Mudcat Café message #546525 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38653   Message #546525
Posted By: SharonA
10-Sep-01 - 04:08 PM
Thread Name: BS: Cat's hunting habits
Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
GUEST says: " 'To cause intense suffering,' and 'something that causes agony or pain,' are both definitions that are independent of intent or malice." Absolutely true! However, GUEST, your previous posts have left me with the impression that you felt that cat owners DO maliciously intend to cause suffering and pain to the cat's prey by allowing the cat to hunt and kill. But whether the owners do so intentionally or not, I take it that it is your contention that cat owners torture prey animals by allowing them to suffer and die. Perhaps so, but what tortureless alternative do you suggest to keep mice from overrunning a barn or to keep rabbits from ravaging garden vegetables? Doesn't trapping, even "humanely", cause suffering to the animal that cannot escape and find shelter from the elements? Is relocation not a means of upsetting the natural balance in that new place?

Since you say that you were once a hunter and killer of animals, you have by your own admission "tortured", and not by proxy but directly. The fact that you changed your habits and are now caring for these same species is commendable, but I do not understand why it leads you to the conclusion that cat owners should not allow their cats to keep a property's vermin population under control. You of all people should be expected to understand the predator-prey relationship and its importance in maintaining a population balance in "the outdoors in general." Why is it okay with you when a shrew kills a mouse, but not when a cat does?

I'm wondering how far your respect for all life takes you. Are you a vegetarian? Do you allow roaches to roam freely through your home? If your child had head lice, would you tell her that she would be torturing them by using a lice shampoo? If your dog had fleas, do you tell the dog to stop scratching because they have a right to live on him? Do you stop cows and horses from swishing their tails to shoo flies away? I have to assume that even you still draw the line somewhere!

I find it interesting that you mention "game animals like rabbits, squirrels, quail, pheasant, etc." as animals that a cat should not kill with impunity. "Game" animals are defined (as long as I have the dictionary out!) as "animals under pursuit or taken in hunting, especially wild animals hunted for sport or food." So it seems to me that your objection to letting a cat hunt these animals is that it deprives the human hunter of HIS sport and HIS dinner! And here I thought you'd given up that sort of thing yourself. I guess you're saying it's okay with you if other humans torture and kill these "game" animals, as long as the cats aren't competing with the humans.