This might put an end to your moggie’s bad habit of leaving dead birds and mice at your doorstep.
But a call for all cats to be kept indoors to prevent them from killing wildlife seems sure to send fur flying among animal lovers.
An animal rights charity issued the demand – along with a ban on cat flaps – not only because of the threat our feline friends pose to small animals, but also to their own safety.
Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – says cats that are allowed out unsupervised are at risk of being hit by a car or being poisoned.
The only exception to their confinement, they say, is if owners have a secure “catio” – a garden enclosure that cats cannot escape from.
Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – says cats that are allowed out unsupervised are at risk of being hit by a car or poisoned (stock image)
Peta founder Ingrid Newkirk said: “People wouldn’t dream of opening the door and letting a toddler wander down the road.
“Yet every day cats are run over, poisoned by antifreeze or die at the hands of teenagers having fun – because their keepers are doing just that.”
“If you love your cat, for God’s sake, keep it indoors and make your house its home, with views to enjoy and things to play with.” However, many cat owners will see such a policy as imprisoning pets that need to roam.
And Dr Lauren Finka, a cat welfare expert from the University of Nottingham, said: ‘Cats should definitely not be kept indoors as general policy.
“Most benefit greatly from being able to move around. This can be an important way for cats to deal with the stresses of living in human households.
A quarter of UK cats are thought to live almost exclusively indoors. But cat expert Celia Haddon said: “For cats that have lived outdoors, keeping them indoors only is positively cruel.”
This week vets warned that nearly half of cats in Britain were obese, a situation that left them housebound would only get worse.
This week vets warned that almost half of cats in Britain were obese, a situation that left them housebound would only get worse (stock image)
In 2006, 230,000 cats were run over on UK roads. But of the nearly 11 million cats in the country, less than one in 25 cats were involved in a traffic accident before the age of 12, according to a survey.
And although cats are estimated to catch up to 29 million birds a year, the RSPCA says they mostly catch weak ones.
Peta, who previously suggested that cats and dogs shouldn’t be called “pets,” said owners can train cats to walk using a harness or leash.
In a new book, 250 Vital Things Your Cat Wants You To Know, Miss Newkirk suggests owners create a nurturing environment, such as indoor shelves for cats to climb on or creating a walled-in outdoor ‘catio’.
But Dr Finka said being restrained and unable to explore can cause anxiety in cats.
She advised owners to use pet-friendly garden fencing to keep cats out and said: ‘Peta focuses on quantity of life rather than quality of life. Owning a cat isn’t just about keeping an animal alive, it’s about ensuring it has a fulfilling life.