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Nature of domestic cats


Edwina Lee
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Why would a cat attack a big bird such as a seagull? That is dangerous, because seagulls are big and strong, and they have a pointy beak. If I were a cat, then I would not attack it.

Having said that, there are probably some cats who are crazy enough to try it. Cats have personalities, and some are real pussies, while some are more heroic.

 

I am not sure you can train a cat not to attack birds. They are predators and will always hunt.

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As far as I can observe, some of my neighbours' cats are very skillful & cautious predators. They won't attack anything novel strict away. They take a lot of time observing, then testing and badly wounding before they go in for the kill.

 

Without actually going into training the cat, scientists recommend that pet owners should do more.

 

Attaching a collar bell to cats is effective.

 

So is keeping pets more indoors, and feeding them sufficiently.

 

2013-01-29 Cats kill billions of animals in the US

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21236690

Edited by Edwina Lee
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I got 6 cats and they would only attack really small animals. I don't think they would ever attack a big bird. But like Edwina Lee said, it really depends on their personality.

 

Cats are not like dogs and they will not listen if you try to train them to not attack some kind of animal. Once they spot something they can kill like a bug for example, all their focus is on the task, it's their instinct and it's pretty hard to change.

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Domestic cats kill billions of small animals in the US alone, making them a bane to ecosystems. Then there is the matter of the billions of dollars people spend on them and the ecological damage caused by producers of their food and other products for them. Oh, and the billions of pounds of their waste and the diseases they spread and the billions of dollars spent treating the cats and humans for these diseases.

 

Domestic Cats Kill Billions Of Mice And Birds Per Year, Study Estimates

Your pet cat may not be as cute and cuddly as you might think. According to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, domestic cats kill billions of birds, mice and small animals in the U.S. each year.

 

Biologists estimated that cats are responsible for the deaths of as many as 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion smaller animals, including mice, voles and chipmunks, the Agence France-Presse reported. The study also concludes that cats are likely the No. 1 killer of birds and small mammals in the country. ...

Pet Care Industry Analysis 2014 - Cost & Trends

 

 

 

...According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), Americans spent approximately $47.7 billion on pet products and services in 2010, an increase of 4.8% over 2009. Since 1988, pet ownership has expanded from 56% of households to 62%. Thats 71.4 million homes! Often one animal just isnt enough: some 46% of all households own more than one pet. Cats slightly outnumber dogs, but one or the other can be found in at least one out of three homes.

In addition to dogs and cats, the most popular pets include birds, reptiles, small animals and fish, as outlined in the APPA table below:

 

Freshwater Fish 41.7%

Cats 22.7%

Dogs 18.9%

Other Animals 3.9%

Birds 3.6%

Reptiles 3.3%

Horse 3.2%

Saltwater Fish 2.7% ...

The environmental impact of pets

 

 

...The litter from America's 90 million pet cats results in around 2 millions tons of cat litter being sent to landfills each year. Making the problem worse, clay-based litters aren't biodegradable, as they're already in their final state of decomposition. ...

ZOONOSIS - DISEASES SPREAD FROM CAT TO MAN

 

●FUNGAL INFECTIONS

Ringworm

Sporotrichosis

Dermatophilosis

●BACTERIAL INFECTIONS

campylobacter

streptococcus

staphylococci

Feline conjunctivitis

Pasteurella

Salmonella

Bordetella

Coxietta burnetii

Yersiniosis

Cat Scratch Disease (Cat Scratch Fever, Bartonellosis)

Helicobacter pylori

●PROTOZOAL DISEASES

Sarcocystis (Sarcoplasma)

Toxoplasmosis

●MYCOBACTERIA

Tuberculosis

●VIRUSES

Rotaviruses

Borna virus

Rabies

Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)

Chlamydia and Psittacosis

Feline Cowpox

●EXTERNAL PARASITES

Plague

Tularaemia

Typhus

Lyme disease

Tapeworm

Echinococcus tapeworms

Roundworms

Heartworms

Liver flukes ...

