Out killing

Clodagh

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Reading the let’s celebrate things the cat has killed or tortured post made me 🤣 at the thought of starting one for dogs. There would be such outrage, ‘how can you allow your pet to kill wildlife’. I know people on here have both and I also acknowledge I’m a bit raw about my little bantams that next doors cat has killed but I think it’s nuts to be happy that your animal is out slaughtering every night.
I had a lurcher who killed a lot of hares and attacked the odd muntjac but I was mortified.
 

Cowrie

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Happily for both cats and native ecosystems it seems to be becoming much more accepted to have indoor only cats.
(1/3 domestic cat hunts are successful on average; for reference, for tigers, it's 1/10. Pet cats are theoretically the most successful carnivore, so this is very much a good thing.) They can and do send entire species extinct.

I don't like how many people simply accept their pets killing things as just 'well it's what they do' and agree if it were dogs there would be outrage, although I don't think people should let their dogs off lead if they're not sure they can call them back with reliably, either.

If people want to own an animal, any animal, that's capable of doing damage they need to take steps to minimise/eliminate it IMO.


*Cowrie steps down off her soapbox and pointedly doesn't look at her tubs of lissachatina fulica, the most invasive species on the planet*.
 

Annette4

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I am in no way proud of this but Fizz has had more birds than the cats we had in my childhood combined.

She has had them all in my mums garden when I was living at home and it was when I was at work and my mum just let the dogs have free access to the garden without supervision. She would hide in the overgrown patch and catch them as they landed to feed at the bird feeder. I had limited control of the situation and you try telling my mother to do something. Since I moved back out its not happened again and now we have Dobby who can clear a 6ft fence they are not allowed free access to any garden even mums so it won't happen again.

She had one rabbit on a walk, moving forward she is muzzled if off lead and I'm very aware of our surroundings so none of them are off if there is wildlife or a chance of wildlife being about.

It's my responsibility to minimise the risk of their prey drive.
 

cold_feet

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I don’t have a cat - my adored tabby was a prolific hunter and since she has been gone I have come to love the birds that now come to the garden feeders. I can’t for the life of me imagine how I could keep a cat indoors - surely that would mean keeping all doors and window closed?
 

Cowrie

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Happily for both cats and native ecosystems it seems to be becoming much more accepted to have indoor only cats.
(1/3 domestic cat hunts are successful on average; for reference, for tigers, it's 1/10. Pet cats are theoretically the most successful carnivore, so this is very much a good thing.) They can and do send entire species extinct.

I don't like how many people simply accept their pets killing things as just 'well it's what they do' and agree if it were dogs there would be outrage, although I don't think people should let their dogs off lead if they're not sure they can call them back with reliably, either.

If people want to own an animal, any animal, that's capable of doing damage they need to take steps to minimise/eliminate it IMO.


*Cowrie steps down off her soapbox and pointedly doesn't look at her tubs of lissachatina fulica, the most invasive species on the planet*.
Just to add on- yes our cats are both house cats, including a Bengal X, and it's totally doable.
 

milliepops

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I know it works for lots of people but i also couldn't imagine keeping a cat in, but my only experience of having cats was as a child when they were around specifically for pest control. they roamed miles. i don't think i could keep cats if they had to be contained, after that. Good job I'm allergic so i don't want one anyway :p
 

bonny

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Any outside cat should wear a bell in my opinion, at least give the wildlife a chance of escaping them.
 

Keith_Beef

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I'm of the opinion that dogs are completely domesticated while cats are only partially domesticated. I would not have a cat that was confined indoors.

Tabitha has only once caught a bird that I have seen: a great tit that was hanging from the bird feeder. But the bird survived and flew away.

