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  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,312
    Hostafan1 says:

    I would never suggest they should be " exterminated" but when the current crop die, just don't replace them . Neuter them and let them have a happy life. they just won't leave any more for future generations to deal with.

    See original post

    Ah but that's the point Philippa is making, though perhaps not directly. Responsible cat owners (and dog owners) do neuter their animals, and many kind and careful people adopt strays and abandoned cats rather buy a kitten from a pet shop. But there are so many irresponsible people out there who dump cats or leave them behind without neutering them that most towns have large populations of half starved cats who keep producing kittens. 

    If all the 1 in 4 of the population who think too many cats are a problem each took steps to catch, neuter and in some way care for one female stray cat, then Hosta's plan might work. If cats were deemed to belong to people in law as dogs do, had to be microchipped and if their owners could be held responsible for the actions of their cats then I would be cheering - for the sake of the cats themselves. And yet, all this is true for dogs, and still millions are euthanized every year having been found straying. As is the case for cats. 

    The problem is not cats, it's people.

    PS I don't have a cat. 

    Last edited: 20 December 2017 17:34:09

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544

    The Walloon Region of Belgium has new rules in vigour form the 1/11/17.  All cats born on or after this date must be identified with a micro chip fitted by a vet before they are 12 weeks old or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first.  Cost fixed at 50€ per kitten.   All kittens must be sterilised by 6 months old. 

    Not sure where that leaves pedigree breeders but it's a bid to make owners behave responsibly and  to reduce the ever increasing numbers of stray and abandoned cats in French speaking Belgium because the refuges can't cope.  Time limits apply for microchipping and sterilising any cat accompanying its owners moving to Wallonia from anywhere in the world.

    Both our kitties are rescues.  Both are micro-chipped, neutered and vaccinated.  They are welcome to use our garden as their loo and don't stray to the neighbours with the dog or the farmer neighbours with farm cats.  Neither neighbour does flower beds anyway.

    Last edited: 20 December 2017 18:02:11

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • rasing girl It wasn't my assertion that cats kill 55 million birds a year it's the rspb's , do you think it's ok for cats to kill 55 milion birds (also bats,reptiles ,and mamals up to 200 million) ? because I don't ! if you have seen a domestic cat catch a bird or a mouse you will know that they do not kill outright and they toy with the poor creatures and offten take them back to owners still alive and most certainly in a great deal of pain ! I was brought up with cats in our home so Iknow how crule they can be.                    where in my post did you get the idea that I hate cats? it is the rspb that I hate for thier dubble standards ! 

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,312

    derbyduck - actually it was me quoted the 55 million figure (contradicting Hosta's 70 to 80 million).

    And where I was disagreeing with you was only in your statement that the reason the RSPB don't try to 'do something' about it is because they are afraid they'll lose donations. In fact they don't do anything because there's no evidence that cats are affecting the bird population generally in the UK, so they'd be shot down in flames if they tried.

    Cats aren't cruel, they are just cats. Yes I've seen cats catch small mammals and birds. I've rescued many of them from the cats and released them apparently unharmed if a trifle soggy. I've also seen a cat sitting on a lawn watching birds hopping around and doing nothing to catch them. They aren't born killers and if they are well fed and cared for and especially if they are not teased mercilessly as kittens by people teaching them to pounce on anything that moves, then they can live quite blameless lives. 

    I don't have a cat, my next door neighbour does. We also have at least 3 stray/feral cats that hang around. As far as I can tell the strays live on rodents and rabbits and don't bother with birds, which are much harder to catch. To my mind, they can eat all the rat/squirrel/bunny they want. My dogs take a rather dim view of my benign stance and would prefer to kill the cats. Next door neighbour's cat visited once and had to be rescued from the tree - he hasn't ventured through our fence since. 

    You are all complaining about a suburban problem and I can see it upsets you all hugely. But it isn't an issue everywhere and cats, even stray ones, are not despised universally. 