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This is a very hard one for me, I had two cats, 10yrs ago i was going through a very bad time, At this time I could not be around "people", I used to just sit in my garden wanting just to disappear, First came "fats" a neighbours cat who sat with me for hours on end, he now never leaves my side, Then came stitch a little kitten who slept in a tree in my garden who ran to my door each morning as I went to feed the birds, They would sit within inches of the birds but never once in all these years did they ever attempt to attack one, They understood my love for the birds, Little "Stitch" woke me every morning with a tap on my head, Then sat with me while the birds eat all around him, He has been ill for the last month, I had a feeding tube inserted but he just got worse, Yesterday I left him at the vets for a blood transfussion, but at 7.00PM Thet called to say he would not make it, I have just buried stitch under the tree where we first met, This as been the hardest day of my life, I am shattered, I live for nature, my home is a refuge where all life is welcome.

No diseases or dead birds here. Just a Hermit who has lost a friend and companion.

 

For Stitch I love and miss you x.

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This is a very hard one for me, I had two cats, 10yrs ago i was going through a very bad time, At this time I could not be around "people", I used to just sit in my garden wanting just to disappear, First came "fats" a neighbours cat who sat with me for hours on end, he now never leaves my side, Then came stitch a little kitten who slept in a tree in my garden who ran to my door each morning as I went to feed the birds, They would sit within inches of the birds but never once in all these years did they ever attempt to attack one, They understood my love for the birds, Little "Stitch" woke me every morning with a tap on my head, Then sat with me while the birds eat all around him, He has been ill for the last month, I had a feeding tube inserted but he just got worse, Yesterday I left him at the vets for a blood transfussion, but at 7.00PM Thet called to say he would not make it, I have just buried stitch under the tree where we first met, This as been the hardest day of my life, I am shattered, I live for nature, my home is a refuge where all life is welcome.

No diseases or dead birds here. Just a Hermit who has lost a friend and companion.

 

For Stitch I love and miss you x.

I am sorry for your loss. I have owned cats in the past as well and enjoyed their company. Nonetheless, the facts concerning the detriments to the environment wrought by domestic cats stand regardless of the excuses we make for ourselves. The 'it's not me & my cat, it's others' argument simply falls flat given the grander consequences.

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My present cat's instincts are off. She hunts but doesn't know what to do with the animal after catching it. Doesn't much like going outside either, only at night with easy access to the door.

 

Strangely effectively at alerting us to indoor pests. She's like a bird dog. She finds one and then meows for us to take care of it. :)

Edited by Endy0816
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My present cat's instincts are off. She hunts but doesn't know what to do with the animal after catching it. Doesn't much like going outside either, only at night with easy access to the door.

 

Strangely effectively at alerting us to indoor pests. She's like a bird dog. She finds one and then meows for us to take care of it. :)

Should we feel better that it only harasses wildlife? :rolleyes: If you must keep cats, the Humane Society recommends keeping them indoors. And whose veggie garden is she crapping in; do you know? Do you care?

 

How to Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors @ US Humane Society

Although many cats enjoy being outside, it's a myth that going outside is a requirement for feline happiness. Playing regularly with a cat easily satisfies her stalking instinct, keeps her stimulated, and provides the exercise she needs to stay healthy and happy.

 

Here are some tips for making the great indoors an interesting, feline-friendly environment that meets all of your cat's needs.

...

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Should we feel better that it only harasses wildlife? :rolleyes: If you must keep cats, the Humane Society recommends keeping them indoors. And whose veggie garden is she crapping in; do you know? Do you care?

 

How to Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors @ US Humane Society

 

She's practicing catch and release. If it is good enough for us 2-leggeds...

 

She's never outside that long nor does she stray from our yard. Only 5-10 minutes while her canine protector does his thing. Weird instincts for a cat. :)

Edited by Endy0816
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She's practicing catch and release. If it is good enough for us 2-leggeds...

