Re: Cohousing pet policies
From: James Kacki (
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 18:19:38 -0700 (PDT)
A word about cats & cat owners (from a cat owner) re/ pet policy.
Some cats have been raised indoors from when they were kittens. They don't mind staying inside and some are even afraid to go outside. Others have been raised with the indoors and the outdoors as their daily environment. Their 'wild' animal nature is fully active and awake in them. If they can't go outside for some reason they cry, wail, moan, scratch at the door and look at their owners as if to say "whats the matter? what have I done wrong? why are you being so mean? come on, come on! please! please!! please!!!!!" Cat owners with 'outdoor' cats will recognize this immediately. For these cats, I do believe that it is cruel to deny them their true nature by never letting them outside. It is, in my opinion, similar to the effect of putting an innocent person in a penitentiary, never to be released, for the rest of their life. My reason for this somewhat lengthy diatribe is just to caution co-housers who are setting up a community, or those who are trying to sell vacant houses that if there was a 'no outdoor cats' policy, they would be limiting the size of the available market. Potential owners with 'outdoor' cats would probably not consider joining the community because they would not want to cause their furry friend to suffer from lifelong incarceration.
There is no easy answer to this issue is there? All the best!

dahako [at] wrote:

Hi all-

In reference to:

" We are particularly struggling with outdoor cats and their impact (perceived much more by some and not at all by others) on wildlife and the bird population. Also, of concern are dogs who are unleashed in the neighborhood. Thanks, Rachael "

We have coyotes in Rock Creek Park near us who apparently feel that cats are good snacks. Every month or two there is a report about another "lost" cat. We also have a rabies epidemic in our county. Some cats seem to hang out in the courtyard here a bit, but mostly people keep their cats very close to home.

On pet policy, we did the groundwork research and a draft proposal before moving in, then decided to wait until after to see if we needed it. I think it is understood that pets are not welcome in the commonhouse, except for just passing through. So far, any disputes have been handled directly by the parties involved and not risen to the whole community level. I don't know if anything is simmering. I do assume will will have the discussion sometime, but it is a relatively low priority for now.

-Jessie Handforth Kome
Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, Maryland

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