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Advice from cat owners please?


westland

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I know from reading the threads that there are quite a few cat lovers out there, so not really having anyone else much to discuss this with and the forum being so addictive, thought I would ask for a few opinions to help me make a decision.  We have never had cats but my daughter has two and has recently befriended a stray female with a kitten.  The female has seemingly been around the area for a while and is fed by a few locals.  My daughter is pleading with us to take in the kitten and as it is something that we have considered now that we are around more to look after pets we are unsure whether it is fair to the little one because our house fronts onto a small D road which although quiet a lot of the time gets very busy at rush hour.  Around us are fields and woods and my daughter stayed here for a few months with her two cats who survived.  I think what I would like to ask is if anyone else has cats and lives near a road, or how do you feel from your experience that cats adapt at keeping out of the way of traffic.  I suppose at heart I probably think that it's not fair to take it in but I would be glad of any advice.  Thanks.
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Hello Westland,

If there is a road, the chances are the cat will get run over..... one day.  The last one of ours this happened to we had for four years and we were only on a tiny lane with a road a bit further away.  She must have started to cross it to go hunting which she had never done before.  It is very difficult to get over and since then all ours are kept in, with a run.  Many cats live in flats quite happily.

 

 

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Hi Westland,

We are probably ([Www]) not the best to give advice - as we have choosen our last 3 houses, away from roads, because of our cats.  But - my hubby used to live on a very busy, Belfast city centre road, with buses & cars, flying up & down & none of their cats were even run over.  Their cats were used to the traffic & knew to only go out the back.

Your problem may be that if the roads quiet at times the cat may believe it to be safe - & when it does get busy, at rush hour, there could be trouble. 

If your neighbours have cats or there are other cats usually wandering about, it would probably be ok.  You could do, as Christine as done, build a run, for it.

Good luck - & trust your own judgement.  You'll know what's best & if you think it would be safe.

 

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Wow, thanks for the pictures, not sure we have enough room behind the house (or the engineering degree!) your run looks great and your cats beautiful, is there access from there to your house? Thanks for other replies, still pondering, though kitten and mother have disappeared at the moment.
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In England we lived alongside the A38 which had very busy periods but quiet a night.  A cat that lived a few houses away adopted us and although people sometimes told us that they had seen the cat across the road he was never knocked down.  (He eventually died of cancer so you get heart break whatever you do.)   We had some people with 3 cats move in next door and unfortunately two of them were killed quite soon but the third carried on to a ripe old age. My feeling is that a young cat will adapt and if there are lots of other interesting places to go he will not bother to go near the road.  Have him or her neutered immediately so that, particularly if male, he will not wander too far and if female will not be chased by suitors.

Liz

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We have lived in london with cats, some have been run over some havnt, and we have lived in the country on a lane again some have been run over some havnt, we have had cats that reached 20 years old and some that have died with in the 1st year of thier life. You will never know what is going to happen to them, but never let that stop you from enjoying the company of a cat in your home. I have never met anyone who has ever said, I wish id never got that cat.............[:)]
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The photos are not our runs Westland, but from the sites on the link I gave, but the beige angora one looks just like Nougat (one we had).  Of course they can be connected to the house via a door or window.  I know it would maybe be too much to do for one cat, but it was just to show what can be done.

Not that you can see much of the run, but that they are enclosed and enjoying sitting out, Coco, Ching and Mimi Manuel (one we brought back from Spain) :

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a269/lavande/Chats.jpg

 

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Westland

The other thing to consider is what will happen to the kitten if you don't take it in? If you were depriving it of a lovely, safe home then perhaps you'd be right to hesitate but if it's a stray that nobody wants then it's probably better to give it a chance of a good life with you. I agree with what others have said; you can lose a cat to any road or they can survive, there's no telling. Most cats are killed on the road at night and you'll increase its chance of survival if you keep it in. I'd go for it, there'll be one less unwanted cat in France if you give it a home.

Good luck!

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We live in a very quiet hamlet, and the road outside only goes up to our neighbour's farm, so not exactly busy. However our cat knows to avoid cars - she gets out of the way when we start up ours, or others come up the lane, and she has recently had kittens that are now nearly 7 weeks old - they run like anything (in to the house) when they hear a car or any noise approaching.

If you want the kitten, go for it - they are not stupid, and I don't believe in keeping cats permanently shut it. They are hunting animals and need to take their chances in the great outdoors like everything else. Sure, it's possible the kitten could get run over - it could also live to a ripe old age, get lost, disappear for good, eat poison, get killed by another predator, have an incurable illness or whatever, but that's life. Just enjoy it while you have it, feed it and look after it and you can't do any more.

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  • 1 month later...
Look at it this way:  if you don't take them in, what will happen?  Cats either learn to cope with traffic or they don't.  At least if you feed them they will tend to stay near your house. Remember to get them neutered! And good luck.
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I am sorry and perhaps I will get shot down for this BUT this laid back attitude of a cats life is disgusting. Just because it is nice to own a cute kitten it is irresponsible in the extreme to take one on because of this and not ensure its safety. To say it may live one year or 20 is very sad indeed [:'(]. I read a statistic a few years back that stated that an indoor cat will live to an average of 18 years and an outdoor cat 3 years. I am not saying that they should be kept indoors BUT if you live near a road and you don't secure them and make them safe, I don't think you have the RIGHT to own one, full stop... [:@] 

I can only imagine if this was said about puppies [:-))]

 

P.S. Having said all of the above, if one lives on a road and rescuing a cat would provide more safety, then that would be another matter. But in any case, would be in the cats best interest to find a safe and secure home.

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How do you secure a cat from anything apart from keeping it in a run, which in my opinion is not much better than keeping one shut in a house all the time.

Cats run, climb, jump etc up and over almost anything in order to get where they want to be, that's the nature of the beast. They are a far more independent animal than a dog, and like to go off and do their own thing every now and then, as well as having much more of the hunter instinct in them than the average family dog.

I love my cats, I also love my dogs, but they are not treated in the same way as they do not have the same habits. (Even if the cats do join the walks with the dogs[:)])

 

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Westland, my post was certainly not directed toward you, it was directed to a couple of posts that were posted after yours. Taking on and saving the life of a cat and taking on a kitten are differnt situations in any way you look at it in any case.

I am so sorry to hear about the poor cat you rescued [:(]. He sounds like he was very lucky to have found someone like yourself with such a kind heart.

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WJT

The original post was about taking on a stray kitten that nobody wanted. I care greatly for my cats but that doesn't mean that they have to live a miserable life indoors. We choose houses on as quiet a road as possible and keep them in at night whenever we can. I don't see that any other way is compatible with the cats having a "normal" life. I also think that you have to be fairly philosophical about losing them, otherwise you're on the way to perpetual heartache.

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I dont know why im replying to this............ But you either dont have or dont understand cats, they are free  animals, just like people, do you keep your children in cages or stop them from going out any where? are you going to tie them up so they cant have an accident,  cats will do as they like its very hard to teach them anything, I love my cats very much and do everything i can to keep them safe, but stop at tying them up or caging them, people do i know and thats their choice. all my cats are rescue ones and I give them the freedom to live out side to run free in the fields where they are happy. If not i might as well of left them at the catteries where they recieved no warmth or love.    
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[quote user="Christine Animal"]

That is your way of thinking Mary.  Then don't complain when something happens to them... [:)]

 

[/quote]

As far as I know I didn't complain about loosing my kitten- I was just sad that it had happened and wanted to share it with someone who might understand.

I agree with everything Pads has written. Cats are free spirits, and to cage them or confine them is just as cruel in my opinion as ill treating them. At the end of the day they are animals, not humans, and one should never try and give them human emotions.

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It's true pads that I would NEVER keep a cat in a cage or locked inside the house all day.  I have cried the rain over many cats that were killed or poisoned but they are independant sprirts and must be left to live their lives (all nine of them!)
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Noone is giving them human emotions.  Trying to keep them out of danger is being responsible and loving them very dearly.  Everyone has his point of view, but I would not like to live again through seeing them squashed on the road or whatever.  Several other people we know with big gardens and several cats have put an electric fence round and they are very happy in the house and garden.

 

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Except for conservation purposes, I dislike the concept of zoos. In view of that, how could I consider permanently caging my own cats? How would it be different? It is confining barely domesticated animals for my enjoyment. I fully realise and therefore accept - based on experience - the downside of this attitude. I do what I can: we've bought a cat-friendly house; they won't be allowed out on hunting days; they are kept in overnight; generally, they are only allowed out when we are here but I would not consider permanently caging my cats. I would consider it cruel.

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Chris i dont think your way is wrong , its your way, but i do disagree with being told I have a laid back atitude to my cats well fare, as in another post, I do everthing I feel is right for my animals, they live along side me I dont rule them.     
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