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Old 09-12-2008, 12:39 AM
2 posts, read 5,278 times
Reputation: 10


I currently live in Fort Lauderdale in a townhouse where we have a pet door & our cats can go outside. It's a very safe, pet friendly complex, not a lot of traffic, great neighborhood,etc.
My company is transferring me to Jacksonville in a few weeks. I'll be working in downtown Jax.
It's just my husband & I & our 2 cats. I hope this doesn't sound silly but it's important for us to find a nice area where the cats will be safe & someone won't freak out if you let your cats outside. I have done a lot of research as far as zip codes & where we would like to be. Looking at Southside area but open to a safe area not too far from downtown. Looking to pay up to $1200 for 2/2. Keeping them strictly as inside cats is not an option as they are used to being able to go outside.
Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:24 AM
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,620 posts, read 14,333,107 times
Reputation: 4608
Along with traffic and non-cat neighbors, depending on location you might have to worry about birds of prey, gators, etc. Have you considered finding a place that has a large screened-in lanai? Fill it with plants and it'll have the jungle feel. Lizards will abound for amusement.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:20 AM
4 posts, read 12,732 times
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Well you'll either end up in an apartment complex ( which the southside is nothing but ) or rent a house in a subdivision. This is a crowded city no matter what side of town you are on. I wouldn't look for a place based on the comfort of a cat, they'll get used to their surroundings no matter where they are. I'd worry more about your daily commute! If your going to be heading into downtown everyday, depending on where you live you can spend up to an hour in traffic!I personally would find a neighborhood that is close to downtown that won't require much drive time.I've had indoor/outdoor cats my whole life and have never had to worry about their safety... and I've lived on just about every side of town!
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:17 PM
Location: Jax
8,200 posts, read 34,347,303 times
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Mawipafl and Kelly&Ethan said it so well - you don't want to have your cats outdoors here in Jax, for all the reasons they both said, and I'll give you a few more....

Large Feral Cat Population in Jax. I don't know what it was like in Ft. Lauderdale, but there are a lot of feral cats here and the city does nothing about it. It is up to individuals to do their own Trap-Neuter-Return programs here, the city doesn't have one, so the colonies grow and grow. There is a higher rate of rabies in feral cats than in raccoons in NEFL, not to mention other contractable feline illnesses.

People. You won't know how your neighbors will react to your cats until it's too late. Here's a nice little story...

I'd been living in this HOA neighborhood for a few years, and rarely saw an outdoor cat (heavy woods, plenty of cover for ferals). I went to an HOA meeting and heard one of the board members complain about "someone's" loose cat. Next meeting, same complaint. Now I'm annoyed at the member and thinking to myself "why don't you just close the garage door if you don't want the cat spraying/marking in your garage? Duh?!". Third meeting the HOA member announces that the loose cat problem was solved. He trapped the cat and drove it out to the country and let it go!

Now I'd seen that cat he spoke of, and to me it looked like someone's pet, not a feral cat. if I had any idea this fool was thinking along those lines, I would have spoken to him about it, but I thought he was just trying to figure out who the owner was...I didn't know his intentions until after the fact .

Why not try a cat fence? Here's an article from the Humane Society with links to all kinds of cat fencing options:

Fence Me In | The Humane Society of the United States (http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/cat_care/fence_me_in.html - broken link)

Another link that might be of interest:

Keep Your Cat Safe at Home: HSUS's Safe Cats Campaign | The Humane Society of the United States (http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/cat_care/keep_your_cat_safe_at_home_hsuss_safe_cats_campaig n/ - broken link)

Now let's help you find that neighborhood ! Sounds like you'll be renting? Lots of nice neighborhoods near downtown and you can be on the Southside at the same time . You might like San Marco, San Jose - these will keep your downtown commute super-short (10-15-20 minutes). Look at your rental options online in zips 32207 & 32217.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:02 AM
Location: Munich + FL, 32082
481 posts, read 2,180,049 times
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There is a neighborhood called Lake Mandarin. It's in the triangle between San Jose Blvd and 295, where I put the yellow mark:

http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/41/1063141/1600_3030393263636361.jpg (broken link)

I don't know anything about that area - whether it is desirable, safe, or an easy commute to downton. I just saw some homes on the web which caught my attention because they are very similar (must be the same builder) to those in our community in Ponte Vedra Beach: smaller homes, and older too (1980s) but most of them have completely private patios surrounded by 7 ft high walls. When you use Google Earth and zoom in you'll see that there are a lot of them - the walls cast straight shadowlines. If you don't put chairs or tables against those walls, they should be insurmountable for your cats.

And even if this community is not for you, I'm sure there are others in Jax with these walled patios.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:51 PM
2 posts, read 5,278 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thank-you!

Thank-you all for the great information---I really appreciate it!

I will take into consideration all of your thoughts. Hopefully will be going to Jax within the next week or so & will get a chance to look around & get a better idea of the what the different areas are like.

I had no idea that there was such a huge ferel cat population up there. There are not a lot of stray/ferel cats in the neighborhood I currently live in but I have lived in areas of Fort Lauderdale where there were ferel cats. Along with some friends we had trapped ,neutered and returned several cats in a colony near our home. So if the feral population is what you say it is I have a feeling I'll be keeping busy---

Again thanks for all of the GREAT information- I'm sure we'll find a place where the cats will be happy--lol.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:33 AM
Location: Historic Springfield
549 posts, read 2,131,355 times
Reputation: 380
I'm sorry, but unless you live where you have a lot of land, it's not safe to allow ones pet to run around outside unless it's on your own property. Not everyone likes having someones pet come onto their property. I'm an animal lover, but I don't like it when people allow their animals to roam about at will, it's not okay to for anyone to assume that your neighbors want those pets on their property.

I know that sounds negative, and it's not meant to be...but as pet owners, we have certain responsibilities, and keeping your pets on your property and safe, is one of them.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:07 AM
4 posts, read 12,732 times
Reputation: 13
I just wanted to add as far as cats go..the 2 I have now were indoors only for 4 years. Then we moved into a neighborhood on a dead end street and I decided to let them out. It's been 2 years and now they HATE coming inside. As for feral cats...well everyday I can hear some cat getting his butt tore up with all the howling and hissing. Pretty funny actually. And there are about 3 neighborhood cats that scatter out of my backyard whenever I open the back door! Drives me nuts. My cats are neutered, I don't think they rarely leave the yard. Most fixed cats down't wander like a real, fightin' Tom-cat would!
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