Non-feral outdoor cats

How should one note, if at all, actively pet cats that are outdoors? There are a lot of observations from the DC area in particular that seem to be pretty obviously non-feral domestics on porches and windowsills and the like that are nonetheless outdoors and unrestrained. E.g.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/69325115

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I believe they should be marked as captive in the data quality assessment

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Yep, it’s fine to post observations of these, but if they’re obviously a pet that is non-feral then they should be marked as captive.

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Also if possible let’s not let this thread roam into the ethics of whether cats should be allowed outside. That’s a pit of no return on this forum. Best just not go there on here.

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But what if I like the pit of no return? Seriously, I agree completely. It’s bootless.

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I’m of the opinion that most “outdoor cats” are in fact just feral cats that occasionally receive food from humans. They roam freely most of the time, they interact with feral cats, they kill birds and other wildlife - that’s wild. I therefore tend to vote any outdoor cat that isn’t obviously captive as wild.

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i think i’d rather climb into a bucket with several angry semi-feral cats than debate whether or not people should let their cats outside :sweat_smile:

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We had an outdoor cat (farm) named Boots when I was a kid.
(I predict this thread will be closed soon)

This is not about the ethics of cats, but you reminded me of a story. I worked as a homemaker north of Toronto many years ago. One of the places I was sent to was a marginal farm with an older couple. The wife (I forget their names!) was complaining that the cats in the barn had babies, and there were too many cats. I went back about two weeks later, and she greets me with ‘Not so many cats. I shot them’. Function over form!

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I only mark as domestic cats that are outside as captive if I see a collar. There’s a lot more feral cats than people think. I’ve seen people on here really value the data on feral cats too, so I would say if you aren’t entirely sure, make a note of your uncertainty rather than marking it as captive.

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