A cat's right to be free!
Well just go straight on the subject.
An always as hot subject in discussions is the outdoor cat’s be or not to be.
I can't tell how many times I heard someone said, “I don't believe in keeping a cat indoor - cats are supposed to be able to run freely, to climb in trees and hunt, that's in their nature”.
If you are one of those, I really would like you to think through this philosophy.
Humans also used to live freely, in one with nature, long ago we didn’t even have houses. We slept in caves or under trees, but we always searched comfort.
In time we start building windshields, and after that houses, we put in heat in our nicer and nicer accommodations. During this time we become friends with the little cat. The cat got domesticated and moved in with us in our warm and comfy homes, together with us.
How many stories isn't it about homeless cats, and even half-feral cats, who just moved in from the cold into a house, just to never leave again. How many people have not said things like: “The cat just moved in”.
In today's society where we live in urban areas close to each other with a lot of traffic, our cats are in great danger every time they put their paw outside the door. They are exposed to poisoning, both in gardens and the environment. They are exposed to other cats and dogs. They are vulnerable for the cruelty both from children and adults who just does not like cats and who does not like them around, they are exposed to torture.
They will easily be hit by cars since they do not recognize them as “natural enemies”.
They will be exposed to a lot of diseases and insects who might carry even more diseases.
We come a long way in our thinking when it comes to dogs. We even got laws against dogs walking around freely. Why are still so many people unwilling to change their thinking about the cat?
Does not also the cat have the right to our care regarding their well-being? Does not the cat also got the right to the same kind of comfort we search for, to live in a warm and protected place? Does not also the cat got the right to a safe outdoor environment?
Luckily, many people start to realize that the cat is much happier and safer when it is allowed to be outdoor only in a controlled way in a leash or a cat run.
A lot of people now days realize that they do have a responsibility to keep their animals safe. Those cats are lucky, healthy and live a lot longer in their loving homes with their considerate families.
The life expectancy of a cat increases considerably IF it’s an indoor cat!
Next time you or a friend of yours claims that cats should be able to wander about freely - ask yourself this question. Would you rather die young - or would you like to live a long healthy life? Don't you think your cat would answer the same as you just did?
And also ask yourself this question. How many do you know who let their dog out unsupervised, and then leave for work? Ask yourself if it’s your cat's nature is to wander about freely, isn’t this also the dogs, horses, pigs, and all other animals obvious right?
Think about your cats right to be free from illness, free from parasites, from mean dogs and cats, and all other dangers outside your door.
Please consider keeping your cat inside. Grant your cat some stable scratching trees, activation and toys. Let your cat bloom with health and happiness. Be a responsible pet owner and make sure your animals best comes in first hand and see first and foremost to their real needs, don't fall for the myths on the way.
There is something calling the five freedoms and if all of these are met it’s considered that the animal got high welfare. John Webster, professor of animal husbandry and researcher from Bristol University, compiled the Five Freedoms in 1979.
The Five Freedoms are described in full as follows:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst, through access to freshwater and a diet that maintains complete health and vigor. (Give your cat a good quality food, wouldn't you let your kids eat only fast food year after year would you?).
- Freedom from discomfort, by providing a suitable environment that includes shelter and a comfortable resting place.
- Freedom from pain, injury and illness through the prevention of this or rapid diagnosis and treatment. (A good insurance helps, do not get a cat unless you can afford it).
- Freedom to perform natural behavior, by satisfying the animal's need for sufficient space, the right resources, and companionship of the animal's own kind. (Access to scratching trees, toys to hunt, etc.).
- Freedom from fear and worry, by securing conditions and treatments that avoid mental suffering. (Being outdoor in cat run or a leash are a good start).
By measuring the animal's physical condition, its physiology and behavior, one can get an idea of how the animal wants to be treated. Even today we have no solution to combine these measures of animal welfare into a single measure, this is something that is extremely difficult to measure but by reviewing the above we have at least a good chance to give our cat the best we can.
By: Malin Sundqvist
Source The five freedoms: