Out killing

HashRouge

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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.
I get this post, but at the same time the question of why dogs aren't allowed to roam is a pretty logical one. Cats don't hunt/ worry sheep, cows or horses probably being the main reason, plus they don't have the potential to kill/ maim people. Not saying it's okay for cats to trot around the countryside killing wildlife, but I think the dog question is a bit of a useless comparison because the question of what they are both capable of hunting is so different.

I read a study somewhere that said that cats who are fed a good quality, high-protein, grain-free cat food and whose owners play with them for even a short period a day have been shown to hunt less. You can also get Bird-Be-Safe collars, which are supposed to be effective in reducing the number of birds caught.
 

HashRouge

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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!!
Yes I get that and I possibly should have been clearer. I wasn't using it as an answer to the question of whether cats should actually be allowed outside, more just that she was a great cat to own because we knew she didn't hunt, so didn't have any of the associated guilt that came with owning our other cat. I mean, she barely even went outside!
 

spotty_pony

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I’ve never liked cats being kept inside - they should be allowed out to hunt and explore. What kind of life is it for ones that never get to experience anything past the front door? As for dogs, no I don’t like them killing things but one of our Doberman regularly catches rabbits on our land (and plenty of mice) you can’t tell them off - the hunting instinct is part of them after all.
 

Rokele55

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I encourage my terriers to hunt and kill small furries like mice rats and rabbits (and large spiders), killing makes them very happy. The late BT was a very efficient pheasant murderer, various hard up colleagues enjoyed the proceeds. When we were children we used to rehome 'vicious and aggressive' terriers, once they were put to work killing legitimately there was never a problem with them.
 

Cloball

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I get this post, but at the same time the question of why dogs aren't allowed to roam is a pretty logical one. Cats don't hunt/ worry sheep, cows or horses probably being the main reason, plus they don't have the potential to kill/ maim people. Not saying it's okay for cats to trot around the countryside killing wildlife, but I think the dog question is a bit of a useless comparison because the question of what they are both capable of hunting is so different.

I read a study somewhere that said that cats who are fed a good quality, high-protein, grain-free cat food and whose owners play with them for even a short period a day have been shown to hunt less. You can also get Bird-Be-Safe collars, which are supposed to be effective in reducing the number of birds caught.
I wish someone would tell mine that. He gets the most expensive protein and insists we play with him morning and night until he gets bored. He still bought 4 rodents in a few hours one day 🤦
 

Karran

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Just before Xmas both Mrs C and S watched a mouse run across their paws and failed to do more than snort at it. I expect no less of Mrs S but I'd have expected more from the idiot chase driven collie.
 

meleeka

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My dog has killed many small things :( All in my garden or field, but as someone who has a phobia about dead bodies, it’s not ideal. She’s a JRT so it’s perfectly a natural behaviour as far as she’s concerned. She’s not aggressive at all normally, but anything smaller than her is game as far as she’s concerned.

It’s the main reason (apart from owning the dog above!) that I wouldn’t have a cat.
 

BBP

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My dog killed a fly once. It fell from a window and landed on him, which woke him up, sent him into a flap during which it fell on the floor and he accidentally stepped on it. He sat with the body for about an hour afterwards, mourning it. If sheer willpower could have brought it back to life he would have had it back on its feet/wings.
 

Cortez

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I used to have a JRT who was the most murderous beast I’ve ever come across. She was tiny but the gamest fiercest little terror. She killed (and ate) an entire family of rabbits in one afternoon, getting rounder and rounder as the day went on. I only realised why she kept going off into the field when she was so full she threw up assorted heads, limbs, etc. She killed kittens, cats, my prized purebred buff Orpington chicks, rats, a mink (singlehandedly), attempted to murder her own sister and had to be pulled off a Great Dane, who was terrified of her. I loved her dearly but life became a whole lot less stressful when she died (peacefully).
 

GSD Woman

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One of my dogs would catch, kill, and eat rabbits. One evening she caught one and Freddie took hold if the hind end and they pulled it apart. It was disgusting.

I've had indoor/outdoor cats in the past. My last cat was indoors only. My current one started out as in indoor only but I've been letting him outside when I'm out back working in the garden.
 

scats

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There’s no such thing as an indoor cat, just a cat that someone won’t let outdoors.
Our cats have always been allowed out and they do catch the occasional bird, which is sad.
A lot of yards have cats specifically for catching vermin, but I bet they catch the occasional bird or other wildlife. I know ours does. I’m not sure you can send a cat out with a brochure on what is acceptable to hunt and what isn’t.
I did watch a cat successfully hunt a squirrel once, then carry the the thing in its mouth with no problem.
 

Keith_Beef

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There’s no such thing as an indoor cat, just a cat that someone won’t let outdoors.
Our cats have always been allowed out and they do catch the occasional bird, which is sad.
A lot of yards have cats specifically for catching vermin, but I bet they catch the occasional bird or other wildlife. I know ours does. I’m not sure you can send a cat out with a brochure on what is acceptable to hunt and what isn’t.
I did watch a cat successfully hunt a squirrel once, then carry the the thing in its mouth with no problem.
I lived in a house for a while where the owner's cat and the next door neighbour's cat would team up to hunt the grey squirrels.

