The great outdoors can be a dangerous place for a kitty. That’s why so many cat owners choose to keep their beloved felines indoors. But the folks in Muirhead, a small suburban development in the Northern Territory of Australia, no longer have a choice about letting their kitties roam freely. The local council recently proposed a new law that prohibits cats from going outside unaccompanied by their owners, reports European pet website Wamiz. Furthermore, the cats must be kept on a leash at all times when they are outside.
The Muirhead city council came to this decision because Australia has seen a significant rise in the number of stray cats. According to Wamiz, Muirhead isn’t the first Australian town to restrict free- roaming owned cats. Several states have already imposed a kitty curfew, with owners facing a fine of up to $1500 if their cats are found outside.
Muirhead’s decision about restricting the ability of owned cats to roam freely may save lives in more than one way. Because serious damage to the local environment and wildlife has been blamed on stray cats; this year the Australian government announced that by 2020 it intends to kill two million free-roaming cats. It’s a significant number of the total feral cat population, which is estimated to be between 2 and 6 million. The cull is already underway in areas of the country where there are large feral cat populations, despite efforts from animal rights groups. In addition to their objection to eradicating feral cats, animal groups worry that owned free-roaming owned cats will get caught up in the cull.
Leash walking your cat
But just how easy is it to walk a cat on a leash? While it may be difficult to get an older cat accustomed to the idea of walking with a harness; younger cats can adapt.
You’ll want to first get your cat accustomed to the harness for a few days before you even attempt to attach the leash. Next, attach the leash and let your cat walk about your home dragging the leash behind before you take hold of the end. Finally once your cat is comfortable walking with the leash inside; start with some short walks outside – maybe five minutes at a time.
If your cat seems uncomfortable in a conventional harness, you might want to try a Kitty Holster. The soft, strong, ultra-lightweight cat harness secures with wide velcro closures. The cat harness is made of breathable, washable cotton with undyed lining and is suitable for all skin types and climates.
Protecting your kitties from dangers on the street – human and non – is of the utmost importance. If your kitty longs for the great outdoors and you don’t want to let them roam unsupervised, leash walking might just be the “way to go.”