Friday, May 28, 2010

A Tale of Two Bunnies Continue

I am on a "do-not-let-your-cat-out-of-the-house jag."

The folks for whom we are house sitting let their cats go outside in the night to hunt. The cats can come and go through an open window in their bedroom. This is how "Yani", the "bunny killer" got into the house with his prey. (See previous blog for details.)

I did some research and even contacted my degreed and licensed Vet tech friend in Kansas for info.

It turns out that you can indeed get your cat into quite a bit of trouble allowing it to go in and out to catch and eat prey. By prey I am speaking out rats, mice, rabbits, birds, etc...

I asked what dangers can the cat encounter in catching these varmits, bringing them into the house, and eating them. Here is her answer:
"Tapeworm, fleas, plague, rabies, & hantivirus, to name the risks from greatest to least. If there are native parrots, they can catch chlamydia psittacosis from them (&, more rarely, from other bird species)."
"Plague" and "hantivirus" were two that jumped out of her email screaming loudly in my face.

We actually love cats. We loved them so much that in the States we had thirty Russian Blues in a breeding and show cat cattery. So it is not that we have anything at all against cats. But, where we do draw the line is in letting a "non-working" cat outside in this day and age. Working cats, or as it is known in Kansas, a farm cat, is a necessity on a farm where vermin can cost a farmer money.

A pet...should be kept indoors.

There are scores of reason why you should keep the cats inside. There is only one reason people let pet cats outside: anthropomorphism.

Just think about it: Your cat catches, not necessarily killing, a rat and brings it into the house and the thing has hantivirus or the plague. Just what are you going to do?

Got your haz-mat suit on hand?

I have heard of extremely isolated cases of plague here in Mexico. Another vet I know in Mexico confirmed hantivirus here in Mexico.

The thing is, you can allow your cat outside time by attaching an ultra inexpensive cat pen to the window that would protect all members of the family, human and felines, and the cat could merrily watch critters through chicken wire and not be able to catch and eat them.

Doesn't that make a lot of sense?

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