Toronto Humane Society’s Cruel Cat Contracts

Feline obesity

Image courtesy of

While flipping channels the other night I came across an alarming bit of news from — of all places — the CP24 show Animal Housecalls. It seems that anyone wishing to adopt a cat from the Toronto Humane Society is contractually obligated to keep it indoors, which is tantamount to cruelty if you ask me.

Any outdoor cat owner will tell you that all felines have a deep instinctual need to define a patrol a territory far bigger than your average one-bedroom apartment, and contrary to what you’d think they also enjoy an active social life with other members of their species. Don’t believe me? Check out photographic proof from the famous Mr. Lee CatCam!

By locking your cat indoors you take all this away, and more often than not you end up with a diabetic monstrosity like the one pictured above, simply because your poor kitty has nothing else to fill its day with other than food.

To be clear I’m not condoning neglect — having an outdoor cat doesn’t mean that you deny your animal entry when it’s done doing whatever it is that cats do. And if you’re worried about “what the cat dragged in” you can take comfort in the fact that at least your animal is getting some much-needed exercise.

This contract clause (no pun intended) is certainly going to keep me from adopting a Humane Society cat, and really, the only justification for it that I can think of would be to appease non-cat owners who might otherwise sue over the occasional bird carcass in their backyard. These folks might also benefit from more time outdoors and less time inside on the phone complaining…

UPDATE (September, 2008): For proof that I’ve made good on my word, click here.


About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
This entry was posted in Mobile and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Toronto Humane Society’s Cruel Cat Contracts

  1. Kelley says:

    Actually, the justification is that cats kept exclusively indoors are much safer. Outdoors cats are exposed to many more risks including disease, animal attacks, poison, etc.
    I have always had exclusively indoor cats and not one of them is fat. Cats are more likely to get too fart due to species inappropriate diets, such as dry kibble loaded won with corn.

  2. AC says:

    Hi Kelley,

    Thanks for the comment. So I have to ask: What exactly do your cats do all day?

  3. Lord Wat says:

    I’m with Andrew: a shorter life full of risks, but filled with experience and stimulation, is a far more natural and richer way to live, rather than being imprisoned within an unchanging and sterile environment.

  4. Dog says:

    Classic.. I needed that.

  5. wolfcat says:

    As humans we are choosing to lose touch with
    nature. Cats naturally need to be out at least
    once a day. They naturally roam. Give them a
    life, not a cell.

  6. Blue Peas says:

    Mine are all outdoor/indoor/on the porch floor/on the table, you name it. I agree that they should be allowed to go outside. Imagine being able to see all the stuff out there and never being able to get to it, to smell it, rub against it, chase it, roll in it, whatever. What they (Humane Society) is make a clause that the thing WILL be neutered before it leaves there. That would be a help.

  7. C.P says:

    Nice to see, Andrew, that you choose only the posts that are self-serving.

    As I mentioned, I have seen too many cats become abused by strangers, catch feline leukemia and are run over, fall victim to predators or most of the time get lost.

    Some of us live in cities and in apartments or condos. Is that natural?

    I am heartened that the THS denies you the opportunity to own a cat that you feel is entitled to be a cat, rather than think what is best for their well-being.

    You must be very young.

  8. AC says:

    Hey C.P, are you the person who previously wrote in hoping I would die a slow death in the middle of a highway somewhere? Yeah, I deleted that for some reason…

    And thanks for the compliment — I’m not actually that young but everyone keeps telling me how fantastic I look for my age, maybe because I don’t chain myself to my computer, constantly refreshing someone’s blog post for weeks on end to see if he’s published my pointless comment?

  9. Anonymous says:

    My goldfish keep staring at me as if they want to go somewhere

  10. Rick says:

    AC FTW

  11. Lord Wat says:

    C.P. wrote: “Some of us live in cities and in apartments or condos. Is that natural?”

    Not if some other species were castrating you and locking you inside your apartment or condo, preventing you from having any social contact or any kind of novel stimulation.

    Yours is a faulty metaphor, since I assume that you do actually go out occasionally to refill your crazy pills.

  12. Ed Miller says:

    So there’s a troll out there digging up cat-related blogs from October? Glad you found something to do with your time, C.P. (does C.P. stand for Cat Post?).

  13. AC says:

    Cat poon, more likely. But hey, if no human being will have you…

  14. C P says:

    Thanks for the ad hominem, Lord ‘What’. Don’t forget to attack the argument, not the poster. Surely you can raise the bar a little higher?

    As for the sophomoric remarks, it just goes to show there are many keyboard warriors out there. Applause, maestro!

    FYI, I am a veterinarian who is not associated with the THS whatsoever. I can base my observations on the welfare of animals through experience, not breathless idealism.

    All my best.

  15. AC says:

    Hiya C.P., still glued to this page, are we?

    No complaints here, but you still haven’t answered the question at hand:

    Do you do it with cats?

  16. Lord Wat says:

    So, C.P., your answer is “no”? You don’t actually go out to refill your crazy pills? Unfortunate.

  17. Kalifi says:

    This article engages with no literature. Domestic cats aren’t natural. They are domesticated, have been genetically altered by centuries of breeding. They need their teeth cleaned, claws trimmed,and coats brushed regularly. As dependent creatures, they depend on us to keep them indoors, away from intestinal parasites, car accidents, panleukopenia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia. Furthermore, the amount of wildlife lost to cat ditherings is substantial, hundreds of birds a year. So to conclude: out-door cats live less than three years on average, compared to five or six times that for indoor cats. Cats kill millions of birds a year. Once outside, they almost always lose when they come up against cars, coyotes, dogs, poison, bad people, mean cats and starvation.

  18. This article engages with no literature

    What exactly do you mean by “literature” here? A pamphlet from a Veterinarian’s office that you seem to have transcribed?

Comments are closed.