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TALK-ABOUTCATS  February 2012, Week 4

TALK-ABOUTCATS February 2012, Week 4

Subject:

Cats, coyotes and indoor vs. outdoor

From:

Johnna Hodges <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

A Cat Friends Mailing List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 14:04:48 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (28 lines)

Dear Group,

My neighborhood probably now has a coyote nearby.  Although coyotes have been in this urban area (Atlanta) for a while, this is the really the first time my neighborhood has been  negatively impacted.  A family cat, an outdoor cat, was the victim of an attack.  His collar was found near some remains.  The remains had the earmarks of a coyote except that there were remains.  Generally, coyotes will not leave anything behind, though the coyote could have gotten interrupted.  Furthermore, last Friday morning when I was out walking my dog, Ryeley, we saw a dog-like creature moving through our neighborhood rather quickly and Ryeley reacted very strongly and negatively.  I am almost certain what I saw was a coyote.

Over the weekend and the first part of this week, I've been in email communication with my neighborhood and its homeowners association encouraging people to keep their small pets either on a leash when outdoors and to perhaps make their cats indoor only. In my neighborhood, people frequently let their cats outside without any thought to the cat's safety.  But for me, keeping my cats indoor is my normal.  In addition to predators, I worry about being hit by a car, getting a disease, or falling victim to a human predator, to name just a few hazards.  I live, after all, in an urban, traffic-ridden area.

I was surprised at the reaction I received from folks.  Many were adamant about continuing to allow their cats outside in spite of knowing we possibility have a predator.    Then, they were talking about setting traps, putting out poison, etc. all in an effort to get this coyote.

Please know I was simply "recommending" an relatively easy solution to prevent future pet losses.  In no way was I trying to "tell" folks how to care for their pets.   I thought I was just providing a solution to keep the pets secure   So my question to you all is - was I out of line to make that recommendation?   What are your opinions on the indoor-outdoor cat argument?  Has anyone had to deal with coyotes before?  If so, can you give me some resources on how your area dealt with this problem?

A copy of my note to the neighborhood is below:


Coyotes are going to go after what they see first and what is the most handy, and cats and other small pets are a prime target.  So the bottom line, or the take away point is, first and foremost, to ensure the safety of our pets.  The easiest way to achieve this is keep the pet inside or on a leash if one takes the pet outside.  Simultaneously, we should address the issues/concerns that might be attracting these unwanted visitors to this area.

Your thoughts?

Thanks much
Johnna


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