7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by NonZeroSum » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:24 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:06 pm
If there is a limited supply, then people who want cats will get one from a breeder if none are available in a shelter. If you took one of the kittens, somebody is just breeding to replace it.
. . .
Adopting will likely increase the number of cats in any case.
The above claim in bold appears to be much further reaching than the latter, do you have statistics to back this up? My understanding is that most pets in shelters are those abandoned or taken off owners that started off their life being bred by individual impoverished owners for money like staffies, people just want them when they're infants, so after a few years they end up in the system. As well as mutts from the general pet owning population not spading/keeping an eye on their pets, so having surplus mutt infants they aren't able to pass off on friends or find a good home for long-term.

It also runs counter to advocating against buying from breeders, not encouraging people to save an old pets life through adoption, so I'd want you to be sure to near 100% of the time before spreading this information. Maybe I just misinterpreted also.
BrimstoneSalad wrote:
NonZeroSum wrote:
Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:35 am
When I was protesting road planning applications through ancient woodlands there was this line that advocates used that less roads meant less cars, less CO2 etc. But my experience of it being used was negative because it was totally see through that it meant more congestion basically an unhappy driving experience that would push people onto public transit. But most people own a car and the line was so see through as to produce the opposite effect of feeling underhanded, that they just wanted less dangerous, more efficient routes etc, that I never used it.
Did you collect unbiased statistical evidence of this, or are you reading into it based on your own psychology and projecting that onto others?
You seem sometimes to look for insult or dishonesty (when you accuse people of taking you out of context, I think that's an example of this), and if you look hard enough you'll find it whether it's there or not. This is not something most people do.

Most people would either accept the argument or reject it on its own merits rather than searching for hidden motives.
People may have regarded it as a stupid argument, but that's another issue.
:shock: ?

It was a personal anecdote about people using a good argument consisting of good facts and statistics against climate damaging lifestyles in the wrong context. Activists saying that it would be good to have less environment damaging roads, climate damaging cars in general is a great argument. And I would encourage people to accept it.

But when talking to people locally I found it counter productive because there were often superseding concerns that needed tackling on their own merit first before putting the onus on car owners who had legitimate concerns. For example where there was only one dangerous route to a destination where there had been many car crashes and there is a road building scheme that would replace almost all the traffic on that route to a safer one, it will increase climate damaging car journeys very sightly but probably be a good pay off for less car accidents.

On the other hand where there was a new 3 lane motorway building schemes cutting through nature reserves that were advertised to locals as providing new jobs to business parks that would open up on it's edges. The best argument was lowering house prices in your town through driving business out and tourists, outdoor sports to the local nature reserve, and only then bring up climate change.

I don't know if you're just reacting to my use of underhanded or not, but I said anecdotally I was told by people it was used on it was felt as underhanded because it put a division between activists parachuting in not asking locals about their concerns first and just coming with marketing gimmicks. I don't know what the best word would be.

I would respect UV more if they titled their video: 'Why we need to kill more cats today' because that is the consequentialist philosophy she is advocating for.
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
...
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
- Wallace Stevens

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:38 pm

NonZeroSum wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:24 am
It also runs counter to advocating against buying from breeders, not encouraging people to save an old pets life through adoption, so I'd want you to be sure to near 100% of the time before spreading this information. Maybe I just misinterpreted also.
It only applies in areas where demand outstrips supply from shelters.
In these cases, you should adopt from outside your area so as not to stimulate breeding to accommodate the demand of owners who will justify it by empty shelters. (Saving an animal from death being better than creating a new one and letting that one die)

Breeding is not always profit motivated. It can come from wanting your pet to experience having babies, and it can even come from just being lax about neutering and spaying. In any case, empty shelters encourage (or at least fail to discourage) breeding, since broadly people justify those behaviors based on the situation in their areas.

If somebody has decided that he or she wants a pet, an empty shelter is very unlikely to deter the endeavor.

NonZeroSum wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:24 am
It was a personal anecdote about people using a good argument consisting of good facts and statistics against climate damaging lifestyles in the wrong context.
I think anecdotes about people's feeling are less reliable than anecdotes about behavior; we have a tendency to read into situations.

