Loose Cats At Risk in Rural Areas, Says Letter to the Editor

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Letter to the Editor: Loose Animals At Risk in Rural Areas

As a cat owner, I empathize with those who choose to allow their cats to roam outside. Cleaning litter boxes is unpleasant, and allowing cats to live outdoors provides them with a more “natural” lifestyle. Unfortunately, there is nothing “natural” about allowing domesticated cats to live in the wild; they are a non-native predator species. If you claim to love animals, then you should care enough to protect all of the native species upon which cats prey. If you care about private property rights, you should respect your neighbor’s right to not have your animals on their land.

Over many years, my dogs have wandered from my property on only three occasions. Each time, various rural neighbors have been helpful in capturing them on their land and returning them to me, unharmed. Each time, these ranchers gave me a stern warning: “if your pets come back to my property and bother the animals within its boundaries, I will shoot them dead”.

I care for my land, and I encourage songbirds to make it their home as well. The neighbor’s cats kill them. I love the frogs, salamanders and snakes that take refuge in my wood pile. The cats kill them, too. I find them with broken spines as they die on my lawn.

My neighbors have a dozen outdoor cats. They defecate in my garden and uproot the food I grow to feed my family. They mark my home with their urine. They wake me in the night when they fight and when they mate. I keep my dogs tightly secured, or else I know I will lose them. There should not be a double standard for cats. Just like dogs, and just like your cows, goats, sheep and hens, your cats should be kept within the boundaries of your property and prevented from entering mine.

Julian Klehr


  • Well, there are many ways to skin a cat (sarcasm). There are also many ways to keep a cat. My cats go out during the day and are trained to come in at night. They must come in or the lions and the bobcat eat em. I have hundreds of acres of buffer between me and my neighbors, and my cats are particularly well fed so the the four of them focus on rodents of which I have many. That said, anyone who lets their animals roam onto the neighbors land is blowing it. The idea of “outdoor” cats is bullshit, either care for them or get rid of them. Keeping outdoor cats in my neck of the woods is just chumming for mountain lions, which is a bad idea.

  • I enclosed my outdoor patio with aviary wire to make an outdoor catiary. The cats can go outside, but they are enclosed, safe from predators and on my property. It has cut down on worrying about their safety.

  • I’m against double standards, so I guess if I see a cat chasing my cattle I’ll have to shoot it dead also.

  • If I didn’t keep my cats indoors at night and a good portion of the day they would not be alive. In Shelter Cove my cats would be part of the food chain or killed on Lower Pacific by a vehicle. I feel that dogs or cats should be part of the family inside the house not looking in a window hoping that they have warmth and love.

  • One thing, among many, which no one wants to discuss is the carbon footprint of cats and dogs — it is way, way larger than you think — this is from a quick Google —

    “Dogs and cats are responsible for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, according a new study out Wednesday, which adds up to a whopping 64 million tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent emitted in the production of their food.Aug 2, 2017” (Most of this is due to dogs, although cats due more direct environmental damage , ie songbirds, lizards, snakes, etc.)

    It is at least ironic that so many folks who claim to be environmentalists have 2, 3, 4, or more cats and/or dogs. Most folks want to tread lightly upon our earth, as long as it is “not in my backyard” and it is not MY goat you are talking about.

    • Veteran's friend

      That is HILARIOUS. Try to blame this on the dogs and cats, which would not even exist but for human intervention.
      It’s the HUMANS, stupid!🤣

  • Veteran's friend

    Why I love my pitbull. No cats in my yard survive an encounter. Nor do raccoons, or any other furry things. Rats keep her tuned up😁
    And she has NO access to the outside world at all. And loves humans.

  • I’m tired of the outdoor housecat, too.

  • Outdoor cats lives matter too

  • Hi. I’m a cat’s person, and this is my obligation to my friend:
    When the first birds come home in the Spring, I get out the clippers and Schotzy gets a pedicure.
    And he gets a trim every two weeks. Afterwards, he looks a little foolish trying to climb the first tree, but he copes.
    This is as important to me as feeding him, neutering, immunizing and worming him. We’re friends, and that’s what friends do for each other.
    Mind you, we live in isolation; if something is shot here, it’s usually by my hand. I love the birds, that’s all, and if you clip YOUR kitties’ nails, both kitties and birds will thank you. Snakes, too. Lizards….not so much.

  • This is one of the more insightful and self aware letters I have seen published on here. Thanks for actually taking the time to consider the impact to those living around you while trying to balance the value you place on the lives of your pets and their freedom. Props to you Julian!

  • Julian, its called LIFE. Be thankful you live in a place you can enjoy ALL these critters.
    Humans are the problem? Talk to them directly. Trying to make people mad only causes the smaller-brained to go out and harm someones pets.

  • Coletta A Hughes

    This reminds me of the Pretty People in Malibu complaining from the perspective of privileged overpriced land rights. House cats are now native all over the world, so you and your vegan for a season kitchen better get used to it. Booo whaaaa!!

    • Do you purposely try and come off this obnoxious for effect or something? I thought the writer approached this with a very mature and rational approach. Some people could be like if your cat comes onto my property you will never see or hear from it every again…

  • So was this written by the person that’s been shooting cats? Like a manifesto? Super weird timing.

  • Weird. I actually know my neighbors and we talk about mutual concerns. One person -out of 7- didn’t like the cats going wherever and taking out rodents. We gave them a super squirter and a couple water pistols. Guess what? With a few -like 3 or 4- water squirts the cats now never go there. When I say cats I mean the neighborhood cats- we probly have 8 between the neighbors. Cats that all showed up at different times from people dumping them and whoever didn’t have a cat would take the new one in, get it fixed and feed it, etc. I think people are pretty silly and overly complicated about this issue but …maybe you are in-town or city folks? Shoot them with water- it’s called “training” and it works really good. No harm and everybody’s better off. Kill those cats and you solve nothing- more will appear and you will only cause pain, animosity, heartache and bad vibes with your neighbors.

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