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Boy there are a lot of people who do not have much understanding about cats.

To me, it is all about managing your pet.

I allow my dog outside in our fenced yard because he is a ding dong and will run away and eat deer poop otherwise. I don't allow him in the yard unattended because he will dig holes and bark at deer and HE will chase and kill birds. In the fenced yard. I walk him on a leash and feed him good food and took him to obedience class and trained him because that is what a good dog owner does.

My cats go outside when we are home and they are watched and they do not kill birds. I am just as responsible with my cats as my dog. Why is that so hard to understand? Why can't cats be indoor/outdoor in a responsible manner? I know a few indoor only cats and they always seem sad, sitting by the windows, looking out. They always seemed bored.

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#303 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
And then there's the possibility that your cat will kill you if you let it roam...

My husband is a microbiolgist, studying Yersinia Pestis (the Plague). Y. Pestis is prevalent in the US, especially among prairie dog populations, but among other rodents as well. The rodents do not get the plague, but they carry the fleas that transmit it. Dogs don't get it either, but cats do.

He told me about a case in Colorado in 1992 where a domestic cat, allowed to roam, contracted the Plague, and transmitted it to his owner (by coughing and sneezing, not by carrying the fleas).

http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/content/abs...1/1/109?ck=nck

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#304 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
And then there's the possibility that your cat will kill you if you let it roam...

My husband is a microbiolgist, studying Yersinia Pestis (the Plague). Y. Pestis is prevalent in the US, especially among prairie dog populations, but among other rodents as well. The rodents do not get the plague, but they carry the fleas that transmit it. Dogs don't get it either, but cats do.

He told me about a case in Colorado in 1992 where a domestic cat, allowed to roam, contracted the Plague, and transmitted it to his owner (by coughing and sneezing, not by carrying the fleas).

http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/content/abs...1/1/109?ck=nck
yeah and there's the possibility that roaming-dogs will maul your face off.
and i got chased by a raccoon once when i was on my rollerblades.
and once i was at a public park, and free-roaming ducks tried to eat my toes just cause i was wearing sandals (no I was not feeding them.)
and last time i went camping free-roaming coyotes tried to get into my supply tent.
maybe i should never go outside.
or maybe we should develop small little enclosures for every animal, all around the world.
cause this place is just too dangerous for us humans. and seriously, animals are ruining OUR property. they need to be contained and disinfected. we should control their reproduction. and offer them glimpses of freedom when we buy them a bouncy ball and some of their favorite intoxicating plant. make them desperate for attention from us, and call them our pets.

(now for all of you that have actual inside cats...whatever...cool...i had an inside cat once. he hated outside.)

but i have a feeling the rest of you DO really have a deep misunderstanding about animals, their needs, their role in the world, and our relationship to them.

for this reason, i am unsubbing. because this argument could go on forever.

peace!

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#305 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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and i got chased by a raccoon once when i was on my rollerblades.
and once i was at a public park, and free-roaming ducks tried to eat my toes just cause i was wearing sandals (no I was not feeding them.)
and last time i went camping free-roaming coyotes tried to get into my supply tent.
maybe i should never go outside.
or maybe we should develop small little enclosures for every animal, all around the world.
Sorry, I thought this discussion was about domestic cats, not undomesticated wildlife. My bad.

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but i have a feeling the rest of you DO really have a deep misunderstanding about animals, their needs, their role in the world, and our relationship to them.
A *different* understanding, at the very least. You may see it as cruel and unnatural to keep a cat indoors. I see it as cruel and unnatural to allow a cat to be exposed to dangerous situations (cars, vindictive neighbors, etc) that they do not have the capacity to handle and that I, as a responsible owner, can prevent. That is my understanding of what it means to be an animal guardian.
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#306 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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It really is pretty easy:

Wild/native animals = outside animals.

Domesticated animals (of a size & description that identifies them as house pets) = indoor or outdoor/leashed or outdoor/fenced animals.

If a dog, this means in a fenced yard when outdoors or leashed. NEVER free-roaming.

If a cat, this means indoors or in an enclosure when outdoors or leashed. NEVER free-roaming.

These are pets. Responsible pet owners own-up to their responsibilities. Letting them roam is not responsible.

