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Tags cat issues , cats , pet issues

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Old 21st June 2013, 07:33 PM   #81
Lisa Simpson
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
I've had quite a few cats over the years, and it's always seemed to me that it would be horribly cruel to force one to remain indoors for its whole life. By all means offer them the indoors as a safe haven should they want to remain there. But in the end they are grown beings, independently minded and perfectly able to make choices for themselves. They're well aware that the outdoors is a big place with many dangers; if they choose to go out there anyway, I think they have every right to do so.
Great. My cat must be "well aware" of the dangers of drinking the ethylene glycol from my neighbor's leaky car. That will be a comfort to my kids when the cat dies.
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Old 21st June 2013, 07:39 PM   #82
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If you want my cats you'll have to pry their long, sharp claws from my back!
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Old 21st June 2013, 07:48 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
I've had quite a few cats over the years, and it's always seemed to me that it would be horribly cruel to force one to remain indoors for its whole life. By all means offer them the indoors as a safe haven should they want to remain there. But in the end they are grown beings, independently minded and perfectly able to make choices for themselves. They're well aware that the outdoors is a big place with many dangers; if they choose to go out there anyway, I think they have every right to do so.
The fence I installed was expensive. But at the end of the day, I simply couldn't live with myself if I deprived these creatures whom I love of the simple basic pleasure of sitting in the sunshine on the grass and breathing fresh air on a beautiful spring afternoon.

The golden rule doesn't just apply to us monkeys, after all.
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Old 21st June 2013, 09:54 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
There was a fascinating study done recently on owned and feral cats, who were tagged and whose movements were tracked.

Some of the cats had pretty wide-ranging territories.

But all of the cats, both owned and feral, stuck close to human structures. None of them ventured out into the bush.

It seems that the domestic cat is exactly that. It has evolved to live in symbiosis with humans.
If I had 1/2 oz of sense, I would've done several studies at The Cat Ranch.* One thing I noticed was that a fair number of ferals that had to be put in the hospital barn wouldn't want to leave once they realized that food & safety were assured.

* I need to post part 2 of that story at some point.
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Old 21st June 2013, 10:51 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
I've had quite a few cats over the years, and it's always seemed to me that it would be horribly cruel to force one to remain indoors for its whole life. By all means offer them the indoors as a safe haven should they want to remain there. But in the end they are grown beings, independently minded and perfectly able to make choices for themselves. They're well aware that the outdoors is a big place with many dangers; if they choose to go out there anyway, I think they have every right to do so.
This is incorrect, and dangerous, advice. Cats are NOT "perfectly able to make choices for themselves". Some might be, but others (like my brother's cat) will happily swallow chunks of rubber that then have to be surgically removed. Not all cats know which foods are poison to them, or understand that roads can have fast-moving death-machines come out of nowhere, or that winged killers can drop from above to devour them.

You're anthropomorphizing, and that can have deadly consequences.
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Old 21st June 2013, 11:44 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Is it still right to keep them down there?

The cats??
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Old 21st June 2013, 11:47 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Originally Posted by Shalamar View Post
Are these women likely to get hit by a car and killed, or seriously injured where they'll drag themselves somewhere to slowly die in extreme agony? Is there a chance they'll be hunted and killed for food? Could they inadvertently eat something that was poisoned? Will someone shoot these women for pooping in a flower garden?
Maybe.

Depends on who they are and where they live.

Reverse anthropomorphizing??
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Old 21st June 2013, 11:56 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Lisa Simpson View Post
Here's a picture of my terribly deprived cat, Bogart.
I can't believe it took until post #68 to post a picture of a cat, in a thread about cats!
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Old 22nd June 2013, 12:03 AM   #89
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I have had cats who preferred to stay indoors all the time, and cats who would howl to be let out. I've always lived in relatively safe places although I did have one cat run over and killed by a car when I lived in a city.

Serena, the cat I have now, is blind so she goes out on a harness and lead for a walk, or I let her into the enclosed back garden. She usually comes running in if the magpies start chattering, or a leaf blows into her face, but she can't sense all the dangers so I have to keep a very close eye on her. She's only a young cat, three years old, and she loves to sit in an open doorway so she can experience the outside world while still being protected in the house. Apparently some blind cats still hunt and even catch prey, but Serena doesn't.

The feline ophthalmologist said her blindness may have been due to her previous owners feeding her on the wrong foods, such as dog food. Whatever the reason, she'll never recover her sight so she'll always need close monitoring.