If they had those concerns, though, do you think advocating against that road was a waste of effort, or do you think it made the people who heard the message more favorable to pollution in general?
NonZeroSum wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:24 am
But when talking to people locally I found it counter productive because there were often superseding concerns that needed tackling on their own merit first before putting the onus on car owners who had legitimate concerns.
That doesn't sound counterproductive, that sounds futile.
The only way I can see that being counterproductive is if you gave that line, the people replied that the new road would be safer, and you replied to their faces that that their safety was unimportant and just repeated that line. That could create bad will.

I still think you're dealing with futility, not something counterproductive toward your goal. Big difference.

NonZeroSum wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:24 am
On the other hand where there was a new 3 lane motorway building schemes cutting through nature reserves that were advertised to locals as providing new jobs to business parks that would open up on it's edges. The best argument was lowering house prices in your town through driving business out and tourists, outdoor sports to the local nature reserve, and only then bring up climate change.
There are more and less effective arguments.
True counterproductive arguments exist, of course, but they are rare. Mostly we're just dealing with wastes of time and resources, which are only counterproductive when they compete with other arguments that are better. Opportunity cost.

NonZeroSum wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:24 am
I don't know if you're just reacting to my use of underhanded or not, but I said anecdotally I was told by people it was used on it was felt as underhanded because it put a division between activists parachuting in not asking locals about their concerns first and just coming with marketing gimmicks. I don't know what the best word would be.
Naive or insensitive, perhaps.

NonZeroSum wrote:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:24 am
I would respect UV more if they titled their video: 'Why we need to kill more cats today' because that is the consequentialist philosophy she is advocating for.
That would have been much worse from an activism perspective, and also not what she was saying. She talked about ways to fix some of the problems; I think you read more into it.
Her disclaimers at the beginning made it clear that it was an issue for her, and that she wasn't willing to do that extra stuff and would prefer a dog or other easier pet.

Remember, saving a cat instead of a dog means leaving that dog to die. If you have space for an animal, choosing one or the other will always doom the one you didn't choose.
Unless you're in an area with no kill shelters with high demand for pets, in which case you're discouraging breeding by not getting one.

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by NonZeroSum » Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm

Let me try this one more time.

We exist in a world in which a large part of it – where there is a pet owning culture; there is over-population in pets, which means:

Dogs and cats spending time in shelters and some either being euthanized at old age, terminal illness, terminal injury OR being killed. [1] Either way an unsatisfactory status quo.

UV puts out a video on pet ownership which to a certain extent was damage control for those dogmatists making vegans look crazy by saying all pet ownership is ‘unnatural’ and wrong. Great, some helpful advice on industrious ownership and when/how to best adopt without contributing to the broader problem of overpopulation. 2 more videos come along expanding on these themes 1. Industrious ownership – feeding dogs and cats vegan/freegan/as near too. 2. Adopt don’t shop. All good in my personal opinion.

This last video about how owning a cat can add to your individual impact on hurting animals, the climate etc. Not so good.

Because if you make looking after cats look like a problem for vegans, the end result will be more cats spending longer periods in shelters to being killed.

From a consequentialist point of view more being killed in shelters might sound like a win for the planet, because those cats would continue to be fed meat if adopted, but this line of thinking is something which carries a massive net negative cultural capital. As I showed with the Huffington Post article on PETA shelters kill rate, not devoting sufficient revenue to advertising orphan pets. Which is something vegans shouldn't be associated with.

I totally get it that all she is saying is she just doesn't want the extra burden of trying to reduce their meat consumption and keeping them active. But from a psychological point of view there is no reason to feel that pressure, considering you are giving them a better life than them being feral or in a shelter. Any failing for not being able to feed them a vegan/freegan/cultured meat/insect/mollusc protein formula is not your own but up to researchers, industry and networks of people helping each other out. The bare minimum of keeping them indoors and feeding female cats vegan is still better than the shelter.

As it stands I only see her putting obstacles in the way of individuals who would only get a cat but might not after watching this video, [2] not giving a fair pros and cons. Which means more cats waiting around in shelters and getting killed. And turning away most people who sympathize with carnivorous pets from veganism for being too hard-line.

__________________

References:

1. I don’t accept euthanasia as a valid term for a healthy pet that wouldn’t consent to its life being ended because of expensive medical bills or living a miserable life cooped up or there being no space at the inn, the latter one the only necessary evil in very few circumstances which I could agree to, to make room for younger more adoptable pets, but the shelter should still be under a lot of scrutiny for how much revenue it directs towards advertising it’s orphaned pets.

