July 2009 Issue

Be A Good Neighbor ... With Pets

If you allow your cat outside access, itís important you keep the peace with those living next door. Hereís how.

Outdoor hazards ó such as dogs, coyotes, cars, and disease ó face cats that are allowed to roam outdoors. Most veterinarians, including those at the Cornell Universityís College of Veterinary Medicine, strongly recommend that cats be kept indoors. But if your cat does travel beyond your front door, itís likely to wander onto the property of your neighbors. While some people will welcome feline visitors, others wonít. What can you do to honor your catís need to roam ó and respect your neighborís rights, too? To choose the best method for dealing with a problem, observe your catís behavior carefully to clarify the issue. For example, one womanís cat coexisted peacefully with a backyard bird feeder until it suddenly killed three birds in one week. Upon investigation, she discovered that melting snow had left a depression in the ground. The depression prevented the birds from seeing the cat when it crouched in the hole, making them vulnerable to attack. Once the hole was filled in, the birds were safe again.

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