According to a new study, people who live with cats fall into one of five categories when it comes to their attitude towards their pets’ hunting and roaming.
In a UK survey, researchers from the University of Exeter, found that cat parents ranged from “Freedom Defenders” who were totally against restrictions on cat habits, to “Conscientious Caretakers”, who feel responsibility and concern for their cats’ impact on local wildlife.
“Tolerant Guardians” didn’t like their cats' hunting habits, but accepted it, while “Concerned Protectors” were more focused on the safety of their cats. “Laissez-faire Landlords” were mostly unaware of any issues regarding their cats’ activities.
Concerns from conservationists regarding the numbers of wildlife killed by the UK’s domestic cats have grown in recent years. While most pet cats kill very few (if any) wild animals, a growing population (10 million and counting!) of cats brings a new focus on these concerns.
Excluding official “mousers” such as Larry, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, most pet parents aren’t best pleased when their cat brings home a reminder of their wild nature.
Larry, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
The researchers are using this project to try to determine methods which pet parents can manage their cats in a way that benefits them, alongside reducing the number of wildlife being killed. The project is being hailed as a step towards understanding how people see their cats, and how to employ management strategies that reflect their different views.
A cat honing it's instincts... adorably
The study surveyed 56 people who live with cats from different parts of the UK, including Bristol, Manchester and the south-west of England.
"Although we found a range of views, most UK cat owners valued outdoor access for their cats and opposed the idea of keeping them inside to prevent hunting," lead author Dr Sarah Crowley said in a statement.
"You think these bars can hold me, human?..."
"Cat confinement policies are therefore unlikely to find support among owners in the UK.
"However, only one of the owner types viewed hunting as a positive, suggesting the rest might be interested in reducing it by some means.
"To be most effective, efforts to reduce hunting must be compatible with owners' diverse circumstances."
Some measures to reduce hunting success include fitting bells and brightly coloured “BirdsBeSafe” collars which will serve to alert wildlife to a cat’s presence.
"When in doubt... give 'em the old razzle dazzle"
The researchers are now determining the effectiveness of such measures, with a view to find tailored solutions for each type of pet parent that are cheap, easy to implement and have a positive effect on wildlife in the UK.
Whether your cat roams the neighbourhood or is more of a homebody, make sure they have a safe, convenient place for their “business” at home. Check out our 100% natural, eco-friendly cat litter here.
Which type of pet parent are you? Take the quiz here.
15/09/2020 by NatuTeam