2.
NonZeroSum wrote:Cats appeal to some people's personalities in a way that other domestic animals don't, when you put out a video talking about all the ways cats are terrible pets, I bet the overriding effect will be people going about their life wanting a cat in their life but not adopting any animals because cats are the only animals that would do it for them. Now if they were the type of person who would have gotten a designer breed to look cool, then great UV did their job with the first video, that person shouldn't buy from a breeder, but what are the merits of this latest video? I don't see it given that cats in shelters eat some meat anyway.
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
...
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
- Wallace Stevens

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue May 02, 2017 1:56 am

NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
Because if you make looking after cats look like a problem for vegans, the end result will be more cats spending longer periods in shelters to being killed.
Perhaps, and perhaps it's also happening to fewer dogs (not for everybody, but on average for normal people who like cats and dogs if they give them a try).

Dogs are not only more emotional and likely much more intelligent than cats (given attempts at animal IQ tests) making it more terrible when they're killed, but they're usually larger so when a shelter feeds them meat based kibble (which is totally unnecessary for dogs) it even harms more farmed animals.

A dog is a better choice in pretty much every way. They're more domesticated and more suitable for human companionship.
Adopt something else, something other than a cat. Save another animal from death or life in a shelter.

The only sound reason I've heard to prefer a cat is if you have a mouse problem and you want to encourage a local cute animal genocide. I don't think most of UVs viewers are in that situation.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
but this line of thinking is something which carries a massive net negative cultural capital. As I showed with the Huffington Post article on PETA shelters kill rate, not devoting sufficient revenue to advertising orphan pets. Which is something vegans shouldn't be associated with.
There's a big difference in public perception between wholesale killing animals in large numbers with your own hands and choosing to adopt a dog instead of a cat. Or even just choosing not to adopt a cat.

On a philosophical level you may see it as similar, but her philosophy was sound as it was. If you're complaining about public perception, you have to take into account the psychological differences between your examples and this case too.
It's a difference reflected in the trolley problem, where most people would pull the switch but not push the fat man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem#Survey_data

It's really overwhelming. Most data I've seen is between 80% - 90% pulling the switch.
The responses for pushing the fat man (like killing the animals directly as PETA was doing) tend to be the inverse.

I'm fine with alienating 10% of the population in order to better appeal to the 90%.
At a certain point when there are radical differences in ethics and psychology, we have to chose a side to speak to.

There's no reason to believe (given the trolley problem example) that more people would have a problem with what she's saying than would agree with it, at least if they understood it.
Given what we know about human psychology in response to ethics thought experiments, most of the down votes are likely "triggered" cat owners who saw the title and were offended by a difference of opinion and did not bother to watch the video. Most negative comments showed clear deontological views.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
I totally get it that all she is saying is she just doesn't want the extra burden of trying to reduce their meat consumption and keeping them active. But from a psychological point of view there is no reason to feel that pressure, considering you are giving them a better life than them being feral or in a shelter.
There is if you're a consequentialist and you want to be philosophically consistent.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
Any failing for not being able to feed them a vegan/freegan/cultured meat/insect/mollusc protein formula is not your own but up to researchers, industry and networks of people helping each other out.
Everybody wants to "pass the buck". Seems like UV just said she's not going to do that.
Your actions have consequences, even adopting a cat.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
The bare minimum of keeping them indoors and feeding female cats vegan is still better than the shelter.
Adopting a female cat would be better than a male, of course, leaving the males to be adopted by people who will feed them meat anyway.
She mentioned adopting females.
There's no guarantee you'll be able to feed them vegan, but there's a pretty good chance.

There are issues with giving a cat a very meaningful life indoors, though.
Why not just adopt a dog? Easy to walk, enjoys your company more, more easily trained, smarter, easy to feed vegan and not picky eaters, etc.

She went into many reasons.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
As it stands I only see her putting obstacles in the way of individuals who would only get a cat but might not after watching this video,
She mentioned ways to avoid the problems, if they actually watched the video. If they came away with the message that they personally shouldn't get a cat and try to overcome those obstacles, I'm not sure what you expect of the video. The disclaimers were ridiculously long.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
[2] not giving a fair pros and cons. Which means more cats waiting around in shelters and getting killed. And turning away most people who sympathize with carnivorous pets from veganism for being too hard-line.
What are the pros you think she missed?
All I've seen you talk about in this respect are vague aesthetic claims.
NonZeroSum wrote:Cats appeal to some people's personalities in a way that other domestic animals don't,
Based on what?
It's a nebulous claim. I'd be surprised if UV included it in a video.

