I would like to respond to the cons in the opinion piece “Licences Not Purr-fect” in the Aug. 9 edition of your paper.
• “Unlike other domesticated pets, they are hard to contain.”
I agree that any cat that has been raised roaming free will be “hard to contain.” Dogs also roamed free when I was a child, but they and their owners have adjusted to limits to their freedom.
I have a number of cat-loving friends that have raised their cats as indoor cats and they and their cats seem perfectly happy with the arrangement. Any proposal for licensing of cats would never be able to provide the funding for every cat that strays from its yard to be picked up. What it would do is provide the funding for animal control officers to respond to complaints by picking up cats that are abandoned and through the licensing contact the owner of the cat.
• “For those worried about avian well-being, instituting a bell-for-every-feline approach would be much more cost effective and, well, effective.”
Hunting cats lie in wait and then pounce when the prey is close. No bell is ringing while the cat is lying in wait (either awake or asleep) and, when the cat pounces, it is too late for the bird to be warned by the bell.
• “What cat licensing would create is more an administrative and enforcement nightmare than anything.”
This has not been the experience of the animal control officer for the City of Calgary who claims to have solved his cat problem in two years after cat licensing was introduced for the city. Cat licensing provided revenue for animal control officers to deal with the cat problem and it has made it possible for him to contact the owners of cats that come into his holding facility. In the documentary Cat Crazed shown on Doc Zone, he walks the interviewer through his facility past the empty cages that used to be filled with cats to show the viewers the seven cats that he presently has which he is sure will all be adopted.
• “Locking up any animal… without access to the outside is cruel”
If this is true, there are lot of dog owners in North America who should be charged with animal cruelty. Most dog owners that I know keep their dogs in the house all the time except for short walks outside to relieve themselves and for exercise. Travelling in India, dogs are everywhere and the people there think that we are cruel not to let our dogs lead a dog’s life, but North American dog owners think otherwise. Although dogs are still allowed to be outside in a fenced yard or kennel, most of the dog owners that I know, kennel their dogs in the house.
• “In all, cat licensing is climbing up the wrong post”. I wonder what your opinion would have been when dog licensing came into being in the 1950s and 1960s.