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New Study: House Cats Taking Serious Toll on Wildlife

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March 28, 2011

New Study: House Cats Taking Serious Toll on Wildlife

By Chad Love

A new study on housecats and bird predation confirms what many have been saying for decades: your cute, cuddly tabby cat is a bloodthirsy killing machine that is taking a serious toll on wildlife.

From this story in the New York Times:
While public attention has focused on wind turbines as a menace to birds, a new study shows that a far greater threat may be posed by a more familiar antagonist: the pet house cat. A new study in The Journal of Ornithology on the mortality of baby gray catbirds in the Washington suburbs found that cats were the No. 1 killer in the area, by a large margin. Nearly 80 percent of the birds were killed by predators, and cats were responsible for 47 percent of those deaths, according to the researchers, from the Smithsonian Institution and Towson University in Maryland.

Death rates were particularly high in neighborhoods with large cat populations. Predation was so serious in some areas that the catbirds could not replace their numbers for the next generation, according to the researchers, who affixed tiny radio transmitters to the birds to follow them. It is the first scientific study to calculate what fraction of bird deaths during the vulnerable fledgling stage can be attributed to cats. “Cats are way up there in terms of threats to birds — they are a formidable force in driving out native species,” said Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, one of the authors of the study.

Although the study focused on songbirds, there's absolutely no reason to believe cats aren't killing just as many gamebirds in semi-rural and suburban areas. The question is, what to do about it?

Comments (33)

Top Rated
All Comments
from MissMuley wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

This is such a huge problem in so many areas. Not only are housecats major predators of songbirds, but reptiles and small mammals as well, and a huge threat to biodiversity in urban areas.

The solution seems plain and simple but will be difficult to attain. People should keep their housecats inside, and there should be cull programs for feral cats. This will take extensive public education, and unfortunately there is a huge trap-neuter-release movement brought forth by cat advocates that is both unsuccessful and inhumane (the life of a feral cat is really not that great).

It's funny that this blog is just posted, this Spring's issue of The Wildlife Professional did a large piece on feral and urban cats. For more info, check it out at: http://issuu.com/the-wildlife-professional/docs/feralcats

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I have told people for 40 years that the house cat was a primary killer of small game. That is why when I see one in the woods it never leaves where I see it, or for that matter anyone else in our camp that sees one either. You can keep a cat in the house for 5 years and then put it outside and the minute it's feet hit the gound it is hunting. Do a dog the same way and it will starve to death. Rabbits and quail are the cat's favorite food around our area.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I like pet cats, but I also cull out feral cats wherever and whenever. That said, the coyotes and fishers hereabouts keep them pretty well thinned out. Including my pet ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I bow hunted a spot close to town last season that was full of wild domestic cats. Every trip out I would see 4-5 cats hunting the woods. Had many opportunities to shoot but my fear of having a cat run into the local neighborhood with an arrow stuck in it kept by bow silent.

Maybe next year I will carry blunts with me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I have said for a long time that the house cat is a killing machine !! I have a cat that I found motherless with it's sibblings under a washed out tree stump on a nearby stream, and whether or not how it lived for it's first couple weeks affected him or not, this cat is abnormally large and a great hunter ! Rubin (named after rubin "the hurricane" carter a boxer from the 60's)lives almost entirely under my porch(until it gets too cold then against his will he lives in the house) and at a now 12 years old he has and still leaves me on my back porch- full grown rabbits, baby rabbits, moles, songbirds, chipmunks, squirrels, even a flying squirrel once, and on 2 occasions a full grown grouse!!(which i thought was pretty impressive accually) So ya.. i would have no problem believing that house cats can do some serious damage !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Not really a new study, it has happened on islands where domestic cats and feral cats end up killing birds and small mammals, reptiles indiscriminately. They are animals doing what they do, we as people are going to have to take steps to curb the problem as we are the ones capable of doing so. It's just a question of whether we want to save things or not that determines if action is taken.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bj264 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Feral cats are no different than any other predator and should be treated as such.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from steven-shaffer wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