It's like saying hamburgers appeal to some people's personalities in a way that veggie burgers do not.

If you want a calmer dog, don't get a puppy. Some dogs are naturally pretty calm, you just have to spend some time at the shelter getting to know them. Some cats are insane. There's a huge overlap in the bell curves for the species' behaviors.
Dogs are also much more easily trained to behave in any way you like; they are eager to please and highly intelligent (unlike cats, who can rarely outwit a door knob, or are too lazy to).

Preference for cats over dogs seems nothing more than aesthetics and personal taste, which is not something vegans like to make a habit of excusing people for when something does more harm. People who think they prefer cats just need to meet more dogs and get a sense for their variety of personalities.

The argument seems the equivalent of people declaring, having seen a picture of some tofu once that didn't look good, that they just don't like tofu.
Outside a severe and legitimate allergy to dogs but not cats, I'm skeptical that there is anybody for whom dogs are not better suited.

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by NonZeroSum » Tue May 02, 2017 3:40 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 1:56 am
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
As it stands I only see her putting obstacles in the way of individuals who would only get a cat but might not after watching this video,
She mentioned ways to avoid the problems, if they actually watched the video. If they came away with the message that they personally shouldn't get a cat and try to overcome those obstacles, I'm not sure what you expect of the video. The disclaimers were ridiculously long.
To frame those obstacles in proportion to how cats are currently being treated all over the world, not to hide behind the current state of disorganized rescue efforts in order to justify forgetting about cats and letting them go to slaughter.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
NonZeroSum wrote: Because if you make looking after cats look like a problem for vegans, the end result will be more cats spending longer periods in shelters to being killed.
Perhaps, and perhaps it's also happening to fewer dogs (not for everybody, but on average for normal people who like cats and dogs if they give them a try).
If that’s an acceptable risk to you okay but I don't think that makes for good vegan advocacy.
BrimstoneSalad wrote:
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
I totally get it that all she is saying is she just doesn't want the extra burden of trying to reduce their meat consumption and keeping them active. But from a psychological point of view there is no reason to feel that pressure, considering you are giving them a better life than them being feral or in a shelter.
There is if you're a consequentialist and you want to be philosophically consistent.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 11:08 pm
Any failing for not being able to feed them a vegan/freegan/cultured meat/insect/mollusc protein formula is not your own but up to researchers, industry and networks of people helping each other out.
Everybody wants to "pass the buck". Seems like UV just said she's not going to do that.
Your actions have consequences, even adopting a cat.
But that just isn't always the case, explain it to me if you will how adopting a cat from a stable to overpopulated, low to average demand, no-kill shelter and attempting to feed it vegan isn't a public good? When you know it would be fed meat the rest of its life either at the shelter or after being adopted by carnists.
BrimstoneSalad wrote:
NonZeroSum wrote:Cats appeal to some people's personalities in a way that other domestic animals don't,
Based on what?
It's a nebulous claim. I'd be surprised if UV included it in a video.
:lol: ... She said she would try to adopt a dog at some point but this is pretty comedy:
Unnatural Vegan wrote:So those are the reasons why I will not be adopting another cat as much as I love cats and I really do adore cats, I've never lived without, I'm really not a dog person, I know I spent all the time hyping up dogs but I really am a cat person, I just think they're so cool.

I haven't ever since I was a little baby we've had at least one cat so it does make me very sad to think that sometime very likely in the near future given sniffs very, very old, a hinge I will no longer have a cat that's very sad, but I just cannot reconcile all of the problems; the problems for the cat itself, for the environment, for the wildlife, for humans, I can't reconcile that with the benefits.
BrimstoneSalad wrote:Outside a severe and legitimate allergy to dogs but not cats, I'm skeptical that there is anybody for whom dogs are not better suited.
I disagree, either way it's always better to lead a horse to water with a balanced approach than alienate half your audience and drag veganism down with you.