I live in the country and have had to deal with dumped cats and kittens (because, don't you know, everyone that lives in the country wants cats for years. They are not allowed to go feral, trust me.

We are also faced with the constantly-reproducing barn cats of an irresponsible owner just up the hill from where we live (who, by the way, doesn't believe their cats roam away from their barn, even when I have returned 7 of them within a two week period, two years ago). Despite having acres of meadows around our place, these cats prefer the well-sifted soil of our multiple gardens (why poop on their own property when they can come down to ours? Stated with sarcasm...). There have been three litters of kittens born in our open wood shed (and, one on our BBQ, under the fabric cover!).

Cleaning up their crap and dealing with their birthing, fighting and spraying (from both dumped and neighboring cats) was something I decided I would not put up with anymore.

It is not my responsibility to provide shelter/feed/chipping/labor & delivery facilities/spaying or neutering for other people's pets, wanted or unwanted.

If a cat is on my property, it is on my property. It is trapped and off to the vet to be euthanized.
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#307 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
And then there's the possibility that your cat will kill you if you let it roam...

My husband is a microbiolgist, studying Yersinia Pestis (the Plague). Y. Pestis is prevalent in the US, especially among prairie dog populations, but among other rodents as well. The rodents do not get the plague, but they carry the fleas that transmit it. Dogs don't get it either, but cats do.

He told me about a case in Colorado in 1992 where a domestic cat, allowed to roam, contracted the Plague, and transmitted it to his owner (by coughing and sneezing, not by carrying the fleas).

http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/content/abs...1/1/109?ck=nck
I don't really buy into that any more than I buy into the people who said when I was growing up that California was going to fall into the ocean.

There are fewer than 20 cases of the plague reported in the US each year, and the vast majority of those aren't fatal. Worldwide, the numbers are in the very low thousands, and again, the majority of those cases aren't fatal. I think that your assertion that someone's outdoor cat could give them the plague is really over-the-top dramatic.
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#308 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't say it would happen to everyone - or even very many. This isolated case took place in 1992 (as I indicated).

I had never heard of it before, and found it interesting. I thought others might find it interesting as well. I did know that prairie dogs are carriers (one should never go near a freshly dead prarie dog), but I was not aware that cats can get pneumonic plague - and give it to their owners.

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#309 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grahamsmom98
It really is pretty easy:

Wild/native animals = outside animals.

Domesticated animals (of a size & description that identifies them as house pets) = indoor or outdoor/leashed or outdoor/fenced animals.

If a dog, this means in a fenced yard when outdoors or leashed. NEVER free-roaming.

If a cat, this means indoors or in an enclosure when outdoors or leashed. NEVER free-roaming.

These are pets. Responsible pet owners own-up to their responsibilities. Letting them roam is not responsible.
YES!!!

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Despite having acres of meadows around our place, these cats prefer the well-sifted soil of our multiple gardens (why poop on their own property when they can come down to ours?).
There is a reason for this.
Cats defecate and urinate at the edge of their territory boundary, which means it's far away from the property they live, eat, sleep and reproduce in. This odiferous boundary warns away other cats before they can infiltrate the resident cat's territory.

I've also heard this is why cat's are in a hurry to finish their business. Smelling their own feces and urine indicates they are at the dangerous outside of their territory and therefore it is more likely to encounter an enemy cat. So even indoor cats sometimes race out of their litterbox. That is also why it's best to locate their indoor litterboxes at the farthest reaches indoors from their food and sleeping places. It's natural.

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#310 of 313 Old 04-21-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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I didn't say it would happen to everyone - or even very many. This isolated case took place in 1992 (as I indicated).

I had never heard of it before, and found it interesting. I thought others might find it interesting as well. I did know that prairie dogs are carriers (one should never go near a freshly dead prarie dog), but I was not aware that cats can get pneumonic plague - and give it to their owners.
I can't wait to tell Dp that cats can carry plague! Dp's really interested in all things plague related.

