The Veterinary Society of Iceland has come out against Akureyri’s controversial ban of outdoor cats, which is supposed to go into effect in January 2025.
RÚV reports that Bára Eyfjörð Heimisdóttir, the director of the org, says that the ban appears to be prepared poorly, and could negatively impact the health of cats.
“Cats that are used to free movement can have difficulties getting used to this,” she told reporters. “There are also diseases and conditions which can accompany this, both in behavioral problems, stress and disease.” She mentioned bladder infections, diabetes, and overeating as conditions that can arise from keeping cats indoors.
The ban was issued ostensibly to protect bird life in the area. In order to do that, Bára recommends putting bells on cat collars, having them wear large, brightly coloured collars, and limiting cats’ outdoor times during nesting season.
“There is research from both the UK and the US that shows that banning outdoor cats has no effect on bird populations,” she says. She adds that Akureyri town council should also focus more on the feral cat population and encourage people to get their cats chipped as well.
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