June is Adopt a Cat Month. Shelters across the country use this opportunity to promote cat adoption, the importance of spaying/neutering and responsible cat ownership.
As part of their adoption contract, most shelters require that cats be kept indoors. On average, indoor cats live three times longer than outdoor cats. Cats who are allowed to roam face many dangers, including cars, other animals, disease, poisons (like antifreeze), parasites and cruel people.
Many cities, including Lawrence, have ordinances that restrict pet owners from allowing their dogs and cats to roam freely. Roaming cats pose the same threats to the community as dogs. In fact, cats are more likely to carry rabies than dogs. Cats also defecate in neighbor's yards and kill wildlife.
Unaltered cats who roam freely also contribute to the millions of cats who are euthanized every year in shelters because there are not enough homes for them all.
Keeping indoor cats happy requires a few simple measures. First, give your cat a comfortable spot by a window where she can sit in the sun and look outside. Second, provide your cat with plenty of attention and activity. Cats can get exercise playing with a variety of toys. Finally, make sure your cat visits the veterinarian regularly, eats quality food and, of course, is spayed or neutered.
For more information, call the Lawrence Humane Society, 843-6835.
Amy Tramill is an educator at the Lawrence Humane Society. You can reach her at 843-6835.