They would approach the squirrel from opposite sides when it was on the ground, isolating it from the nearest tree. If the squirrel spotted one cat, it would run away from it towards the other cat.

And that would be one less tree-rat in England.
 
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ycbm

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There’s no such thing as an indoor cat, just a cat that someone won’t let outdoors.

I used to think that until I got one. I wrote a thread about him a few years back. It was such a waste of a good country home and having a constant litter tray was such an annoyance that I gave him to friends who wanted an indoor only cat. They adore him.
.
 

paisley

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The mostly whippet has done a few rabbits and was very quick in despatching them.
So massive disappointment when I woke him up and pointed out the mouse (noisily wrecking the fridge wires at night and chewed through the humane mouse trap).
I'd hoped for a speedy resolution. I got a 'nah' and pointy nosed snoring.
 

Tiddlypom

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Re collars and bells for cats.

I recently found our neighbour's cat's collar clipped securely onto our mains energised electric rabbit netting :eek:. Just the collar, still fully done up, but no cat.

Thankfully the cat must have been able to wriggle backwards out of the collar, but that was a potential fatal - clipped to netting getting repeatedly shocked. The cat's name and owner details were on a disc on the collar which is how I knew which feline had lost a life. I did tell the owners. Their cats no longer wear collars.
 

Moobli

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My shepherds and the collies will catch, kill and eat rabbits and hares given half a chance. Of course it’s not encouraged but these things sometimes happen when you live in the countryside.
I know some cats that are kept indoors have dedicated owners but it’s not something I’d feel comfortable with. If I had cats they’d be allowed outdoors.

Isn’t it funny how things change. When I was a child (40 years ago) indoor cats were just not a thing. And it slightly bemuses me how some dog owners (not anyone here specifically but more in general) are shocked or disgusted by their dog catching and killing a rabbit, yet choose to own a terrier whose sole purpose was once to control vermin.
 

Widgeon

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I used to have a JRT who was the most murderous beast I’ve ever come across. She was tiny but the gamest fiercest little terror. She killed (and ate) an entire family of rabbits in one afternoon, getting rounder and rounder as the day went on. I only realised why she kept going off into the field when she was so full she threw up assorted heads, limbs, etc. She killed kittens, cats, my prized purebred buff Orpington chicks, rats, a mink (singlehandedly), attempted to murder her own sister and had to be pulled off a Great Dane, who was terrified of her. I loved her dearly but life became a whole lot less stressful when she died (peacefully).
Goodness - killed a mink. That really is prolific. I think you might be winning some sort of dubious prize so far for most murderous dog!
 

meleeka

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My shepherds and the collies will catch, kill and eat rabbits and hares given half a chance. Of course it’s not encouraged but these things sometimes happen when you live in the countryside.
I know some cats that are kept indoors have dedicated owners but it’s not something I’d feel comfortable with. If I had cats they’d be allowed outdoors.

Isn’t it funny how things change. When I was a child (40 years ago) indoor cats were just not a thing. And it slightly bemuses me how some dog owners (not anyone here specifically but more in general) are shocked or disgusted by their dog catching and killing a rabbit, yet choose to own a terrier whose sole purpose was once to control vermin.
40 years ago it wasn’t unusual to see dogs out roaming on their own too. Funny how times change.

I wouldn’t be disgusted (much) if my terrier caught a rabbit, but I think I was rightly horrified by the grass snake or the hedgehog :(
 

Moobli

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40 years ago it wasn’t unusual to see dogs out roaming on their own too. Funny how times change.

I wouldn’t be disgusted (much) if my terrier caught a rabbit, but I think I was rightly horrified by the grass snake or the hedgehog :(
Latchkey dogs weren’t a huge thing where I lived but it was definitely more common to see dogs taking themselves off for a walk back then.
My point was meant to be though that the dog (selectively bred to kill vermin) doesn’t know the difference between a rabbit or a grass snake/hedgehog/hare or a rat etc etc though. I’d be a bit upset too but not shocked or disgusted.
 

Fluffypiglet

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When we first got our cat (he moved in with us from down the road, with previous owners agreement) I used to find it very strange to see our pet wombling off down the road unattended as cats do. I’m very much of mixed views re indoor cats but I personally would be happier he was safe indoors. He won’t use a litter tray so it’s not an option for him and luckily he’s a rather incompetent cat and doesn’t catch anything. He used to bring in frogs that the previous neighbours cat had caught but they’ve moved so he no longer gets to claim those catches as his own. I’m glad he’s useless at hunting and tbh it would put me off getting another cat as I hate to see wildlife being killed.
 
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We had a bit of a rat issue here a while back. DB the cat cleared them out. We've not seen a rat for ages, I bet they are there but he at least keeps the numbers under control (I used to livery at a yard where the rats were out of control... oh boy I'm so glad I left). If he didn't I'd have a terrier in.

