It’s Spring Keep Your Cats In

It’s Spring Keep Your Cats In

by Michael
(London, UK)

This proves that we have to keep cats in - or does it? - Photo by Andrew Currie (Flickr)

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

This proves that we have to keep cats in - or does it? - Photo by Andrew Currie (Flickr)

It's spring so keep your cats in; that is what people might say in the USA. It is a time of baby birds and small wildlife; easy prey, perfect prey for your sedate unassuming, cuddly, domestic cat that turns into a mean killer outside the back door. It's the classic Jekyll and Hyde character but completely natural. Or so the 'experts' and commentators say.

In Britain we just don't think about this. Either we keep our cats in or we let them out. My guess is that 90 or more percent just let their cats come and go as they please.

Why are we so different to the Americans? We have similar small wildlife. We have about 8 million domestic cats with a population of about 65 million people (cat population is 12% of the human population). In the USA it is about 80 million cats for about 300 million people (these figures are out of my head!). That is the cat population is 26% of the human population. Is that why the thought that domestic cats attack wildlife is more of an issue in the USA. Maybe, but I sense it goes further than that.

There are more feral cats in the USA too. Although I am guessing. And the concept of indoor cat is more acceptable or indeed a default position. The default position in the UK is that cats go out as they please.

But as I said, we just don't give it a second thought. When did someone see their cat kill wildlife? When did their cat bring in a dead animal? I have hardly seen it is 30 years of cat caretaking. Perhaps the cat just kills wildlife out there in the back gardens and we never know. Perhaps our cat just doesn't hunt anymore.

Perhaps the modern domestic cat is just too well cared for in Britain and has no urge to go hunting. But it is said that cats with a full belly still hunt and kill.

Personally I won't be keeping my cats in. My old lady cat has caught one mouse in her entire life of 18 years. And my three legged cat has not yet proved to me that he hunts and there is certainly no evidence that he hunts birds.

Do people think to themselves, 'Gosh it's quiet this morning, I wonder where the birds have gone?' We don't.

Am I being naive or realistic? Are the Americans who say, 'It's spring, keep your cats in', just reinforcing the unsubstantiated idea that today's very domestic cat is a killer of baby birds and other small wildlife so we have to keep them in in spring?

Michael Avatar

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It's Spring Keep Your Cats In

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Apr 29, 2010 Thanks
by: Fran

Thanks Ian,we love you too and that's why so many of us are helping those of you who despise declawing.
It's about cats,not scoring off points like kids in a schoolyard or slurring a whole nation in the hopes of gaining more popularity.
There are good and bad in every country but even the good here will find it hard to forgive childish rantings about our much adored Queen and country.
That fruitless stab at us won't make us give up helping our American freinds,we English have bucket loads of STAYING power,committment and compassion.

Apr 27, 2010 Up the English
by: Ian

I'm an American and damn grateful to the English helping us in our quest to have declawing stopped.
Long live the English and long live their Queen.
Love ya all.

Apr 25, 2010 Cats and bird and mice
by: Carol

Well now I have a cat flap for my 3 but as we have a field behind us I have so many presents of mice(dead and alive)I daren't leave it open at this time of year.
Yet I can count on one hand the number of birds my cats have caught.
I think it's out of all proportion that people blame cats for the decline of wild birds.The truth is that some people don't like cats and will say anything to demean their existence.
Cats love to hunt,it's their nature and I for one would rather not have mice breeding unchecked,around where I live.
Well fed cats don't eat their prey so there's no danger to regularly wormed cats.
Life is about fullfillment and I'd not feel justified in enjoying my fullfilled life if I deprived my cats of their right to go out and hunt.

Apr 25, 2010 I agree
by: Fran

What wondrous sentiments written by anonymous.
I do so much enjoy his/her comments.
I too believe we each have a purpose as has each animal,bird and fish,along with a set plan mapped out for our lives.It was in the plan the bird died at that point in time.
No I don't understand any of it but we shouldn't deprive any creature of their true path in life.
They were on this earth long before us,who are we to stop their set plan?
It's humans who have stepped out of their plan by assuming they have the right to have power over animals.
To eat them,to use or abuse them in any way and to stop them living the life they were born to live.

