Roaming Pet Cats
Roaming pet cats are an occasional sight in some neighbourhoods.
When pet owners allow their pet cats to roam, they may get lost or sustain injury from road accidents, dog mauling, territorial cat fights, contracting diseases, human abusers, or a fall from height.
If an existing territorial stray cat fights with the roaming pet cat, the pet cat can contract diseases like FIV (Feline HIV aka Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) or FELV (Feline Leukemia Virus).
If the cat is lucky enough not to get injured or contract an illness, they may get drenched in a downpour or end up hiding in dirty drains to escape danger.
There are cat owners who irresponsibly let their cats roam so that community cat feeders will feed them. They can then escape the basic responsibility of providing food for their pet cat. These cat owners take advantage of community feeders’ sympathy to feed and care for their pets.
Unsterilised roaming cats and resulting stray kittens
Roaming pet cats are also often unsterilised (another “irresponsible owner” behavior).
Unsterilised roaming cats lead to unwanted pregnancies and more homeless kittens. The resulting kittens live in the streets, malnourished and contending with road traffic.
There are owners who find their roaming female cats pregnant and balk at the extra mouths to feed. The unwanted kittens are then cruelly abandoned.
Inconveniencing neighbours and affecting community cats
Lost and disoriented, a roaming pet cat may enter a stranger’s home. This happens often with a unit at the same position as their owner’s unit but on a different floor.
Not knowing where to go, they may urinate or defecate at common corridors. These issues are caused by roaming pet cats and are often mistaken by the public to have been caused by community cats, leading to complaints about them. Community cats may be implicated because of this, and become subject to impoundment or “pest control” efforts by the town council. Both of these outcomes are detrimental to cat welfare and even the cats’ lives may be at stake.
This is why an important adoption criteria is for owners to keep their pet cats strictly indoors. The purpose of this for their cat’s safety and well-being, and also the welfare of community cats in the area.