 

She's never outside that long nor does she stray from our yard. Only 5-10 minutes while her canine protector does his thing. Weird instincts for a cat. :)

A banal reply. In my county the animal enforcement bureau loans traps to those of us not amused by cat crap in our veggie garden or cats hunting birds at our feeders. We then can trap those cats and release them to the authorities.

 

Several excuses are always less convincing than one. ~Aldous Huxley

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[...] In my county the animal enforcement bureau loans traps to those of us not amused by cat crap in our veggie garden or cats hunting birds at our feeders. We then can trap those cats and release them to the authorities.

 

Do you live in a country where cats were not native?

 

Regarding protection of birds: In Europe, where cats naturally occurred also without humans around, (the wildcat), I see no reason to protect the wildlife from cats. We already have natural parks to protect wildlife. The actual problem is just the huge population of humans, who took over the habitat of all kinds of wildlife. Cats only hunt for small birds and mice (sometimes a rabbit). Birds are adapted to this, and typically too smart for cats, but there are always a few stupid ones building a nest at 2 meters above the ground (cats don't need to climb for that, they just jump straight in). I consider that the bird version of the Darwin awards. Cats catching mice do us a favor.

 

Regarding the nuisance of cats using your garden as a toilet: I think that in the Netherlands, if you trap someone else's cat and then remove it to another place (even if this is the authorities) this is considered theft, because a cat is property of someone. Not 100% sure though, but I have never heard of a cat being delivered to the authorities. If a cat poops in your garden, in the Netherlands, the owner of the cat is in violation of the law though. A major problem is of course to find out who is the owner of a cat. A good relation with your neighbors helps here: you might just ask. Perhaps a neighbor can keep the cat inside at certain times when it is most likely to poop. You do need to gather legal evidence though before you can proceed legally. If your garden is used by multiple cats, then your garden might be on the border of several cats' territories. Best solution is to get your own cat, who will likely protect its own territory. :)

 

[edit] I admit that I am heavily biased when talking about cats. The above text should probably not be considered an objective reply.

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In my county the animal enforcement bureau loans traps to those of us not amused by cat crap in our veggie garden or cats hunting birds at our feeders. We then can trap those cats and release them to the authorities.

Do you live in a country where cats were not native?

 

A bit of confusion there in your reading. I was referencing my county which is the largest administrative district of a state in the country of the United States.

 

Regarding protection of birds: In Europe, where cats naturally occurred also without humans around, (the wildcat), I see no reason to protect the wildlife from cats.

North America has naturally occurring felines, including Bobcats, which is a type of Lynx, and Mountain Lions (aka Cougars). While some people do have these animals in captivity, they are not Domestic Cats. I have no problem with our wildcats killing wildlife in the wild.

 

We already have natural parks to protect wildlife. The actual problem is just the huge population of humans, who took over the habitat of all kinds of wildlife. Cats only hunt for small birds and mice (sometimes a rabbit). Birds are adapted to this, and typically too smart for cats, but there are always a few stupid ones building a nest at 2 meters above the ground (cats don't need to climb for that, they just jump straight in). I consider that the bird version of the Darwin awards. Cats catching mice do us a favor.

Wildlife is protected in the US whether it's in a park or no, save of course for those wildlife we are permitted to hunt. (Even for those we hunt there are strict regulations on seasons, locations, and bag limits.) As my earlier post and reference make clear, Domestic Cats unselectively kill billions of small animals in the US annually. This is hardly an inconsequential effect on wildlife and the environment. As to mice and rats, we have traps and poisons to control urban infestations.

 

Regarding the nuisance of cats using your garden as a toilet: I think that in the Netherlands, if you trap someone else's cat and then remove it to another place (even if this is the authorities) this is considered theft, because a cat is property of someone. Not 100% sure though, but I have never heard of a cat being delivered to the authorities.

There is no Federal law governing this in the US. States make their own laws regarding pet control and within State guidelines Counties in the State make their own laws. It is a citizen's responsibility to know the laws for the area in which they reside.