im with sarge on this one. i see a cat while out hunting, no matter game im hunting, and that cat no longer lives. i hunt no where near anything civilized and whether im carrying rifle, shotgun or bow, i shoot or at least shoot at any cat. when i was a boy growing up in this area, u couldnt take 3 steps from the truck and not kick out a bunny. now ur lucky to see 3 a day. im not saying its all the cats fault, but i see more cats roaming around than ever before.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I don't swerve for them or away from them on the road, I live in a rural area, they compete with foxes coyotes and other animals for resources and they are invasive like asian carp. They are also dangerous to humans my grandparents own a campground and my grandpa told me to get rid of every cat I saw we had about 10-15 running around the area. When we first got the campground my grandpa got rid of most of them by accident trying to rid the rough tops of his house and the out house of squirrels that tear into the corners of rough tops. My cousin got cat scratch fever and nearly died from a stray it took an eye doctor to finally figure out what she was sick with. Wisconsin tried opening a season for ferrel cats and people were in an uproar. Well, keep your cats inside if you don't want them killed they are not meant to be in this environment it is illegal to introduce invasive species.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Its just wrong for to kill pet cats. If you killed somebodies pet cat you probably would get sued. That happened on Judge Judy and on facebook there was a picture of a cat with an arrow stuck in.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from db270 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

wow. just. wow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I like how this thread is shaping up.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montana wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

It is one thing to be a responsible pet owner and it is something else entirely to just like cats to be around. Some of my friends have cats, said cats live inside year round because having them outside leads to collateral damage. As for me I don't hate cats, I deal with them with a single shot .22 with powder less cartridges. Now if they have a collar I catch them and take them to the vet, since we don't have a pound, or take them home. Even a tame puddy tat is an excellent hunter, I think most species already have enough predators to worry about.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nic Meador wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I don't let a house cat escape without a bullet or a load of bird-shot, they are terrible on quail, frankly I don't care if they have a collar.I Hunt far enough in the country that if there's a house cat, he cant hunt for himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Peter J. Wolf wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I’d like to clarify/correct a few points, if I may…

The NYT story, like those on the Smithsonian Website and elsewhere, is highly misleading.

As the paper published in the Journal of Ornithology makes clear, the researchers witnessed just SIX catbird deaths due to predation by cats. Six of 42 total mortalities. They then attributed THREE more to cats on the basis of decapitated remains because, as they explain, “we are unaware of any other native or non-native predator that regularly decapitates birds while leaving the body uneaten.”

In fact, it’s rather widely known that such predatory behavior is not at all uncommon with owls, grackles, jays, magpies, and even raccoons.

Even if the Smithsonian’s Pete Marra and his colleagues are correct about the three additional kills, the title of “primary predators of young catbirds” goes not to the cats, but to the “unknown predators” (with 14 kills). Seven kills were attributed to rats or chipmunks.

Nevertheless, the researchers go on to predict population dynamics based on their findings. This, largely on the basis of 19 fledgling mortalities, observed over five months, seems like quite a stretch. It’s akin to making conclusions about climate change on the basis of a single season’s weather.

Then again, an accurate representation of the study’s findings isn’t going to grab any headlines, is it?

Given how poorly the Smithsonian and others have covered this story, it’s difficult not to conclude that the people involved are far more interested in perpetuating the shameful witch hunt against feral cats than they are in either science or journalism.

Peter J. Wolf
http://www.voxfelina.com

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from joelr271 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I got a cat roaming around my house, and this last summer not a day went by that there weren't atleast 3 dead mice it left as gifts in my driveway. Any cat that keeps the mice out of my house by winter is ok in my book. Having said that, same cat also killed a handfull of rabbits, many birds, and 2 flying squirrels. But I'm not going to shoot him just because he's a hell of a hunter.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from ThomasB wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Where is Bob Barker when you need him?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

But think of the reason cats were brought here, to control rats and mice. Joel is right that just cause cats are good hunters doesnt mean we should kill them. Do wolves or bears kill us cause we are good hunters?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

what are these birds doing, running into the cat's mouth?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from DeLiar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Interesting topic. I have heard others bragging about killing cats in the field and I think less of them for it. Killing cats is illegal here in Kentucky unless you are the property owner and can prove they are damaging your crops, livestock, etc. There is no season or bag limit on cats so killing them is against the law. Just to be clear, if I give someone permission to hunt on my property does that give them the right to shoot my cat? Or my neighbors cat for that matter?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from IceEm84 wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

