The most effective way to keep cats from harming your pets, and you don’t have to spend much time thinking about it, is to simply put them in a small, enclosed space and let them out.
That’s the approach adopted by a veterinary college in Wisconsin, which plans to begin training students on the technique next year.
“The goal is to get them in the habit of keeping cats in a safe environment and that’s something that they’ve had experience with,” says Dr. Jill Wahlgren, associate professor of veterinary medicine and clinical associate dean at the Veterinary College of Wisconsin.
“In fact, our training is specifically geared toward that purpose.”
Dr. Wahlberg is also the co-founder of a nonprofit organization called The Cats Project, which aims to end the practice of trapping cats.
“We know that a cat’s health is more important than the safety of a house,” she says.
So, the cats’ health and safety are of paramount importance to the Veterinary School.
The students who receive the training will learn to be proactive about controlling their pets.
The goal is for them to avoid being the ones that come in contact with the cats, and to make sure that their pet’s life is in order.
They’ll also be trained to use a collar or collar-less, which they’ll have to keep in a locked box until the cats are out of sight.
Dr. Kelli Babb, a veterinary student and one of the cofounders of the Cats Project says the training program will provide an important opportunity for the students to become better at controlling their cats, which can cause anxiety and possibly harm.
“One of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s a bad thing to have a cat in your home,” she said.
“In fact a lot of cats who are already in cages, or they’re being held, can have negative consequences on your cats.”
“That’s something we’re working on making sure that we can prevent,” she added.
She is also a board member of the National Humane Society, which supports humane animal control and rescue efforts.
In an effort to reduce the number of cats in homes, Babb said the cats will also be allowed to be moved to another house when necessary, although she cautions that they will have to be in a cage.
As for the cat owners themselves, they are free to move or abandon their cats whenever they wish.
For now, the training is just a beginning.
It will take about two months for the program to be ready for the 2018-2019 school year.
It is hoped that the Cats Program will help save thousands of lives.
“I think that it will be one of those things that’s going to help really make a difference in reducing the number,” Dr Wahl says.