Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Why cats should not be fed upstairs

Number of cats people asked for help to rehome (again not including the adoption board) :- Five

Two different incidents happened today to demonstrate that some kind-hearted people are feeding cats upstairs outside their homes, not knowing that it can cause a lot of problems for the cats.

One person who called is a caregiver and another was a complaint referred via through the town councils. Both related to food left in corridors by caregivers.

Some people feed their cats directly outside their flats, but this has the effect of luring the cats upstairs. Some of these cats defecate outside other peoples' flats, which understandly causes consternation to these neighbours. Some other residents just do not like to see the cats walking around outside the corridors. What happens as a result is that people start complaining to the town council and often the stray cats who live downstairs get fingered, even though these are usually not the 'culprits'.

Another problem is people who own cats but let their cats wander around. Again, the strays downstairs get blamed if these owned cats are complained about.

People who complain rarely can tell the difference between the strays downstairs and other cats. Logically though, cats have a lot of space downstairs where they defecate and then bury their defecation. There is very little reason for them to walk upstairs to defecate, unless food is involved.

If someone complains, the town council or management committee will act, and this may involve trapping the cats to be killed. The more co-operative town councils/management committees may allow for caregivers in the area to mediate first.

So the moral of the story today is, if you want to feed cats, please do it responsibly. Do it downstairs in an unobstrusive spot where people are not inconvenienced, and always pick up after. Lives will literally be saved by your actions.

For caregivers whose cats are being blamed for defecation, do ask the town council to let you speak with the complainant, or you can write to Cat Welfare Society for help.

Also, if you own a cat, please keep it indoors. It could save your cat's life and those of other cats too.

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