 

If a cat poops in your garden, in the Netherlands, the owner of the cat is in violation of the law though. A major problem is of course to find out who is the owner of a cat. A good relation with your neighbors helps here: you might just ask. Perhaps a neighbor can keep the cat inside at certain times when it is most likely to poop. You do need to gather legal evidence though before you can proceed legally. If your garden is used by multiple cats, then your garden might be on the border of several cats' territories. Best solution is to get your own cat, who will likely protect its own territory. :)

 

[edit] I admit that I am heavily biased when talking about cats. The above text should probably not be considered an objective reply.

As I said, the laws in my County allow a person to live-trap a Domestic Cat on their property and then turn it over to Animal Control Authorities. If a person does not have their own humane live-trap, the authorities will provide it. (may be a rental fee.) Getting my own cat just would add to the greater problem Domestic Cats generate that I am explicating here, and would add a financial burden to me that I am neither willing nor able to take on.

 

Here's my County's legal definition page for Domestic animal nuisances: >>8.11.060 Nuisances.

It is unlawful for the owner or person responsible to cause, allow, permit, either wilfully or by failure to exercise due care or participate in any of the following, which are singly or together, defined as a public nuisance:

...

(17) Any animal which deposits excrement or other solid waste in any place not designated to receive such waste when such waste is not removed by the owner or other person having control over the animal.

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A bit of confusion there in your reading. I was referencing my county which is the largest administrative district of a state in the country of the United States.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I misread that indeed.

 

Thanks for the reply btw. It is interesting to see how the laws are quite different. It does make sense to be more strict in the US, since wildlife (small birds especially) haven't had the chance to adapt through evolution to cope with small cats. Even the smallest bobcat is larger than most housecats, so I assume that they hunt different prey.

 

Just an idea btw, there are bird feeders that are cat-proof. A quick search on the web showed me several different concepts. I assume that likewise there may be cat-proof bird nests. While I think that in Europe, it is just natural for birds to be hunted by cats, it doesn't hurt to provide birds with a cat-proof shelter, especially in an urban environment where there are plenty of cats, and not too many birds.

 

To people who want to get a cat and live in a city, I would recommend to go to the animal shelter, and choose a grown-up cat whose character is already developed (and known by the people running the animal shelter). Do NOT get some really adventurous athletic cat. Those just get themselves killed in traffic. Get instead some lazy coward. They will still hunt for pests (mice) around the house. They will be better companions, and will live longer. And as a bonus, they won't climb into the highest trees to kill off all the birds of the neighborhood. (Note that this is an opinion, and based on just a personal experience).

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During the Middle Ages, the Christians, however, hated cats and attempted to kill them off. They associated cats with witchcraft and Satan, much like the feared black cat of Halloween, often seen riding with a witch on her brooms,

When the cat population was depleted, diseased rats took over, and spread the plague. Since many people were sick and dying, the killing of cats stopped, and they were able to hunt the mice causing the plague.They were trying to establish Christianity as the only religion, and felt compelled to destroy all remnants of other cultures. The Church began what turned out to be a 1000 year killing spree of cats.

Cat Mythology Fact #4: Shortly after the cats helped obliterate the plague, the Catholic Church placed blame on the cats, and once again persecuted them.

I wish more people where like cats, They do not ask for much, But give their loyalty and love where ever it is needed.

It is true some cats kill birds, Mine never did, It is the same has dogs they reflect their companions/owners.

 

I always walk bare footed in my garden, I have never had to clean poop up from my garden, I have a small wild area where my cats go,

At night I can have 6 or more cats sitting in my garden together, still never had cat mess. Or every found a dead bird/feathers and my garden is always full of birds.

 

They all seem to have a understanding between themselves within my garden, I count myself lucky to sit in their company.

kind-of-cat-that-came-down-from-heaven-a

 

 

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@Acme:

 

She has an eye condition, which causes most of said restrictions. No birds hurt, no gardens pooped in. Close in terms to what the OP was asking about. Hunting restricted to earth bound critters, even assisting us in locating indoor pests and returning them outside still living.

