Cats Safe at Home (TM) is a new way of thinking about cat ownership that protects both cats and wildlife. This is another progressive Portland-area collaboration that includes an unusual agreement between:
- Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon
- Audubon Society of Portland
- Bonnie L. Hays Animal Shelter of Washington County
- Multnomah County Animal Services (that's us!)
What do such different agencies have in common? We all believe in the value of keeping cats securely at home instead of wandering the streets. For MCAS and Bonnie L Hays Animal Shelter of Washington County, keeping cats at home would drastically reduce the numbers of stray, orphaned and lost cats and kittens coming into the shelter every year. For Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, fewer cats on the streets leads to fewer kittens being born to the life of a feral cat. And, the Audubon Society of Portland recognizes that a long-term commitment to reducing feral and stray cats on the landscape will protect endangered, native wildlife from cat predation. Everyone--especially the cat--wins with Cats Safe at Home (TM).
What does the program recommend?
- Good: If you absolutely can not keep your cat inside, keep your cat in your own backyard.
- Limit time outside during Spring when baby birds are learning to fly.
- Consider only letting your cat outside when you are there to supervise.
- Commit to making your next pet cat indoor-only.
- Have your cat wear a CatBib™ when outside (recommended by Audubon Magazine). In an independent scientific study, CatBibs™ were show to prevent 81% of cats from killing birds.
- Better: Keep cats indoors at all times. Provide enrichment and toys. Hang a bird feeder near his window perch for his entertainment.
- Best: Keep cats indoors, but provide an enclosed, outdoor "catio" for them to enjoy during nice weather.
Above all, make sure your cat is licensed, microchipped, spayed/neutered and wearing a collar with ID at all times.
Never abandon a cat. If you can not care for your cat, see our rehoming information page.
If there are feral cats in your neighborhood without ear tips (an ear tip means it's been neutered and is part of a cared-for colony), contact Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon for information about trapping, neutering and returning the cat. This will prevent future unwanted cats and eventually reduce or eliminate the population of feral cats.
OregonLive article: "Keeping Cats Indoors Protects Cats and Wildlife"