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Old 01-01-2012, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,166,807 times
Reputation: 5059

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weatherfan2 View Post
Dogs are much more dependent on humans for their needs than cats, who are far more responsibly behaved when independently roaming.
Argh. Okay I'm going to take direct issue with this part, though. This is a huge generalization, half of which might be true a lot of the time but not all, and half of which is not true period.

You're on firmer ground if you just stick with being from the UK and you have fewer issues affecting the outdoor cats here. And you trained them well not to interfere with the neighbors. I can buy all that.

But cats being more responsibly behaved when independently roaming, that's not going to be true in comparing all cats with all dogs. Heck, I grew up in a neighborhood that had a couple of roaming dogs. They never caused any problems. Meanwhile I've seen many people complain about what roaming cats do, and they are not all wild-eyed "I hate cats!" complaints. Some are quite legitimate. Sure they may stem from irresponsible owners if you want to argue that, but that doesn't make the problem any less real. Nor does it indicate that a dog couldn't be better behaved than some of those cats.

Cats (vs dogs) being less dependent on humans for their needs, though, that's a pervasive myth. This is not true even if you are letting them roam outside much of the time. Unless the cats are feral (born outside, no contact with humans), they form bonds with humans that are just as strong as dogs form. Cats have the same emotional attachment, the same loneliness when we are not there, etc. They don't express it in the same way as dogs, but it is there. The only difference is that a dog doesn't use a litter pan (at least above a certain small size; I've heard of tiny dogs being trained to use one).
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:15 PM
 
5,756 posts, read 11,258,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
Argh. Okay I'm going to take direct issue with this part, though. This is a huge generalization, half of which might be true a lot of the time but not all, and half of which is not true period.

You're on firmer ground if you just stick with being from the UK and you have fewer issues affecting the outdoor cats here. And you trained them well not to interfere with the neighbors. I can buy all that.

But cats being more responsibly behaved when independently roaming, that's not going to be true in comparing all cats with all dogs. Heck, I grew up in a neighborhood that had a couple of roaming dogs. They never caused any problems. Meanwhile I've seen many people complain about what roaming cats do, and they are not all wild-eyed "I hate cats!" complaints. Some are quite legitimate. Sure they may stem from irresponsible owners if you want to argue that, but that doesn't make the problem any less real. Nor does it indicate that a dog couldn't be better behaved than some of those cats.

Cats (vs dogs) being less dependent on humans for their needs, though, that's a pervasive myth. This is not true even if you are letting them roam outside much of the time. Unless the cats are feral (born outside, no contact with humans), they form bonds with humans that are just as strong as dogs form. Cats have the same emotional attachment, the same loneliness when we are not there, etc. They don't express it in the same way as dogs, but it is there. The only difference is that a dog doesn't use a litter pan (at least above a certain small size; I've heard of tiny dogs being trained to use one).
Extremely well put.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Buxton, England
7,032 posts, read 8,105,657 times
Reputation: 3524
You keep accusing me of not "answering the question" about why my cats NEED to roam and dogs don't. First off, that is not the question I was answering. I was answering the question, in the OP's post, why should your cats be ALLOWED to go outside, and I've already given perfectly acceptable answers.

The question about why cats need to go out and dogs don't is a stupid question (as well as not the one I am answering...) because the question ASSUMES that everyone (cat owners??) all think cats NEED to roam and dogs don't. It's an invalid assumption, hence a stupid question, because even to most cat owners, we would say they don't NEED to, but because they can do without causing any trouble or getting into danger (in most cases), and they prefer it, they CAN do.

The cats being less dependent on humans for their needs argument, BTW, is not a pervasive myth, it is a biological fact, and I know it pretty well having owned cats and dogs too. Cats can survive much longer on their own than any dog let loose for any period of time. Domestic dogs have more or less all but lost their original hunting skills which cats still retain. Dogs are far more emotionally dependent on their owners than cats also. Whether you think it's a myth or not, I will continue to believe it, as an owner of both; at the risk of you thinking me foolish. Bite me.

Last edited by Weatherfan2; 01-02-2012 at 06:06 AM..
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Buxton, England
7,032 posts, read 8,105,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
You do realize I'm not the OP and thus not responsible for the subject line, right?


But you're still not answering the real question. The question isn't why can't dogs roam free. The question is why do cats NEED to roam free for mental or physical health, and dogs don't. The answer- neither of them NEEDS to.
?
I only contributed to this discussion to answer the OP's question why should my cats be allowed to go outside. I said they have lived outside 14 years without causing anybody any inconvenience or getting into danger. That's the answer. It has nothing to do with whether they need to roam free or not, nothing at all whatsoever.

I answered the OP's question fair and square and it's the only answer I will ever give, get used to it. If you don't accept it, too bad, we'll have to disagree.