For all you tough guys out there who claim they shoot any cat they see, I think you should also bring that same dead cat back to the 10 year old kid who owns it and explain to them how you killed their pet because its a "threat" to your pheasant hunting hobby. This argument is always ridiculous, people always look for a scapegoat. Predatory birds are a major predator to game birds...better start taking out every hawk you see too!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lscar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

They are a serious danger, and it's about time brought to light. I was hunting a couple of years ago, great dead-still cold morning in my stand, when I heard some commotion to my left. A huge buck was slowly moving towards me; as I patiently waited, he darted at a sprint for apparently no reason. In a matter of seconds, a blur came through and was on the buck's neck, thrashing and biting wildly. Seconds later, the buck was down with a good 10 pound tabby at its throat. It looked directly at me- I was absolutely petrified and frozen in the stand- growled as to say 'I'd take you before you would be aware', and drug the huge buck off on the other side of the hill. There has been no sign of wildlife in that area, birds, crickets or otherwise, since. The more aware we can be about these killer house cats, the better off we all will be.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

I don't need any studies to know this. When I was a kid my friends would brag about the piles of kills their cats would compile on a sometimes daily basis. 3 songbirds, 3 bats, and a squirrel were all laid out on his porch one day.

Behind my house I see multiple feral and pet cats out hunting every day. Every day. There used to be one I would see occasionally. Not there are a bunch. There are less birds at the feeders these days.

Pedro, gimme break. Anybody with their brain functioning properly knows that feral/loose pet cats are bigtime killers.

I know you can't imagine your little furball viciously murdering something and/or torturing it for half an hour, but that's reality, buddy.

Predators kill. Especially invasive ones that the native prey isn't ready for.

I already kill the invasive coyotes for the sake of hawks. I'm thinking I might go on a feral cat crusade. No collar? My Savage Mk. II might get a workout.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DeLiar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

A recent article refers to this kind of cat killing as being done by those who get "a depraved sense of joy from killing animals". Nevertheless, Utah just passed a bill making it legal to kill any " vertebrate nonhuman" animal suspected of being feral. So lock up your dogs people. The "sportsman" are out to conduct wildlife management/target practice on your property. In at least parts of Utah it's legal now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan Langemeier wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

if we see them in our pheasant hunting land they get the same treatment as the pheasants, only differnece is their easier to hit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Maybe you'll take that lame minus one back when a local bird species disappears?

This is a serious problem and you need to lose the warm and fuzzies about cats and accept the reality of this issue.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Maybe you'll take that lame minus one back when a local bird species disappears?

This is a serious problem and you need to lose the warm and fuzzies about cats and accept the reality of this issue.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Wolves and bears are NATURAL predators not INVASIVE species! Have you seen what the INVASIVE species asian carp have done to fish that are naturally in the lakes and rivers asian carp have been introduced to. Invasive species are not supposed to be there and destroy biodiversity at a rate that is alarming. Sure they are respectable because they kill mice and rats but those are here because evolution allowed them to play a valuable role in the ecosystem. Cats play an unnatural role because their evolution conflicts with the thousands of years of evolution that it took for the animals to survive here. We are hunters and set standards so we do not make the animals we hunt go extinct and instead replace the natural predators we eliminated with our lifestyle, The goal is to limit the destruction of habitat and to keep the integrity of the biodiversity.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

fliphuntr - Excellent post.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DeLiar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

The reality is its illegal to kill cats in most states. How about a little respect for the law! The article ends asking what to do about it. The answer is to contact your local F&W agency and ask them to change the regulations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Cats are worse than coyotes in many ways. We better get feral cats on the same level with coyotes soon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nchunt101 wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Has anybody read the article on how 22 shorts are a leading cause of death in urban cat populations at bird feeders

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from billerooo wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

