Cat laws regulating outdoor cats

This posting was supposed to be the last post sharing my general thoughts on getting a cat. I wanted to reflect on why I will let my cats go outside. My outdoor criterium was also why I couldn’t get cats from my local animal shelter: you may not adopt a cat without signing a contract that you will keep the cat as an indoor cat. The staff didn’t give any concrete reasons and mumbled something about their general policy. I’m a bit disappointed about their lacking communication, because I now know why the shelter prevents their cats becoming outdoor cats.

According to the law, I have to ensure that my cat has no access
  • to exercise / running / ski tracks and sports fields
  • to a public beach
  • a market place during trading hours
  • playground

Obviously, I can’t control where my cats will go unless I’ll be with them at all times. I didn’t know about this law, and it’s not really promoted. I’m aware that the animal shelter is probably doing a good job, and I admire people working for the wellbeing of animals. I still think the shelter could have informed me about this law, but ok, it’s no use crying over spilt milk.

I could ignore my inability to make sure that my cat won’t go to those places, but I’m a very law-abiding person. How I found out about the law? Whilst searching for adult inside-outdoor cats, I got scared. The vast majority needs a new home due to severe neighbor conflicts. I’m afraid the same will happen to me. I’m worried that cats who are used to go outside won’t become happy indoor cats. Moving doesn’t really solve the problem as I can’t know how my new neighborhood will be like. Problem is: the neighbors will have the law on their side. People had to give their cats away because the police got involved. Apparently, my cats won’t smell at flowers in the garden whilst I’m at work.

cats and flowers

On the one hand, this is good news. It’s not worth continuing the difficult search for at least two inside-outdoor cats in my area. I can just return to my local shelter and I’ll probably find my cats pretty soon. On the other hand – I’m pretty upset right now. I didn’t want to have animals behind bars. I understand that indoor cats can be very happy. I know that ‘behind bars’ is an exaggeration, but that’s how I feel right now.