Apr 25, 2010 Correct
by: Anonymous

The Deare has His purpose for all life and whose to saye if the birde in the picture had not met his fate with the cat he woulde not have met it elsewhere at the same momente in time.
Life is to be lived in perspective deare friends and lived as is fitting for each species including cats whose waye is to keep under controle birdes by removing the weake and so leaving the strong to breede.
Let cats be cats.It is the Will of the Deare.

Apr 25, 2010 Cats and birds
by: Jane A

My cats don't catch birds very often either and like the rest of you I usually manage to save any they do.
I think it's sad that we don't feel the same about rodents,just because most of us are scared of them.
But I'm guilty as well of not trying to rescue mice from my cats,but then again it IS true the world would be over-run but for our clever cats.
To each his purpose in life I suppose.

Apr 25, 2010 Anonymous and KC
by: Maggie Sharp

Anonymous, yes I am from English folk if you go back far enough. But the English blood is so far back in my lines it's hardly significant. I'm Australian, from Australian blood, I am in no way what-so-ever English, no offence intended.

KC, explain? I would just love to know what those other websites are...

Apr 25, 2010 To Fran
by: Maggie Sharp

The fact is Fran, on this website I've seen so much crap put on the Americans who have never done anything to hurt anyone on this site, and yet everyone just sits here accepting it. It's just so wrong. The Americans are good people and they don't derserve to be descriminated against in such ways, I mean honestly, it's rediculous, and I'm just trying to give you a taste of your own medicine... Doesn't feel too good, does it?

I certainly do not believe that I'm superior to anyone, and I do not believe that anyone is inferior to myself. I'm just trying to get you lot to realise that you are NOT superior to the Americans, vise versa.

I would hope that out of my more than 'a few' submissions at least one is original....

Apr 24, 2010 Australia
by: Anonymous

Hah I can't help putting my oar in to say it is a bit rich an Australian attacking England when she lives in a country where a lot of people are descended from convicts transported there.
Not her fault?
Of course not.
Nor is it the English folks fault what happened in the history books either or that they have(to quote)...a twisted monachy(Monarchy)

Apr 24, 2010 Spring
by: Edward

I say let your cats have their freedom if its humanly possible man.Their lives are too short to be shut in looking out and Ill never deny mine their rights as long as we live where its safe.
Nobody likes to see birds killed but lets face it,its right that people kill a lot more birds than cats do.
Life is a cruel business for people and animals and birds and far too short to squabble just for the sake of it.

Apr 24, 2010 To Sue
by: Ruth

Sue on the very rare occassions one of our boyz catches a bird, they always bring it home.If we see him pop up at the window with one we open all the doors and windows and let him in,he opens his mouth and proudly announces 'Look what I've brought for MEW' and the birdie flies out to freedom via a door or window lol
So like you, we always save them.
Mice are a different story as we daren't let them bring them in, we've had dramas of upturned furniture before trying to catch Mickey when one has sneaked in with one lol then happily left us with it.
Everything in Nature has a reason,we don't always understand it but then again we don't even understand life so it must be that we were not meant to understand what is beyond our understanding.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 23, 2010 Take no heed
by: KC

Guys don't rise to Miss Sharp's bait any more,I hear she's known for causing trouble on other websites and them moving on.
Not all Aussies hate you English.
Ignore her and she'll eventually go away.

