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They need to start making it a crime to let your cat run free, like it is to let a dog run free.
This past summer I found a pile of blue feathers in my yard. Not far from this guy's home...
We have feral cats here in the country. My neighbor "takes care" of them the same way he takes care of groundhogs in his garden and I am not opposed at all. He asked once what our cats looked like so he didn't mistakenly take care of one of ours and I told him not to worry, our cats are always kept inside so fire at will.
Animals do what animals were designed to do (or evolved to do, whichever side of that you are on but that's a whole 'nother thread) and only people decide what is right or wrong, good or bad, or assign blame. It is only the perception of people that makes something evil out of something that comes naturally. We could go on about the advantages and disadvantages of nature itself and get nowhere, but it in my opinion it takes an evolved kind of person to accept something as beautiful without putting our own moralistic judgments on it. That said, I, too, step out of this discussion.
We have 3 cats of which all are fixed and up on shots..they all started out as inside cats. I was the only one taking care of the litter box, got tired of it and of cleaning up the hair. My son appeared to be allergic also. We moved them outside and they love it, they stay close to home although I have caught them in the neighbors yard a time or two, but they know where to come to get their meals. We have about 10 other strays coming around at every meal eating up our cats food. Our cats eat a little bit and back off and let the others have it. I'm so sick of feeding these strays! We stand out with a water hose and scare them off while our cats are eating but it upsets our cats more than the others. we've started buying the cheapiest cat food possible because we're going through cat food like crazy. Our cats don't like it apparently.
This all started from a neighbor that wasn't responsible enough to have her cats fixed. One or two extra is one thing but 10 with more adding to the list each month is insane!! I've even thought about giving two of ours away and bringing one inside, no food outside equals no cats lining up the drive way.
I used to own a nuisance wildlife company and we sometimes were paid to trap cats like the ones you are talking about (or the raccoons that have moved into people's houses because the cat food brought them in).
Feeding wild cats is a bad thing. They reproduce like crazy with sufficient food supplies and Feline leukemia usually strikes many of them due to the close quarters in which they live. Not to mention fleas and things like mange.
A life in the wild for a domestic cat is usually cruel and harsh.
When we trapped the cats we took them to the local humane society. We waited in the lobby for them to euthanize them so they could give us back our traps. I have grabbed a large male raccoon trapped in a basement by the scruff of its neck. I have caught bats flying around someone's bedroom at 2am. I even jumped on the back of an alligator on a franchise meeting in Florida.
By far the NASTIEST critter I dealt with were wild cats. They try to kill you more than anything else. They can NEVER be pets after living in the wild. They don't belong on the streets. The article said there is an estimated 80 million feral cats in the U.S. and they account for the majority of bird and small mammal killings here. They need to go. They are an invasive species like any other. They don't belong, they do damage and they do no good.
I agree with you John! Something has to be done. Our neighborhood is being overrun by feral cats and our yards are nothiing but huge litter boxes. I also love to feed the birds and they are a sure target for those nasty creatures. We have idiotic neighbors that feed them and deny doing it so we now have another 25 or 30 running around, hiding under porches or wherever they can find a place to reproduce. I've had it with the whole scene!!
If you feel that your cat needs to be an outdoor cat, for some reason, perhaps you should consider these facts:
1. Outdoor cats live, on average 1/2 to 1/3 shorter life spans.
2. Some outdoor cats that hunt on the property of bird watchers will find that their cat may disappear, without notice. If they love their pet, as they claim, it would be wise for them to go look for the animal at the local pound. Having a collar will not prevent your neglected and illegal cat from being taken to the pound. This applies to kittens of sufficient age to wean, also. If you become tired of doing this, you should look into appropriate measures to comply with the law.
So if you love your cat, and you aren't just saying that, reconsider the choice to let them run free.
In the US, and in most places in the world, they are an invalsive non-native species, and harmful to the environment.
There is a possibility I would negotiate a little with a neighbor if I knew the cat were neutered. But if he's on my property, hunting my birds in with any regularity, he's on his way to the pound. If I lived in the country, he would be shot on sight. Never dump unwanted animals in the country. Death by starvation is a cruel consequence for an uncaring owner. Criag's list makes finding placement free.
Feeding your cat outside is feeding other cats and critters too. For example, racoons outrank cats. If you have any unneutered outside cat, you are contributing to an ecologically bad action.
I agree John. In some instances pet dogs can be such a nuisance as well. Same neighbor I discussed earlier has two tiny dogs she lets them out everyday at some point and they are free to roam for a while on their own. I drive in from work, they chase my car, I can't see them (I don't care anymore) well, it would hurt me I guess deep down if I ran over one, but i'm to mad now lol! What gets me is they don't stop at my drive way they chase my car all the way to my house and are standing by the car when I get out. I can't stand a yappy dog, one that barks constantly for no reason. I'm not scared of these dogs, nothing a good quick kick in the rear would solve..I say that, but I would never do that... If you are going to have a pet you should have a fence. I understand dogs are smart, they figure ways to get out and I am considerate of this.