Those cat runs look like a wonderful way of allowing a cat out in safety where there are dangerous roads or predators.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 12:07 AM   #90
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There's one major advantage of having an outdoor cat that nobody's mentioned yet.

You don't need to change the litter box nearly as often.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 03:56 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Lisa Simpson View Post
Great. My cat must be "well aware" of the dangers of drinking the ethylene glycol from my neighbor's leaky car. That will be a comfort to my kids when the cat dies.
They may not understand a particular danger, but they know the outside is a dangerous place. And if you and the kids can't handle owning a cat then you shouldn't get a cat.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 04:09 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
I think this is something of a common misconception. Looking for a reputable source I find...
A pet that spends more time outdoors may live on average 2 to 3 years less than a cat that lives exclusively indoors.
Source: http://www.vetinfo.com/indoor-outdoo...xpectancy.html

Living on average for 2 to 3 years less is very different from only living on average for 2 to 3 years.
Actually, the stats I was referring to are in the next paragraph. I was going for the two extreme ends. I am sure people's cats will fall in the middle depending on how much time they spend outside, but "more time outdoors" is hardly a helpful criteria.

It isn't divided between outdoor and indoor cats. Thinking in terms of percent of time outside is more accurate.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:19 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
It isn't divided between outdoor and indoor cats. Thinking in terms of percent of time outside is more accurate.
Although, how the cat employs the outdoor time is also a factor. A cat that spends its time sunning itself on the carport roof or chasing lizards around the backyard is in less danger than a cat that crosses several busy streets to get to its favorite scratching post.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:23 AM   #94
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The 2-3 year average lifespan for post-kitten feral cats looks a bit like one of those "sticky numbers" that enters popular circulation and is hard to budge.

Reading the (anecdotal, it's true) accounts in several "feral cat project" websites they either quote 2-3 years with no further comment or take that number and dispute it pretty enthusiastically. What I can't find is such a project that suggests 2-3 years based on what they observe.

Last edited by GlennB; 22nd June 2013 at 06:26 AM. Reason: removed irrelevant quote
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:32 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
The cats??
No, the women.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:33 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
Reverse anthropomorphizing??
Yes!
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:33 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Actually, the stats I was referring to are in the next paragraph. I was going for the two extreme ends. I am sure people's cats will fall in the middle depending on how much time they spend outside, but "more time outdoors" is hardly a helpful criteria.

*finds link and looks up the next paragraph*
Stray and feral cats live significantly less. On average, a stray cat lives 5 years if he is in a community of cats and 2 to 3 years if he lives by himself. This is due to unbalanced nutrition and lack of veterinary treatment and vaccinations. In addition, feral cats may get killed while fighting other wild animals.
So... by "outdoor cats", you were referring to stray and feral cats which aren't given food, shelter or medical care? That's not what most people mean by "outdoor cats".
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:40 AM   #98
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For those interested:

Cat enclosures

Cat habitats and accessories on Pinterest

Google image links for outdoor cat enclosures and furniture

There are lots of options!
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Old 22nd June 2013, 07:06 AM   #99
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Re Title, I want to know why you etch cats?
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Old 22nd June 2013, 08:15 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by IXP View Post
I am beginning to think it is unethical to keep cats, at least for someone who lives in a place where letting them outside is too dangerous.

Thoughts on the matter?

IXP
I don't see why it is unethical to keep an animal from doing something that is dangerous to it when it isn't capable of understanding the danger. That's exactly the responsibility you accept when you decide to have a cat, dog, or velociraptor.

In exactly the same way that I don't let my cat run around outside, I didn't let my children play outside unsupervised until they were old enough to understand how to stay out of danger. If a cat could be trained to stay out of the road and come in when strange and dangerous animals came into its yard while not slaughtering everything it could touch, then sure, it would make sense to let it out.

One thing that you didn't account for in your consideration is the danger to motorists. Twice you had cats struck by cars. Imagine how many close calls there were prior to these events. People brake hard and swerve to avoid animals, and it causes a small, but not insignificant number of auto accidents each year (~1000 annually in the US from cats and dogs from what I can find - the car/animal crash statistics mostly involve deer/car collisions here, and pig/car collisions in Europe.)
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Old 22nd June 2013, 09:22 AM   #101
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If you let the cat outside when it is young, it will want to go outside. There are two solutions : 1) never let it go outside. Works relatively OKish, even after a while they don't even try to go outside on their own. 2) use a leash from start. This one is hit and miss.