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#311 of 313 Old 05-02-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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It seems that many of us have a fundamental difference of opinion on what our relationship is to the animals in our lives and what rights animals have. I don't think either side is going to convince the other because of that fundamental difference. I am not offended by that difference. 99% of my aquaintances also disagree with me, including my husband. So I will not be offended by you disagreeing with me, and I hope you are not going to be offended by me disagreeing with you. (I mean you as in everyone that has a different opinion on this) Some people believe that since we are responsible for our pets that that means we must protect them from every danger, protect ourselves from every danger that they could exact on us, and protect all of those around us from every danger they could exact.

I agree that we need to help and protect them and others from extreme dangers, but I do not think we should keep them in a 'bubble' (I realize people don't really want to shield them from absolutely everything - that's just the metaphor I could come up with right now) and try to protect them and us from every conceivable thing. Baby animals should be treated like babies and constantly supervised and adult animals should be treated like adults and given independence. If a cat or dog or other animal was causing a lot of problems or attacking other animals, people, or other things, I would keep it on a leash, inside or in a fenced in area since it has shown it can not be a part of "society" productively. If I lived next to a road with a lot of traffic I would do the same since there would be a large probability of being hit by a car. I realize there is a probability of them being hit by a car on any road, but I personally believe the benefits of freedom and independence outway the risks. But then, I would never live by a busy road, and if I did I *would not* have any animal companions. However, a normal animal that is not agressive to other animals unless defending itself or its friends (including people friends), I do not think it is necessary to keep them confined. Yes, a cat may kill the ocasional mouse, but then that is it's dinner for the night. So, then it is not eating the other animals killed to make it's food that it is usually given (unless you feed it vegetarian food, but then plants are being killed to feed it). What others have said, about it being the Circle of Life, it is. Something has to be killed in order for us and all animals to survive. Now, if my cat started killing birds that could possibly be endangered, then I would take measures to make sure my cat would not kill birds anymore. If that meant keeping them inside for awhile, so be it. But, since I know that the mice around where I am are not endangered, I'm not worried about them.

Also, I see a lot of people making a distinction between domesticated animals and wild animals like there is a difference in that animals rights, needs, wants, independence, etc. I do not make a distinction. Yes, their behavior is obviously different, and so that does make some of their needs different. But as far as their right to be independent, l disagree. Some of you might say well, you are making them dependent on you because you are feeding them. But, I say, I am giving them the choice to eat the food I put out. They can choose not to eat it and go catch a mouse to eat instead if they so choose. The *only* reason I would do even this is because domesticated animals risk euthanization if they are not someone's "pet." Yes, I realize that they are still in danger of being euthanized if they are outside at all, but that danger is decreased if they have a collar, tags, chip, etc. I still think it sucks that we euthanize at all. I think it is wrong, but that is the world we live in. I think that giving an animal its freedom and independence outweighs the risk that they would be euthanized with a collar, etc. The other reason that I would have an animal companion is because some domesticated animals genuinely love being around people, that is how they grew up and it is what they are used to. If a stray or an animal in a shelter that euthanizes or another animal needed adopting, I would have it as an animal companion (as long as the animal agreed ), so that it would be comfortable. I know that some animals like being inside all the time, and if that is their choice, that is just fine, like I said, it's up to the animal.

Growing up over the years we had six cats, four dogs, rabbits, and horses. We had 87 acres of land surrounding our house. One cat liked being inside almost all of the time. The others liked being outside. The dogs went in and out. One of the horses walked around the lawn, etc., supervised, he was especially social. The other horses had about ten fenced in acres to roam around connected with their barn so they could go in and out. I don't quite agree with that, but what else can you do unless they are on an island? The bunnies, unfortunately, were in a cage. I regret that, although it wasn't my decision, and I was little, I still regret it. Although we did let them jump around on the lawn, sometimes in a fence, sometimes not - they didn't run away.

I am firmly in the domestication sucks camp. I don't think we should have brought non-native animals over here. However, I recognized in our flawed and messed up world today, that we do not allow certain animals to be wild, domesticated animals that have been brought to their non-native parts of the world. I am not necessarily advocating that we release all domesticated animals into the wild in their non-native areas since that would reak havoc on many ecosystems. But domestication sucks and we have to deal with it. There is no good answer. There are too many domesticated animals now to send them all back to their native land and let them be wild, even if everyone would agree to that. I am absolutely against killing and euthanization of any kind unless it's for survival (food and defense). So, what options do we have left then if you take away euthanization and send them back? I have concluded that we can take care of them as humanely, respectfully, and give them indepence, while at the same time making sure they do not exact extreme harm to the environment. Should we spay and neuter every domestic animal so that they will die out? I'm not sure...even if we wanted to I'm not sure we could convince all domestic owners. And then, would we be contributing to the extinction of a species? Unless we released a number of each domestic species into their native habitat...I don't know, I'm still working through this one.

