The one thing that really boggles my mind is how people can be so careless when it comes to being a responsible pet owner. I do not understand the heartless manner some people can abandon and abuse their pets. Some people have a disrespectful view of how an animal is to be treated. I tend to the feral cats every week at the colony in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada. Every week there is a newly dropped off kitten or cat from some one who has no longer any need of its company. Cats are territorial by nature, and a freshly dropped off young kitten is no match for a feral cat or even a stray tomcat for that matter. It is survival of the fittest out in the wild and the little kitten does not stand a chance. If I only had the room, I would take in and care for all the abandoned cats that I find. It breaks my heart to see an animal without a home.
Some Tips for being a responsible Pet Owner:
- 1) Let me start with the basics that everyone should know. I am talking about spaying and neutering your pet here. It is perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent over population and unwanted animals. It can be a little pricey at some veterinarian hospitals but you can check with local humane societies like the SPCA (in Canada) who may be able to do the job for a discounted rate.
- 2) If you are moving away and cannot bring your furry little friend, find another home for it! It can be as simple as putting an ad online or in the local newspaper. Ask family members and friends if they know anyone who can take your pet. Show a little respect for the animal that loved you here. Do not simply drop them off at the local feral colony.
- 3) Take you pet to the veterinarian’s office for annual check-ups. I know outdoor cats need to be treated for worms and fleas about every 6 months. They may also need vaccinations to prevent things like feline leukemia.
- 4) Clean the kitty litter regularly. If you let the box go, the cat just may go all over your nice new rug. Keep it clean.
- 5) If you are going on vacation, make sure you have someone around to take care of your pet. You may even have a cat kennel in your area.
- 6) Do not get a pet because every one else is doing it or you think it might be cool. Owning a pet is a big responsibility; just make sure you are up to the challenge.
These are just a few tips that every one should know and practice. If you do not know, these tips should provide you with enough information to get started. I am sure there are more things that make some one a responsible pet owner and you may have your own list. The point I am trying to make here is do not just through away your animal when you do not want it anymore. I do not like to see fresh young drop offs at the feral colony. I know they have a limited chance of survival, especially in our cold Canadian winters.