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May 27, 2003

A CAT PERSON ANSWERS

Hi Dave,

Cat advocacy organizations try to place cats in indoor homes to A) protect the cat from outdoor hazards, B) reduce the load on wildlife rehabilitators, who often get saddled with the countless wild animals and birds that pet cats injure, and C) reduce the huge feral (wild) cat overpopulation problem, which is fueled by pet cats that are lost or abandoned before they are neutered.

Check out HSUS's "Safe Cats" webpage (www.safecats.org) with a video on hazards to outdoor pet cats.

I owned a small wildlife control business in NYS that also manages feral cat colonies. My site is pretty lame, but you can link there if you want to give your readers a laugh in amateur web building and half-finished sites (www.americancat.org). I place all my rescued kittens in indoor homes, except for truly feral cats, whom we sterilize before returning the cats to their owners. This prevents them from contributing to the growing population of feral cats.

(Anticipated question: why don't we just humanely euthanize the wild cats instead of neutering them and letting them go again? Because most landowners won't let us near their cats if we are going to kill them. However, if I can find a vet who will fix their cats at a low cost, the cat owners happily give me access to their property. Kittens get homes; cats get neutered; no more feral cats. Next question!)

I had to smile at Jeff's comment about the shelter preferring to keep the cat in a little cage rather than adopt to him, because people ask me that all the time. No, my kittens won't be stuck languishing in a cage if I turn away an indoor/outdoor home. They'll just get adopted to the next indoor home that comes along. The majority of people who call me are happy to keep their pet inside. Who wants a pet that is "just fine" outside? The point of getting a pet is interacting with it, and that's best done indoors.

I absolutely understand why people would like to see their cat enjoying a warm nap on a sunny porch or in the garden. They sure are beautiful. But those of us who rescue animals out of our slim wallets need to think about the larger picture: What's safest for the cats, what's safest for the wildlife, and what will end the national problem with the growing feral cat population.

There you go! And no one is refusing to adopt Jeff a kitten. All he has to do is keep the cat safely indoors. I spend over $100 on each kitten I rescue. If I'm going to hand someone a $100 out of my wallet, I want to know that kitten is going to have a safe solid home. Jeff sounds like the kind of guy I'd adopt to---IF I were sure he'd keep the door shut.

Funny. I bookmarked your blog so I could think of something OTHER than cats at least once a day--like the Giant Cheeto. And hey, don't pick on Barry Manilow until you've heard him play Like A Virgin on the accordion.

Susan Greene
Wildrun
Spencer, NY
www.americancat.org

Comments

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I am a New York State resident who has friends in Canada. Their daughter is developing an allergy to their cat, and they need to move the cat or daughter out of the house. After much anguish, they have decided to keep the daughter. When I am there, the cat spends more time with me (I never say no to petting) than anyone else, so they have offered him to me.

My problem is, I am finding it very difficult to find out what information/forms/procedures et cetera must be followed. (Finding information for importing livestock is easy. For adopting a single pet, it is not.)

Can anyone lead me to the forms and procedures I need? (Canada to USA export of a PET. NY State regulations.)

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