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Moral Dillema...

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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 16:02   #1
BeccasBirds
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Moral Dillema...

I have three cats that are very active and like to catch the wildlife in the garden.

Is it morally wrong for me to be attracting birds here if they are at a higher rist of being killed?
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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 16:07   #2
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Answer to your question from me..........yes.
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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 16:09   #3
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Unfortunately Becca, yes. Attracting birds when you know your cats will go after them is not a good idea.
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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 16:09   #4
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ps.

Only cats roaming wild in the UK should be wildcat or European Lynx in my selfish opinion.

P.
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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 16:41   #5
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As a former cat owner, I agree with the above, my 2 rescue cats lived a safe and long life without leaving the house, why should they be outside where they can kill or be killed?.
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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 17:07   #6
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Welcome to the forum, Becca
I feel you knew the responses that you were likely to get, when you posted the query.
Many bird lovers are able to deal with the problem, in the way that Keith says.
Cats, even pet cats can easily decimate bird populations.
Stalls Wren was made extinct by one cat, unusual circumstances, yes, but a good thing to know.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyall%27s_wren

Best and enjoy the birds
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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 18:20   #7
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Pet cats = indoor cats.

If you let them outside to hunt on their own, they are no longer "pets" and would be considered "pests" at that point.

Even worse if you bait the birds for viewing because the reality is you are baiting them for the cats.

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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 18:44   #8
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Originally Posted by keith View Post
As a former cat owner, I agree with the above, my 2 rescue cats lived a safe and long life without leaving the house, why should they be outside where they can kill or be killed?.
My experience is similar. While it is perhaps slightly less relevant in the UK due to the lack of wolves/lynxes/jackals/eagle owls that prowl the continent, cats that are left unsupervised outdoors are always at risk from traffic or other accidents, or even getting killed by larger predators. Frankly, if I were to own "outdoor" cats, I'd worry about them getting run over, all the time.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 08:39   #9
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Hey,

Thanks for all the responses! It is a shame bacuse I love the idea of waking up and seeing lots of birds on the feeder outside, but of course this shouldn't be at the detriment of the birds!

I don't want to keep the cats indoors as they love going out so much!

My partner lives a few roads down, so maybe i'll have to start my bird feeding project in his garden instead?
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 09:48   #10
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Can't you give them a collar with a bell?
There are also very colorful collars that seem to reduce the camouflage of cats: birdsbesafe.com
check it out I would say.

My stance is that no living thing should be locked or killed for fun (of humans). So cats shouldn't be locked, and wild birds shouldn't be killed by pets. I feel that a cat with a collar that makes noise or is very visible, will most likely be acceptable as they won't kill a lot of birds (but some other animals will unfortunately be still too slow to escape).
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 10:30   #11
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Can't you give them a collar with a bell?
There are also very colorful collars that seem to reduce the camouflage of cats: birdsbesafe.com
check it out I would say.

My stance is that no living thing should be locked or killed for fun (of humans). So cats shouldn't be locked, and wild birds shouldn't be killed by pets. I feel that a cat with a collar that makes noise or is very visible, will most likely be acceptable as they won't kill a lot of birds (but some other animals will unfortunately be still too slow to escape).
Hey,

This is actually a very good point! I have done a bit of googling and there are a few things that might help: https://meow.hpage.com/stop-cat-killing-birds

I don't think i will be actively attracting birds though, but having the added precaution of collar bells is actually a good idea!

One of the cats actually doesn't seem bothered about birds (she's a little chunky) so maybe i should try fattening the other two up a bit! I think i'll stick to watching the birds away from the house to be on the safe side. I live in Bath but am often heading further west to visit family and had the pleasure of seeing wat i am pretty sure was a little wood warbler last weekend!
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2019, 10:31   #12
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Originally Posted by BeccasBirds View Post
Hey,

This is actually a very good point! I have done a bit of googling and there are a few things that might help: https://meow.hpage.com/stop-cat-killing-birds

I don't think i will be actively attracting birds though, but having the added precaution of collar bells is actually a good idea!

One of the cats actually doesn't seem bothered about birds (she's a little chunky) so maybe i should try fattening the other two up a bit! I think i'll stick to watching the birds away from the house to be on the safe side. I live in Bath but am often heading further west to visit family and had the pleasure of seeing wat i am pretty sure was a little wood warbler last weekend!
Welcome Becca !

While I'm more cat tolerant these days (even going so far as to cat sit occassionally) , I'm firmly on the side of the birds .... cats and birds don't mix. They are killers - all of them.

I have trialed multiple bells (like half a dozen together ! :) , and still the cat in question managed to engage stealth mode and kill birds. They learn very quickly to stalk in complete silence even with multiple bells on.

I can see only 3 practical answers.
1. Keep the cats inside (they sleep for 22 hours a day anyway ! :)
2. Have a meshed (like chicken wire etc) 'cat run' outside that is completely enclosed top and sides, and separate from the birds.
3. Shackle the cats in leg irons (with multiple multiple bells ! :) , lengthways and sideways such that the maximum stride is barely more than standing paw spacing apart.

