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Old Sunday 10th September 2006, 22:17   #1
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Cats and Squirrels

Watched my cat watch a squirrel(grey)tonight.Neither seemed to be anxious at the others presence,at about 20yds apart.Are squirrels too much like hard work to catch or are they able to fight back sufficiently well to put the cat off?I cant ever remember seeing a cat stalk a squirrel,grey or red,and i wondered what you all might have seen or heard of such encounters?
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Old Sunday 10th September 2006, 22:37   #2
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In my backyard about a year ago I saw one of our neighborhood cats ( who has slaughtered countless birds in my yard ) attack a grey squirrel . I was quick to react and chased down the cat - so it is difficult to say whether or not it would have been a kill. I will say that the cat did get a good pounce on the critter and the squirrel was able to put up a good struggle before I broke it up. I remember the squirrel jumping alot and he was able to disengadge himself from the cat. It look like it would have been a tough kill for the cat in any case. I see alot of greys in my yard as many of us do . I have srong respect for them even if they are a nuisance . They are so muscular it is hard to say how easy it might have been for the cat. I can understand your cats reluctance. - that is my story-
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Old Monday 11th September 2006, 01:36   #3
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The neighborhood cats, who occasionally end up in my backyard, don't seem to care about the squirrels.

But most dogs hate them and will chase them, given the freedom and opportunity.
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Old Monday 11th September 2006, 08:06   #4
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My last cat used to catch (and eat) squirrels and rabbits regularly.
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Old Monday 11th September 2006, 08:17   #5
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With a tinge of embarrassment, I have to report that my cat did indeed catch a Red Squirrel about three years ago. Found it in my living room as a 'present'
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Old Monday 11th September 2006, 11:23   #6
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we havent owned a cat in years(though i'd love one!),the last one managed to catch and half eat a bat!

not sure which species,i was only six at the time.

would've thought it would take a brave cat to tackle a squirrel though.

jos's cat must be a real tiger!

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Old Monday 11th September 2006, 12:44   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinca
Watched my cat watch a squirrel(grey)tonight.Neither seemed to be anxious at the others presence,at about 20yds apart.Are squirrels too much like hard work to catch or are they able to fight back sufficiently well to put the cat off?I cant ever remember seeing a cat stalk a squirrel,grey or red,and i wondered what you all might have seen or heard of such encounters?
Saw a cat stalking a squirrel that was up the telegraph pole opposite my house.
The squirrel was taking the mick big time. It kept coming down the pole until it was just within reach of the cat, then as soon as the cat moved it shot back up.
I watched for about half an hour until the squirrel got bored and jumped into a tree near the pole and was off leaving the cat wondering what the hell had happened.
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Old Monday 11th September 2006, 16:07   #8
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Talking

We have 2 cats and they used to stalk the squirrels but they could never get too close as the squirrels would just run up a tree. My cousins dogs however are a different problem. One shout of squirrels and they come running from anywhere, and the squirrels only just make it to the fence before the dogs.
Hope that helps.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2006, 07:26   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt green
would've thought it would take a brave cat to tackle a squirrel though.



matt
As I say my cat used to catch and eat them (as well as rabbits, shrews and voles) very regularly. We used to find the tail on the kitchen floor as that, and the liver, were the only bits he didn't eat.

Obviously my Tootles was extremely brave ...
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2006, 11:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kits
We used to find the tail on the kitchen floor as that, and the liver, were the only bits he didn't eat.

Obviously my Tootles was extremely brave ...

Brave perhaps, but did you question his love for you? :) My Kriste left the whole squirrel, tail, liver, fluff and all for me ...I took that as a sign of her affection, be it slightly misplaced!!! She does though eat mice, bar liver.
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2006, 21:30   #11
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Thank you all for your recollections and thoughts,even the grisly ones:)
We have all(probably)heard the derogatory term "tree rat" whenever squirrels come into a conversation.The body mass of squirrels,esp' reds,and rats are broadly similar,and i have seen cats affect the "well,im not REALLY hungry anyway" reversals when faced with a rat.Perhaps,like us,there are some who will rush in and damn the torpedoes,and others either through experience or inbuilt caution that decline the hard fought meal/plaything.
The feeders wont be quiet for much longer,but in the meantime,as the leaves begin to turn i find catwatching almost as stimulating as my usual obsession.And cats DO play chess If in doubt read Terry pratchetts The Unadulterated Cat.
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Last edited by Tinca : Tuesday 12th September 2006 at 21:32. Reason: USHUAL SPIELING ERRIORS
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Old Wednesday 13th September 2006, 07:41   #12
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Originally Posted by Jos Stratford
Brave perhaps, but did you question his love for you? :) My Kriste left the whole squirrel, tail, liver, fluff and all for me ...I took that as a sign of her affection, be it slightly misplaced!!! She does though eat mice, bar liver.
LOL Jos! What amazed us was that he would have a can of Whiskas daily as well as the cat biscuits, and still he would eat all sorts of small mammals. He was also very slim - guess he worked off the calories chasing his prey.