Keep in mind that a cat as pet live very long, compared to cat in the wild. If I recall correctely, a feral cat has a live expectancy of ~4 years , whereas compeltely indoor pet cat live 10+ years (except when you are called creme puff : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creme_Puff_(cat) ). So 6 years is not that bad , but you would be better off with a good barrier to the road , or keep the cat indoor.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 09:32 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
*finds link and looks up the next paragraph*
Stray and feral cats live significantly less. On average, a stray cat lives 5 years if he is in a community of cats and 2 to 3 years if he lives by himself. This is due to unbalanced nutrition and lack of veterinary treatment and vaccinations. In addition, feral cats may get killed while fighting other wild animals.
So... by "outdoor cats", you were referring to stray and feral cats which aren't given food, shelter or medical care? That's not what most people mean by "outdoor cats".
Most people don't mean anything by "outdoor cat" or "indoor cat".
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Old 22nd June 2013, 09:48 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
They may not understand a particular danger, but they know the outside is a dangerous place.
And your evidence for this is...? Sure, a cat that has encountered danger outside will probably learn that outside is dangerous, assuming they survive the encounter. Otherwise, though? Cats aren't born with an innate knowledge of cars, hawks, poisonous foods, diseases, or even just mild risks like skunks.

And even if a cat is aware of some outside risks, they may not actually make the connection between these risks and going outside. Their kitty brains may simply file those dangers away as "something that can happen", not "something that can happen if I go outside".

If you want to be a good cat owner, step one is to stop anthropomorphizing and actually try to understand cats as they are.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 10:30 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Most people don't mean anything by "outdoor cat" or "indoor cat".
Eh? It's totally clear that "indoor cat" is one that's always indoors, while "outdoor cat" is one that spends variable amounts of time outdoors.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 10:50 AM   #105
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Meanwhile, what's happening in this thread is a great example of a discussion of :

UtilitarianismWP is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, specifically defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering.

in which we're calculating, sort of, in our very different ways, the value of cat activities, risks, life-span etc.

Some (the racing drivers, deep-sea diver types perhaps [nutcases, imo, in case you think I'm being judgemental about 'quiet' people a little later]) place value on excitement even at the risk of injuries and maybe a shorter life.

Others (the gardeners and water-colour artists perhaps) place value on tranquility and safety.

Strictly personally, I get a thrill when I'm pottering in the back garden and Bouboulina appears at my heels, scuttles up a tree and looks down at me as if to say "ner-ner, you can't do that! Think I might climb even higher, 'cos I know it makes you nervous". And I suspect she enjoys it too, but really I have no clue what's happening in her head. It certainly looks like fun for the sake of it.

Do the swallows enjoy swooping around the way they do?

We have no idea, but if I had to bet I'd say Boubou's attitude might be "Hmm, I'm well fed, loved, treated for medical stuff, have great fun, face minor risks outside ... so I'll take that deal rather than stay indoors all day just for the added safety".

But in making that bet it's me speaking, not her.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 11:25 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Yeah, just like your domestic women and children, right?
Why would you keep domestic animals, unless you got some sort of pleasure or joy from them?
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Old 22nd June 2013, 11:29 AM   #107
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If you decide to keep a cat totally indoors, be very careful with their diet and find ways to encourage exercise. Indoors cats are more likely to suffer problems with overweight/obesity than outdoors cats. If I lived in an area where it wasn't safe to let a cat roam (less of a problem in the UK as we don't have the predators), I would go for one of those cat runs linked to in the thread for those reasons.

This is all completely hypothetical for me, as I am allergic to the little buggers.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 11:55 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
I also adopted a stray that was living in my backyard... the local laws say that I'm supposed to keep her inside at night.
If I deduce correctly, you're in Australia. Do I guess rightly that this law is aimed at protecting the local wildlife, rather than the cats?

I do gather that this is a troublous issue in Australia and NZ, and assorted other island areas where the original fauna has bad trouble coping with introduced predatory mammals. If I lived in those parts of the world, I think I'd feel considerably "torn" re priorities on this one.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 12:25 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Eh? It's totally clear that "indoor cat" is one that's always indoors, while "outdoor cat" is one that spends variable amounts of time outdoors.
You might think so, but people give different answers on the matter all the time. Even if everyone used that definition, it would still make the "outdoor" moniker too broad to be very useful. And there is a reason why "indoor-only" and "indoor-outdoor" have cropped up as terms. And then there is the whole "outdoor" vs "stray" vs "feral" distinction. This page has a "nice" chart of it all. But again, some people try to stick all those into indoor or outdoor categories and it just confuses things.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 12:27 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
The 2-3 year average lifespan for post-kitten feral cats looks a bit like one of those "sticky numbers" that enters popular circulation and is hard to budge.
Or it could just be a fact .

