Cats at large
To the editor:
Considering the city of Basehor ordinance stating that "no dogs or cats are allowed to run at large," there should not even be much debate over indoor vs. outdoor cats.
However, there are at least three cats allowed by their owners to roam freely around the neighborhood.
The cats make noise, frighten and awaken people in the middle of the night, dart out in front of moving vehicles, enter and hide in garages, and lounge wherever they choose.
Some community members, other than the cat owners, have personally sacrificed numerous hours of sleep, recreation time and out-of-pocket expenses to deal with the roaming cats. The Basehor Police Department and Animal Control have put in time as well. Last summer, at least one neighbor kept a cage with cat food in the garage in case a roaming cat became trapped there.
Most reasonable people would observe and understand that we are not cruel people who want to harm cats. We do not want to start our cars and find a cat sitting on the motor. We do not want to enter and exit our driveways, only to run over a cat.
The American Veterinary Medical Association's Executive Board made an official position and statement on free-roaming owned cats: "The AVMA strongly encourages owners of domestic cats in urban and suburban areas to keep them indoors" (AVMA, 2001). According to the AVMA, the life expectancy of an outdoor cat is only two to five years, compared to indoor cats surviving for 17 years or more.
I would welcome comments explaining why responsible cat owners would choose to let their cats roam freely outside, while violating city ordinances and ignoring AVMA recommendations, other than because "it's a free country."