People in this Canadian city are being urged to keep their cats indoors
You may think you're doing your cat a favour by letting him go outside, but kowtowing to his meow-meowing puts your pet at serious risk.
This is the message behind a recently-launched ad campaign that seeks to educate pet owners in Nova Scotia about why cats should be kept indoors.
"Terrible things can happen to free roaming cats," reads the Indoor Cats: Good for Everyone website.
"In our work helping cats and people we see far too many sad outcomes," the site continues. "We see cats who have been injured or killed by wildlife/cars/humans, we see cats who are literally starving to death, and we see cats who have lost body parts to the cold. No cat is safe outside, ever."
Created by Spay Day Nova Scotia, a Halifax-based rescue organization that helps low-income families and students with the cost of spaying or neutering their cats, the campaign is being promoted through giant billboard advertisements.
"It's a dangerous world out there," reads a billboard erected in Dartmouth featuring a frightened looking cat under silhouettes of a coyote, a car and a tick.
"Safe, happy and healthy... inside," reads another one in Halifax that shows a kitten curled up sleeping with a dog.
"Our goal is to spread awareness about the risks for outdoor cats, and why it is beneficial for everyone that they be kept indoors," says Spay Day.
"By everyone we mean the cats themselves, local wildlife and our neighbours and communities."
The organization admitted in an interview with CBC published this week that there are exceptions to the rule, however.
Some feral cats, for instance, have spent their entire lives outdoors and are unable to be socialized for living in a confined space. Spay Day works with the local SPCA to run trap-neuter-return programs for animals like this, and also operates a barn cat program to find homes for feral cats on farms with loving, attentive owners.
While experts agree that it is much safer in general for cats to stay indoors (and much, much safer for birds, squirrels, rodents and other small prey to have cats stay indoors), those who insist on letting cats outside are urged to ensure they take precautions.
"At the very least make sure it is spayed/neutered to prevent unwanted kittens and overpopulation," reads the Indoor Cats website by Spay Day.
"And that it is micro-chipped so that it (or the remains) can be returned to you."
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