One of A Kind Education
The Risks of Outdoor Living
There has long been a debate on whether a cat should remain indoors or be allowed access to the outside world. At first thought, letting your furry companion outside to roam, play, and relax in nature seems like a lovely idea. What is not often considered are the risks they pose to our environment and the dangers they face themselves.
Today you can find at least a couple kitties roaming in every neighborhood in the United States, but they are not native to this country. Researcher Claudio Ottoni believes that all felines evolved from the common ancestor the African Wildcat. These wild cats are still found in Africa, Asia, India, China, and Mongolia. The common housecat can now be found roaming on every continent in the world apart from Antarctica.
It is believed that the domestication of cats was initiated not by humans, but by cats (which is very fitting, as every decision made by our companions seems to be on their own terms). Cats are naturally drawn to agricultural environments where rodents and other sources of food are plentiful. Because the cats provided free pest control to those tending their crops, this quickly turned into a mutually beneficial relationship. Cats were used aboard ships for pest control, meaning they accompanied many voyages, leading them to reproduce all around the world.
With the cat population steadily rising, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology estimates that there are currently anywhere from 60 million to 100 million unowned, free-range cats. These cats are estimated to kill roughly 1.3 billion birds and 6.3 billion mammals per year. As cats do not have many natural predators in this country, their presence is significantly decreasing our native animal and bird populations.
The largely uncontrolled cat population in the United States leads to a large increase in injury and disease. In letting your beloved companion roam the outdoors, you are risking exposure to countless preventable and often deadly viruses and diseases including FeLV (Feline Leukemia), FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), feline calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and many others. Additionally, outdoor cats face an increased risk of injury, both human and animal inflicted. Indiana University estimates that 5.4 million cats are hit by cars each year; 97% of these accidents result in the death of the cat.
With increased risk of disease and injury, shelters are seeing more difficult cases from upper respiratory infection to heart surgeries. We are one of the few rescue groups in the area that provides medical care for any treatable condition, so we receive countless cases like this every year. Keeping your pets inside, participating in neighborhood TNR (trap-neuter-return programs) like the ones offered at One of a Kind Pet Rescue’s clinic, and donating to shelters are all steps we can take as a community to combat the problems listed above.
If you would like to contribute directly to the care and rehabilitation of these sick and injured animals in our rescue, please donate to our mission.
Two Convenient Locations
1929 West Market Street
Akron, OH 44313
(behind Walgreen's and AutoZone)
Spay & Neuter Clinic
1700 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44313
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