I minimize to risk to birds in my garden by keeping feeders stocked up in two different trees.
 

palo1

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I hate the thought of cats never being outside though I have 2 friends with indoor only cats; both have catios for them and cats are very much loved. I find it hard to accept that we would almost totally restrict an animal's natural engagement with the outdoor environment for our pleasure or convenience and we are definitely moving away from that sort of thing in relation to keeping horses thankfully. Natural behaviours are fundamental to animal welfare aren't they? For me, a cat naturally wants to explore and often travel or patrol considerable territories, they want to climb, stalk, feel the sun on their back, sleep, watch and defend their territory and also hunt. Many natural behaviours can be enabled indoors of course and cats sleep a huge amount of time! But in the same way that horses graze a great deal of the time so potentially DON'T need space to run, jump, play (injure themselves !) it doesn't mean that we should curtail their space to do those things. I know people with very valuable horses have to weigh all that up too but at least, I suppose horses don't hunt and kill other things. Cats are wonderful creatures - if I were to have one I would want it to be able to go out and would probably try to restrict it's outdoor activities to the night time though I am aware that there are small, vulnerable critters out at night too. Breeding cats with less hunting instinct is a possibility for the pet market I suppose though breeding for selected traits has it's own problems. I hate that cats kill so many birds tbh and it does irritate me that many cat owners don't see the parallels with dogs. WRT indoor cats I don't feel easy with such an unnatural lifestyle but I know it works for an increasing number of people - just not sure how it really works for the cats.
 

Tiddlypom

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I couldn't/wouldn't confine a cat to the house. I am fairly horrified at how commonplace and accepted that the practice seems to be :oops:.

A catio, if big enough, is quite a different propostion.

Luckily the formerly-believed-to-be-a-stray but now resident cat has no intentions of going out on the prowl overnight. She's the first one curled up indoors in her bed of an evening!

She does catch the occasional rabbit and mouse, but that is vermin control, so we are not concerned about that.
 

HashRouge

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We had a lovely cat, Pepper, who died a few years ago. But she was fab from a wildlife lover's perspective as she did not hunt. She had a few mice as a very young cat and then seemed to give up altogether. She didn't spend much time outside, but she liked to go for a potter round the garden a couple of times a day and would go and visit my mother in the vegetable patch in summer. But that was in. The rest of the time she was inside, rotating around her various beds.

Our current cat, Stan, was a very prolific hunter when he was younger and we did try various things to deter him. He had three bells on his collar at one point! You can't keep him in though, as he goes utterly bonkers. He can claw his way out of a locked cat flap so if he ever needed to be kept in for any reason, it had to be blocked off with heavy furniture. He once set off the burglar alarm as a kitten (before he could go outside) by jumping up at the windows.

So I do think that some cats are less bothered about roaming than others. Pepper could easily have been an indoor cat, but Stan I think would have hated it. A good sized catio might have worked though. It's easier now he's older, as he doesn't want to spend as long outside apart from in the summer. Last year he tricked us for a bit and we thought he was off hunting again, until we realised that he just spends all day sleeping in different flower beds instead of inside in an actual bed.
 

skinnydipper

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My dog and cat worked as a team today. The cat brought a mouse in first thing this morning and gifted it to the dog. The dog stood over it giving me time to get the net to catch it and then set it free.

She is a cat from a farm, it would be unkind to keep her indoors. She is free to come and go as she pleases but mainly goes out at night.

When I had Siamese and a Havana they too were allowed their freedom.
 

palo1

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I couldn't/wouldn't confine a cat to the house. I am fairly horrified at how commonplace and accepted that the practice seems to be :oops:.

A catio, if big enough, is quite a different propostion.

Luckily the formerly-believed-to-be-a-stray but now resident cat has no intentions of going out on the prowl overnight. She's the first one curled up indoors in her bed of an evening!