Our RSPB neighbour has outdoor cats but no dogs. It's interesting talking to them about the topic of birds and cats/dogs. Dogs upsetting ground nesting birds is bad. Cats get blamed for more than they are responsible for (in their opinion). The big issue that pretty much bring them to tears is the lack of insects. That is what they see as the biggest hurdle for the survival of many of our garden and wild birds. Oh and don't mention Chinese mass produced mist nets which are used to catch swallows as they migrate. You will have RSPB neighbour in tears then.
 

meleeka

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My point was meant to be though that the dog (selectively bred to kill vermin) doesn’t know the difference between a rabbit or a grass snake/hedgehog/hare or a rat etc etc though. I’d be a bit upset too but not shocked or disgusted.
I agree with you, but you’d be surprised at how many times my dog has been labelled aggressive because she does what comes naturally. She’s perfect with people and dogs and perfectly trustworthy (even little dogs). It is strange that those same people will ask to borrow her to catch a stray mouse in their house or praise her achievements if she catches one in the barn.
 

ellieb

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I get this post, but at the same time the question of why dogs aren't allowed to roam is a pretty logical one. Cats don't hunt/ worry sheep, cows or horses probably being the main reason, plus they don't have the potential to kill/ maim people.
Yep fair point.
 
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Clodagh

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There’s some fair points made on here .
Sasha lurcher once caught a mink, it was already injured. There was a battle royal which I finished off with a spade. It was very stressful!
I loved watching her coursing, she looked amazing. There is always pleasure in seeing an animal do something well. I wasn’t keen when she caught the hare at the end.
I suppose with cats if they catch rats and mice it’s useful if they catch swallows and so on it’s not. I appreciate they don’t know that and just kill everything they can.
I’m pretty much a live and let live with people. But not right now 🙂
 

CanteringCarrot

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Ok, I've tried to make my cat more accepting of the outdoors...but to no avail. Which is fine.

He will go out on the front steps for like 10 minutes then come back in, or hang out on the back patio while I garden if the weather is nice. He was even leashed trained at one point and went on some short walks/explorations. He's killed the occasional fly and he did scrap a mouse that came into our last house. The mouse made an escape and we never saw another one again. He was waiting by the door to the garage for ages, so knew they were close, when one squeezed in, he was ready.

I think outdoor cats can indeed be damaging, and I don't feel like I need to force the outdoors thing with this cat.
 

palo1

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My shepherds and the collies will catch, kill and eat rabbits and hares given half a chance. Of course it’s not encouraged but these things sometimes happen when you live in the countryside.
I know some cats that are kept indoors have dedicated owners but it’s not something I’d feel comfortable with. If I had cats they’d be allowed outdoors.

Isn’t it funny how things change. When I was a child (40 years ago) indoor cats were just not a thing. And it slightly bemuses me how some dog owners (not anyone here specifically but more in general) are shocked or disgusted by their dog catching and killing a rabbit, yet choose to own a terrier whose sole purpose was once to control vermin.
Yes, and back in the day many people had a cat expressly for the purpose of vermin control too. I chose a terrier breed for that reason because I do not want to poison rats (and potentially other critters) and would rather the dog make them more cautious and if the opportunity arises, to despatch them. Other dogs I have owned included sight and trail hounds - my sighthounds were wonderful companions but hopeless at vermin control and I found it very stressful to combine free walking/off lead exercise with their particular kind of prey drive. I no longer wanted to try to stock train a sight hound tbh.

My trail hound was divine but as a retired working hound she had her own ideas about what it was to be 'domestic' and whilst I would happily have another hound, they are not necessarily easy. She never killed a thing and showed no interest whatsoever in vermin control! For me, vermin control by lethal terrier is more natural and more humane than any other method. There is more of a problem now with cats because we know that they will take birds that are potentially struggling where dogs are far more likely to be under some form of control and don't generally take birds. I love watching my terrier hunting rabbits or for (anything) rats in the woodpile and I know that if he can catch one, it will be dead very, very quickly. I don't have a problem with dead bodies or with death in this way but I do think that it should be controlled to a degree which is much harder with cats. If my neighbours cats were to kill our woodpeckers, young owls or goldfinches I would be really furious tbh.
 

Smitty

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Oh Clodagh, I'm sorry about your bantams. My bloodthirsty cat never came near my chickens (just the plain brown egg laying ones) but I shudder to think how many rare species he did kill. I was quite relieved when he died at 17 and although I love cats would never have another and would absolutely not confine one to a house.

Would it be possible to make them a large run with chicken wire and put a chicken wire lid on it? You've already thought of that I know and think it looks ugly and prefer them free range 😁😁

Or how about electric chicken fencing? I seem to remember getting 50metres of it ...

My on short lead and by my side terrier did, to my complete mortification, grab a friends chicken which came up to say hello to him while we were in her garden deep in conversation (our racehorses I think!!). There was a brief flurry and chicken escaped only to be killed by a cat a few days later😢😢

Other than that, he has killed rats, a couple of rabbits and hopefully not hedgehogs: I have removed one off him in the garden which I took straight to the vet as it was about mid day and a very large one he had picked up when I let him out at night and he dumped it on my bed. I put it back outside and it had gone in the morning, so hope that they were both ok.
 
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