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This question is in reference to this Pets question which was migrated to Parenting.

Based on the way the original question was worded, "Can contact with cat feces be harmful for pregnant women?", I guess I can see how one would justify migrating it to Parenting.

I believe if the question emphasized on the pet portion of it, as in, "Should a pregnant woman change my pet cat's litter box?" it wouldn't have qualified for migration.

I believe having a question of this sort, with the relation to pets given emphasis over other aspects (cleaning a litter box is a common household activity for a cat owner; directly contacting feces is not), should qualify it as a valid question that belongs here.

Am I wrong?

  • I don't disagree, I think it could well be on topic either way. I haven't answered the Q very well, as I haven't so much addressed the wording of the Q, as in whether the Q should be on topic generally. I hope this is ok, please advise – user87 Oct 24 '13 at 4:53
  • The question is on-topic for both sites, and should not have been migrated. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 25 '13 at 4:52
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As a moderator of parenting.se, I have to admit I was a little surprised to see this migrated, but I have to admit it makes sense.

While I have seen some specific communities encourage (limited) cross-posting of questions, the "official" SE stance is that questions have one, and only one, "right" community. If the question is ambiguous enough that it fits on multiple sites, it should be reworded to be more specific.

In all honesty, I think that this stance is a bit out of date. As more Area 51 proposals reach beta, there is more and more overlap between site. I've seen this issue come up between scifi.se and movies.se, writers.se and anime.se.

It also comes up between parenting.se and cogsci.se and even skeptics.se.

Here on pets, we probably have to be cognizant of any potential overlap with biology.se.

Until the pets proposal made it to beta, there was no overlap issue. As a result, parenting actually has a number of pet-related questions already, some of which would probably be more suited here than on parenting, in all honesty.

Ultimately, once we have our own moderators, we'll have more control over what does/does not get migrated (although the community team may override any decision our local moderators may make, if they feel it is necessary). However, I would let this stand as a reminder to us all that we should be careful to ensure that any question here be worded in such a way as to focus on the pet aspect of the issue.

In this specific example, yes, I think it could have been reworded to be more on topic here than on parenting. For example, something along the lines of "We're pregnant, and the doctor told us my wife needs to avoid litter. Our cats normally sleep in bed with us, and they're very affectionate. Should we keep them away from my wife? If so, how can we ease the transition for our cats?"

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I think the question was on-topic here as written. If a similar question is also on-topic on another site, then asking it there would be fine. With 100+ sites, that's going to happen. There are and will be other overlaps between us and other sites; the important thing is for each question to be asked in a way that's most appropriate to that community. Put another way, SE doesn't condone cross-posting, but I've seen plenty of precedent (and support) for multi-posting of similar, but not identical, questions.

As someone who went to the effort to answer the question here, on the community I'm interested in and trying to help build, I was surprised and unhappy to find it migrated elsewhere and deleted here. If I answer something that's inappropriate here then I'll certainly take my lumps (wasted effort, lost rep, etc), but it feels to me like I did a good thing here only to have it negated. This makes me a tiny bit less likely to answer future questions.

  • I don't think anyone is going to stop you from rewriting the question with an emphasis on pets and posting it to pets, to take the chance that it won't get migrated "this time". – JoshDM Oct 24 '13 at 14:05
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Pets do not exist in isolation, the pet owner relationship and the responsibilities and known pitfalls (and benefits), I believe, would be on topic for this site.

I think a question like this may be on topic, we'd have to decide whether any human health topics are on topic here.

For example:

Can I get sick from my cats sharing my food or drink?

Which has been well received by the community.

The fact that our includes human allergies to pets, would indicate to me, that human health issues with respect to their pets would be on topic.

The community as a whole, seems comfortable with these types of questions, so I am thinking we should allow this type of question, irregardless of the semantics of wording. To limit the scope of [pest.se] where we can easily field some questions like these would be a shame, as these are issues people associate with keeping pets (generally I think).

If a question is too specific or urgent, asking for medical advice directly, then it can be closed. Asking for information that is relevant and a consideration about owning pets, I think should be on topic.

that's my ten cents. :7)

  • 1
    I counted eleven cents in this answer, did you forget to adjust for inflation? – Tim Post Oct 24 '13 at 13:24
  • @TimPost or do you mean no cents (nonsence) :) – user87 Oct 24 '13 at 13:25
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I'm ah, on the fence about this one. I can see why Robert sent it over, however I can't really favor a site on which it should exist. It's really a 50/50 toss.

On the one hand, expecting parents should be very interested in that information if they own a cat. It's about pregnancy.

On the other hand, anyone owning a cat is a pet-owner, and it's about being a pet owner, however pregnant.

If we're going to move it again, I think we need a compelling reason why it belongs on one site instead of the other - because it's a great question for either site. You should be jealous and possessive when it comes to your content - so this discussion is a very good thing.

If we can come up with reasoning that's beyond the result of a coin toss, I'm happy to move it back.

  • Does the concept of a shared-site question exist? As in, a single question / answer that exists that multiple sites can contribute to and appears in searches for both sites? – JoshDM Oct 24 '13 at 14:12
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    I think the compelling reason to bring it back is that it was here first, so this restores the baseline "50-50, could go either way, but who cared enough to ask?". As you say, we should be jealous and possessive when it comes to our content. The compelling argument would need to be for migration, not for undoing, no? – Monica Cellio Oct 24 '13 at 14:17
  • @MonicaCellio I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that your investment in the question wasn't compelling. I was just hoping someone could find something in the content itself to just tip the scale a bit. While we're going to need a sort of litmus test to judge the overlap, maybe this isn't the post to base that on. Might make sense to send it back over but keep the other copy there, just targeted more toward pregnancy than cat ownership while pregnant. Let me sip something hot and think about it for a spell. – Tim Post Oct 24 '13 at 14:24
  • Consider that with the dilution that comes from having so many topical sites, the argument is actually for the creation of Overlap Questions : meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5790/… – JoshDM Oct 24 '13 at 14:24
  • @Tim, no offense taken. I think forking the question makes sense. I was just saying that if we're going to try to establish a compelling argument one way or the other, we should first restore to the original state and then tackle it, is all. (That is, if there's not a compelling argument to move it to Parenting, then the fact that it was moved really shouldn't bear on the outcome.) – Monica Cellio Oct 24 '13 at 14:25
  • @MonicaCellio can we just ask it here again? – user87 Oct 24 '13 at 14:32
  • @Skippy, Tim's a community manager (and it was moved by another CM), so I think we just did by asking this meta question. – Monica Cellio Oct 24 '13 at 14:33
  • @MonicaCellio I meant the beta Q :) – user87 Oct 24 '13 at 14:35
  • @Skippy oh, I see. If you ask it again (with adjustments to make it clearly our question rather than theirs), then I'll add my answer to it. Your call. – Monica Cellio Oct 25 '13 at 0:45
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I posted this, what do people think of the wording?

Does this fill the niche we are looking for?

PLease feel free to edit the question.

How do I manage a cat litter box to maximize hygiene?

ps I do have an autoimmune disease and this is a real life situation

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