Most cities have ordinances about roaming (unleashed) dogs.
Dogs can be serious threats to children, pets, livestock.
They often revert to their feral 'pack' habits.
Cats, on the other hand are solitary hunters that seldom attack anything bigger than themselves.
They pose no real threat to humanity, or 'village life'.
They have been valued by civilizations for thousands of years for their ability to control rodent populations (and disease).
If mankind was as clean as a cat, we wouldn't need them.
To be clear, we are speaking of an subURBAN environment, a city, houses, lawns, backyards - not farms, acreages, fields etc. So I ask the following questions, keeping in mind we are speaking of a location where you will often find 10-20 cats per city block, and factoring the damage this concentration will do to local songbirds, mammals, reptiles, insects...
HOW can free roaming cats EVER be reconciled with permaculture??? Does a roaming cat not have the same effect as "toxic gick" when they are literally denuding the neighborhood of beneficial insects, birds, mammals and reptiles with ten times the efficacy of chemical poisons???
Why is it cats are the only domesticated animal allowed to roam at will; tell me, are your pigs, fowl, cattle or goats allowed to eat and poop on your unwilling neighbors property?
Why do cats engage in that most uncommon of character traits, of killing for fun; in humans we call that being a psychopath.
Why are my friendly, roll over and lick your toes friendly, 5-7 lb dogs considered, supposedly, dangerous, and yet the nasty, hissing neighbors cats not???
Why are dogs not allowed to poop wherever, whenever they want; yet the neighbors cats can defecate and spray all over MY property???
Why is it I can be fined for wildlife harassment if my dog(s) chase, interfere with or injure wildlife; but for a cat it is "meh, he is only doing what comes 'naturally'."
Why is it dogs are subject to noise complaints; yet the neighbors unfixed cats can yowl and screech all night long???
Why is it that when a cat kills a bird or lizard or bunny it is "nature" but when the eagle picks off their pet cat it is called "murder"??? (I do wildlife rescue, you would not believe how often I get this call, AND they want something "done" about the eagle!!!).
Why is it everyone touts what is "natural" for cats when they are NOT naturally occurring in MOST parts of the world; IF they are NOT naturally occurring then they are an "invasive" species, that should be contained.
NO, I do not hate cats, I just spent 4 mths fostering a near death neonate kitten, and I have been owned by cats in the past. I just am SOOOO tired of all the excuses folks have for cats, the "exceptions" that exist for cats, that NO other domestic animal gets; and I am sooooo tired of the blah di blah blah about rats/mice - plenty of places have figured this one out - nature will balance itself, assuming we allow only those who should be naturally out there, be out there.
Let your cat out or not, that is your choice - but do at least contain your animals to your own property be it with a CATIO, securely fenced yard, or other means such as a leash; as is expected with ANY other sort of domesticated animals or livestock.
***again, to be clear, the question was about subURBAN cats, not rural cats.