Cats: good or bad

Cats, they eat native birds but they also make really good pets so please vote for which option is what your opinion is, cats, no cats, or cats that live permanently inside.

  • Cats :cat:
  • No cats :bird:
  • Inside cats :house:

0 voters

Also, please consider NOT repeating discussion that has already happened in this thread. Your moderators will be most grateful… :wink::kissing_cat:


Cats should never be kept outside. It not only harms the environment, but it also shortens their lifespans significantly. If a cat acts like it NEEDS to go outside, an fenced-in enclosure or a walk on a harness is enough. A ban on cats will never be successful, of course, so just keep them inside.


Really depends on what area of the world we’re talking about, in areas that naturally have wildcats (Eurasia, Africa) I don’t believe free-roaming or feral cats do that much harm.

btw, keeping any animal captive will increase its average lifespan, doesn’t mean you’re increasing its quality of life though.


In Australia, feral cats (moggies) cause a lot of ecological damage. They’re an introduced species for a majority of the world


I’m seriously considering getting a cat as a therapy animal. I live with PTSD, from my military service. I grew up with them, and love them. I could use the comfort and the structure that comes from working with an animal.
That said, outdoor cats are monstrously destructive. Feral cats are as common here in Israel as pigeons in New York!


I think that it depends on the locality. In localities where the cats were present outside for “ages” (like in the Central Europe where I live), other species had a long time to be used to that and beware of the cats as their natural predators. (And they are not just feral, they are normally kept by somebody but allowed to go outside as well.) The other situation is in the places, where there were no such predators before cats were introducted.

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Since this topic isn’t directly related to iNat I moved it to the Nature Talk category.


This episode of “HIdden Brain” had a good discussion of this issue with the author Hal Herzog who writes about human animal relationships.

Arg! It’s a podcast. Do you know if they have a transcript somewhere (npr usually does)? I’d much rather read than listen to a podcast. But it sounds very interesting!
Taking a long drive yesterday, and seeing all the dead animals on the roadside (3 raccoons, 1 possum, 1 skunk, and I was driving so I couldn’t watch much), I wonder the same thing. What if these were humans, decapitated by high-speed collisions? What kind of uproar would there be if we left them in the streets to rot slowly, disemboweled? It seems strange that we decide certain beings are unholy to see dead, and other beings are just extraneous.

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Welcome to the world of speciesism. Our society is so backwards.

Inside and sterilized…

Yes there’s a transcript link on that page.

Thanks, guess I was asleep on the job :sleeping:


Some people have a catio. An enclosed space where cats have a view and the breeze.

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Just reminding everyone again, (thanks @jdmore!) that this conversation has covered many of the points being brought up here:

thoughts from the community on combining topics with an adjustment to the topic titles?


Some conversations lend themselves to archiving as FAQs. Other conversations, such as this, are of the sort that people want to interact in real time, exchange ideas, hear contemporary opinions, etc. It seems a shame to relegate everyone to an archive search or reference a prior conversation if they want to materially participate in one in the here-and-now.

That being said, there are cases where the keeping of outdoor cats, neutered and/or spayed, are acceptable. On the farm, we have always kept a couple of barn cats for rodent control, as I have considered it preferable to the use of poisons. These cats are well-fed and receive veterinary care, and have kept the rodent population in check, helped out by a couple of lovely rat snakes. I would never consider doing this anywhere else, especially not in a community setting.


Not suggesting that there be no more conversation just that two virtually identical topics be merged into one continuing conversation so people aren’t repeating themselves in two places.

edit: realizing that perhaps you are unaware that we can re-open conversations as needed.


For pets, yes, indoors with a catio or harness is best.

What about “working cats” like barn cats, though?

[Addendum: just saw @annainok already brought this up]

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I personally enjoy having a separate thread to read because I don’t have to scroll through everything. However, I’d understand completely if they were combined.