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BS: Cat's hunting habits

Auxiris 07 Sep 01 - 05:29 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 07 Sep 01 - 05:32 AM
Mark Cohen 07 Sep 01 - 05:50 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 07 Sep 01 - 06:01 AM
Ella who is Sooze 07 Sep 01 - 06:02 AM
catspaw49 07 Sep 01 - 06:41 AM
Auxiris 07 Sep 01 - 07:13 AM
Morticia 07 Sep 01 - 07:19 AM
Mike Byers 07 Sep 01 - 07:51 AM
Ella who is Sooze 07 Sep 01 - 07:54 AM
Ella who is Sooze 07 Sep 01 - 07:59 AM
English Jon 07 Sep 01 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Astorsen 07 Sep 01 - 08:12 AM
Auxiris 07 Sep 01 - 10:00 AM
SharonA 07 Sep 01 - 10:06 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 07 Sep 01 - 10:13 AM
Marymac90 07 Sep 01 - 10:35 AM
Deda 07 Sep 01 - 10:57 AM
Auxiris 07 Sep 01 - 11:55 AM
SharonA 07 Sep 01 - 12:10 PM
SINSULL 07 Sep 01 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Fred 07 Sep 01 - 12:28 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Sep 01 - 01:16 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 01:51 PM
lady penelope 07 Sep 01 - 02:03 PM
MMario 07 Sep 01 - 02:09 PM
SharonA 07 Sep 01 - 02:17 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 02:24 PM
MMario 07 Sep 01 - 02:36 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Sep 01 - 02:52 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 02:55 PM
Big Mick 07 Sep 01 - 03:02 PM
MMario 07 Sep 01 - 03:09 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 03:16 PM
Jim Krause 07 Sep 01 - 03:30 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 03:36 PM
MMario 07 Sep 01 - 03:37 PM
MMario 07 Sep 01 - 03:40 PM
Gareth 07 Sep 01 - 03:45 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 03:51 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 04:01 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Sep 01 - 04:36 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Sep 01 - 05:08 PM
gnu 07 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM
SharonA 07 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Sep 01 - 05:47 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Sep 01 - 06:15 PM
SINSULL 07 Sep 01 - 06:25 PM
SINSULL 07 Sep 01 - 06:27 PM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 01 - 06:48 PM
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Subject: Cat's hunting habits
From: Auxiris
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:29 AM

Hello, everyone. . . I'd like to ask those of you who live with cats if you could shed some light on behaviour exibited by the two who allow me to live in their house.

They both go out and hunt, but while Astor (male cat) brings back dead rats and mice and decorates the terrace with them, Bauxita (female cat) brings back LIVE rodents, trots into the house with them, lets them loose and then sits down and waits for ME to catch them.

Anyone have a theory? Thanks!

cheers,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:32 AM

Simple: Bauxita perceives you as another cat (cats have brains the size of a cat's brain). She also sees that you don't hunt with them. In cat culture, the mother teaches the kitten how to deal with prey by bringing live examples home and allowing the youngster to play with it. This, I postulate, is what she is doing; trying to teach you how to hunt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:50 AM

I think she's just miffed because you named her for a rock (aluminum ore) instead of something elegant. Otherwise, I think Dai's analysis is brilliant.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:01 AM

No, having seen Mark's response, and knowing a few cats, I'd say he's right...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:02 AM

Agree with Dai totally...

We have a problem at the moment with my cat Monty.

He has become bored of the usual, mice, voles, fieldmice, doormice anything mice and has graduated to rabbits...

Not just the babies, but full grown adults too.

Our garden (which is big) is fast becoming a burial ground of astranomic proportions. (or in Montys case gastranomic)

Monty is always bringing me home presents, but just lately the rabbits are getting me annoyed with him.

He's brought one home alive, after being chased down our road, by a group of local youngsters (5-10 year olds) who saw him with a rabbit, and chased him down to our house.

We opened the door to a barrage of shouts, misses your cats got a rabbit. All 10 of them plus 3 adults were then chasing cat plus rabbit, then rabbit with the fishing net.

That rabbit survived...

He's wearing a bell already, short of equipping him with an early warning system I don't know what else to do!

(even next doors Koi are not safe)

Ella


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:41 AM

Well, there's fried rabbit with thick gravy, rabbit sauteed in beer (very tasty), and of course the always reliable Hassenpfeffer...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Auxiris
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 07:13 AM

Thanks for the theory, Dai. . . makes sense. Now, do you have any advice about how I can convince her to kill her prey outdoors? I'm sure she thinks I'm a very stupid kitten, as I require a broom and dustpan to capture the rats and mice she brings me to kill. Often they escape me entirely (I'm not a cat, after all), Bauxita looses interest and leaves them for Astor to finish off when he comes home in the evening.

