Social Question

gailcalled's avatar

What's your view on leash laws for cats?

Asked by gailcalled (54524points) June 17th, 2010

Debate over this issue is going on now in Barre, Vt. Here

Beware of bad puns and letter-writing cats.

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25 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It is known that “outdoor” cats tend to have significantly shorter lives. Perhaps this is a humane way of addressing that problem, and the fact that domestic cats are the single biggest predatory threat to songbirds.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, most cats would never walk on a leash. They do the flop and refuse to move. My boy walks on a leash. It’s so cute.

I am an advocate of indoor only cats. Or at least have them in a fenced in, open air space. However, I thought that no one really owned a cat. How and whom would they prosecute for an offense?

Merriment's avatar

I wish them luck with that…and when they solve that issue I hope they move on to getting all the ducks in a row.

gailcalled's avatar

It does seem ludicrous, I know. Here we had a great brou-ha-ha over a rooster who crowed too early for some of his neighbors.

@tinyfaery: You could probably get your boy rigged up in armor and on a horse for a jousting tournament.


A leash law for cats? I think that’s crazy, for I’ve never heard of a cat inadvertently attacking a person walking down a street or in a public park. Where I live, we have to license our cats, which seems to be a “slightly” more logical idea, but still stupid in my opinion. What will they think of next? Muzzling babies in public so that their crying doesn’t annoy others? Lol.

Coloma's avatar

Oh jeez….more laws…well…good luck getting kitty to sit, stay and heel…dogs may fall for this domestication stuff but cats never! lol

I have mentioned before I live on property in the mountains, my new cats have been going outside for several weeks now…alls well, they are lovin’ country life and very good about staying in the general acre or so right around the house.

The way I feel is even if something happened tomorrow they have had more wonderful fun than they have ever before experienced. Climbing trees, meeting the farmey friends…( just was sitting with one of them and the geese, going nose to nose…very cute! ) these are some very HAPPY cats, and I wouldn’t ever dream of confining a cat unless the outdoor hazards were overwhelming or I lived in such close proximity to potential cat haters.

Neurotic dogs are bad enough but pretty much the norm…neurotic cats are just the saddest thing ever.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I think not all cats should be put on a leash(if it really a must). It would be easier for some Oriental breeds to be put on a leash(they don’t mind and are easily trained for that) for their tendency to roam outdoor. Some other breed will be neglected if they’re on a leash.

Cats are creature with free spirit and would be independent for their entirely life. So they have different rule than human and won’t live happily if they must cope with men made rule. This is however,would be different from dog where their instinct and personality will cope well with man made rule(their social pack behavior itself is enough for them to tolerate and accept all rules made by men).

About cats that invading human territorial it’s not the responsibility of the cats but it’s the fault of people who can’t ‘catproof’ their houses. Every creature will naturally come to human environment. People can control their property(including dogs) but they can’t control the nature of wild life.

I think dogs should be on a leash not cats. Most cats won’t approach human and attack them if they’re unprovoked. Dogs in the contrary are territorial toward human and will threaten human if they’re unleashed.

john65pennington's avatar

What is good for one is good for the other. cats destroy other peoples property. they lay on top and underneath your car. their footprints are everywhere. they destroy flowers and lay in wait for an attack on birds and other small animals. a cat may not attack a human, but birds are another story.

Merriment's avatar

@john65pennington – Viruses and parasites also attack birds and small animals…should we leash them as well? Nature is as nature does.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I saw some people mention about birds. Smaller birds are natural prey for cats. I noticed some predatory bird like eagles,hawks,owls,etc live along side human in some big cities. They prey on other bird like pigeon and there’s nothing we could do about it. It’s just the fact we must accept when we brought two opposite creature to live in our environment. I would worry about worms and insects if I must worry about birds as prey.

Draconess25's avatar

It’s stupid. Most cats are too clever to mess with a human directly. Dogs are more confrontational about humans in their territory. Then again, I’m all for unleashing dogs & letting animals ravage humanity.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I have a fenced in back yard with a fish pond and bird baths/bird feeders. Despite the fence, the neighbors’ cats still find a way in. If there are any fish left in the pond, they have learned to hide themselves very well. Twice this week, there has been a cat lounging on the bedroom window sill in front of one of the bird baths. No ID on it, so I don’t know who it belongs to. I just shooed it away.

Yes, cats are very different than dogs, but an owner has the responsibility to monitor their pet’s activities. The OP and the website isn’t suggesting that there be a leash-law. A tether might work, but it is still questionable. I’ve watched a couple of TV shows that discuss how to create a cat-friendly environment within the home. Some include an outdoor window cage in which they can climb around in.

Coloma's avatar

I’m an everything lover…I am surrounded by birds of all kinds, including wild turkeys, tons of deer, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, bobcats and the occasional mountain lion and bear.

