Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Capital Cats Make Waves Across the Pond
Washington Humane Society's Kittengarden (which sadly my Toby is too old to join) got a spot on the BBC!

In these classes, people learn how to work with their cats and make life fun and interesting while also safe for them.

The video does note a difference I've seen in books regarding American/British views on indoor/outdoor cats. In Britian, people are encouraged to let their cats roam and be as "natural" as possible. In America, especially in D.C., we encourage cats to be kept indoors.

Why? It's safer.
Outdoor kitties face a lot of dangers, especially in urban areas. Cats were not meant to run from cars or deal with catnappers (I have heard from respectable people that cats really do get, well, catnapped in the DC area, I haven't done research myself though so don't take that as pure gospel). It gets awfully cold and hot outside, too. Plus you run the risk of a neighbor just not liking your cat and doing something awful. Those are just the immediate large dangers.

There are also the microscopic dangers which can be more deadly. FLV is generally picked up by outdoor kitties or those who are exposed to outdoor kitties. Outdoor cats are more likely to get into fights and then catch infection through their wounds.

Science backs this up. At least in the United States, indoor cats live significantly longer (several more years) than outdoor cats. I want my Toby to live a long time and be around through different life stages. That's why I keep him indoors :)

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