She does catch the occasional rabbit and mouse, but that is vermin control, so we are not concerned about that.
Yes I agree though many would argue that vermin control is highly debateable as justification for allowing something to kill. My neighbours cats are outdoor cats and very fine and sleek they are. I appreciate their vermin control function though I was very upset when they killed one of my bantams. For me I had to resolve my desire to have both free range bantams and for my neighbours cats to enjoy a natural lifestyle. The bantam lost out but I still wouldn't want to see the cats kept indoors. Animals don't follow our rules and having them requires a degree of engagement with their terms - for me, if that isn't possible we should re-think the keeping of animals.
 

palo1

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We had a lovely cat, Pepper, who died a few years ago. But she was fab from a wildlife lover's perspective as she did not hunt. She had a few mice as a very young cat and then seemed to give up altogether. She didn't spend much time outside, but she liked to go for a potter round the garden a couple of times a day and would go and visit my mother in the vegetable patch in summer. But that was in. The rest of the time she was inside, rotating around her various beds.

Our current cat, Stan, was a very prolific hunter when he was younger and we did try various things to deter him. He had three bells on his collar at one point! You can't keep him in though, as he goes utterly bonkers. He can claw his way out of a locked cat flap so if he ever needed to be kept in for any reason, it had to be blocked off with heavy furniture. He once set off the burglar alarm as a kitten (before he could go outside) by jumping up at the windows.

So I do think that some cats are less bothered about roaming than others. Pepper could easily have been an indoor cat, but Stan I think would have hated it. A good sized catio might have worked though. It's easier now he's older, as he doesn't want to spend as long outside apart from in the summer. Last year he tricked us for a bit and we thought he was off hunting again, until we realised that he just spends all day sleeping in different flower beds instead of inside in an actual bed.
I know you are right about some cats being less motivated to hunt than others but this could feel a bit like the way that dog owners say their dogs would never hurt livestock or are only 'playing' when they meet other dogs. I am not sure why some cats have a huge prey drive and others, from the same litter, don't. Cats are mysterious beasts!!
 

Cloball

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I wouldn't say I celebrate or enjoy my cats proclivities. I'm not sure anyone can say they celebrate standing on mouse guts in bare feet? I would much prefer it if he mooched around the garden much less stressful for me. But he acquired us as a grown up so we muddle about together. I can't live in a house with permanently shut doors and windows and he won't wear a collar and insists on leaving the house despite all the playing and enriching activities. I do try to save all the wildlife I can.
 

skinnydipper

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This is turning into a cat thread so back to the dog. She has calmly watched deer with no inclination to chase, mildly interested in rabbits but has not chased. Squirrels in the garden - all bets are off, she will chase. She has never caught one. They sit on the fence and torment her.
 

milliepops

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Our cats were always from farm litters. Perhaps that was why they were such effective hunters. when i was a kid our house was mainly ruin with 3 livable rooms so having dynamic pest control was pretty important otherwise we'd have been overrun with mice indoors.

Have a funny memory of a mouse running up the sitting room wall when my gran came to visit. she screamed and screamed and never came to stay ever again :p


Yes, back to dogs. a YO where i used to keep horses would trap the rats in the feedroom and release them on the sandschool for the terriers to dispatch. I suppose it was safer for the other animals around than putting down poison but it was a bit grim!
 

palo1

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My terrier is excellent at scaring birds - I've not had a dog like it before; he will chase birds in the sky with tremendous energy. He will kill a rat if it can't get to the woodpile and he once killed a crow which I was boggled by. Crow was eating a dead rabbit and I just don't think it saw the incoming dog. Both were surprised. I thought it was impressive but unpleasant in a number of ways. Other than rats I don't encourage him to kill anything though he does occasionally get a young bunny. To stop him hunting at all I would probably have to completely confine him which I would not want to do. He is very well stock trained too and has an excellent recall. I don't celebrate the death of rats or bunnies but I do find watching an predator hunting to be fascinating and impressive.
 

