A Message From Our President: Beverly Alba 

An Inside Cat Is A Safe Cat”  We’ve said it a thousand times, but time and time again, we are receiving calls about outdoor cats in poor health and/or badly injured. In Winthrop alone this past year, we have received three times the number of calls for cats in trouble outside this year. Most are males, most are beaten up by another cat, a car, a barbed wire fence. Many are female cats with a litter of kittens. Some are dead in the street when we get there. I’ve asked over and over: “What Are These Cats Doing Outside?”

Are we collectively not getting the message across?  We respond as often as we can. We commit the extraordinary funds and care these cats in trouble require. We cry over the ones lost to the street. In Lynn this summer, a cat with a deformed front paw, a compound fracture of his rear leg, and FIV positive. In Winthrop: 2 cats with life-threatening respiratory infections, 2 males with severe bite wounds, an abandoned female with an ear hematoma, a male with a metal washer embedded in his foot. In Revere: kittens dead on the street in Beachmont, a young female quarantined for a leg wound, a feral cat with a tumor, kittens with deformed legs, a male with a non-healing tail wound. In East Boston, a male so severely attacked by another animal his injuries were life ending. I won’t go on; there are many more sad cases. I fully expect to hear this winter as usual about cats outside dehydrated and with frostbite. No one seems to want to hear about the sad cases. This is reality, unless we are all advocates for keeping pet cats indoors.

I personally continually lament the lack of support we get for this message from Animal Control, from other humane organizations, even from veterinarians. We have brought many, many of these cats inside for rehabilitation and foster care. I can assure you: they do not want to go outside again! They are most comfortable and happy with a warm bed, attention, and consistent meals! Their tiny bodies are NO MATCH for  the coyotes, the cars, the barbed wire fences, and other perils of life outside either in the city or the suburbs. Wildlife (skunks and raccoons) carry distemper and rabies, both contagious to cats. Coyotes and Fisher Cats are encroaching in both the city and suburbs, looking for an easy meal. In our view, it is inhumane to let pet cats out. They don’t need it at all.

Folks talk about the “emotional needs of cats”. Create a sunny window perch. Create a vertical space like a tall scratching post. Get your cat a pal, feline or canine, and cat-friendly toys. You get back what you give, and more, and you will see they are happy and content. Most remember the outdoors as threatening, and are afraid to go out again. Spay and neuter on time (male cats are frequently “thrown out” when they spray because they have not been neutered on time; female cats are “thrown out” when they are howling in heat because they have not been spayed on time). “Oops” litters of kittens must not happen; the survival rate for kittens born outside is 50% or less. Kittens as well as cats are destroyed in shelters and Pounds in the THOUSANDS right here in Massachusetts every year, an unforgivable societal disgrace. Outside unsupervised, roaming at will, placing cats at real risk is NOT HUMANE.

While we all want to hear about the successes, and we are successful for hundreds of cats every year, our work will continually be sabotaged unless cats are spayed and neutered before reproduction and kept inside. We ask for your support in this humane mission; please help spread the word and be an advocate for responsible cat ownership in our communities.

Responsible cat owners keep cats INSIDE where they are SAFE.  Cats are special, and they are precious; we need to treat them all that way.


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MassPAWS  t  P.O. Box 520136  t  Winthrop, MA 02152