Apr 23, 2010 tut tut
by: Fran

Digging yourself deeper and deeper Maggie.
Why do you feel the need to score points over the English and toady up to the Americans?
My grammar may not be perfect but I'd never attack a whole nation and its Monarchy and I don't drag up history either.
Our country has been around a long long time now and if you target one of us,you target us all.
What is the matter with you that you enjoy stirring controversy?
Did the picture of the cat with the dead bird upset you so much?You'll see much worse than that as your life unfolds.
You'll never 'get through' to us as we don't need 'getting through' to,we are quite happy in our country and in the way we treat our animals.
I think someone else said watch and learn.
Do that Maggie instead of your constant need to prove you are superior to anyone else,because you are NOT!
Usa that brain,write a few ORIGINAL articles,use your physical strength,get out and help in Rescue Centres,don't sit there wasting your time thinking up bitter confrontational words to say on here as you are only hurting yourself.
Not us.

Apr 23, 2010 ?
by: Fran

Text speak? What text speak would you be refering to, Fran? The slang that's been around for over 100 years? If I'm correct my grammar is actually better than yours. I can pick up numerous errors in what you just wrote, so don't criticise my grammar when yours is worse.

I don't wish for Americans to respond, they don't need to, it's the Bristish in which I'm trying to get through to, with limited success. Though, hasn't that been the case throughout history?

Apr 23, 2010 Why should Americans respond?
by: Fran

Could it be no Americans have responded because you are not getting at them?
It's the English you are targeting(or as you call us whinging poms)
Silly girl.
I hope you are taking lessons in spelling and the way to write in grown up language instead of slang and text speak,as you have no credibilty while you show your lack of educational skills.
Now lets get on with acting like civilised folk and enjoying this website which Michael puts so much into.
Don't insult him any more,or us either.

Apr 22, 2010 Haha!
by: Maggie Sharp

Yes I am vegetarian as a matter-of-fact, and I don't know her personally but if she's anything like you lot then I will regard her the same. And to be honest, I think this website should be considered comedy, cause I've gotten a few good laughs out of it... Until you lot start respecting Americans I have every right to treat you how you treat them... You can send me every personal attack you want, I don't care, I can take it because I know it's all BS. Plus, I've never had personal attacks from an American... Strange, huh?

Apr 22, 2010 Keep it up guys
by: Anonymous

One thing about all this is it has the comments flooding in and I'm loving that.
From what I see there's a lot of regulars on here who do a lot for cats and sure don't deserve to have their country and Monarchy offended by sweeping remarks made by some bit lass.
Watch and learn Maggie Sharp and don't forget you started this.

Apr 22, 2010 Spare us
by: Babz

Oh no, Maggie's got out of the wrong side of the bed (in the upside down bit of the world) again! Maggie, read it properly, no one is whinging, we were having an adult conversation - until you chimed in and started insulting people left, right and centre. Grow up girl.

Barbara avatar

Apr 22, 2010 Moved to comment
by: Mrs D Walker

I read all the POC pages with great interest and enjoyment but have never commented until now.
I am commenting today however as I am as incensed by the insults from Ms Sharp as are others who have already posted.
The Australian Ms Sharp has insulted our Royalty and all our nation by her whinging pom remarks which were totally uncalled for.
I have not noticed anyone at each others throats,I have only noticed lively interesting adult debates which teach us about differing customs.
Ms Sharp you appear to think that English cats are let outdoors for one reason only and that is to catch birds.
Where in fact they are let out to enjoy the bounties of our green and wonderful country where most people love and respect animals.
I would far rather forgo the company of my dearly loved cats than have them trapped in an un-natural life,kept selfishly as possessions and denied the life cats deserve to live.
I understand in some places cats are best kept indoors but how I feel for those cats.
I am very sad to see this exceptionally popular and educational site brought down to gutter level by one person's insults and slang.
Thank you Michael for PoC.
I shall of course continue to visit but as I am not a great writer only to comment when moved as I am today.

