Inside Job II

Another study demonstrates that the majority of pet cats spend their time indoors.

In my previous post on the subject, I somehow overlooked Linda Lord’s paper, “Attitudes toward and perceptions of free-roaming cats among individuals living in Ohio.” [1] In it, Lord, Assistant Professor in Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, presents the results of an extensive 2007 telephone survey.

Fifty-nine percent of the 217 cat owners participating in the study reported that their cats were indoor-only. Nearly 20% more allowed their cats outdoors no more than three hours each day.

Linda Lord Indoor-Outdoor Data

Lord’s results are very much in line with findings from the three studies I cited previously. [2–4] All of which contradict the bogus claims made recently by Washington Post columnist Adrian Higgins, and last year by Nico Dauphiné and Robert J. Cooper (download their Partners in Flight conference paper here). [5]

These findings also raise questions about a comment made by Pete Marra in the Post story. Referring to his recent investigation into the mortality of catbird fledglings, Marra suggests that the culprits “aren’t feral cats; they’re domestic cats allowed to go outside.” I’ll take a closer look at Marra’s study in my next post…

Literature Cited
1. Lord, L.K., “Attitudes toward and perceptions of free-roaming cats among individuals living in Ohio.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2008. 232(8): p. 1159-1167.

2. Clancy, E.A., Moore, A.S., and Bertone, E.R., “Evaluation of cat and owner characteristics and their relationships to outdoor access of owned cats.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2003. 222(11): p. 1541-1545.

3. ABC, Human Attitudes and Behavior Regarding Cats. 1997, American Bird Conservancy: Washington, DC.

4. APPA, 2009–2010 APPA National Pet Owners Survey. 2009, American Pet Products Association: Greenwich, CT.

5. Dauphiné, N. and Cooper, R.J., Impacts of Free-ranging Domestic Cats (Felis catus) on birds in the United States: A review of recent research with conservation and management recommendations, in Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics. 2009. p. 205–219.