A letter to Councillor O’Sullivan,
I support strongly your position on restricting the activity of cats that leave their owner’s property. I live on a 34 acre rural property and have for the last four years continuously chased my neighbour’s cat off my property often in full view of them. When I told them to keep their cats off my property, I was met with hostility, i.e. foul mouthed swearing and lewd gestures. I have witnessed the cats killing birds along with their offspring who nest under my eaves as they climb the posts to get to them. I have encountered and chased healthy pet cats who hunt in my 20 acre backfield. Unfortunately, I do not know who owns the cats, otherwise I would be notifying them as well.
If you want a heart-rending story, here’s a couple within my experience: what about the feelings of the bird parents who were nesting under my eaves frantic about losing their healthy, thriving brood to a cat and then the very next day being killed themselves. Or what about the St. Patrick’s Day I drove into Kemptville to celebrate only to stop for a cat left for dead in front of Home Hardware. I contacted the on-call Vet in Kemptville, picked up the cat whose body I felt to be broken and for which euthanasia was the only viable option, only to discover that after a brief inspection by the attending vet, that the cat was pregnant. Thank you very much to the cat owner whose cat did not “return home” and who made me and the attending vet responsible for resolving a horrific and ultimately preventable situation. I don’t go to any more celebrations in Kemptville.
I do not hate cats – I used to own 2 cats in an apartment in downtown Ottawa and they were kept indoors or on leash if I took them outside. I do not want cats on my 34 acre property. They do not belong in the wild and are causing extensive harm to small wildlife which has been documented. As you know, wild bird populations have plummeted recently due to Bird Influenza – I have seen for myself the drastic reduction this year in my local bird population. A very strong argument you and cat owners may not have considered is the very real potential for cats to eat diseased birds thereby increasing the danger of the virus mutating and jumping to mammal populations ie US. It has already been documented this jump has occurred in a few wild mammals and has yet to be determined by how much. So far nothing has been reported about cats eating dead birds and getting sick probably because it is not a reportable disease by Veterinarians and no one is looking into the population specifically.
This is entirely preventable – cat owners need to be more responsible to keep their cats on their property, indoor or outdoors. There is absolutely no reason for a domestic cat to be allowed to run loose and wreak havoc anywhere at any time.
For those who object to a pound “kill” policy then it may be suggested they put their names forward to look after the animals impounded and find homes for the “unwanted” as well as be involved in the education program. For what it’s worth, this is reverse discrimination – if it were wolves or coyotes hunting and killing livestock, they are mercilessly hunted down with gun and dogs until the pack(s) is(are) destroyed. So what we have now is an overpopulation of domestic stock killing wildlife.
In summary, domestic cats do not belong in the wild nor should they be allowed to run wild. Owners who willfully allow their cats loose are basically saying they don’t want the cat living in the house.