I'm done with this discussion. You are all trying to find ways to make me and people like me who let their cats out feel guilty about it, or make us out to be selfish, or irresponsible, and to argue against every single little thing I say. Irritating antagonists have no place in my life and will not ruin my new year. I'm not playing your game any more. Good bye.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,166,807 times
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You may not still be reading this, but personally I have no interest in making you feel guilty about letting your cats out. I truly believe that scenario has a transatlantic difference. I may not react the same way to someone in the US saying their cats roam about. If that is wrong to you, well, we disagree. I don't have a problem with disagreeing on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weatherfan2 View Post
Cats can survive much longer on their own than any dog let loose for any period of time.
The sentence I quoted just above might be true. My beef is with this line of thinking leading to cats being treated as if they have little to no emotional bond with their human caretakers. Let's leave dogs out of this anyway as maybe you're reacting to the idea that cats couldn't be as emotionally attached as dogs. That's really immaterial. The point is people go "Oh cats, they don't really care about us that much except when it's time to eat" and then people do things like leave them alone for a week at a time or whatever. This is the pervasive myth. The biological fact is that cats have strong emotional bonds to their human caretakers and need them.

I do not say this to be irritating to anyone or as some silly game. I have been on the wrong side of this myself in the past, and perhaps like a reformed smoker I get a bit overzealous at times. But I think it is important we understand that cats are very emotionally attached to us. It is sometimes difficult to interpret their behavior as such in that it is not always so overt as human or dog behavior might be, and this leads people to believe it is not true.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:22 AM
 
1,044 posts, read 1,534,822 times
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I currently live in a neighborhood where dogs & cats are not allowed to roam free. If outside at any time, they must be on a leash.

That's actually a good thing because I can tell you that in this neighborhood, roaming cats (and we have a number of them who spray our doors and siding, leave smelly messes in the bedding areas, etc) are not safe. There is a healthy population of coyotes & fox in the area and any kitty left to fend for themselves outside roaming will eventually end up as a meal for one of these critters or as a pancake on the road nearby.

Everybody's situation & environment is a bit different but I can tell you that having seen a fox recently near my kitchen window, the last thing I would ever do is let my kitty outdoors to roam. It would be a certain death sentence for him.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:07 AM
 
2,873 posts, read 4,402,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weatherfan2 View Post
You keep accusing me of not "answering the question" about why my cats NEED to roam and dogs don't. First off, that is not the question I was answering. I was answering the question, in the OP's post, why should your cats be ALLOWED to go outside, and I've already given perfectly acceptable answers.

The question about why cats need to go out and dogs don't is a stupid question (as well as not the one I am answering...) because the question ASSUMES that everyone (cat owners??) all think cats NEED to roam and dogs don't. It's an invalid assumption, hence a stupid question, because even to most cat owners, we would say they don't NEED to, but because they can do without causing any trouble or getting into danger (in most cases), and they prefer it, they CAN do.

The cats being less dependent on humans for their needs argument, BTW, is not a pervasive myth, it is a biological fact, and I know it pretty well having owned cats and dogs too. Cats can survive much longer on their own than any dog let loose for any period of time. Domestic dogs have more or less all but lost their original hunting skills which cats still retain. Dogs are far more emotionally dependent on their owners than cats also. Whether you think it's a myth or not, I will continue to believe it, as an owner of both; at the risk of you thinking me foolish. Bite me.

There is no scientific basis behind this 'fact'. In many areas there are packs of feral dogs that live just fine without humans. And remember, we aren't talking about animals left to fend by themselves. Owned pets allowed to roam are still fed by the owner.

And again, the idea of leashing your dog or keeping it confined is relatively new. In farming countries, many dogs DO still roam free- those that prove to be a pest simply never come home (ever heard of shoot, shovel, and shut up?)

In fact, it probably would be better for many dogs to roam freely in terms of their mental health. As you state, dogs like to be around people. For most dogs, their person isn't around for a good part of a the day and they are confined alone. You don't think the dog would be happy to roam the neighbor, bug people for treats, and hang out with other loose dogs?

The reason I keep bringing up dogs is that very few cat owners who let their cats roam free believe that dogs should be allowed to roam free. But why? It seems like they can see the possible nuisances dogs can cause, but when people complain about the problems cats cause, well, tough.

You can't say your cats have never been in danger. They could have a dozen close calls a day and you wouldn't know it. You can't say they've never bothered the neighbors. That's the trade off. For a portion of the day, you have no idea what is happening to your pets or what they are doing that impacts others.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 10,992,463 times
Reputation: 5346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fargobound View Post
So I woke this morning and found the neighbor’s cats crapped in the front planter and sprayed urine all over the porch. I always find three cats parked on the patio furniture late at night and I think it’s time to start trapping them for a trip to the pound.


So why should your cat(s) be allowed to roam free?
Cats should not be roaming free making nuisances of themselves in the neighborhood. Before trapping them try speaking to their owners first.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:07 PM
 
Location: San Diego North County
4,799 posts, read 7,574,047 times
Reputation: 3005
Many people let their cats roam free where I live. They are the reason why the area coyotes believe that they can brazenly walk into the neighborhood and turn the outdoor pets into coyote salty snacks at will. There have even been several small dogs snatched while on leashed walks with their owners. Irresponsible pet owners have turned my neighborhood into an all you can eat buffet for area predators.

I would no more let my cat roam outdoors than I would allow a two year old to drive.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 10,992,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weatherfan2 View Post


As a cat owner of 14 yrs I have to say it's ridiculous for anyone to say that letting them have the run of the outdoors is dangerous... give me a break.
I guess you have no motor vehicles, loose dogs and sadistic cat haters in the UK. Odd that.
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