Some people should not be allowed pets

Yesterday morning about 4 am, I heard a bit of a ruckus over the road. It was like a dog growling and a woman shrieking. It lasted a few minutes and went quiet so I thought no more about it.

About 9 am the lady from across the road came over looking for her cat. It was her I had heard last night- her old cat was asleep on the front porch when a dog had attacked it. She had chased the dog off but the cat was missing and she came to ask if it was hiding at our place. It was half deaf and not very agile. She was afraid the dog may have carried it off. We couldn’t find the cat but said we would keep an eye out for it.

The lady came back today. They had found the corpse of the cat- it had been placed next door to them after being killed by a dog. She had a fair idea where the dog came from. There are a few “housing commission” houses up a side street. These basically are Govt houses let to people with low income. Without stereotyping , these houses often are a source of trouble. In this particular house the husband has previously been arrested by the police for whatever but is back now. The lady confronted him about the animals and he at first denied he had dogs. She then saw two dogs behind his gate which he admitted were his but he said they were always restrained. She saw the dog and is confident it is the one that entered her yard and killed her cat.

She has contacted the Ranger about the dog running loose in the neighbourhood. It comes down to a hard choice as he knows where she lives and it doesn’t take much to throw a brick through her window. It doesn’t mater if it happens to him- the Govt repairs the property. I would be surprised if the dogs are registered and the terms of the housing commission allow only for one dog anyway- and only then if it doesn’t break any council by laws.

It is a bit of a worry for our animals as well as our Blue Persian tends to roam a bit. He is nuetured and the mainly elderly folks around appreciate his visits.

What are you doing to keep the cats from going onto other persons’ properties and killing other animals?

I knew there would be dissenting voices. The cat- not cats- that wander, can’t even chase the doves that we feed in the backyard. They run away from him- not fly- they run if he gets in a bad mood.

Any other questions? Or do you just want to be objectionable?

Well, I just wonder why people should not be allowed to have a free-roaming dog that kills small animals, but it’s okay for at least two people in the story to have free-roaming cats that kill small animals.

Was your cat always physically unable to chase birds, or did that develop after a more vigorous youth? Was the unfortunate neighbor cat allowed outside when he or she was younger?

It seems to me that people with bird feeders might not characterize my questions as “objectionable.”

Sailboat, you’re assuming that Cicero thinks that dogs should be restrained while cats should roam free, but it may in fact be that he believes that homeowners’ pets should roam free, while people living in government housing should restrain their pets. And probably their children.

I’m (mostly) kidding, and it sucks about the cat, and yes, the dog SHOULD be restrained, assuming that you have local leash laws, but seriously Cicero… first of all, you could have left out the “dirty poor people” aspect of the story without losing anything, and secondly, if you care about your cat, keep it inside.

No, you are just trying to show that you are more “broad minded” or “liberal” than I am and it doesn’t wash.

Forget the history of the cat- nit doesn’t kill wildlife. Can you follow?

The cat that was killed was blind in one eye and half deaf. It was sleeping on the porch of the owner.

The unrestrained dog entered a premise where it should not have been and killed a family pet.

I have a bird feeder and I find your questions objectionable.

Now- where do I say that there are two people with free roaming cats that kill small animals? Perhaps you could assist me here.n Or perhaps you could admit that you have gone to a bridge too far.

Hey, you’re the one who felt the need to mention the government housing thing. It wasn’t necessary to the story, and it makes you look like an ass. Live with it.

Dude, I care nothing for birds. Crunch all you want, they’ll make more.

If you care about your cat’s health and safety, keep it inside.

DianaG - I have no knowledge of where you live but keeping a cat inside in this area is not much of an option. In saying that I acknowledge one of our cats is rarely let outside, but that is mainly due to its age and lack of outside sense.

As for the other I don’t really care what they do with their kids.

I think we have crossed wires. I wasn’t addressing your post.