Am over run with alligator lizards and tree frogs and gophers and mice and voles and woodrats….in all the years I have lived in the country my cats have always been the rodent hunters, never a bird, seriously…as they always bring their prizes inside for admiration.

The two new kitty kids are fascinated by the dozens of lizards that hang around my deck, and are up to their armpits reaching into Gopher holes..but no birds.

I am still hoping the giant lizard that was let go in my living room last week has made it’s way out somehow and doesn’t turn up on my pillow one morning. lol

Cats are cats…I am so grateful I don’t have to contend with city peoples cat issues…ugh!

jazmina88's avatar

The cats wont be into it. my cats were allowed to go out, and never wandered or go hit. They sniffed flowers and laid out the back porch. she was 17. The last one.

cats are free spirits. I would go to the yard with the birds and fish too. I do have bird feeders.
I’m allergic and can get no more kitties, alas.

Coloma's avatar


Just for the fun of it, and, no disrespect intended..but…let’s just reframe your post and sub in ‘human’ for ‘cat.’

Humans destroy other peoples property too, they lie on top of and underneath peoples cars, and, worse yet, drive them , running over cats, a lot. haha

Their footprints are everywhere, they destroy flowers and they attack EVERYTHING! lol

I’d rather have a cat sitting in my flowerbed that a pervy peeping tom.

I think cats should start driving, even the score a bit. ;-)

Nullo's avatar

Sounds kinda stupid to me. Traditionally, cats do whatever the heck they want.

unused_bagels's avatar

I think cats should be on collars, if owned, with a tag that says who owns them and whatnot, but apart from that, I heart cats, and think that they should be independent. What’s next, a national ID card for humans? hahaha

partyparty's avatar

I am with @john65pennington on this. I have a constant battle with cats destroying my plants and vegetables. I work hard at growing my produce and don’t want a cat destroying it.
If any other pet ie perhaps a dog did this, then there would be an outcry from my neighbours and rightly so.
I keep my dog on a lead. Either keep your cat within the confines of your own garden, or put it on a lead when exercising.

BTW If I really wanted a cat I would have purchased my own. I don’t want to share a cat with my neighbour.

I choose to own dogs and keep them under my control all the time. I don’t want my dogs to be a nuisance, equally I wouldn’t want a cat to be a nuisance, but it would seem I don’t have any choice because they are allowed to roam freely.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s an article from today’s NYTs about “catios” (rhymes with “patios”).

Your choice of an outdoor palace or simple but safe cottage for your cat.

My cat catches the small and voracious predators that eat my gardens (mice, voles, chipmunks.) He scares away the larger ones (squirrels, deer, rabbits, turkeys.) He has never destroyed a plant and nibbles on only garden grass and the catnip plants.

Milo always wears a collar and two bells when he is outside. The reflective tag has both my phone number and the 800 number from a clearing house with my cat’s contact info. I always bring him inside before dusk so that the owls or coyotes won’t get him.

When he hears a car engine start up, he rushes for the deck. I will concede that I have catprints on my car and dining room table. I also have impressions on the table’s wooden surface from my children’s homework done in the 1970’s and 1980’s. I love seeing all that.

Coloma's avatar


Yep, it seems I have car sitting cat # 2 with one of my new guy’s. Doesn’t bother me a bit.

He likes to lie on the roof of my car and watch the world go by outside the garage door. lol

Speaking of deer…just a bit ago the new guy spied two young bucks sniffing around the corral for any spilled grain…his eyes were the size of a great horned owl as they trotted up the driveway.

I am getting such a kick out of watching these new cats reactions to all the other critters wandering around my space. Pricless!

Merriment's avatar

@partyparty- And if the cats weren’t in the area is is highly likely that you would have some other critter destroying things. The only way we can keep our precious possessions, be they a plant or a car, totally safe and unmolested is to keep them inside the house. Otherwise, it’s a wild world out there and anything is fair game.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I think a lot of these thoughts were shared in another similar question sometime back now.

LIFE is a hazard…for everything, I think ( viable issues aside ) that every creature including humans would choose freedom with risk over confinement.

The day they lock me up in the old folks home..well…I’d just as soon throw myself into a basket and float on down the river to my death then be kept in a ‘safe’ environment. lol

anartist's avatar

Same as Adlai Stevenson’s.
Adlai E Stevenson : The problem of cat versus bird is as old as time. If we attempt to resolve it by legislation who knows but what we may be called upon to take sides as well in the age old problems of dog versus cat, bird versus bird, or even bird versus worm. In my opinion, the State of Illinois and its local governing bodies already have enough to do without trying to control feline delinquency. For these reasons, and not because I love birds the less or cats the more, I veto and withhold my approval from Senate Bill No. 93.

Coloma's avatar


Standing ovation!

That’s one for the archives of great speeches!

anartist's avatar

@Coloma Thank you although the credit goes to Adlai.

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