Apparently there is a double standard concerning the keeping of dogs and cats. Depending on the local laws (ordinances) and regulations that apply to a town or county in the USA, dogs have to be under the control of the owner at all times while cats are free to roam. That seems unfair to some.
This state of affairs is changing as more restrictive laws are introduced in the USA concerning free-roaming cats and cat ownership in general.
The point that people make about this apparent double standard is that free-roaming cats can be a nuisance as far as they are concerned in that they defecate and urinate in public and private areas.
In general cats cannot tresspass on someone’s property but I think you’ll find that in some USA states/counties/cities there are byelaws making it illegal to allow a cat to ‘tresspass’ on a neighbor’s property. That is not to say that a tresspassing cat can be shot; this would also be illegal but in some places they can be legally trapped and presumably taken to a rescue center. These cats may be euthanised in a certain time if not reclaimed.
I see the arguments regarding double standards but I don’t think they exist. The obvious reason for tighter controls on dogs is because they are more dangerous to people in a very direct sense through dog attacks. Free-roaming dogs are more than a mere potential nuisance. They can be life threatening.
Free-roaming cats can arguably cause human health issues through spreading disease but these arguments are exaggerated. To impose laws on cat owners that are similar to those affecting dog owners would be an example of the nanny state: an overcontrolling influence by government.
In the UK cats can free-roam anywhere legally in any place as there are no byelaws in any city or county making it illegal to enter another person’s property. Cats cannot be held to ‘tresspass’ in the UK despite the fact that there is a percentage of the UK human population who don’t like this. The UK domestic cat is not bound by human boundaries.
However, cat owners need to be sensible and responsible. They need to listen to their neighbour’s wishes provided they are reasonable. Sometimes a domestic cat’s movements need to be restricted.
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