Clodagh

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I don’t have a lurcher any more and my labs only hunt when told. They have started the annual mixy rabbit gifts but I cull those and look at it as a mercy.
I wouldn’t keep a cat indoors, I agree it’s just like having a 24/7 stabled horse. I loathe though that they can go and kill peoples animals with no comeback. My neighbour is very upset every time her cat dragged a dying bantam into her kitchen but not upset enough to deal with the problem. Come the end of lockdown, if I cannot keep the chickens safe I will get rid.
And I still find that what’s the cat done thread really odd.
 

palo1

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I don’t have a lurcher any more and my labs only hunt when told. They have started the annual mixy rabbit gifts but I cull those and look at it as a mercy.
I wouldn’t keep a cat indoors, I agree it’s just like having a 24/7 stabled horse. I loathe though that they can go and kill peoples animals with no comeback. My neighbour is very upset every time her cat dragged a dying bantam into her kitchen but not upset enough to deal with the problem. Come the end of lockdown, if I cannot keep the chickens safe I will get rid.
And I still find that what’s the cat done thread really odd.
Yes, I agree. I felt very sore about the loss of my bantam too. She was beautiful - a lavender pekin with the sweetest character. I didn't really think about what my neighbours could do to prevent their cats hunting my banties - what do you think could work?
 

Clodagh

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Yes, I agree. I felt very sore about the loss of my bantam too. She was beautiful - a lavender pekin with the sweetest character. I didn't really think about what my neighbours could do to prevent their cats hunting my banties - what do you think could work?[/QUOTE
PTS? If your dog killed their pets it would be expected to pay the ultimate price.
Rehome? To a non stock area?
Or yes a catio. Or keep it in during the day when the chickens are out and let it out at night when it can only kill wild things?
 

palo1

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Not a dog, nor a domestic animal but I have watched weasels and polecats hunting and they really are extraordinary. They make cats look like complete wetties lol!! My old dog (a trail hound) was a total nose-hound but never brought anything home or ever chased an actual animal; only ever the scent of it. Watching her with her nose down was a joy -like having a story read to you!!
 

palo1

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Yes, I get those things are possible but I would not want to see the cats PTS. I think out overnight is probably the best compromise and would maintain the pest control function to a good degree. Of course if a dog killed bantams I expect a very significant penalty would have to be paid; either PTS, always on lead/contained or other sanction.
 

Cinnamontoast

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Toast used to leave 3 or 5 lots mouse guts in a circle on the lawn most evenings at one flat, like a weird ritual. Julien was keener on fetching packets of bacon home.

Brig and Jake played tug ‘o’ war with a bunny once, I was horrified. In his dotage, Brig used to bring me mangled pigeons, one per walk. I have no idea how he caught them. 🤔

Bear used to retrieve rabbits, once in front of the trainer the OH was out with. He had to cull it and when he retrieved a baby bunny instead of the ball, Brig ate it. 😱

The youngsters are fascinated by bees currently, I’m discouraging this, but they have the instinct, lots of field trial dogs on the sire’s side.

I certainly won’t encourage them hunting on their own, but I won’t muzzle them when out unless they start fetching me stuff!

There was a very interesting survey re the re-introduction of wolves and lynx I saw this week, I think that would be far worse than domestic cats.
 

ellieb

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I think a lot of dogs would love to be able to go out whenever they wanted like a cat, but are restricted to being in the house except when out on walks or supervised in the garden - not sure why cats should be different and allowed to roam free, really. It's like we take responsibility for one but not the other.

If Joe WAS allowed out on his own, he would kill all sorts (including cats unfortunately), although not birds because he's not interested in those (they fly away!). He's only ever managed to killed a rat so far, in the garden, because he wears a muzzle out and about.
 

P3LH

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Present cats are house cats and present dogs would be as effective at hunting as I am at dieting.
Last week a pheasant sprang up from tall grass as we reached about 30cm away from the spot (why do they always wait and do that?) and flew into the dogs, hit the deck snd I assume died of a heart attack. None of my three were then really sure what to do.
 
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