There is nothing nicer than having a friendly ball of fluff happy to greet you when you arrive home, especially if you live alone. They can be a best friend and a great companion. They’re our pets!
Don’t get me wrong I love my pets and growing up have always had them. Domestication of dogs especially has been beneficial in medical advances and police work. Some people have even claimed that people with pets tend to be healthier than those without, although others are skeptical of the extent pets have on human health and psychological wellbeing. Through personal experience I can safely say that being greeted by a happy tail wag or purring always makes me feel happy.
In early days it was believed that humans paired up with wild dogs/ trained them to help hunt. It is believed that this early partnering has led to the companionship we see today in domesticated dogs. Rarely used for hunting dogs are now either fun companions or used in the work force (police dogs, guide dogs etc.).
Domestication of cats is believed to originate in Egypt to elevate rat problems, and because of their success worshiped. Cats are still used today to get rid of rodents and are very successful. Maybe a little bit too successful.
The problem we are now facing with the domestication of cats and dogs is that there are now large numbers who have become feral. These feral cats and dogs have survived by killing wildlife and breeding in large numbers. Cats in Australia have become a huge problem. By introducing them into a country in which the native species are not familiar with their effective hunting skills has lead to complete devastation.
People have tried to combat the effects feral cats and dogs have on the environment by implementing predator free fences in which the wildlife has a save haven to recover. This is a good solution, however limiting native wildlife to a small habitat range is not ideal and when they eventually spill over the fence the predators will be waiting for them.
Perhaps a better solution could be to educate owners, have more restrictions of who can and can’t have a cat/or dog, implement laws in which they must be neutered, or simply ban cats and dogs in certain high risk areas. If dogs are well supervised they tend to be not a big a problem as cats. However as cats are allowed to roam they often get up to mischief. A solution for that could perhaps be to keep you cat indoors, or take it for walks as you would a dog. This could be a little bit strange for the cat at first but they would get used to it. If you don’t want to deny letting your cat outside you could build them their own cat garden, so no natives can get in and your cat can’t get out.
Finally you could just live in an environment, like the middle of the city, where sadly no natives would be anyway. This could be a bit depressing though for you and your pet. But considering keeping your cat inside could be beneficial for your cat as well as many vets recommend it will keep them safe from disease, worms, cat/dog fights and of course oncoming traffic.
Overall domesticating cats and dogs has been very beneficial to our society, and I wouldn’t say it was our biggest mistake. However the way we go about looking after them at the moment is a big mistake and needs to be addressed.
All photos were taken myself, go to the about page to find out more about me
To learn more about the domestication of dogs click here.
To learn more about the domestication of cats click here.
To find out more how cats and dogs have contributed to loss of biodiversity click here.
To find out more about predator free fences click here.