“NAIMBY” goes beyond just belling the cat

In April, Akureyri—the largest municipality in the country’s north, with a population of 19,000 people and some 2,000 to 3,000 cats—decided to ban their feline residents from night roaming outside. Neighboring Húsavík banned cats several years ago from going outdoors day and night. Other Icelandic towns are considering bans as the issue of free-roaming cats increasingly makes its way from online forums to local politics, with the arguments generally falling into two categories. Some people—the “no animals in my backyard” or NAIMBY-ists—proclaim free-roaming cats are nuisances that should be confined like any other pet. Others think beyond the anthropocentric: cats kill birds and disrupt ecosystems.


Surveys suggest Icelanders’ support for cat curfews is highest in regions with private homes and private gardens. Their reasoning is predominantly idiosyncratic, likening roaming cats to visits from rowdy town drunks. To paraphrase some online comments about cat visitations: “cat urine sprayed the patio,” “challenged another cat to a 3:00 a.m. duel and killed the yellow daffodils,” “last week he came into the house, and the pharmacy is out of pet-allergy drugs.” Cat supporters reply along the lines of, “Get a life and try to tolerate the outside world; cats are a delight and have roamed Iceland as long as we have.”

Here is the full Icelandic story, from the always excellent The Browser.  Is there a corresponding YAIMBY movement?


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