Due to the diseases cats carry, even a barely skin piercing scratch can eventually be fatal for a bird.



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Old Thursday 4th April 2019, 08:26   #13
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Originally Posted by BeccasBirds View Post
Hey,

Thanks for all the responses! It is a shame bacuse I love the idea of waking up and seeing lots of birds on the feeder outside, but of course this shouldn't be at the detriment of the birds!

I don't want to keep the cats indoors as they love going out so much!

My partner lives a few roads down, so maybe i'll have to start my bird feeding project in his garden instead?
Cats are a scourge on native wildlife. The law should be changed and they should be kept in or exercised on a lead as dogs are and not to mention the indiscrminate shitting on private property where they roam.

Cats are basically a pet for lazy people who can't be bothered walking a dog.
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Old Thursday 4th April 2019, 13:23   #14
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Cats are a scourge on native wildlife. The law should be changed and they should be kept in or exercised on a lead as dogs are and not to mention the indiscrminate shitting on private property where they roam.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Cats are basically a pet for lazy people who can't be bothered walking a dog.
For "outdoor cats" I might be inclined to agree, but for "indoor cats" that's quite untrue, and really quite an unfair judgement upon cat owners. If I judged dog owners by the way most of them managed their dogs I could easily leap to similar sleights against "all dog owners."

I don't have it out for the owners of either species, if done with consideration for others and for the environment.
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Old Friday 5th April 2019, 10:04   #15
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Becca

Get a bird table with a long pole up the middle of a large flat table with facilities to hand seed and fat feeders from the top of the pole. Make sure the table area is as big as you can find. This will prevent food fragments coming down to the ground where they would attract birds and make them vulnerable to cat strike. Ground birds like Blackbirds will learn to fly up to the table to get food that has fallen. Clean the table regularly to prevent the spread of diseases especially to finches. Your birds can now feed safely from cats.

If possible site the feeder table near a hedge preferably hawthorn or similar spiky. The birds can lounge in here and hide if Sparrowhawk comes and the spikes prevent cats climbing up to use the hedge to jump off.

You now have birds coming to feed reasonably safely.

Lee
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Old Friday 5th April 2019, 12:26   #16
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Becca

Get a bird table with a long pole up the middle of a large flat table with facilities to hand seed and fat feeders from the top of the pole. Make sure the table area is as big as you can find. This will prevent food fragments coming down to the ground where they would attract birds and make them vulnerable to cat strike. Ground birds like Blackbirds will learn to fly up to the table to get food that has fallen. Clean the table regularly to prevent the spread of diseases especially to finches. Your birds can now feed safely from cats.

If possible site the feeder table near a hedge preferably hawthorn or similar spiky. The birds can lounge in here and hide if Sparrowhawk comes and the spikes prevent cats climbing up to use the hedge to jump off.

You now have birds coming to feed reasonably safely.

Lee

Seedspill will inevitably occur and attract ground feeders which will get slaughtered.
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Last edited by andyadcock : Friday 5th April 2019 at 12:31.
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Old Friday 5th April 2019, 13:07   #17
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Hi,

Thanks for all the comments!

I would try to get a more restricting feeder but as has been noted some seeds may spill over. I also think that even if I did take precautionary measures (bells, tall feeders, keeping the cat inside) but then one of the cats killed then I would be feeling pretty bad about myself. Best to leave it for now I think!

Thanks for all the help!
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Old Monday 8th April 2019, 13:11   #18
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Not a cat lover at all but once, many years ago, owned two (kids pets - basically brow beaten until I gave in). one never bothered anything at all and was very well natured, but the other was a born killer. mice, birds, frogs etc almost every day and that was despite a collar with a bell (which it seemed to have the knack of shrugging off no matter how tightly attached. About the only thing that it never showed any interest in was the fish in my garden pond. Even with the docile one, I would never have considered putting food out for the birds it would just have been too much of a temptation.
After it got run over and killed whilst out on a hunting foray, I vowed that never again would a cat be welcome in my household and I do everything possible to deter those that belong to my neighbours.
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 06:49   #19
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post

Cats are basically a pet for lazy people who can't be bothered walking a dog.
By the same token, dog owners are all (sweeping statement alert):

Deaf
Or they couldn't tolerate the yapping of their stupid dog all through the day and half the night, standing in their back garden, barking at nothing.

Daft in the head
They fall into two categories, both equally daft. Half let their dog poo in the park where kids play. The other half do the same but scoop up most (but not all) of the poo into a polybag and hang it in the bushes where kiddies can enjoy finding it and making pattacakes from the funny PlayDoh they find inside.

