New Law: Outdoor Cats Must Wear Brightly Coloured Collars

Perhaps it is time for cat owners/lovers to do something which pleases people who like birds; to stop the war of words and try to ameliorate the situation and the situation is that cat owners are criticised for letting their outdoor cats prey on birds.

For bird lovers the situation looks worse than it really is in my opinion. Yes, cats do prey on birds but birds are not their primary prey item. Mice and other rodents are. But it is time to try and do something about it and I think a new short statute, written in straighforward language may help to appease ornithologists and demonstrate to them that cat owners are sensitive to their arguments.

It is said that putting a bell on your cat reduces bird predation by 45%. Apparently, song thrushes really suffer in cities because of cats. The problem with bells on collars is that cats get used to the bell and they find ways to keep it quiet. One cat owner said that her cat puts a paw against the bell to keep it quiet which is extraordinary. It is said that cats learn to keep their heads still to stop the bell ringing. The way to counter this is to change the bell regularly or put two or three bells on the collar.

The argument against this suggestion is that it is unfair on the cat. How would you like it if you had a bell ringing in your ear all the time as you moved? And cats have fantastic hearing – better than ours. It would be a form of torture. That may be an extreme statement but it may be unpleasant to a cat and also it may be unpleasant or unfair to stop a cat expressing his natural desires.

There is a better cat collar which is based upon our knowledge of a bird’s eyesight. Birds see colour very well because they use colour for foraging and breeding. Therefore they quickly see a brightly coloured moving collar. And there is one on the market which is wide and brightly coloured and which it is said is effective against bird predation by domestic cats.

It is ineffective with respect to mice, amphibians and reptiles but this discussion is about how to protect birds from cats because whenever there is an argument about cats preying on native species it often comes from ornithologists and bird lovers.

Therefore, it might be a good idea to introduce a new animal welfare law which makes it mandatory for outside cats to wear a wide, brightly coloured collar as shown in the photograph on this page.

Could such a law be enforced? I think that it could because there are enough people who are concerned about cats preying on birds and these people could be the eyes of the police. Cat owners being aware of this would be pressured into fitting such a collar to their cat. The collar would not irritate a cat except he/she would find it somewhat difficult to approach a bird because the bird would see the collar from a distance and fly off.

Having read large swathes of the internet with respect to cat behaviour of all kinds including predation, I know that there is a simmering conflict between ornithologists and cat lovers and I think it is time to do something about it; something formal which makes it clear in no uncertain terms that cat owners are doing their best to compromise their cat’s behaviour in the interests of other animals while allowing their cat to go outside if they see fit.

Years have gone by with this simmering conflict in the background. I really think it is time to do something concrete. It would also make cat haters take a softer approach towards cats. Cat owners don’t want people hating cats. People who hate cats like to hurt them. We need to appease these people to protect our cats.




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New Law: Outdoor Cats Must Wear Brightly Coloured Collars — 3 Comments

  1. Anything to turn down the volume from the extreme hand wringers. But I’m afraid if you give them an inch they’ll still want a mile. Those extremists will campaign others to join their cause then everyone will say sure, try it, mandate it… then it’ll be that then another thing and another. However, my cats are not going to wear a clown collar! They don’t kill anything except an occasional moth or leaf fluttering across the yard. But I hesitate to mention that because then we’ll hear from the butterfly people, and the cats will have to wear a battery operated insect repellent. And who’s going to collar the community or feral cats? Why keep hanging this all on our pets, just because they can? Sorry, I know I’m not helping, but I’m as tired of this as anyone. Maybe it’s because my cats are not a problem and someone else’s cats are.

  2. It’s just another way for cat owners to not take responsibility for all the animal-suffering that they cause with their cats. These collars do nothing to save the 23 BILLION (yes billion, not million) other types of animals that cat owners senselessly torture to death per year in the USA.

    Though some people really like this idea because it makes cats much easier to find for shooting them and to hit with their cars at night.

  3. personally i FEEL that people should either LEASH their animals, keep them INSIDE, or BUILD enclosures in their yards so their animals CANT GET OUT. anybody that lets their animal roam out of some misguided need to give them back their sense of “freedom” needs to bring their pet back to the shelter so someone with sense can take care of them the way they DESERVE to be cared for. pets r DOMESTICATED. they DONT NEED to roam. ALL pet caretakers SHOULD b playing with their pets enough so that they dont NEED to roam. if u cant play with them enough GIVE THEM TO SOMEONE THAT CAN! caretakers have NO ONE to blame but themselves when their pet gets trapped, hurt, or blamed like n THIS article. good parents dont let their kids roam whenever they feel like it. WHY? to keep them safe. then WHY dont caretakers do the same?! i LOVE my Lex. i keep him INSIDE to keep him safe. not cuz he is incapable of living on the street, but because i love him TOO MUCH to subject him to that. besides, i DIDNT get him so i could let him run the streets where it ISNT safe. i got him so he wouldnt HAVE to run the streets & so he WOULD b safe IN MY HOUSE.
    m sure a LOT of people dont like what im saying. thats fine cuz i dont like what a lot of people r doing(or arent doing n THIS case). i FIRMLY believe that when people REALLY LOVE something they take care of it, & when they dont they get lazy & let anything happen to it. being a caretaker is THE SAME THING TO ME. if u REALLY LOVE ur pet u WILL do whatever u have to n order to keep them safe. u WILL feed them, play with them, AND KEEP THEM SAFE. what is the SAFEST way to keep them safe: KEEP THEM INDOORS or WITHIN AN ENCLOSURE AT ALL TIMES. there is NO WAY to keep ur pet safe when they r OUTSIDE & OUT OF UR FIELD OF VIEW PERIOD. once they r outside ANYTHING can happen to them. just because it HASNT(yet)doesnt mean it WONT. and never forget, people WILL blame u for ALL the things that happen to their yard, etc when they know u let ur pet roam whether its a dog or a cat(even if its something dogs or cats dont do)cuz YOU left that open for them to do so. so the ABSOLUTE safest way to keep them safe, & keep urself-& ur pet- from being blamed(or any lawsuits, cuz ive seen & heard about enough of THOSE where the pet owner actually had to pay BIG BUCKS over it)is to keep them INDOORS.
    so we r clear i have 2 cats & my gf has 4 kitties. i DO put reflective collars(in addition to a flea n tick collar), metal tags, & bells on my cats. they help to track them down when they r hiding under something & they seem to kinda like it(kinda like Tom from the Tom & Jerry cartoon when the tiny mouse gives him a bell & he cant stop ringing it. they ALL did that in the beginning..they still do sometimes). i also keep them INDOORS. im NOT perfect. i dont play with them as much as i SHOULD all the time, but i LOVE THEM VERY MUCH, enough to keep them safe from the dangers of the outside world, keep them safe from anything inside, & make sure there is NO WAY they could EVER b blamed for anything that happened or is happening n ANY neighbors yard or to THEIR animals. this is just me & m NOT trying to say people that let their animals roam r bad caretakers per se. i AM saying that there r times when we ALL could try a little harder to do a better job with them & that it IS safer INSIDE than it is OUTSIDE, & if we ALL did these things(kept them inside, on a leash, or in an enclosure)that NO ONE would b able to blame us for these kinds of things happening to birds, their pets, or ANYTHING else cuz OUR pets wouldnt b anywhere near their stuff, pets, etc. its just a “good neighbor” kinda thing to me at least.
    sorry for talkin ur ears off.

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