Apr 22, 2010 Give it a rest
by: Bob

We don't want or expect anyone to be-

'conformative to Britain in anyway what so ever, whether it be the twisted monaRchy or the outdoor lifestyle for cats'

It's you who bangs on about 'keep your cat indoors' and pounces on every person who dares to think otherwise.
Micheal lets his cats out,so do a lot more of us, so are we all to stop doing it because YOU say so!
It seems to me you want us to be 'conformative' to YOUR idea of how cats should live yet you haven't ever been to the UK.
Give it a rest for God's sake.Insulting the whole of a nation and our Queen also is a very base sort of way to try to force your views on others.
There are good and bad in every country,I for one am no WHINGING POM and I know many others who will be disgusted at your cheap jibes at ALL of us UK people.
I too am interested to know if YOU eat 'slaughtered birds' of which YOU have no need to have someone kill for you and plucked and cooked for you to eat?
Cats are natural hunters,it's their instinct.People don't need to eat ANIMALS or BIRDS,it's their CHOICE.

Apr 22, 2010 Unjustified attack on the UK
by: Rose

Maggie I can't believe you have attacked the UK people in this unprovoked and childish way merely because you don't like it that our cats live the life they were meant to and yours don't.
No one has attacked the Americans,in fact most of us are very friendly with our many American contacts as we work together for the sake of cats.
Most of us understand each others cultures and different circumstances and at the end of the day we all care about our cats.
Breeders in any country do tend to keep cats in and ask adopters to keep them in,as someone else said already,they cost a lot of money and to some people money is important.
Well my cats and my rescue cats may not be pedigree but they are as much valued and loved as any expensive cat and given the best life I can give them.
You made a big mistake attacking the Queen,that shows your immaturity as she is nothing at all to do with cats,in fact she hates cats.
I'm no Royalist but I wouldn't stoop so low as to insult anyone in ours or any other country just to score points.
I think I read you are intelligent on another place on PoC? Sadly the writer was mistaken.

Apr 22, 2010 Maggie "Sharp" is well named
by: Petra

The last I hear Maggie, Queen Elizabeth II was still sovereign of Australia and Australia was still part of the commonwealth, am I wrong? Therefore our twisted monarchy is also yours dearie.But that aside, you do need to seek help for your aggression, you have done this before, jumped in and ranted about USA, Australia and Britain and frankly we're just a bit wearied of it all. We don't care what your friend says, especially if she's a "know all know nowt" like you. So do us all a favour and calm down and come back when you've grown out of acne and ankle socks and can converse in an adult manner without resorting to insults and bad grammar.

Apr 22, 2010 Teenage girls
by: Anonymous

So that's what teenage girls do is it Babz.
lol lol lol
It's not dogs,cats,or even birdies polluting the land.
That's made my day.

Apr 22, 2010 Naughty Maggie
by: Fran

Ooooo insulting Michael and the rest of us who don't keep our cats in,how dare you after he's been so tolerant to you,as of course he is to all of us.
This web site wouldn't exist but for him and his loyal followers,many of whom are UK citizens who come here for informative and civil discussions. If you can't take the heat Maggie,stay out of the kitchen.
Whinging poms eh?How very judgemental to lump the whole of our country under the same disgusting slang term you use.
Who is this POM(your own words)'friend' who laughed in your face when she told you that under no circumstances would she EVER let her cats outside?Ah wait a minute,yes she's someone who breeds cats to sell them for an enormous sum of money and thinks because they are pedigree they are better than ordinary moggies.
Hah I for one am SO not impressed by her opinion.
Encouraging the slaughter of birds?No'sheila'(isn't that what people who resort to slang call females in your country?)we don't encourage the slaughter of birds,read the comments properly.BTW do YOU eat slaughtered birds or are you vegetarian?
However we do encourage our cats to enjoy long happy fulfilled lives and to do what cats do.We don't treat them like dogs,to be led by the neck or in'walking jackets'or prams.
You mention our twisted monachy...BTW it's Monarchy,with an R,be careful,there are many people who admire our dear Queen,she can't help that the younger generations are not of the same mould as she is.But then quite a few youngsters in all countries don't earn respect because they think they know everything and everything is for THEM alone.
As the previous poster said,grow up,do.

