For many years I have said to myself “you have to send that letter.” Every time I see a new sign go up I kick myself for not doing it. Unfortunately this fall I have seen poster after poster, sign after sign, plea after plea from cat owners whose cats are missing. Some are cats who have simply sneaked out mistakenly, but many are cats who have been going out “because they like to go out and it’s natural for cats to go out.” It is not natural for them to not return, but that is what is happening.
For years when I worked at HART and at other jobs with the responsibility of adopting cats into new homes, I refused to adopt to a home where they planned to let a cat outdoors. For this very reason: they do not survive well. Humans are encroaching on the territory of wildlife and our cats are becoming their food source. For years people have told me I am inhumane by keeping our cats indoors for their entire lives, that cats need to go out. Why? So that I can endure the heartache that the folks who have these posters and signs up offering rewards? I chose not to let my cats out and strongly encourage all of my cat owning friends to do the same. They live longer, safer lives and while we still suffer when we lose them, we don’t have to wonder what horrible fate they have met outdoors.