I struggled with my own opinions about all of this for a long time and am still struggling with them. After all, if I really were true to my beliefs I would not contribute to the destruction or subjugation of animals of any kind by living off the land and be self-sustainable. I haven't been able to get there yet. Am I a hypocrite? Yes! Am I working towards fufilling and living out my beliefs? Yes! Our world today and temptations make it hard to do, and I have to convince my husband, but I am working towards it...
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#312 of 313 Old 05-02-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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I think it's a 100% personal choice of the pet owner.

I think there are more cons - meaning more money to the vet, and increased risk of death and injury - when you let your cat outside. However there's no denying they LOVE to be outside, and it stimulates them in a way nothing inside can.

I live in an apartment building, that is the main reason my cats are indoor only. I plan on moving to a house with a yard at some point, and I will probably allow my one cat to become indoor/outdoor, for the sole reason that she BLASTS through the front door when you open it (I have become an expert at blocking her, but it's never 100% - more like 50). She can only run in the hallway where I live now, but aside from locking her in a room full time I don't see how I can keep her inside if there is a door leading outside. I'll supervise her transition, and her time outside, as much as possible, of course. My other two show no desire to get out, so I will save on boosters, medications, treatment for injuries etc their whole lives, and also benefit the local bird population.

I do agree in some part with hippiekaren. Dogs and cats, if raised in a way that allows them to make their own decisions about where they go and what they do, are capable of taking care of themselves roaming free. 50 years ago in this country most dogs and cats roamed free and had their own lives and interests away from their owners house. However, my dogs have never had that luxury, are idiots and can't be trusted off the leash for a second.

Also, the overpopulation of dogs and cats has reached such a point that spay/neuter programs are the only way to go. It's not like we can educate them, or provide them with different options of birth control, the way we can with people in over-populated countries with not enough resources. These animals have NO choice - they breed and give birth to more animals that will live hard, breed like crazy and might die early, no matter what we do, unless we neuter and spay them..

It comes down to this: do you want all animals to have their 'rights' to reproduce, even when most of the animals they are producing are suffering or starving? I think the right of every animal to live and have enough to eat trumps the right to mate and give birth, when they have no concious choice in the matter.. abstinence is not an option for many animals, humans excepted.
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#313 of 313 Old 05-02-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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Also, the overpopulation of dogs and cats has reached such a point that spay/neuter programs are the only way to go. It's not like we can educate them, or provide them with different options of birth control, the way we can with people in over-populated countries with not enough resources. These animals have NO choice - they breed and give birth to more animals that will live hard, breed like crazy and might die early, no matter what we do, unless we neuter and spay them..

It comes down to this: do you want all animals to have their 'rights' to reproduce, even when most of the animals they are producing are suffering or starving? I think the right of every animal to live and have enough to eat trumps the right to mate and give birth, when they have no concious choice in the matter.. abstinence is not an option for many animals, humans excepted.


Yes, I agree with most of this, but I do disagree a little bit with the reasoning behind it. I disagree that just because they are starving means that they shouldn't have their "rights" to reproduce (I wrote a little () about this in my other thread too, I just couldn't help it. ), however, with the world we live in, our policies, and the threat of extreme overpopulation (too bad we can't educate them on birth controll and abstinence! ), spaying and neutering are the best option. Thank you all for your discussion on this, it has been very thought provoking. I must say before reading this thread, I hadn't heard about Hawaii and other places where cats were causing bird extinction. It's good food for thought. If I do have any cats in the future I will be very mindful of this fact, and ensure my cats are not catching any endangered birds.

I also agree that it is a 100% the pet owners choice, since they are trying to do the best and most responsible (what they think is responsible) thing for their particular cat. Just some of us disagree what the best and responsible choice is, and that's OK.
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