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What to do about cats?

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Old Sunday 15th June 2003, 03:06   #1
Dave Sherry
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What to do about cats?

Hello All,

Yesterday I rescued a house sparrow form my friend's cat. It was playing dead and the cat, who had brought it in to 'show off' had let it go presumably waiting for it to move or try to escape.

The cat had a collar but no bell. My friend had no idea that cats do such damage to wild birds, and usually when the cat did bring them in simply shruddered and cleaned up the mess but had never actually tried to do anything about it. He tells me he will try and get a bell for its collar. The bigger the better, I said.

Apart from simply dispensing with our purring friends, does anyone have any good advice? I had a cat for 18 years and a small bell worked wonders - very few birds brought in, or mice for that matter! (Maybe she was just no good at hunting).

By the way, to my surprise, the sparrow my friend's cat caught simply flew away apparently unharmed, as soon as I put it on the shed roof out of the way.

Dave.
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Old Sunday 15th June 2003, 22:07   #2
janetclark
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Well I use a water pistol, it works wonders. It doesn't harm the cats and they soon learn not to hunt any where near our garden. Besides that bells are the only thing that can stop them hunting altogether.
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Old Sunday 15th June 2003, 22:19   #3
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There was a white cat where we used to live, which our ginger tom took an instant dislike to (mind you our ginger tom doesn't tolerate most other cats). There was something odd about the way this cat walked. I can onlt describe it as a sort of lopsided and deliberate mince.

We later worked out that it had acquired this gait in order to stop its bell from tinkling.
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Old Sunday 15th June 2003, 22:32   #4
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Old Sunday 15th June 2003, 23:27   #5
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I too have a ginger tom - Keith - and he's partial to a little hunting. He likes to hide under the hostas where he knows the bird will forage. That said I try to limit his time outdoors. I let him out after dark but always ensure he's back in before I go to bed.

He's getting on a bit now and I think this has lessened his enthusiasm for hunting.

And Steve, I love the photo!

Dave
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Old Monday 16th June 2003, 15:56   #6
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Have you got a picture after he pulled the trigger? Now thats what a I call a proper solution to the cat question!
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Old Monday 16th June 2003, 16:13   #7
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Well actually, the next pic showed the kitten jumping onto the hand holding the gun, and savagely biting through the veins in the wrist, but Steve didn't want us to know that . . .

Michael
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Old Monday 16th June 2003, 16:32   #8
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Steve: Thanks for the photo - made me laugh!
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 15:26   #9
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Talking GREAT photo, Steve!

Bells on cats don't keep them from killing wildlife. The cat learns on his first day out that the bell warns critters. They just pick an ambush point and wait for a kill.

Live traps are the way to handle cat problems. Send the cat to the local animal control and let the owner pay to get the cat back (at least that's how it works in the U.S.).

I live in the country - cows across the street from me. Folks that don't want kitty any more take it for a ride in the country and figure that it will do fine in some barn. This mindset drives me batty! I just trapped a very nice mother cat about three weeks ago. Not knowing where her litter was, or how old they were, really got to me. I figured that somebody didn't want the hassle of having that many cats around and dumped it off. Just last night I found out that it was a barn cat from down the road. The owner of the barn had just moved in and stopped to introduce herself. She is compounding the problem and I told her just that. This mother cat had the worst case of ear mites that my veterinarian had ever seen. It was so malnourished that it didn't have milk to give to the kittens. It also had something called "rodent ulcer" which can be treated with steroids. I told my new neighbor that if she gave a damn about her cats that the least she could do is get them proper medical care. She wanted to know what happened to the mother cat and I told her that I found it a GOOD home. I also explained that my trap would stay open and that nice cats that found my trap would find a good home. The feral cats would get a one way trip to the local animal control officials who would put them down.

Cats belong indoors - PERIOD! Outdoor cats:

1) Contract diseases and spread diseases
2) Kill wildlife
3) Get injured in fights with other cats, dogs and wild animals
4) Get hit by cars
5) Use peoples gadens for litter boxes
6) Can spread a disease that can endanger a pregnant woman through cat feces
7) Reproduce if not spayed, or neutered

Please keep your cat(s) indoors! I have two, by the way.
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 15:44   #10
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Wonderful Steve, absolutely wonderful. Can't wait to read the backlash!!
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 16:11   #11
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Steve, this was recently danced around in the the thread "cat's should be locked in..." in News, Views and Reporting Points. As I recall, Michael F. shared an excellent web site educating people on the benefits of keeping cats indoors. Being my neighbor in the Lansing area, I suspect you are aware that there are many local cat rescue groups and they will not adopt out cats unless, ususally, a contract is signed to the effect that cats will be exclusively indoor pets. (Oh yeah, Hi Neighbor, LOVE your peregrine pics!)
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 17:05   #12
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Hi Joan & Matt,

Glad that you like the Peregrine photos. I'm waiting to see if Stelco found a proper place to nest this year. If she fails to have young again I have arranged to build and install a proper nest box that I hope she will take to next year. May be able to get a Web cam and Internet feed. They are AWESOME birds!

I "adopted" a kitten from a local shelter - FICAS, just recently. They also took the mother cat that I trapped, gave it the medical care that it needed, had it spayed and found it a home. I was just the middle man that helped it get from a horrid situation to a loving home. With my new "nightmare neighbor" I'll be busy.

