living next to a busy country road(18 Posts)
At the moment, SusCat stays in from first sign of dusk to at least 9am every night, doesn't venture out a huge amount and was a housecat in her previous home so not particularly worldly wise. We currently live on a new build estate, well set back from the road that is generally only busy first thing in morning and around tea time. Gardens all back on to each other and she never seems to go further than maybe 100yds in any one direction, not often out the front of the house either (although no idea about when we are at work!)
We have seen a lovely house on the outskirts of a village we like, except the house is on the corner. It corners on to a country road that is the main access into the village, about two miles from a very large business. We've not visited the house itself but husband works at the large business and has said he thinks the road is a bit of a rat run.
Now the house itself is in quite a big plot and from what we can tell from driving past and on the websites, it is set back from the road with a front garden. It backs onto agricultural land.
What are general opinions on this new situation with the road?
We are on a busyish rural road, 30mph limit, but we only use the back door, PolterCat has his flap at the back and he's quite scared of traffic so he never ventures out front. There's at least another 7 cats in nearby proximity who all avoid the front.
My mother lived on an allegedly quiet country road which was actually used at night by boy racers who clearly reckoned that the local police would never get them up there. She had a massive back garden which backed on to fields and the cats always went out the back door.
She lost about 5 or 6 young cats to cars in a fairly short period - at the front of the house - and when Seniorboy arrived, it was as an indoor cat - which he's been ever since.
Your call I think.
Normally I'm a let the cat out person but they drive like lunatics in the country.
I'd cat proof the garden, someone on here did it using her own materials.
The traffic noise might be off putting for you too though. It's not quiet in the country, especially at harvest time and it's fucking freezing if you don't have houses around you plus it's a fortune to heat if you don't have mains gas.
I'm not traumatised from living in a village for 4 years. Nope. Not at all.
Yes, I'm terrified of her being hit and killed. I think we could cat proof if we tried.
fluffycloudland the countryside living doesn't bother us, we grew up in the countryside.
Time to learn cat proofing then! I'm sure it can be done as long as no trees are near the fences.
I thought I would tell you my experience. We used to live in quite a rural village but our house fronted onto a busy road. We had a huge back garden which backed onto bigger back gardens. We got two kittens and being very young and inexperienced cat owners we convinced ourselves that our two cats would stay around the back and would never venture across the road. Sadly I lost both of them on the road before they were 9 months. One of them ran across the road to meet us one night when she heard us returning from an evening out and I saw the whole thing. It traumatised me for months. That was over 25 years ago and I have honestly never forgiven myself. We have subsequently moved another 4 times and I can honestly say that a huge deciding factor in each house we have bought since was the safety of our cats as I couldn't go through that again.
So sorry, just re-read my post and it sounded harsh and it wasn't supposed to. I can tell you are doing the utmost to keep your cat safe but just didn't want you to learn the hard way like I did.
There's a school of thought that cats might do better near roads that are constantly busy - where they learn that fact - rather than near roads that might be generally quiet but with the occasional car going like a bat out of hell. I just don't know but then I lived with The Lodger who had a grand unconcern for anything that might want to use his road. And got away with it. That cat has 9,999 lives at least and not the customary 9.
I think that may be true Cosie . My sister lives on the busiest main road running through Leicester. She had 3 cats who would sit on the pavement and just watch the traffic go by. I went mad at my sister when I saw them as I thought it was just a matter of time but they never seemed to show any interest in crossing that road. One of them lived until she was 22 and the other two were 19 years when they died of old age.
I grew up in a small quiet village. The house backed on to fields that ran for miles.
However there was a road out the front that is the main route to the next, larger, village.
A majority of the 22 cats we had over the years were lost to the road.
As said above, people drive way too fast in the country. Although my parents village is a 30mph road people drive much quicker.
I live in the suburbs of a very large town. My parents comment how quiet it is here.
Ice. I can't begin to imagine what you have been through.
I recall one afternoon - in the very deepest country - we had to move a herd of cows on to the bottom field, which necessitated a very short walk across the road. ( Out of one gate and into another.) The herd was halfway across when round the nearest corner came a sports car going very very fast. Driver showing off his 'handling' most likely.
Luckily for all concerned, the car hit a gap between two cows and just whizzed on through before braking in consternation. If the cows had been half a second later or earlier, the consequences don't bear thinking about. Hitting a full grown cow at speed wouldn't have been pretty for cow or for car.
I'm afraid that country doesn't mean quiet. There are plenty of nincompoops with official driving licences living there.
We live in a situation very similar to what you have described. (Looks around for houses for sale!). We lost our two cats, who had survived living in London, backing onto a railway line and living next to a busy dual carriageway, to an intermittently busy B road with a 40mph limit. I am still gutted after all these years.
What we did was put six foot fence /gate around the side path so although a fit cat could get out the front, there are a lot of easier places for them to go. The next cats we got are females and although they go out they don't really wander.
If I were you I would look for a house in a quieter situation. Living on main roads doesn't give much privacy!
The vast majority of RTA cases I see are cats who are hit by the occasional fast car on an otherwise quiet road.
I myself have lived on a major A road which has artics on it all day and night (M&S distribution and others in my town). I have been there 10 years none of my cats have ever tried to cross the road.
Thanks for all the replies. Definite food for thought. The thought of Suscat not being safe in a new house is tbh a huge factor in our house move. As much as we want to be in the countryside I think it would be only at the non main end of a road or close.
Having looked into this house further there are other things putting us off too, but honestly we think the cat not being safe on the road is probably the biggest thing.
Thank you all. Its such a minefield. We want to live somewhere we love, but we adore the cat more than anything and if she was hurt because of our choice I'd be devastated.
We choose houses by how safe the cat will be. The right house will come along.
I agree flufflycloud. We're only at the beginning of our house hunt, i'm sure something will come along!
I'm so relieved to hear you have reconsidered. I really hate the thought of you having to go through what we did. I can tell how much you love your cat, just as we did but, luckily, you are making the right decision. Sadly for us we now have to live with the guilt that our poor fur babies had terribly short lives because of our bad judgement.
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