Anyway, i've seen these dogs do harm to the environment but like you say, nothing like cats and this is a cat discussion and not a dog one.
It all boils down to responsibility, cats should be fixed..if I new she actually claimed one of these cats, I'd take it to get it fixed for her. We have trapped cats before and taken to the pound but there is a fee and we can't do that anymore. If my son wasn't allergic, i'd bring all three of ours back in. He loves them and I can't bare to get rid of them because of it. They do have a good life, I agree inside would be even better.
I love cats. Cats are killers and people are so stupid they let them just reproduce at will. Nothing in this world as cute as a kitten but you have to remember they all grow up. I feed 5 inside our house and have seven outside. In the past two years we have taken 6 others to the vet to have them fixed to help cut down on the cats here and I guess it is helping but unless the rest of the world wises up I don't know where it will end. Don't blame the cats. Blame the people.
That wasn't directed at you. If you go back and read the responses you may see what I was refering to.
But you both mentioned "radicals" and "old dogs".
Did you read the study?
This isn't an attack on cats, it is an attack at letting them run free outside and the damage they do. Do you, or anyone else, deny they are indiscriminate killers?
We have two cats. They are both over 13 years old and they want nothing to do with the outside world. So I don't buy the "it's cruel to keep them inside" argument. It is simply not true.
Why are cats different than dogs? If you think a cat should be given their freedom why not a dog? Why do cat owners think their animals should be exempt from responsible pet ownership? Responsible pet owners don't let their pet run free. If not to protect wildlife, then for the reasons Greg stated, they live longer inside. If people really cared why wouldn't they be concerned with the dangers to a cat outside?
Yes, cats kill - that is a fact.
Whether or not they should be kept indoors is @ this point an opinion - because it is not law.
The owners of cats accused as being neglectful is an opinion - again, because it is not the law.
& to complete the above study they should have included information on what effects the INCREASE ( they breed at such an alarming rate) of the rodent population would cause to society and the Eco system if their natural predators were removed.
I love cats, & I love birds. Cats should be fixed & have their required immunizations - it could be as simple as putting into effect a license as they do for dogs.
Not all will comply of course, but it's a darn good start.
Cats were domesticated and brought in to houses to kill. They have saved us a lot in lost grain and sickness brought on by mice and rats. When we moved into our house there was a blue million snakes around the house. I didn't mind but they scared the wife to death every time she saw one. Got cats, snakes gone. And the occasional mouse doesn't stand a chance anymore.
They are all fixed and have their shots. The indoor and outdoor ones
I read the study, and I know that cats do big damage. I'm all for keeping cats only indoors.
But ... both my cats are adopted ... their parents were feral cats. Both are neutered and both don't take being only indoors well. And yes, both are killers if they have a chance ... few birds, actually only the weak ones.
I trained them to go out for an hour or so in the morning, then come home for breakfast ... that's when I close the door so that they cannot get out again for the rest of the day, but they do need this one hour.
I love my cats ... and I love all other animals (except spiders). So what would you suggest?
Our neighbor feeds coyotes and their babies because 'coyote babies are so cute'. They really ARE cute, but they are also not vaccinated against rabies, not neutered, full of fleas and ticks, often sick, and they are opportunists. I think that levels the playing field.
"In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat."
It's not the law that I keep my cats in the house, but I do it. You don't have to follow a law to be responsible. The right thing is the right thing.
But I did have a thought. There is a Federal Migratory Bird act that affords some pretty serious penalties (upwards of $20,000.00) for killing protected birds. The only birds NOT protected by this act are English sparrows, Starlings, Pigeons and I believe mute swans were removed from protection. I would like to see this act used against people who own a cat that kills a bird. A person is responsible for their pet, so they are responsible for the bird that pet kills. A person that lets their cat roam free and that cat kills a robin it is really no different than if I shot one with a gun. Of course, an authority would have to witness the cat kill the bird and someone would have to claim ownership of it. It would probably be easier just to make it illegal to let them roam free. That way an animal control officer could just try to catch it without needing a "reason" other than it was running free. (just like they can with dogs)
More from the article...
"All concur that pet cats should not be allowed to prowl around the neighborhood at will, any more than should a pet dog, horse or potbellied pig, and that cat owners who insist their felines “deserve” a bit of freedom are being irresponsible and ultimately not very cat friendly."
So what would you think if they made it a law that cats be kept indoors? You know, like dogs? In most places letting a dog roam free is a fine at least. Would you be opposed to that?