All of the no-kill adoption shelters that I know of do request that you sign a release that states you will keep your cat indoors. Unfortunately, not everyone keeps the promise. At least these cats are spayed, or neutered.

Oh ya, it's Mark - no problem.
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 18:01   #13
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Draco, I have no view What so ever on cats, I myself run a pooch
but I have to say your post With this lot at the bottom:

Quote:
Cats belong indoors - PERIOD! Outdoor cats:
1) Contract diseases and spread diseases
2) Kill wildlife
3) Get injured in fights with other cats, dogs and wild animals
4) Get hit by cars
5) Use peoples gadens for litter boxes
6) Can spread a disease that can endanger a pregnant woman through cat feces
7) Reproduce if not spayed, or neutered

Is IMOHO an emotive list of nonsense that is all to easy to quote,
In fact 1 2 4 5 and 7 apply more readily to man than your humble
moggy.
As I said I dont really have a view on cats BUT surely you would do the puss more harm by locking it up all day? They are predators? they need to be outside in the grass, trees woods or whatever. In fact I would argue that you are more irresponsable as a cat owner by condemning it to a life of Misery indoors.


Am I right or wrong?
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 18:09   #14
Joan & Matt
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Mark, sincere apologies on the name confusion, shoulda stuck with Draco! Good luck with your neighbor, sigh... (J)
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 18:25   #15
pauco
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hi steve
spot on cats are natural predators,but the biggest threat to
any wildlife is man himself. bert.
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 18:34   #16
Joan & Matt
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OK, here's the site so kindly posted as 'worth a read" by another member in the last cat discussion thread "cats should be locked in...", which I referred to previously. (J)

http://www.abcbirds.org/cats/
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 18:40   #17
Michael Frankis
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Here's the Cats Indoors website again:

http://www.abcbirds.org/cats/

A very sensible, well-balanced website it is too.

Steve,
"1) Contract diseases and spread diseases
2) Kill wildlife
3) Get injured in fights with other cats, dogs and wild animals
4) Get hit by cars
5) Use peoples gadens for litter boxes
6) Can spread a disease that can endanger a pregnant woman through cat faeces
7) Reproduce if not spayed, or neutered

Is IMOHO an emotive list of nonsense that is all to easy to quote, In fact 1 2 4 5 and 7 apply more readily to man than your humble moggy."

Items 4 & 5 do apply more to cats - I see a lot more dead cats on the roads, than dead people. And I don't get people crapping on my lawn every other night.

Michael
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 18:42   #18
Steve
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Have you ever seen what happens to a cat that doesn't get out much? its not a nice thing to see.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !!!!!!!!!!!! MY NEXT POST WILL REVEAL ALL.
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 19:13   #19
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Steve,

You are wrong according to the Audubon Society who make mention of over a BILLION small animals, including endangered birds, being killed by cats in the US alone. They also mention the fact that outdoor cats live to about 5 years of age, while indoor cats suffer the “misery” of an additional 12 years, or so. And there’s more::
http://www.audubon.org/bird/cat/index.html
http://www.audubon.org/local/cn/98march/nasr.html
http://www.audubon.org/local/cn/98march/cats.html

The American Bird Conservancy thinks that you are wrong too:
http://www.abcbirds.org/cats/

Then there’s the U.S. Department of Defense:
https://www.denix.osd.mil/denix/Publ.../safecats.html

And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
http://conservation.law.ufl.edu/pdf/feralcat.pdf

I took quite a while trying to find some European articles for you. I do not know how to search for what the European view on free roaming cats is. What are your main birding organizations? What do they think? If you folks have a lot of feral/free roaming cats about perhaps that has something to do with the House Sparrow decline.

Bring on the revelation, Steve! Bonsai Kittens??? It's been around, but I thought that they did away with the site. So many thought that folks were serious!

Mark
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 19:33   #20
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Draco,

You are talking about the situation in America whilst Steve I believe is taking about that of the UK.

The RSPB doesn't think that cats have much of an impact on the decline of songbirds.

Homebound cats are in grave danger.

Bonsai kittin is hosted by rotten dot com (don't go there) here.
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 20:08   #21
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walwyn,

That's why I asked if things were different there. I am certain that European cats kill just as many birds and small mammals as American cats do. They are the same animal here and there. Maybe the percentage of owners is different.

Those cats are HUGE!!! We can grow them that big, but it isn't because they stay indoors that makes them so big. It is the amount and type of food that does it. Granted, strictly indoor cats do not get as much exercise as outdoor cats, but indoor cats can get enough exercise to stay fit if the owner cares enough to play with the cat. A combination of the correct number of calories and exercise can keep any indoor cat fit.

Mark
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 20:23   #22
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I warned you!!this is what happens !!
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 20:29   #23
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Talking Stop that Steve...

I'm running low on hard disk space saving all of these!
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 20:29   #24
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Priceless!! steve



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Old Tuesday 17th June 2003, 21:04   #25
walwyn
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Draco

The RSPB has this to say on cats and birds. Basically they say that the species that are most often caught by cats in the UK are increasing. More on cats and birds can be found here.

Though I was being slightly naughty about the American/UK differences. How many Californian Condors do cats catch each year?

I do believe a week ago you were blaming the decline in American birds on sparrows and starlings, and now this week its cats. Next week ... ?
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