Delusional
These sturdy folks that take their pooch for bracing country walks think the sheep that run away with dog chasing them are all just joining in the hearty fun. The dog isn't chasing them really: they are running together. And its all just a coincidence if a sheep dies from shock later that night after having a dogs teeth sink into its hind-quarters.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 09:34   #20
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
By the same token, dog owners are all (sweeping statement alert):

Deaf
Or they couldn't tolerate the yapping of their stupid dog all through the day and half the night, standing in their back garden, barking at nothing.

Daft in the head
They fall into two categories, both equally daft. Half let their dog poo in the park where kids play. The other half do the same but scoop up most (but not all) of the poo into a polybag and hang it in the bushes where kiddies can enjoy finding it and making pattacakes from the funny PlayDoh they find inside.

Delusional
These sturdy folks that take their pooch for bracing country walks think the sheep that run away with dog chasing them are all just joining in the hearty fun. The dog isn't chasing them really: they are running together. And its all just a coincidence if a sheep dies from shock later that night after having a dogs teeth sink into its hind-quarters.

Lee
Don't forget the ducks ! and the hilarity of pointing out to the ubiquitous 2.4 toddlers in tow how "Ah - May - zing" it is that 'fluffy' is 'playing' with the little birdies .... "look" !
Oh, and don't forget to selfie it and upload the vid to My Instant Space book !!

I swear the zombie apocalypse is getting closer day by day ....




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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 11:47   #21
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
By the same token, dog owners are all (sweeping statement alert):

Deaf
Or they couldn't tolerate the yapping of their stupid dog all through the day and half the night, standing in their back garden, barking at nothing.

Daft in the head
They fall into two categories, both equally daft. Half let their dog poo in the park where kids play. The other half do the same but scoop up most (but not all) of the poo into a polybag and hang it in the bushes where kiddies can enjoy finding it and making pattacakes from the funny PlayDoh they find inside.

Delusional
These sturdy folks that take their pooch for bracing country walks think the sheep that run away with dog chasing them are all just joining in the hearty fun. The dog isn't chasing them really: they are running together. And its all just a coincidence if a sheep dies from shock later that night after having a dogs teeth sink into its hind-quarters.

Lee
Yes my statement is a generalisation but that's what a generalisation is, it represents a majority of a certain group, in this case cat owners who just open the door and forget their 'pet' for the night.

The percentage of cat owners that let their cats out to wreak havoc and shit everywhere, is massively greater than the number of people whose dogs 'yap' or who don't clean the crap up.

Tens of millions of amphibians, reptiles, birds and other animals die thanks to cats every year, how many sheep, apples and oranges.
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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 07:35   #22
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Yes my statement is a generalisation but that's what a generalisation is, it represents a majority of a certain group, in this case cat owners who just open the door and forget their 'pet' for the night.

The percentage of cat owners that let their cats out to wreak havoc and shit everywhere, is massively greater than the number of people whose dogs 'yap' or who don't clean the crap up.

Tens of millions of amphibians, reptiles, birds and other animals die thanks to cats every year, how many sheep, apples and oranges.
Yes, agreed Andy but sheep-worrying by dogs is a significant problem for hill farmers in the UK, but that is really a quite different issue.

Lee
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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 08:24   #23
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
By the same token, dog owners are all (sweeping statement alert):

Deaf
Or they couldn't tolerate the yapping of their stupid dog all through the day and half the night, standing in their back garden, barking at nothing.

Daft in the head
They fall into two categories, both equally daft. Half let their dog poo in the park where kids play. The other half do the same but scoop up most (but not all) of the poo into a polybag and hang it in the bushes where kiddies can enjoy finding it and making pattacakes from the funny PlayDoh they find inside.

Delusional
These sturdy folks that take their pooch for bracing country walks think the sheep that run away with dog chasing them are all just joining in the hearty fun. The dog isn't chasing them really: they are running together. And its all just a coincidence if a sheep dies from shock later that night after having a dogs teeth sink into its hind-quarters.

Lee
Unfortunately, most of them do actually fall into one of these categories, judging by how the majority lets their dogs off leash inside clearly designated nature reserves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Tens of millions of amphibians, reptiles, birds and other animals die thanks to cats every year, how many sheep, apples and oranges.
It's not just sheep. Cats don't kill people (or deer, for that matter). By that token alone, a human-centric person could arrive at the conclusion that dogs are worse. In the end, I don't think it's controversial to conclude that the majority of owners of both pet species are acting irresponsibly, leading to significant harm to the environment and occasionally, society.

Last edited by Sangahyando : Thursday 11th April 2019 at 08:29.
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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 14:07   #24
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I'm sure there's a separate thread entitled 'cats' on this Forum so if you just want to rubbish cats go and leave your comments on there please then I've no need to listen.

Thanks
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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 21:00   #25
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To give outdoor cats a fair hearing, my local ones have certainly played a part in first reducing and now preventing rats from overwhelming the gardens of our housing terrace. So unless they show too many signs of moving on to avian prey, I leave them alone.

But as a matter of policy I don't feed birds in the garden (too much chance of attracting unwanted rodents, apart from exposing birds to risk) and I do prune stuff so as not to leave ambush positions.

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