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Hugh Lofting
Dr. Dolittle in Topanga Canyon 

Books were a very important part of my childhood. TV had not been invented so we learned from books and listening to the radio. And…

Into the Weeds
A Green Tsunami 

A green tsunami of weeds is rising throughout the Santa Monica Mountains this spring. This living tide of vegetation threatens to drown the native plants,…

Dangerous Mushrooms 

The abundant rains this spring have been a blessing for mushroom enthusiasts in the Santa Monica Mountains. Foraging is so popular this season that it…

A Season for Toads 

The record rain California received in January is a boon for the Western toad, Anaxyrus borea (California has its own subspecies, Anaxyrus borea halophilus). This…

Cats Belong Indoors!

Cats Belong Indoors! 


Topanga is coyote country: cats (and small dogs) aren’t safe outside. Most residents are drawn to the wild beauty of Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains, but the nature that surrounds us is no place for domestic animals!

Cats and smaller dogs are easy targets for coyotes, great horned owls, and other predators, including neighborhood dogs.

Cats are themselves predators that take a terrible toll on native wildlife. According to a Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute study, domestic cats are responsible for the deaths of an estimated average of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals every year in the U.S. alone.

Extensive research shows that indoor cats have the potential to live much longer lives than outdoor cats.

Highly contagious illnesses like the incurable, almost inevitably fatal FIV, the feline equivalent of AIDS, are less common in Topanga than in more urban areas but are still a risk, and cats are also vulnerable to a host of other environmental health concerns, including tick-borne illnesses, and the same secondary rodenticide poisoning that is devastating our native wild cat population.

Just like wildlife, pets are vulnerable to vehicle strikes, and they are also at risk from human cruelty.

A securely fenced “catio” can provide sunshine, fresh air and garden habitat without putting domestic animals or wildlife at risk. 

If you love your cat, please make sure she or he remains safe at home!

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