Title

A Defense of Free-Roaming Cats from a Hedonist Account of Feline Well-being

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-26-2019

Publication Title

Acta Analytica

Volume

34

Issue

4

First page number:

1

Last page number:

23

Abstract

There is a widespread belief that for their own safety and for the protection of wildlife, cats should be permanently kept indoors. Against this view, I argue that cat guardians have a duty to provide their feline companions with outdoor access. The argument is based on a sophisticated hedonistic account of animal well-being that acknowledges that the performance of species-normal ethological behavior is especially pleasurable. Territorial behavior, which requires outdoor access, is a feline-normal ethological behavior, so when a cat is permanently confined to the indoors, her ability to flourish is impaired. Since cat guardians have a duty not to impair the well-being of their cats, the impairment of cat flourishing via confinement signifies a moral failing. Although some cats assume significant risks and sometimes kill wild animals when roaming outdoors, these important considerations do not imply that all cats should be deprived of the opportunity to access the outdoors. Indeed, they do not, by themselves, imply that any cat should be permanently kept indoors.

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Philosophy

Language

English

UNLV article access

Search your library

Share

COinS