I know you've stated you don't find the pros credible, so you wouldn't give them the same air time, acceptable risk etc.
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
...
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
- Wallace Stevens

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by Werther » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:56 am

That was very informative, personally, I prefer cats for representing the female archetype, such as grace, elegance, the oscillation between the need of attention and independence and maintaining their aspect through constant cleaning. Despite such traits, I do not plan to assume the responsibility of any pet, keeping one in my apartment or leashed when I walk it in the park, leaves me the feeling that I am keeping a pet as captive. Also whenever I would the city, I would not have anyone to take care of the pet in my stead. I like animals in generals, but I do not own any for practical reasons.

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by NonZeroSum » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:47 pm

Werther wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:56 am
That was very informative, personally, I prefer cats for representing the female archetype, such as grace, elegance, the oscillation between the need of attention and independence and maintaining their aspect through constant cleaning. Despite such traits, I do not plan to assume the responsibility of any pet, keeping one in my apartment or leashed when I walk it in the park, leaves me the feeling that I am keeping a pet as captive. Also whenever I would the city, I would not have anyone to take care of the pet in my stead. I like animals in generals, but I do not own any for practical reasons.
From a quick google search I read that it's against the law in Romania to kill cats in shelters for lack of room, but legal to kill feral/strays. Not sure how far either is practised, but if you have a surplus of cats stuck in shelters their life would be significantly improved by the space and any entertainment you could give them. I know a friend who fed up a street dog in Athens that he had to take home to Belgium with him, if there were starving dogs being rounded up to be killed it'd be very hard to resist spending time doing the same.

My problem with UV's video summed up are it might be spot on right down the line describing the pitfalls of adopting a cat, and just generally following their lack of preference to adopt to the average persons lifestyle so not seeing a viable place for 99% of them in the future and thus encompassing a genuine sentiment of vegans to wish they had just adopted a dog over the disgust or irrational guilt of feeding them meat and their environmental impact etc... But without also mentioning how industrial owners can have a real impact on cat overpopulation and poor animal rescue networked solutions, whose lives could be dramatically improved by saving them from feral lives, abusive homes or languishing in no kill shelters, they fail to emphasise the possibilities of community building within the situation we’re currently living through, of people just liking cats more than dogs, and being willing to reach out to those people without alienating them. Who would just be more willing to step up and cat sit for friends and build a community of freegan dumpster divers who upcycle carbon negative meat produce they share together and promote veganism.
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
...
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
- Wallace Stevens

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by inator » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:56 am

Don't dogs generally require more time and effort investment though? I'm not sure I'd prefer adopting a dog, purely from a cost-effectiveness point of view. Even if I end up having to dumpster dive a few times a month to feed the cat some meat, that'd still be less time-consuming than having to take the dog out twice a day for a significant amount of time.

Also cats generally tend to themselves and also need less attention than dogs do throughout the day. All in all, I think it would definitely be easier for me to have a cat instead of a dog.

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:54 am

inator wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:56 am
Don't dogs generally require more time and effort investment though? I'm not sure I'd prefer adopting a dog, purely from a cost-effectiveness point of view. Even if I end up having to dumpster dive a few times a month to feed the cat some meat, that'd still be less time-consuming than having to take the dog out twice a day for a significant amount of time.

Also cats generally tend to themselves and also need less attention than dogs do throughout the day. All in all, I think it would definitely be easier for me to have a cat instead of a dog.
I think that's a common misconception. Cats are left alone because people think they don't need as much attention, but then they suffer from boredom and depression, less noticed only because people communicate more poorly with cats and because those states may be misinterpreted as a cat's normal behavior.
A cat needs a lot of play and interaction to be fulfilled; I think we can look at how much they play when such activities are available to them (like with a play partner or a very attentive owner) as a good indication of what they need. I don't think it's necessarily less than the needs of a dog, and I think the default assumption should be that these animals naturally need similar amounts of stimulation.
The social convention today is to leave cats to their own devices, but I think we'll see that as cruel in the future, much as we see our past treatment of the mentally ill/retarded/autistic as cruel.
I don't think a cat is necessarily any less miserable left unattended in an apartment all day than a dog is. We're just less inclined to notice or frown on that as a society.

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Re: 7 Reasons Why Cats are Terrible Pets (UV video)

Post by NonZeroSum » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:11 am

Unnatural Vegan wrote:#4. Cats love to roam
- https://youtu.be/RdDQsdS2gfE?t=8m15s

Cats get bored and prefer to roam.

