Your Cat is Safer Indoors
by Clarance F. Wohlrabe, MD Former Pet Pride Executive Field Director for the State of Minnesota.
Reprinted from the Western Abyssinian Cat Club “Breeders’ Digest”
Only those who have had a cat can truly appreciate the contentment and the shared affection such a companion can bring. Cats are, to millions of people, the most fascinating of non-human associates, the most fun to be with, to watch and be watched by in a companionship that is warm on both sides, yet not to the point of slopping over. With a cat, it is a friendship between equals, pursued on a basis of mutual self-respect. A cat is as content to live with you in a room as on a ranch. His throaty purr calms you like a lullaby and his silky coat against your cheeks fills you with peace. Yet he remains utterly independent. We who are interested in cats must remember that the cat is one of the most poorly understood of all animals. Why? Simply because the cat is a realist and does things because there is a reason for doing them. Most animals do things because their master commands or forces them to do so. But not so with the cat. How wonderful this world world be if we human beings did things because they were necessary, and not for show or effect upon individuals less discerning than we.
One big advantage of a pet cat over a dog is the fact that cats naturally use their litter tray and therefore there is no need to turn them out. In fact, if you really love your cat and value him, you will never let him out of doors unless he is with you in a carrier. Unattended, the odds are that your cat will be run over, poisoned, shot or stolen. There is also a danger of your pet picking up a disease, such as rabies, thus endangering the lives of your family. Fleas, ear mites, fungus skin disease, and intestinal parasites may be contracted from other cats and animals. By fighting with other cats, he may develop abscesses due to bites. When your cat is kept indoors, no one can complain about him. In order to avoid in any way creating a dislike for our pets, we must not let them disturb other people, nor allow them to roam on their premises. A cat which has never been outdoors will have no desire to go out.
People should realize that needless litters are of more harm than imagined and see to it that their pets are neutered or spayed. To prevent the birth of thousands of homeless cats which will not be cared for, humane societies and shelters should not be allowed to give out for adoption unspayed females and unneutered male cats. This rule should apply to all people who allow their cats to breed and then give the kittens away to homes where they may soon be abandoned.
The fascinating hobby of keeping a cattery for the purpose of improving purebred cats is also being attacked by stringent city laws. Catteries consist of one or more breeds of purebred cats. They are kept in the homes of people who are especially interested and willing to devote much time and considerable effort to the hobby of breeding better cats and who avoid the breeding of a surplus of unwanted and neglected cats. Through the national organizations with which they are affiliated, [cat shows] are held annually in various cities. This is done in order to create a better understanding of the various breeds of cats and to develop a greater appreciation of this lovable creature.
Let us all do our part by keeping our pet cat at home! Keep him in clean quarters, properly fed, and above all, loved. A clean litter pan and fresh water should always be supplied and changed daily. Each cat at birth is one of God’s creatures and deserves to be kept clean, in pleasant surroundings, well fed and loved. No animals should be treated as a “thing” by letting children mishandle him as if he were a toy.
Everybody who loves and understands cats should make it his duty to carry on an educational program of his own, in order to educate others who have not been so fortunate to have the association of a cat companion. Only by living with one, can you learn to know and understand its feline nature.