Btw - I now have a new resue kitten called Milly, a tortoiseshell. She is just too sweet!

Sorry for going off topic, hope I shall be forgiven .
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Old Friday 20th October 2006, 11:39   #13
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i had a cat that killed a fox squirrel that was half his size (and he was 19 lbs)


he also killed a young turkey in the woods once and drug it back to the porch.
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Old Friday 25th May 2007, 17:55   #14
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most cats have the tools and ability to easily kill any squirrels but only specific cats have enough talent to actually catch one and when they do catch one many arent smart enough to kill it quick which ends up in the sq fighting back and biting the cat and then in the end the cat just avoids them and looks for easier prey (like mice and birds) that cant really fight back

HOwever you do get the odd cat that is extremly skilled hunter or huntress and poses a serious threat mastered the art of catching squirrels which is why most of the time squirrels will respect cats enough to not let them get close because they can never tell which cat is the serious killer and which cat isnt a real threat
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Old Sunday 10th April 2011, 13:54   #15
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Cats killing squirrels

I'm afraid that I have a very loveable killer in my house. My two year old neutered male is a hunter-killer. He catches birds in the air (leaping from trees), lizards and mice are also on the menu. But his favorite target is squirrels.

He brings all of his kills to the house, crowing his about his prowess for all to see and hear. Despite being feed both canned and dry food twice daily, he eats the small kill. Large game, however, are only for the sport. Four squirrels on the mantel wall already this spring.

I've belled him. He is an adorable, affection house cat-- sleeps on his back and snores... But I'm convinced he is and will remain a terror in my gardens.
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Old Sunday 10th April 2011, 17:48   #16
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In the late 80's, I had a female named TRex that was a master at killing squirrels, rats and even a few groundhogs. She was the sweetest cat indoors, and a sheer terror at night. 2 of her prodigy ended up on the old Weatherly farm in south Huntsville where their 'grandcats' are probably doing the same. I'll never forget seeing a collection of beheaded squirrels and a rat left for me one morning. I must have been her 'favorite'.
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Old Wednesday 13th April 2011, 18:03   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdwhite9 View Post
I'm afraid that I have a very loveable killer in my house. My two year old neutered male is a hunter-killer. He catches birds in the air (leaping from trees), lizards and mice are also on the menu. But his favorite target is squirrels.

He brings all of his kills to the house, crowing his about his prowess for all to see and hear. Despite being feed both canned and dry food twice daily, he eats the small kill. Large game, however, are only for the sport. Four squirrels on the mantel wall already this spring.

I've belled him. He is an adorable, affection house cat-- sleeps on his back and snores... But I'm convinced he is and will remain a terror in my gardens.
Our cat has taken a liking to squirrels as well. She gets food indoors regularly. We are not happy about it, as she typically leaves them on the porch for us and we have stepped on them coming out the door on more than one occasion. We decided to bell her more than the little jingle she already had. We took two large jingle bells from the craft box and attached them to her collar. She sounded like Christmas. No squirrel could miss her.

Needless to say, the following evening when we came home from dinner, there was a headless squirrel on the back porch matt. We took the bells off, as all it did was annoy us. The day after, a half-eaten squirrel on the porch. This is getting old...
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Old Saturday 23rd April 2011, 21:48   #18
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My cats have an enclosure they they can go into. It sort of looks like Alcatraz. The fencing goes up about 9 feet, then slants in at a 45 degree angle and then drops down again.

It's extremely rare that they will have an opportunity for a bird but they regularly bring in mice and sometimes a chipmunk, always alive and I have the task of catching it and letting it out.

They've never gotten anything larger than a chipmunk but they have been scolded many times by a red-squirrel who will climb the tree and taunt them from outside and above their enclosure.

The enclosure also has the advantage of keeping the cats safe from fox, coyotes and fishers.
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