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It’s time to keep our cats inside

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The city of Albuquerque has the Heart Ordinance, which asks people to keep their dogs and cats from roaming at large. Although Albuquerque pet owners have taken care of their dogs, they have not done so with their cats.

The thing is, we cat owners are responsible for our pets’ behavior and it is time that we kept our cats safe at home, and ask our neighbors to do the same.

Our community expends a tremendous amount of resources each year addressing cat-related problems through trap, neuter and release programs, shelter operations and wildlife rehabilitation centers. These efforts do not address the underlying problem. People abandon cats!

Cats are now the number one pet in America, and it is time we gave cats the love and respect that a companion pet deserves. Until we become a city of responsible pet owners and keep our cats indoors, there will be no end to this tragic cycle of cat overpopulation.

Albuquerque is recognized as a leader in protecting and restoring urban wildlife habitat, but those efforts are severely undermined by the proliferation of domestic cats across our city.

This is not about cats versus birds. It is about recognizing that tens of thousands of cats and birds suffer and die each year in our community because cat owners choose to allow their cats to roam free.

There is one organization in Albuquerque that is addressing the problem, the Central New Mexico Audubon Society. The group is working to educate the public about what is better for birds and better for cats and better for people through a Cats Indoors campaign.

The society is promoting responsible pet ownership, which allows you to enjoy the presence of native birds and wildlife, as well as your pet. Those with pet cats are in the best position to help their cat stay safe in a healthy home environment while protecting wildlife.

Cats Indoors! The Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats was initiated by the American Bird Conservancy to end the unnecessary suffering and death of birds and other wildlife caused by free-roaming domestic cats.

Cats Indoors! seeks to educate cat owners, decision-makers and the general public that free-roaming cats pose a significant risk to birds and other wildlife, suffer themselves and pose a threat to human health.

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