Protecting our Diverse Wildlife

Through steady action, we will ensure a bright future for our beautiful planet – that starts with our very own cats.

Outdoor Cats and Wildlife

We all love our beloved cats who make wonderful and cuddly companions. It’s not uncommon to find one of TWC’s staff and volunteers proudly showing off a photo of their cute kitty. As responsible cat owners, we all keep our cats well-fed, healthy, and safe – including keeping them inside, supervised and on a leash outside, or in a wildlife-safe enclosure! If let outdoors, cats can come across many hazards, including attacks by other animals, being hit by a car, human cruelty, chemical contaminants, parasites, and diseases. But our friendly felines are not-so-friendly to wildlife like songbirds and little mammals, and can cause a detrimental impact to many of these small species.

 

As much as cats belong in our families, they don’t belong roaming free in the wild! Free roaming cats are introduced by people and have not evolved alongside native wildlife, which our ecosystems depend on. A house cat will kill four to ten times more prey per unit area than their wild counterparts. As domestic, non-native predators, they cause more unnecessary wildlife deaths than any other species.

In Canada, cats kill up to an estimated 350 million birds each year – that’s 2-7% of the population of birds in Southern Canada – in addition to killing squirrels, rabbits, and other small animals … especially babies. If you’re reading this, chances are you care about wild animals, so please continue to show your compassion by keeping cats indoors and local wildlife safe!

Accommodating Outdoor Cats and Keeping Wildlife Safe - It's a Win-Win!

Letting Cats into an Outdoor Enclosure – We understand it’s difficult keeping a cat inside when they already have a taste for the outdoors. Consider building or buying a protected outdoor enclosure so they can still enjoy time out in the sun while smaller animals are protected from what would otherwise be an unnatural predator.

Keeping Cats Inside – Even outdoor cats can transition to a healthy indoor cat lifestyle, as long as they are entertained! Play with your cats using interactive toys, provide multi-level scratching posts, and give them ample amounts of loving attention. Help them use their high energy levels and be patient as they adjust to life indoors which can be just as rewarding.

Keeping Cats on a Leash – Dogs aren’t the only pets who can be walked with a leash! Many owners can take their cats outside using a leash and harnesses. But make sure to keep a watchful eye on them too. Even if they aren’t immediately used to it, given time they will adapt and will be able to explore the outdoors at your side!

Supervising Cats Outdoors – Along with a leash, perhaps the simplest solution is to join your cats outdoors and keep an eye on them while they explore or lounge on the porch. Not only will you be responsibly making sure no other animals come into harm’s way, you’ll be protecting your beloved pet as well.

If you’ve found an animal who is injured by a cat or otherwise in distress, please call TWC’s hotline (416) 631-0662 for the best advice, or fill out an assistance request form here.