In most metro areas its illegal to let your pets roam. If the dog catcher takes in a dog or cat then the owner has to pay a fine. Leash laws or whatever you want to call them are great but hard to enforce. Now in a rural area (and yes I live in the country) lots of people let their pets roam which is not right - dog or cat - they do a lot of damage to the local wildlife. Now cats more so than dogs that get dumped take to the wild and survive quite well - until someone traps them or they get lead poisoning. Personally I will shoot evey single feral cat I see and we get plenty dumped on us since we live past the end of the road. Something needs done to the people that let their pets roam or abandon them whether in the city or the country. I don't care for them chasing my livestock or wildlife. These problem animals are due to get lead poisoning or trapped and hauled to the human society where I am charged to drop them off. You tell me, are you willing to pay out $20 to $30 everytime you catch a problem dog or cat when over the years the total just keeps adding up? Now if it is a coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, or fox they get shot on site without question. Now the ones that get hauled to the humane society are the dogs that walk up to me or show up at the house and will not leave which just happens all the time and I do not feel like it is my place to pay the penalty for someone else's abandonment but I do often enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from bj264 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Feral cats are no different than any other predator and should be treated as such.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Peter J. Wolf wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I’d like to clarify/correct a few points, if I may…

The NYT story, like those on the Smithsonian Website and elsewhere, is highly misleading.

As the paper published in the Journal of Ornithology makes clear, the researchers witnessed just SIX catbird deaths due to predation by cats. Six of 42 total mortalities. They then attributed THREE more to cats on the basis of decapitated remains because, as they explain, “we are unaware of any other native or non-native predator that regularly decapitates birds while leaving the body uneaten.”

In fact, it’s rather widely known that such predatory behavior is not at all uncommon with owls, grackles, jays, magpies, and even raccoons.

Even if the Smithsonian’s Pete Marra and his colleagues are correct about the three additional kills, the title of “primary predators of young catbirds” goes not to the cats, but to the “unknown predators” (with 14 kills). Seven kills were attributed to rats or chipmunks.

Nevertheless, the researchers go on to predict population dynamics based on their findings. This, largely on the basis of 19 fledgling mortalities, observed over five months, seems like quite a stretch. It’s akin to making conclusions about climate change on the basis of a single season’s weather.

Then again, an accurate representation of the study’s findings isn’t going to grab any headlines, is it?

Given how poorly the Smithsonian and others have covered this story, it’s difficult not to conclude that the people involved are far more interested in perpetuating the shameful witch hunt against feral cats than they are in either science or journalism.

Peter J. Wolf
http://www.voxfelina.com

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from joelr271 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I got a cat roaming around my house, and this last summer not a day went by that there weren't atleast 3 dead mice it left as gifts in my driveway. Any cat that keeps the mice out of my house by winter is ok in my book. Having said that, same cat also killed a handfull of rabbits, many birds, and 2 flying squirrels. But I'm not going to shoot him just because he's a hell of a hunter.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Wolves and bears are NATURAL predators not INVASIVE species! Have you seen what the INVASIVE species asian carp have done to fish that are naturally in the lakes and rivers asian carp have been introduced to. Invasive species are not supposed to be there and destroy biodiversity at a rate that is alarming. Sure they are respectable because they kill mice and rats but those are here because evolution allowed them to play a valuable role in the ecosystem. Cats play an unnatural role because their evolution conflicts with the thousands of years of evolution that it took for the animals to survive here. We are hunters and set standards so we do not make the animals we hunt go extinct and instead replace the natural predators we eliminated with our lifestyle, The goal is to limit the destruction of habitat and to keep the integrity of the biodiversity.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from MissMuley wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

This is such a huge problem in so many areas. Not only are housecats major predators of songbirds, but reptiles and small mammals as well, and a huge threat to biodiversity in urban areas.

The solution seems plain and simple but will be difficult to attain. People should keep their housecats inside, and there should be cull programs for feral cats. This will take extensive public education, and unfortunately there is a huge trap-neuter-release movement brought forth by cat advocates that is both unsuccessful and inhumane (the life of a feral cat is really not that great).

It's funny that this blog is just posted, this Spring's issue of The Wildlife Professional did a large piece on feral and urban cats. For more info, check it out at: http://issuu.com/the-wildlife-professional/docs/feralcats

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I have told people for 40 years that the house cat was a primary killer of small game. That is why when I see one in the woods it never leaves where I see it, or for that matter anyone else in our camp that sees one either. You can keep a cat in the house for 5 years and then put it outside and the minute it's feet hit the gound it is hunting. Do a dog the same way and it will starve to death. Rabbits and quail are the cat's favorite food around our area.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

what are these birds doing, running into the cat's mouth?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I bow hunted a spot close to town last season that was full of wild domestic cats. Every trip out I would see 4-5 cats hunting the woods. Had many opportunities to shoot but my fear of having a cat run into the local neighborhood with an arrow stuck in it kept by bow silent.