In regards to OP: I know exactly where you’re coming from… we’ve got a cat that’s not really ours, but somehow manages to worm his way in when it’s cold/rainy out. (And he manages to get us to feed him… I swear, that thing’s got crazy mind powers). Constantly worry that he’s going to get in trouble with one of the other free-roamers, since there are at least two dogs that pretty much roam the neighborhood.

But it’s more or less rural out here, so can’t do much about that. :\

Here’s a thought: why not license all pets, not just some exotics in some cities? And make sure that people know how to take care of/control 'em?

Thanks Waxwinged. I am glad I am not going insane.

I know how you feel Cicero. We live in a neighborhood much like that, and there are far too many big dogs running loose. I know because one of ours came to us that way and the other was adopted after living on the streets.

It’s not just sad for the cats who belong to people; we have a busy road just a block away and I’ve witnessed far too many dead or close-to-dead dogs (and cats) on the street. I am a sensitive soul; it breaks my heart every time. Often those are dogs I’ve grown accustomed to seeing every day.

I know what you mean about the type who live in some of those “projects” because I’ve been there myself. They are irresponsible in all sorts of ways, including not caring for animals they seem to collect. I personally had fourteen cats at my lowest point. I let them roam, even kept a window open so they could come and go…often they didn’t come back. I have no place to point fingers.

That said, really…cats shouldn’t be wandering, even if it does please the elderly folks. I have two cats who would love to wander, but I won’t allow it. One is blind and the other isn’t in the best shape either so it would be especially cruel of me to neglect them like that.

Well, I have no idea what OP some of these people are reading, but a roaming dog entering the property of another person and killing the pet of that person while it was sleeping should not be left in the care of the owner.

I have a dog and a cat. Neither roam anywhere, as doing so would require launching themselves off a rather high balcony which would end badly; however, if through some miracle of genetics, a neighbours dog was able to somehow get on my balcony and kill one of my pets, I would be out for blood regardless of where they lived.

If you can’t take care of your pet, don’t have one. E-Z.

The cat shouldn’t have been outside, and the dog owner shouldn’t have allowed their dog to escape, especially if they knew it was a cat killer. However, it’s possible that the dog’s escape was a one-off event, as there’s no indication in the OP that the dog had previously been seen roaming the neighborhood. It could be an irresponsible owner, or it could be an accident, which is why it’s safer for the cat to be inside.
If I let my pet rat out and a neighborhood cat killed it while it was sleeping on my porch, then I posted about it here, everyone would think I was insane. Yet people have no problem taking that risk with their cats.

The difference: most birds and bunnies out there aren’t people’s pets. If they were, they’d be kept indoors. Nature is red in tooth and claw, cute critters that can’t get away fast enough are eaten. Another ten bunnies will be born to replace them.

Cats out there tend to be pets. Their owners love them and feed them. They have an enormous emotional investment in that particular cat. Sure, another ten kitties might be born, but they can’t replace the cat.

You can argue that cats killing birds is still reprehensible and/or half criminal. There’s a vigorous debate going on in the pet-owning community. But the situations are just not comparable.

What does that mean? What difference does the area make as to whether a cat can be kept indoors?

So only certified wildlife safe cats should be allowed to roam? How would that work exactly?

Pets like, oh, I don’t know, cats for instance?

As both a cat and a dog owner, all I have to say is: If you love your pets, you don’t allow them to roam free.


If this is directed at me, I have no idea what political leanings have to do with it. I am partly responding to a trope I see all the time, where people say “MY predator can roam around killing but if YOURS does, it (and you) are evil.” The other part of what drove my response I will get into after addressing a few more comments.

Are you sure it’s a cat? You’ve got the only vegan cat I’ve ever heard of.

Oh, a disabled animal that can’t defend itself or flee was left outside unsupervised?

“Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” --William Munny, Unforgiven

Why should wildlife die just because you want to let a cat outside?

They also tend to be an invasive species in most areas…Australia being a good example.

And the low-income dog owner might love that particular dog. The OP says the dog owner “shouldn’t have pets” because his or her dog was out unsupervised, ignorant of property lines, and acted in a naturally predatory manner. Yet the OP and the victim were allowing predators outside unsupervised. Do they think cats respect property lines?