Recent research tracking a number of cats showed that some feral cats have ranges of over a thousand acres:
The owned cats had significantly smaller territories and tended to stay close to home. The mean home range for pet cats in the study was less than two hectares (4.9 acres).
While that is substantially smaller, it shows that given the opportunity, even cats who primarily live indoors, inside of the house, they prefer to roam and go farther than just the backyard.

It's not clear if the primary reason for roaming is because they like to hunt or it's just because they enjoy walking around, assuming it is the roaming itself that the cats enjoy, well if you have a two hundred thousand square foot mansions then your cats are probably going to be pretty fulfilled. If you don't happen to have a house that big, which obviously you probably don't, what you can do is have like an outdoor, enclosed cat run, you could also have some cat runs inside, these constructions can effectively increase your cats play area, although it's not clear by how much.

Taking your cat for walks on a leash and harness MAY be a good idea, but probably not for the average cat. Walking a cat is NOT like walking a dog, and you really should only do it in areas without any dogs present (coming across a loose dog with a penchant for chasing/killing cats is a recipe for disaster).

All in all, a cat patio is likely a better option for most cats.

Unfortunately the average apartment is only about a thousand square feet, that's less than 1% of the space that they would prefer to roam around in and all of these extras, the cat runs and everything else, they are expensive and time consuming. Not everybody wants to spend thousands of dollars creating a cat paradise and nor should they, it's not a very good use of money, when that money could save so many lives, when it is devoted to more effective altruism, like for instance giving it to Mercy for Animals, which you can do right here. [1]

You can also help to have fewer cats, particularly if they are over two years old, as a recent study suggested, while kittens actually like to have a lot of playmates, older cats really don't tolerate a lot of company. The important point here is that cats are not dogs, they don't like to go out on walks with you if you typically don't like to be on a leash,* they don't like to go for a walk, they don't relish human contact like dogs do, they don't really like contact with other cats, there aren't cat parks where they can go run and play.

Dogs are a serious commitment too obviously, they need you know at least a couple of walks a day, they need a lot of time with you, but contrary to popular opinion cats really do require a lot more work, cats who are cooped up in such sub-optimal conditions, which they very likely are, most cats are, it's pretty much the norm, they can become lethargic, they can overeat and they really don't seem to live very happy lives.

Dogs have evolved along with humans for many thousands of years and there are good reasons to believe that well cared for dogs are happy, they're happy in our company. But we just don't know a whole lot about the psychological state of cats, of domesticated cats who really at this point are only marginally domesticated, people think that cats are easier, but I really think that the opposite is probably true, it's just that cat's needs are so often misunderstood and ignored.

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*talking about the average cat here (there are rare exceptions)
inator wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:56 am
Don't dogs generally require more time and effort investment though? I'm not sure I'd prefer adopting a dog, purely from a cost-effectiveness point of view. Even if I end up having to dumpster dive a few times a month to feed the cat some meat, that'd still be less time-consuming than having to take the dog out twice a day for a significant amount of time.

Also cats generally tend to themselves and also need less attention than dogs do throughout the day. All in all, I think it would definitely be easier for me to have a cat instead of a dog.
I tend to agree, UV talks about cat lethargy like it's a international epidemic, but I don't see any studies backing that up, maybe they are just projecting their anecdotal experience of 2 out of 3 cats who had to be euthanized at middle-age I think, possibly correlated with over-eating. I also looked into the risk to endangered species from cat predation claims and there's no evidence on significant landmasses.

I think the biggest problem UV has is feeding the male cat she has now meat because likely she's never skipped before and is afraid to start, or doesn't see it as pragmatic use of her time. The idea that she went against their preference to go outside and kill for enjoyment, and there is no happy perfect state you can attain, whereas with dogs you can ware them out on long walks and they enjoy your company, sleep the rest of the day. All her arguments are great for letting domestic cats go extinct, the strongest being they are too good at hunting and there is already a working niche for wildcats, but we know that domestic cats aren't going anywhere for the significant future, so there will be plenty to rescue.
One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind.

The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives.

The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach's dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.

Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, "What are you doing?"

"I'm saving the starfish," the child replied.

"Why waste your time?... There are so many you can't save them all so what does is matter?" argued the man.

Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water... "It matters to this one," the child explained.
One step cat advocacy:
Keep your cat indoors when birds are most vulnerable — at least an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise — especially between March and July when baby birds may be out of the nest waiting to be fed. Also, keep your cat indoors after bad weather to allow birds to come out and feed.
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
...
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
- Wallace Stevens

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