Maybe next year I will carry blunts with me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from db270 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

wow. just. wow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montana wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

It is one thing to be a responsible pet owner and it is something else entirely to just like cats to be around. Some of my friends have cats, said cats live inside year round because having them outside leads to collateral damage. As for me I don't hate cats, I deal with them with a single shot .22 with powder less cartridges. Now if they have a collar I catch them and take them to the vet, since we don't have a pound, or take them home. Even a tame puddy tat is an excellent hunter, I think most species already have enough predators to worry about.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ThomasB wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Where is Bob Barker when you need him?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DeLiar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Interesting topic. I have heard others bragging about killing cats in the field and I think less of them for it. Killing cats is illegal here in Kentucky unless you are the property owner and can prove they are damaging your crops, livestock, etc. There is no season or bag limit on cats so killing them is against the law. Just to be clear, if I give someone permission to hunt on my property does that give them the right to shoot my cat? Or my neighbors cat for that matter?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Not really a new study, it has happened on islands where domestic cats and feral cats end up killing birds and small mammals, reptiles indiscriminately. They are animals doing what they do, we as people are going to have to take steps to curb the problem as we are the ones capable of doing so. It's just a question of whether we want to save things or not that determines if action is taken.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I don't swerve for them or away from them on the road, I live in a rural area, they compete with foxes coyotes and other animals for resources and they are invasive like asian carp. They are also dangerous to humans my grandparents own a campground and my grandpa told me to get rid of every cat I saw we had about 10-15 running around the area. When we first got the campground my grandpa got rid of most of them by accident trying to rid the rough tops of his house and the out house of squirrels that tear into the corners of rough tops. My cousin got cat scratch fever and nearly died from a stray it took an eye doctor to finally figure out what she was sick with. Wisconsin tried opening a season for ferrel cats and people were in an uproar. Well, keep your cats inside if you don't want them killed they are not meant to be in this environment it is illegal to introduce invasive species.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

But think of the reason cats were brought here, to control rats and mice. Joel is right that just cause cats are good hunters doesnt mean we should kill them. Do wolves or bears kill us cause we are good hunters?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IceEm84 wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

For all you tough guys out there who claim they shoot any cat they see, I think you should also bring that same dead cat back to the 10 year old kid who owns it and explain to them how you killed their pet because its a "threat" to your pheasant hunting hobby. This argument is always ridiculous, people always look for a scapegoat. Predatory birds are a major predator to game birds...better start taking out every hawk you see too!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lscar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

They are a serious danger, and it's about time brought to light. I was hunting a couple of years ago, great dead-still cold morning in my stand, when I heard some commotion to my left. A huge buck was slowly moving towards me; as I patiently waited, he darted at a sprint for apparently no reason. In a matter of seconds, a blur came through and was on the buck's neck, thrashing and biting wildly. Seconds later, the buck was down with a good 10 pound tabby at its throat. It looked directly at me- I was absolutely petrified and frozen in the stand- growled as to say 'I'd take you before you would be aware', and drug the huge buck off on the other side of the hill. There has been no sign of wildlife in that area, birds, crickets or otherwise, since. The more aware we can be about these killer house cats, the better off we all will be.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DeLiar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

The reality is its illegal to kill cats in most states. How about a little respect for the law! The article ends asking what to do about it. The answer is to contact your local F&W agency and ask them to change the regulations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nchunt101 wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Has anybody read the article on how 22 shorts are a leading cause of death in urban cat populations at bird feeders

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from billerooo wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