It seems to me that most cats that "can't stand being indoors" are cats that got a "taste" of it early on. They can adapt to being indoor animals like a fish can adapt to living in a tank. Ours would actually getting pretty freaked out if we put them outside after living inside for 13 years.
I am surprised you let them out at all if you have coyotes so close. Cats are a favorite snack for them.
"...but they are also not vaccinated against rabies, not neutered, full of fleas and ticks, often sick, and they are opportunists"
Oh, please,...give me a pit bull anytime over a domestic cat. No animals have any sense,really,but do respond to training...the reward? Food! A natural need. You are passionate about this...good.!...responsible people know all this already, but you are highly dog-minded and confrontational here,John....(lol...couldn't resist the pun)....carry on diatribing...outa here now....
Edit....pit bulls....trained killers - something should be done!
Lol. & then can I press charges against said protected bird if it vandalizes my house or my car - or the person/persons who decided to protect the vandalizer ?
Probably not, because it would be considered an act of nature.
If it in fact became law - I would not oppose the law. I would do my best to abide by it.
For what it's worth I live in a rural area surrounded by 100's of thousands of acres of fields, forests & wildlife.
& Dogs run freely.
....... They can adapt to being indoor animals like a fish can adapt to living in a tank. See, that's where you are not quite right, John.
........ I am surprised you let them out at all if you have coyotes so close. Cats are a favorite snack for them. I know that, but I have to choose between them marking their territory inside the house or outside. I prefer outside.
Other than that, other cats and wildlife have a high chance to get run over by a car, mine have a chance to become a coyote-snack, same with the bird having a chance to become a snack for the cat. Such is life. But for the time they live they have a good life, coyotes, birds and cats.
What about deer hunting just for fun to make a hunter happy? Do you oppose that as strong as you oppose outdoor cats?
I can't argue that I am passionate about it. But I'm not some cat-hating, tree-hugging, PETA member. I just think this killing is pointless. Cats, especially feral ones, are nuisance animals. There is no excuse for letting them run free killing at will. We don't allow our dogs to do it, we shouldn't let our cats.
Then people posted images of their cats like this was some "bragging board". I just wonder how those same people would feel if their neighbor posted a picture of their German Shepherd after it killed their cat and said "yep, my big boy is a killer".
I spent most of last summer hanging out with the bird I posted earlier. A few days after their first brood left the nest I found a pile of blue feathers on my property. I had also seen a cat or two wandering around. These cats were not the neighbor's pet, they were wild, as I live in "the sticks" and I think people dump them out here along with the occasional dog. I haven't seen the cat recently it either froze to death, was killed by a coyote or shot by the neighbor. Which is fine with me.
Now if this bird was killed by a raccoon it would be different. I would still feel bad but at least I could say "that's nature". A cat (feral or someone's pet) is not "nature". All free roaming cats should be captured and destroyed. They have no place. The feral ones espcially are nasty and worthless.
Invasive species are a big problem. From the pythons in the evrglades to the mute swans to the feral cats. Our goal should be eradication. Perhaps we could go back to the "bounty" system that almost wiped out the wolves in this country. Pay people $1.00 for every cat tail they bring in.
I know how that sounds. Again, I am not a cat hater. There is nothing wrong with cats as pets. But they need to be kept under control. I'll add a picture of my own. To "counter" the pictures of cats posted here. This is what I am fighting for...
"See, that's where you are not quite right, John. "
How's that Christine? Domestic animals adapt to their surroundings. We are not talking about raccoons taken from the wild.
"What about deer hunting just for fun to make a hunter happy? Do you oppose that as strong as you oppose outdoor cats? "
I don't. But I also don't know any people that hunt "just for fun". Everyone I know eats the deer they kill. Cats eat what they eat as well, sometimes. Sometimes they kill just to kill.
Also, deer populations are managed and regulated. Their numbers are solid. Hunters have regulations to follow based on population numbers. They have seasons that prevent young animals from being harvested or mothers caring for young to be killed.
Cats have no hunting season. They will kill an endangered species. They will kill a baby animal. They have no regulations.
Poop. A bird pooping on your house or car.
To be honest with you - I thought your original post was in sarcasm.
Had I known that you were in any type of pain over a beloved blue bird - I would not have posted in this thread .
Poop is temporary, death is permanent.
I am going to assume you are serious with the rest. I am not in "pain" over the bird. I am angry. I saw the result of what cats can do and I know it is pointless. That's the thing. These killings are pointless. Our dogs don't kill billions of animals every year. Dogs are killers as well and they are capable of killing. But they don't have the same priority of killing as cats. We have laws to prevent them from running and we should have the same in place for cats. It is LONG over-due. Our cats are 13 years old and I can say, without a doubt, that they have never killed a wild animal. So I don't believe it at all when someone says "it can't be helped".