AVMA polices are reviewed to make sure they are consistent with recent research, veterinary professional experience, and societal ethics. One animal welfare policy currently under consideration is related to Free Roaming, Owned Cats. This policy states “The AVMA strongly encourages owners of domestic cats in urban and suburban areas to keep them indoors.”
There is considerable debate about how much access pet cats should be given to the outdoors and how to meet all of their needs inside the home. This can be seen in recent discussions on blogs such as Fully Vetted and Ann Arbor (and before you ask, please note that mention of these blogs does not imply an endorsement of content).
The Free Roaming Owned Cats policy is currently open for comment on the AVMA website. AVMA members are asked to consider:
- Do you agree that urban and suburban cats should be housed indoors (for their safety and to protect wildlife)?
- Is there any basis for suggesting that concerns about cats’ safety and wildlife considerations in rural areas differ from those in urban and suburban areas?
- Are there other sound reasons for keeping rural cats outdoors?
- Are you aware of empirical studies or other types of reliable evidence related to this issue?
DUE DATE: Comments must be submitted on or before 12 a.m. August 1, 2010.