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Ah, thanks for clarifying. I misread that indeed.

U bent van harte welkom. :)

 

Thanks for the reply btw. It is interesting to see how the laws are quite different. It does make sense to be more strict in the US, since wildlife (small birds especially) haven't had the chance to adapt through evolution to cope with small cats. Even the smallest bobcat is larger than most housecats, so I assume that they hunt different prey.

Yes, the laws vary even county-by-county here. It is quite rare for Bobcats to venture into urban areas so their prey is definitely different. Cougars on the other hand have been increasingly coming into urban areas as development encroaches on their habitat as well as drought making food scarce and forcing them to look elsewhere. The Cougars will eat pet food put outside as well as pets allowed outside, and they are fully capable of attacking and killing humans. (No human has been killed by a Cougar in my state of Washington in the last 80 years, but Cougars entering urbania are taken seriously and the public is warned and the animal is quickly captured and relocated.)

 

Just an idea btw, there are bird feeders that are cat-proof. A quick search on the web showed me several different concepts. I assume that likewise there may be cat-proof bird nests. While I think that in Europe, it is just natural for birds to be hunted by cats, it doesn't hurt to provide birds with a cat-proof shelter, especially in an urban environment where there are plenty of cats, and not too many birds.

We have plenty of birds in our urban areas, many of which naturally prefer to feed on the ground and nest in low places. As you say, domestic cats are not a predator our US birds have evolved with and that together with cat owners lack of concern for the damage their pets do to wildlife compounds the problem.

 

To people who want to get a cat and live in a city, I would recommend to go to the animal shelter, and choose a grown-up cat whose character is already developed (and known by the people running the animal shelter). Do NOT get some really adventurous athletic cat. Those just get themselves killed in traffic. Get instead some lazy coward. They will still hunt for pests (mice) around the house. They will be better companions, and will live longer. And as a bonus, they won't climb into the highest trees to kill off all the birds of the neighborhood. (Note that this is an opinion, and based on just a personal experience).

Good advice more-or-less, though I would recommend keeping the well-chosen cats indoors. Not only does that protect wildlife, it protects the cat from not only traffic but all those diseases that I earlier listed. Note that even catching mice in the house exposes the cat to many of these diseases. The wider problem as I see it is peoples' failure to acknowledge the detriment their pet keeping causes.

I wish more people where like cats, They do not ask for much, But give their loyalty and love where ever it is needed.

It is true some cats kill birds, Mine never did, It is the same has dogs they reflect their companions/owners.

 

I always walk bare footed in my garden, I have never had to clean poop up from my garden, I have a small wild area where my cats go,

At night I can have 6 or more cats sitting in my garden together, still never had cat mess. Or every found a dead bird/feathers and my garden is always full of birds.

 

They all seem to have a understanding between themselves within my garden, I count myself lucky to sit in their company.

That's all very touching and cuddly, but in the face of the facts it is just so much nonsense. Denial is not just a river in Africa.

.

@Acme:

 

She has an eye condition, which causes most of said restrictions. No birds hurt, no gardens pooped in. Close in terms to what the OP was asking about. Hunting restricted to earth bound critters, even assisting us in locating indoor pests and returning them outside still living.

As with Sunshaker, that is quite touching but hardly an acknowledgement of the wider reality.

.

Addendum:

Europe is not immune to wildlife decimation by domestic cats. While these cats may have their origins there -a fact which is still under some debate- the number of cats under domestication far exceeds that of any 'natural' population. I'll just quote a snippet concerning Switzerland here, but the link it comes from is a detailed look at the domestic cat over millennia.

 

Introduced Species Summary Project: Domestic Cat (Felis catus)

...In one Swiss study on the impact of cats on a population of black redstarts, Phoenicurus ochruros , scientists found that cat predation reduced the population by 12% in three years by causing large numbers of egg and nestling fatalities. ...

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