If you’re a seller of cat collars with bells, whistles and electronic bleepers then you may see an uptick in sales over the next few days. Springwatch presenter Chris Packham has warned of the danger pets can have on the environment. He’s calling for curfews with owners keeping their cats in at night and insisting that every cat should have a double bell on its collar. Apparently this will reduce cat kills of birds and wildlife by anything up to 45%.
I have a few problems with his reasoning though. His main point is that cats are affecting the natural eco-systems with bird and small mammal kills and could have an “apocalyptic impact” when they go “feral”. Well if that’s the case how will a few bells and a curfew help? Feral cats are hardly going to be curled up on the end of their non-existent owners’ beds and ownerless cats have no one to buy them a collar. All that will be achieved is a few pet owners buying new collars and the real feline predators will continue to roam looking for their next easy meal.
Cats were once traditionally kept specifically to keep wild life at bay – ask any farmer and they’ll have had a few cats running around the barns, preferable with one that’s “a good ratter”. If our towns and cities weren’t full of feline friends we’d soon discover the rats and mice were living a little closer to us then they currently do, which is why the Victorians were so fond of cats.
So will you by buying a double bell ? Will you be keeping your cat in at night (which incidentally is against their natural behaviour and will simply cause them stress).
Whatever your views it’s good news for sellers of pet supplies, the profile cats are being given should cause an uptick in the sales of collars with bells.