To roam or not to roam.

ZARS has a policy that cats must be indoor only. If allowed outside, they must be on a harness/leash or in a cat enclosure. Why? For their safety. Due this policy we do not adopt out to outdoor or indoor/outdoor homes for cats. Though we have a barn program that is currently in the works for feral cats. We will be looking for barn homes that have a heated barn/garage, provide vetting and food. Stay tuned for more updates on our barn program but all non-semi feral cats/kittens must be indoor only.
There are many dangers out there for cats who roam.
Things like:
  • Heavy traffic or any traffic is a serious danger to cats. On average hundreds of cats if not thousands get run over every year in and around Edmonton sadly, most will not make it.
  • Attacked by other animals such as dogs and coyotes. Cat fights can lead to serious infections and even death.
  • Poison, such as antifreeze, pesticides/herbicides, trash, poisonous plants and some people view cats as vermin and will poison them to get rid of these pests.
  • People can and will keep friendly cats, even if they have a collar. Some people have also been known to trap and dump cats outside the city or as far away as possible. People can be very dangerous to cats as they can hurt them or even kill them.
  • If your cat gets lost, there is a chance you will never find your beloved pet.
It is also against the law to allow your cat to be at large. If your cat is brought to the ACC it is a $100 fine plus $25 for intake then $15/day kennel fee after the first day. If any vetting is needed you’d be required to pay that as well to get your cat out. If your cat is not licensed it is a $250 fine.
How to prevent roaming:
  • Get your cats fixed, this is so important. Unfixed cats have a huge need to get out and roam. They generally will not stay in the area either as their mind is not on food but on finding a mate. Not fixed males can sire hundreds of litters in their lifetime who unfortunately most won’t make it on the streets. If you are low-income you can fill out an application for being apart of the PALS program, or contact various vets for pricing. Edmonton west animal hospital and West Edmonton spay and neuter clinic have great prices. Even if your cat is indoor only they will still try to escape to breed.
  • Build a cat enclosure or put up cat fencing to prevent your cat from getting out of the yard.
  • Environment enrichment is important to cats, a bored cat will find ways to amuse themselves. Getting various cat toys, cat trees, scratching posts, cat tunnels and even hiding treats around the house can help your bored cat from wanting to escape.
  • Take your cat outside on a harness/leash, some cats will even go for walks. T-Shirt harness types are great and make sure you have their collar and tags on just in case.
Train them not to door dart. This website has some tips to help that:
Unfortunately, the city is far too dangerous to let your cat roam, cats don’t need to roam to feel enriched. Indoor cats can live to be over 20 years old while outdoor cats on average live 5-8 years. By keeping your cat indoors you not only double their life span but increase their quality of life as they have less of a chance of injuries, diseases and parasites. Keep your cat safe by not allowing them to roam the streets.