Unsupervised is unsupervised. No amount of dog restrictions will prevent a car from running over your cat. Or prevent another free-roaming cat from maiming your cat or infecting him/her with FIV. Or prevent neighboring hoodlums from messing with your cat. Or prevent wildlife that happens to be larger or better-armed from making off with your cat…a dingo, for example. Not even a fenced yard is a guarantee of safety; unsupervised dogs are sometimes shot or poisoned (and in one sad case I read about, strangled) while safely contained in their own yards.

Only one thing will protect your animal when he or she is outside – your own direct full attention.

I admit my posting was colored by something I had read earlier this morning. Someone on a dedicated dog message board wrote to say that his or her beloved companion had been deliberately poisoned with antifreeze while in the securely fenced back yard. This innocent and happy-go-lucky dog was killed by a neighbor who thought the poster “shouldn’t have that kind of pet.” An attitude vaguely, although not exactly, similar to the OP’s.

In general, people are probably just as big a threat as stray dogs – the news often carries a story of teenagers shooting, whacking, or setting on fire pets they find outside. And cars? Cars are vastly more dangerous than someone else’s stray pets.

What did the poor dog have in common with the cat the OP wrote about? In both cases, the animal was beloved but left unattended, vulnerable to the vagaries of what
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! correctly describes as a cruel world. In one case it was a dog that crossed property lines and killed; in the other, it was a self-righteous human. In both cases, however, the heartbroken party left behind had risked their loved one rather than making sure he/she was safe.

It might surprise you to know I have dogs AND a cat. Our cat wants to go outside – he was semi-feral when we took him in, and he’s used to it. But I’m not going to send him out there, and if I do, I’ll know who to blame when something natural like predation occurs.

And I’m for sure not only keeping my dogs leashed at all times when they’re not fenced or indoors, I’m also not leaving them alone outside ever.

I also strongly, strongly condemn allowing one’s dog to roam free unsupervised – this is a constant threat to my dogs, when strange dogs run up to them. People in my area seem to feel completely entitled to ignore the leash laws and are always surprised when their dog runs across the street through traffic and tries to get at, or attack, my dogs. They always shout feebly, “Muffy!” as Muffy does whatever the hell Muffy wants.

Strangely, I also share some of the OP’s concern about the connection between lower socioeconomic status and pet neglect (or outright abuse). My dogs are the “pit bulls” the press and public fear so much, and I am keenly aware that poor people almost universally seem to think you can raise pit bulls in the back yard for easy, tax-free cash. Not to mention thugs and gangmembers driving a lot of the public’s negative perceptions. I try not to be an ass about it, though; I don’t think I should tell poor people they can’t love a dog that I love. But it does worry me.

I feel for the lady who lost her little cat. I don’t think old cats deserve to die. But I think it’s foolish to leave one’s helpless family members outside alone, at the mercy of all the evil, heartless, thoughtless, or just plain preoccupied people in the world; much less other animals, cars, machinery, uncovered wells, and so on.

Precisely. I’ve never heard of any parakeet or rabbit owners letting their pets roam free. It’s safe to say that the small critters eating your garden don’t belong to anybody. With cats, you can’t make that assumption.

As for “just keep the cat inside”, I suppose that works for cats that you’ve had since they were a kitten. Tikva is an indoor cat, and probably will be for the rest of her life. But some cats just won’t stay indoors. Mystery the black cat puts up an unholy racket if she thinks the humans are neglecting door duty. She’s not normally a vocal cat, but if she has the yen to go roaming at four in the morning, she will sit at the door yowling until someone gets up and lets her out. (I seem to be the only one who sleeps throught it :p). Bad weather doesn’t often deter her, though the snow’s been keeping her inside for the last few days. She is going stir crazy- eating the plants, chewing up paper, that sort of thing. I don’t think there’s a way of keeping her indoors that doesn’t risk our sanity.