Apr 22, 2010 Maggie Sharp
by: Colin J

I see no reason for a personal attack on British people,
for God's sake GROW UP!No one is at the throats of Americans or any other countries people.You are the one insulting us by calling us whinging poms.BTW does that include your'lovely POM friend'or is she exempt?Is she like you and obsessed with denying cats their right to freedom when it's SAFE to let them have it?
We didn't choose our'twisted monarchy'but we do have the right to choose the best lifestyle for our cats and we do understand NATURE which is more than you do little girl.
I've read some of your self righteous know it all posts before and think you should look to yourself before criticising others and countries you know NOTHING about.
With all 'due respect' some of us are a bit weary of reading your childish rantings which spoil a great web site run by a gentleman YOU are insulting just because he lives in England.
POM is such a slang term.
So what if America is bigger than the UK,they still need and are glad of our help to wipe out cruelty to animals.Don't you know our country is far ahead of any with our animal welfare?
Do something useful for a change and leave the many fine caring people who come here from ALL countries alone until you are grown up enough to talk some sense.

Apr 22, 2010 This is utterly rediculous! Leave the USA alone!
by: Maggie Sharp

Someone tell me please, why are you English constantly at the throats of the Americans?? I know an even amount of Americans and English folks, and to be honest there's little difference between you, yet when I visit this site all I see is attacks and abuse to the Americans on behalf of the English.

Now, here in Australia you are called whinging poms for a reason, this website is expressing, and has proved, that this nick name is indeed correct. So please, stop complaining and accept these fine American people, keep in mind that the USA is about 10 times the size of Britain. Of course they're not going to be conformative to Britain in anyway what so ever, whether it be the twisted monachy or the outdoor lifestyle for cats.

I have a friend in Britain, a lovely lady, she breeds cats and is very dedicated to her cats. I asked her why poms are so obsessed with not allowing cats to be indoors only, she pretty much laughed in my face and told me that under no circumstances would she EVER let her cats outside, and anyone who purchases one of her cats much also keep them indoors only.

As for this particular page, I am confused. Are you encouraging the slaughter of birds at the hands (paws?) of an animal in which has no reason what so ever to hunt and kill a living creature? Since when have birds been so inferior to cats?

I wouldn't say your being naive, and far from realistic. Perhaps nationalistic and judgemental is the correct term... With all due respect...

Apr 22, 2010 Further to my previous comment
by: Babz

I know the reason being given here for keeping cats indoors is it stops them killing birdies. A debatable point. But anyway, another reason given is that neighbours don't like the cats c******g on their gardens. Huh! Last night, out the back of our houses a group of young teenage girls were passing by,one nipped in amongst the trees... though still in plain view of her friends and anyone looking out of their windows she whipped her pants down and did not a wee but the other! Then walked away. Now compare that to a cat going out, doing it's business and covering it up. Who are the animals eh?

Barbara avatar

Apr 21, 2010 YES
by: Sue

Way to go Babz!Quite true kids and dogs are more of a nuiscance than cats could ever be.
The laws of Nature were made for a reason and cats hunting rodents and birds are part of the great plan.
My cats very rarely catch a bird and if so they usually bring it in alive and I can save it.Not so mice,awful of me I know but handling a bird doesn't give me the horrors where handling a mouse ....
This topic reminds me of a silly rhymme
Spring is Sprung
The grass is riz
I wonder where the birdies is?

Caged maybe along with all the cats??????????

Apr 20, 2010 keep your kids and your dogs in as well
by: Babz

Well, why not? Dogs lolloping all over on the new spring grass, trampling gardens and flowers leaving piles of **** that the owners walk rapidly away from and chasing squirrels, birds (and cats)and kids shrieking and frolicking in the aforementioned **** and kicking footballs over fences and generally making a nuisance of themselves are as much a part of spring as cats enjoying their hunting season. So if cats are to be made prisoners then so should dogs and kids. Our cats will never be incarcerated, they hunt by instinct and the One who created them that way also created birds so there must have been a plan there somewhere mustn't there???

Felines of England - go forth and enjoy the spring as is your right!!!

