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No need to keep cats indoors | Letter to the Editor
I would like to offer a few comments regarding Sara Van Fleet’s recent letter regarding cats (“Outdoor cats have an impact on wildlife,” Sept. 28.)
First of all, I question the validity of the statement that indoor cats live an average of three times longer than outdoor cats. When making a statement like that, it would be useful to site the source of the information, as otherwise it is just hearsay. It is possible and makes sense that feral cats have a shorter lifespan than indoor cats, but I doubt the same is true for indoor/outdoor domestic breeds, which are what we are talking about here, I believe. In fact, it is my guess that indoor/outdoor cats that are properly cared for have a more balanced, healthier diet than those who survive solely on Fancy Feast.
Secondly, I appreciate the rats, mice and mole control my cats do. There always seem to be more rodents to catch, so I doubt the cats are doing much to diminish these species.
Finally, cats undoubtedly eat a large number of birds. I did not see any mention in Sara’s letter about what dogs eat, let alone people. Let’s not place an overemphasis on the cat’s natural function as a predator. The most responsible thing a pet owner can do is to have our pets neutered. Fewer cats are, in my view, the best way to reduce their influence on bird and other populations while allowing the cat to live a more normal life.
— Kirk Beeler