Governments can’t force cat owners to confine their cats to protect wildlife

Cat owners must agree to confine their cats to protect wildlife – all of them ideally. In other words there must be a voluntary agreement by cat owners because it’s the only way to stop wildlife predation by domestic cats. Why is this? Because any law enacted by any government which confines cats to the home of their owners is going to be unenforceable for practical reasons. There are too many cats, too many cat owners and there are not enough police officers to enforce a criminal law which states that domestic cats must be confined to the home in which they live. Another practical point is that in any true democracy it would be political suicide for a government to try and get such a law through the legislature.

Inside cat
Inside cat. The only guaranteed way to protect birds and small mammals from domestic cat predation. Photo: public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

And the experts said that the only way to categorically protect wildlife is to limit the movements of domestic gas which effectively means confining them to their home and a catio.

So, if you agree with me, any government that wants to do something big in terms of protecting small mammals and birds living in their country from predation by domestic cats will have to somehow convince all cat owners in the country to voluntarily agree to keep their cats inside. This won’t happen. It’ll never happen unless something dramatic changes. You might get a significant percentage of cat owners keeping their cats inside as is the case in America but they do it because there are predators that attack their cats such as coyotes. People do it to protect their cats, they don’t do it to protect wildlife from being killed by their cats. That’s an interesting thought.

The focus by cat owners is not on protecting wildlife but on protecting their cat companions. But in places like the UK and in Europe there are not enough predators preying on free-roaming domestic cats to concern cat owners. The truth of the matter is that, in general, the citizens of any country are not concerned enough about the conservation of wildlife. In other words, a percentage of citizens are concerned but there are not enough of them. That’s why we’ve seen the consistent decline in population numbers of many wild species in the UK and I’m sure you could say the same thing about pretty well any country except remote ones such as Mongolia perhaps where there’s enough space for wildlife to keep a distance from humans.

I’m being pessimistic but also realistic. What’s the point of stating what I’ve stated? Well, there are millions of pages about stopping domestic cats killing birds and other wildlife on and off the internet. It’s a fruitless discussion unless you get the agreement of cat owners. As one scientist said, they are the secret weapon in the war between pet cats and wildlife. The trouble is they are a disarmed weapon.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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