Barbara avatar

Apr 20, 2010 heeheee
by: Anonymous

Cage all the outside birds to keep them safe from cats.
The thought of trying to catch them all conjures up the funniest image ever heeheeee

Apr 20, 2010 Birds and cats
by: Kathryn

There is no shortage of songbirds where I live and my cats and others around me are indoor/outdoor cats.
I agree it's humans who are doing the damage and who will eventually wipe out much of the Natural world.
Sadly some birds do get caught by cats but they are the weaklings and Natures way of survival of the fittest.
This world was adjusting itself long before we came on the scene thinking we know better.
Let's not let anyone tell us to deprive our cats of their freedom simply because theirs can't enjoy their freedom too.
Two wrongs never did make a right.

Apr 20, 2010 My thinking
by: Rose

Well said Micheal.
Yes it's up to each of us to decide what's best for our cats and we shouldn't try to tell each other what to do.
I live in the UK too in a small village where my cats can enjoy the life they were born for.Naturally I worry about them but hey I worry about my kids too if they're out of my sight.
Ruth you forgot to mention that the moaners who blame cats for the decline of birds are sometimes not only non vegetarian but are those who condone the shooting of birds also for'sport'or even do it themselves.
Yes'food(How I HATE that expression)birds'are different to garden birds in that people don't eat garden birds,but at the end of the day they have beaks and wings and feelings of pain and fear.
Would those that worry over garden birds take their freedom too and have them all caged to be safe?
I think not,yet that's what some have done to cats,they were once free as birds too don't forget.
We humans took their natural lives and now slowly we are taking their freedom as we destroy more of the natural world and we are moulding them into completely different animals to be exactly as WE want them to be, not how they were born to be.
Oh I do love this PoC Site.

Apr 20, 2010 'Experts' don't know everything
by: Ruth

Yes it's Spring and our cats and our neighbours cats are loving it. We are awoken by the Dawn Chorus of the many garden birds we have here and our cats have breakfast and go off out to enjoy their rounds.The only cats I know kept in are the rescue cats next door but they have a large run so they can at least enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and fresh newly growing grass.
Well fed cats rarely catch birds and it's not cats decimating their numbers, it's human beings with their greed and pollution.
Their natural habitat is being destroyed by the ever breeding human race who need more and more housing to breed in. The air birds breathe is being polluted by fumes from all our modern 'neccessities' and their natural food is being poisoned by chemicals.
Yes our cats and others in our neighbourhood catch mice,they are far easier to catch than birds, we'd be over run otherwise as we have an embankment behind our houses.
It's natural for cats to kill rodents.It's called Nature !
Are the people who always moan about the 'beautiful birds killed by cats' all vegetarian ? Or do they sit down to roast chicken and turkey ? They are beautiful birds too !
Michael I say let your cats enjoy their lives with the freedom they obviously love and deserve as it's safely possible for them.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 19, 2010 Spring??????
by: Merrily

Sorry Michael, in my many,many years of keeping cats, I have never heard that said.
There is one thing that I have noticed this spring though, and that is the increased number of dead cats on the roads.
After thinking about it I came to the conclusion that in the spring the females are in heat and more Toms are out looking for them. I also learned that there is a group of teenage boys here who are purposely running over cats with their cars.Since I live near a high school, there are lots of teenage boys.
Very seldom do I see one of the feral cats that I feed hunting for birds, and if I do, I see that as part of nature which has been going on for centuries, and we still have plenty of birds.
One other thought....Europe and the USA are very differnt in many ways. Both are wonderful places in their own right. Obviously keeping cats whether they are kept inside or out depends on the dangers that the cats would be faced with. We all love our cats and strive to do the best for them always.
Please don't encourage people on this site to draw a line in the sand and declare their way is the ONLY way to keep cats, we all have the same goal, and we all love our cats whether we live in the UK or the USA.
And we all look forward to joining in on the discussions on Pictures Of Cats, so hopefully it won't go the way of many breed clubs and end up being a place to point fingers at each other. We are here simply because we love cats!

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