    Hosta argues that there are far too many domestic cats - I doubt that anyone could really disagree with that. I think there's an acceptable number though that's more than 'none' - equal to the number of households willing and able to properly look after one. 

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544

    Both my kitties and, it has to be said, both dogs find birds fascinating and spend hours watching them at the feeders.    Out on walkies, the dogs happily chase birds but never catch any, not even stupid pheasants.   Rasta will go for rats and coypu.  Bonzo just looks at them.

    In the 9 months since the kitties were first allowed out Minstrel has caught one bird and several mice.  I'm assuming the bird was sick or injured or very stupid as they have plenty of cover and safety and there is nowhere for a puss to hide near the feeders.  Cosmos is still hunting tissue paper and elastic hair bands and has no idea about real hunting.

    The cats at the farm next door eat what they catch and are there to keep rodents out of the cattle feed.  No other feeding or vetting or living indoors.    No idea if they catch birds too.    

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • raising girl   it seems that killing 55million birds doesn't afect the bird population in the eyes of the rspb and yourself ! I am glad you don't work in my bank £55000000,missing from the vault would make a diference to the tally at closing time !

    you declined to answer if you think it's ok for cats to kill so many of gods creatures (I don't) .            this reminds me of the dead parrot sketch there's no getting away from the fact that they are dead and it's down to cats!

    Last edited: 21 December 2017 09:32:08

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544

    DD - where's your logic?  I f there is a god then cats are his/her creatures too and should have been made vegetarian - assuming you don't think plants have feelings and a sense of community either.

    Do you know how many eggs fish and turtles lay?   And how many get to adulthood?  The vast majority are eaten either before or shortly after hatching and many more don't survive beyond.  It's called the food chain.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I have 5 cats, in a rural area and only 2 of them ever catch a bird, and that is rare. The main target of their hunting is field voles and there is no shortage of them. One specialises in catching moles, there are mice and an occasional shrew. My smallest cat was a good rabbiter, baby ones, in high population years, but she is not going to catch anything any more, as she is poorly now. 

    I praise them for bringing me rodents, but I don't punish them for bringing birds, as then I can sometimes rescue the victim and release it, wiser but relatively unharmed.

    Dozens of birds come to the bird feeders in winter and take little notice of the cats. My big lad has a fancy for pheasant. He is very clumsy for a cat and has never caught one, but ignores the smalller birds and they do not seem to feel unduly threatened.

    Someone will inform the others in a conversational tone when they see one of the cats about, but it is not a panic call. The regular birds all know them and take reasonable care, the ones that are caught are often new arrivals like the first meadow pipits or fledglings but the overall population benefits more from my feeding than it suffers from my cats.

  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,214

    I am currently sitting in my house cursing at the rabbits hopping around at the bottom of the garden and wishing that I still had cats!

    Like Buttercupdays, I am in a rural area and when I had cats they hardly ever caught birds but were great at rabbits and voles and occasionally rats. I came back from work one day to find a dead pheasant by the front door but I suspect my cats had found it injured or dead on the road as they didn't normally display any interest in pheasants.

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,312
    Singing Gardener says:

    I came back from work one day to find a dead pheasant by the front door but I suspect my cats had found it injured or dead on the road as they didn't normally display any interest in pheasants.

    See original post

    I saw my dog catch a pheasant once. He generally ignores them (we're in the middle of a shoot so the poor things are here by the dozen), But this day he was pottering along, minding his own business, a pheasant took off as he approached, flew into the fence and bounced back straight into my dog's face who caught it by reflex and then spat feathers (literally) in disgust for a while, buried the pheasant by the pond and went indoors in disgust, still muttering under his breath.

    A squirrel fell out of a tree onto his nose once too. He goes around in the woods now looking up hopefully for more manna from heaven.

    In neither case did he actually chase but he did end up catching and killing. Ship happens.

    DD It is indeed my plan to find a way to be in charge of the banks sometime, then to steal £1 from everyone in the UK (I'll call it 'bank charges' or some such) and then I'll have £60 million or so and no one else will be noticeably poorer for it. 

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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