Quote:
Reading the (anecdotal, it's true) accounts in several "feral cat project" websites they either quote 2-3 years with no further comment or take that number and dispute it pretty enthusiastically. What I can't find is such a project that suggests 2-3 years based on what they observe.
There is no standard for feral cat colonies, so I think it is reasonable that the more involved ones would improve the lifespan. Especially given that they are spay/neutering, which we know increases life expectancy.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 12:49 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Akri View Post
This is incorrect, and dangerous, advice. Cats are NOT "perfectly able to make choices for themselves". Some might be, but others (like my brother's cat) will happily swallow chunks of rubber that then have to be surgically removed. Not all cats know which foods are poison to them, or understand that roads can have fast-moving death-machines come out of nowhere, or that winged killers can drop from above to devour them.

You're anthropomorphizing, and that can have deadly consequences.
Yes, this. Exactly this.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 01:01 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
We have no idea, but if I had to bet I'd say Boubou's attitude might be "Hmm, I'm well fed, loved, treated for medical stuff, have great fun, face minor risks outside ... so I'll take that deal rather than stay indoors all day just for the added safety".

But in making that bet it's me speaking, not her.
My dog would say he prefer to eat chocolate and take the risk that it would kill him. Luckily he cannot talk and is not in control of the chocolate .

There is a notion that since animals lack the proper awareness of future life (many definitions we could give there), we can only analyse their dilemmas in the present moment. I disagree with that notion.

Anyway, I think a way where your scenario falls short is that the "added safety" sounds like you are talking about wearing kneepads, and not a substantial decrease in life expectancy.

Of course, this all is dealing with unknowns based on probabilities (will they get hit by a car, will they get fat and bored, will they die of cancer in two months anyway), which I would argue Utilitarianism is incapable of properly handling. But I know people will come around with the proper hedonistic calculus if I wait for it.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 01:30 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by rustypouch View Post
Why would you keep domestic animals, unless you got some sort of pleasure or joy from them?
Well, that wan't my point, but I actually got cats because my house was infested with mice. Of course, I came to love them dearly.

ETA: The cats, not the mice.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 03:13 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by fleabeetle View Post
If I deduce correctly, you're in Australia. Do I guess rightly that this law is aimed at protecting the local wildlife, rather than the cats?
Yes. That's why I have my location set to "Downunder".

The law is probably there to protect the local wildlife, although I'm not sure how effective it is.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 04:22 PM   #115
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I just got mine because I felt sorry for it. I found him sitting next to a takeaway shop when he was a kitten, meowing for food. I knew he would probably die in the summer heat, temperatures easily climb to 118 degrees where I live. He is very spoilt, always gets the best of everything. He throws tantrums if he doesn't get his favorite foods, starts pushing fragile objects off tables knowing I will come running. He hunts a lot and crosses a fairly busy road frequently, but is used to cars. He is very vocal, serves as the door bell basically as he starts to meow when people knock at the front door. He meows when a phone keeps on ringing or an alarm clock keeps going off. He also meows when I talk to him.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 05:11 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Re Title, I want to know why you etch cats?
Usually it's my cats that do the etching. On the furniture.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 09:19 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Usually it's my cats that do the etching. On the furniture.
Etching or retching?
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Old 23rd June 2013, 04:02 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
You are violating the cats natural cat rights by keeping it locked inside like a prisoner when it clearly wants to go outside. It would be no different from forcibly keeping women locked inside your basement for "companionship".

Yes. It would be different. In fact, it is different.

For starters, human beings =/= cats.

We can work from there if you need more help.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 04:08 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by fleabeetle View Post
If I deduce correctly, you're in Australia. Do I guess rightly that this law is aimed at protecting the local wildlife, rather than the cats?

I do gather that this is a troublous issue in Australia and NZ, and assorted other island areas where the original fauna has bad trouble coping with introduced predatory mammals. If I lived in those parts of the world, I think I'd feel considerably "torn" re priorities on this one.
I don't know if I would feel torn.

It's the amusement of one domestic animal, vs. the lives of dozens, if not hundreds of wild animals.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 04:11 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by IXP View Post
Yes, that is part of my dilemma. If we let out cat out, birds and rodents die.

IXP
Yeah. Sorry to break this to you, but animals tend to kill each other.

If you want a pet, buy one. Then take care of it and take your responsibility. There's not much "ethics" beyond that.
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