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My Pet World: When dogs won’t go outside to pee, don’t settle for them going in the house

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Most of all, give her more time to adjust. If you are consistent and compassionate with her training, I am confident she will learn to walk outside and relieve herself.

Dear Cathy,

Feral cats are a problem. Feral cats kill wild birds at an alarming rate. As dogs are not allowed to roam free, neither should cats.

— Pat, Tucson, Arizona

Dear Pat,

Things aren't that simple. The problem is people abandon cats at an alarming rate, far exceeding dog abandonment. Rounding up community cats also means only one thing: killing them, which is not something anyone working at an animal shelter wants to ever do.

Unfortunately, this is a man-made problem that could end if people simply stopped abandoning their cats. Until they do, it would be great if people would see these cats for the victims they are and work together to get all the community cats in their respective neighborhoods fixed and fed.

Trap-neuter-return (TNR) not only stops the mating behaviors which are the cause of most human complaints, but it also halts all future births. Cats can then live out the remainder of their lives (which is often half the lifespan or less of an inside cat), while natural attrition takes care of the rest.


While cats (and dogs) can kill birds, they are less likely to do so if they are kept fed.




(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.





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