In most metro areas its illegal to let your pets roam. If the dog catcher takes in a dog or cat then the owner has to pay a fine. Leash laws or whatever you want to call them are great but hard to enforce. Now in a rural area (and yes I live in the country) lots of people let their pets roam which is not right - dog or cat - they do a lot of damage to the local wildlife. Now cats more so than dogs that get dumped take to the wild and survive quite well - until someone traps them or they get lead poisoning. Personally I will shoot evey single feral cat I see and we get plenty dumped on us since we live past the end of the road. Something needs done to the people that let their pets roam or abandon them whether in the city or the country. I don't care for them chasing my livestock or wildlife. These problem animals are due to get lead poisoning or trapped and hauled to the human society where I am charged to drop them off. You tell me, are you willing to pay out $20 to $30 everytime you catch a problem dog or cat when over the years the total just keeps adding up? Now if it is a coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, or fox they get shot on site without question. Now the ones that get hauled to the humane society are the dogs that walk up to me or show up at the house and will not leave which just happens all the time and I do not feel like it is my place to pay the penalty for someone else's abandonment but I do often enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I like pet cats, but I also cull out feral cats wherever and whenever. That said, the coyotes and fishers hereabouts keep them pretty well thinned out. Including my pet ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I have said for a long time that the house cat is a killing machine !! I have a cat that I found motherless with it's sibblings under a washed out tree stump on a nearby stream, and whether or not how it lived for it's first couple weeks affected him or not, this cat is abnormally large and a great hunter ! Rubin (named after rubin "the hurricane" carter a boxer from the 60's)lives almost entirely under my porch(until it gets too cold then against his will he lives in the house) and at a now 12 years old he has and still leaves me on my back porch- full grown rabbits, baby rabbits, moles, songbirds, chipmunks, squirrels, even a flying squirrel once, and on 2 occasions a full grown grouse!!(which i thought was pretty impressive accually) So ya.. i would have no problem believing that house cats can do some serious damage !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steven-shaffer wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

im with sarge on this one. i see a cat while out hunting, no matter game im hunting, and that cat no longer lives. i hunt no where near anything civilized and whether im carrying rifle, shotgun or bow, i shoot or at least shoot at any cat. when i was a boy growing up in this area, u couldnt take 3 steps from the truck and not kick out a bunny. now ur lucky to see 3 a day. im not saying its all the cats fault, but i see more cats roaming around than ever before.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nic Meador wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I don't let a house cat escape without a bullet or a load of bird-shot, they are terrible on quail, frankly I don't care if they have a collar.I Hunt far enough in the country that if there's a house cat, he cant hunt for himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

I don't need any studies to know this. When I was a kid my friends would brag about the piles of kills their cats would compile on a sometimes daily basis. 3 songbirds, 3 bats, and a squirrel were all laid out on his porch one day.

Behind my house I see multiple feral and pet cats out hunting every day. Every day. There used to be one I would see occasionally. Not there are a bunch. There are less birds at the feeders these days.

Pedro, gimme break. Anybody with their brain functioning properly knows that feral/loose pet cats are bigtime killers.

I know you can't imagine your little furball viciously murdering something and/or torturing it for half an hour, but that's reality, buddy.

Predators kill. Especially invasive ones that the native prey isn't ready for.

I already kill the invasive coyotes for the sake of hawks. I'm thinking I might go on a feral cat crusade. No collar? My Savage Mk. II might get a workout.

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from DeLiar wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

A recent article refers to this kind of cat killing as being done by those who get "a depraved sense of joy from killing animals". Nevertheless, Utah just passed a bill making it legal to kill any " vertebrate nonhuman" animal suspected of being feral. So lock up your dogs people. The "sportsman" are out to conduct wildlife management/target practice on your property. In at least parts of Utah it's legal now.

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from Ryan Langemeier wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

if we see them in our pheasant hunting land they get the same treatment as the pheasants, only differnece is their easier to hit.

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from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Maybe you'll take that lame minus one back when a local bird species disappears?

This is a serious problem and you need to lose the warm and fuzzies about cats and accept the reality of this issue.

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from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

fliphuntr - Excellent post.

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from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Cats are worse than coyotes in many ways. We better get feral cats on the same level with coyotes soon.

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from bass bomber wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Its just wrong for to kill pet cats. If you killed somebodies pet cat you probably would get sued. That happened on Judge Judy and on facebook there was a picture of a cat with an arrow stuck in.

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from rock rat wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I like how this thread is shaping up.

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from shane wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Maybe you'll take that lame minus one back when a local bird species disappears?

This is a serious problem and you need to lose the warm and fuzzies about cats and accept the reality of this issue.

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