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Owners need to keep control of their cats
10:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Letters
Sir – In reply to Ms Goff's letter (last week’s Gazette) , I am wondering if Ms Goff has ever had the misfortune when carrying out weeding in her garden to plunge her hand into freshly-deposited faecal matter left by a neighbour’s cat?
I have, and it is far from a pleasant experience.
In no way do I condone people taking matters into their own hands, but it seems that for far too long cat owners have been afforded a freedom that no other pet owners have, with maybe the exception of pigeon fanciers, where they can release their pet into the public domain.
Cats can and do, freely defecate, urinate, kill/maim other wildlife and often damage furniture and equipment by sharpening their claws or marking their territory.
Dog owners now have a responsibility to keep their charges on a lead and to clear up after them, other large animal owners normally keep them corralled in a field and small animals are kept in some form of secure enclosure.
Why are cats allowed to roam freely, causing annoyance to non-cat owners?
The argument that they are suited to that lifestyle is nonsense as most domestic animals are also suited to a life of free roaming.
My sister runs a cattery and also breeds cats. My late mother was housebound and for company kept two cats in a maisonette and I have also owned cats in the past.
None of these have ever been allowed to roam freely and were trained to use a cat litter tray.
I do not think that they suffered any long-lasting dismay at being so restricted and all have gone on to live a long and happy life showing great affection to their owners.
My point is that rather than persecuting cat owners for allowing their cats free rein and toilet facilities, they should be educated to exercise greater control over their pets.
Every other pet owner has had to comply with the law. Why should cat owners be exempt?
This would also help to possibly reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and a subsequent reduction in feral cats.
I feel cat owners will wail and gnash their teeth in horror at such a suggestion, but on the other hand how come dog, bird, rodent, equine, reptile, etc, owners have to do this already and still manage to have a happy relationship with their pets?
If nothing else, it might help reduce the lottery of gardening and in some cases help reduce the spread of disease that cat faeces can carry.
As a final thought, I wonder how many accidents/deaths have been caused by car drivers instinctively swerving to avoid a cat running out into the road?
Nick Holland, Jacobs Mill, Witney
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