Cats and humans have coexisted for centuries. But times are changing. We need to ensure that they are well looked after, as well as protecting other native animals from them, especially in built up city locations.

For years it was acceptable to let the cat out to roam at they liked. But our cities are now getting overpopulated with unwanted litters of kittens being an issue every year. There are lots of journal articles referencing scientific studies that have done research into suburban cats, their health, and the damage they can do. Cat Containment and desexing nonbreeding cats can go a long way to helping with these issues.

The thing I hear often is that it is unfair to keep cats contained because they should be able to roam free. If we don’t allow our dogs to do this, why are cats any different? Should we be encouraging their territorial nature and hunting instincts?

I am a big advocate of containment. There is no reason that a cat needs to go off your property. Cats don’t need to roam. Keeping them contained stops them from fighting, from being hit by cars, and it has been scientifically proven that they suffer less injuries and avoid diseases. This is beneficial to the health of the animal and reduces vet bills for the owner (Cat Alliance of Australia, 2018, Eyles and Mulvaney, 2014). Contained cats can live to up to four times longer than roaming cats (Allen, 2017). The secret is that cats need to have adequate enrichment in their environment dependant on their breed and personality.

So why don’t more people contain their cats to their property? There is the belief that its not easy to keep a cat inside if they want to go out which is true to some extent. Unlike a dog, they can easily climb and jump fences so keeping a cat contained needs a little more thought. But it doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise.

Cat containment doesn’t mean you have to keep the cat inside all the time, although some cats are quite happy to stay inside. Containing cats is getting easier and easier to accommodate these days as companies are now providing retrofitting services. They will come to your property and make changes to ensure the cats that live there have great spaces to explore and live. There are also outdoor portable options that can be set up and taken down as necessary.

Bringing  a cat into your life should be a carefully thought out consideration. If you are going to own any animal you need to ensure that you can provide a good clean safe environment for them to live, correct dietary requirements and lots of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pedigree cat or rescue, all cats deserve a good life.

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