I know Mark, I am a sad person, naming my poor little cat after a rock (but she IS exactly the right colour). Bauxita's full name, by the way is Bauxita la gata y velcro.

Thanks for the story, Ella (sorry to admit that I'm still laughing). . . makes me think that my problem isn't so bad after all and at least neither Astor nor Bauxita go after birds very much. Perhaps the best thing I can do is keep the back door closed, though it's too bad to do that when the weather's warm, eh.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Morticia
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 07:19 AM

My eldest cat used to have the disconcerting habit of tucking her latest victims neatly under the rug... only neat until someone stood on them, mind you....quite unpleasant at 7 o'clock in the morning to be scraping up inside out mouse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Mike Byers
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 07:51 AM

I'm not sure you can change a cat's hunting behavior: catching things is something that's pretty much "hardwired" in cats. And while I've read information to the effect that catching, killing and eating other animals is learned rather than instinctive behavior in cats, I don't believe it. Both of my cats, neither of whom had an opportunity to learn this from another cat, catch, kill and eat (not to mention upchuck on the rug) everything from snakes to chipmunks. And it's not because I don't feed 'em: they just like to do this, hungry or not. I've watched one of them eye a wild turkey. He gave it up as too big a project for an eight-pound cat, but I could tell he was considering it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 07:54 AM

Spaw - my dad has got quite annoyed on that part, he keeps telling me, he wishes that my cat would leave a whole one... He reckons there is nothing better than rabbit stew... (yeuch)

No probs Aux... Monty also like's bird - oh and moths/flies frogs cause him hours of entertainment, and he's taken to giving next door live specimens of those, as he lets himself into their house too. Infact, anything that moves. Thank god he has not discovered the grass snakes and slow worms we have in our garden... though my cat prior to him had, and I had to rescue a snake which had its head clattered as the other cat (Perry, now no longer with us) ran through the picket fence.

Hedgehogs (or hodgehegs as my neice calls em) are also exempt from Montys endeavours... He's not quite figured them out yet.

and Morticia.... ewwwwww!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 07:59 AM

Mike,

Monty has also been considering a bird of huge proportions, one of the local sea gulls. Girt big thing, huge infact, with a deadly look in it's eye...

If its not that one, then it's the local wood pidgeon that sits on my roof everymorning.

Oh, and I am glad we don't have chipmunks in the UK...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: English Jon
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:05 AM

Corrrr... I fink sheez just a bit shit at killing fings.

corr.

EJC


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST,Astorsen
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:12 AM

I met once a (female) rabbit that used to chase cats out of her territory...

Cats!

JL


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Auxiris
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:00 AM

I'm now convinced that I've not much of a problem at all, as when Astor finishes off the rodents that Bauxita has left alive in the house, he at least leaves them on top of the rug. In the middle.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: SharonA
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:06 AM

I'm just now reading "All My Patients are Under the Bed" by Louis J. Camuti, and he talks about cats bringing prey to their humans to try to teach them how to hunt and kill as their mothers had taught them. It may or may not be a learned behavior, but it's definitely a learned SKILL if the mother cat must teach her young how to do it CORRECTLY.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:13 AM

Coincidentally I saw a repeat of the excellent documentary 'predators' on BBC2 last night, on the subject of learned/taught predatory skills (as opposed to innate ones like what you get in cuttlefish). One of the examples shown was your domestic cat, with much footage of kittens playing with (and losing) voles and other crunchy squeaks.

The thrust of the argument was that they (juvenile cats) don't need tuition in how to catch or kill things so much as in the unique characteristics of prey animals - smell, evasion strategies, speed, jolt and jerk, etc.

Having seen this behaviour myself, I must say the evidence is compelling...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Marymac90
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:35 AM

My housemates have three cats. One of them, Ebony, has the initials BBB after his name, for Baby Bunny Butcher. However, he often just plays with them and frightens them half to death!

Ebony is the smartest of the three, and has long known how to do things like let himself out of doors that are not securely locked. The youngest, and least bright of the three, Sasha, has recently learned (after four years of observation!) to imitate Ebony's practice of leaning on a screen door to get out of the house. He still seems clueless re: Ebony's technique of opening an unlocked door by sliding a paw beneath it, and pulling it toward him!

The third cat, Molly, (Ebony's littermate--they're about 15), has developed VERY BAD habit--while she will do her "#1's" IN the litterbox, she deposits her "#2's" on the floor near the litterbox!!! And if her people don't clean them up often enough, she will deposit them on the rug!!! Anybody got any suggestions re: changing this behavior?

Marymac


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Deda
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:57 AM

My cat Squimmy is heavy (13 lbs) and as far as I know she's never killed anything bigger than a small moth. When we were infested with mice, she loved to stare at the wall behind which they were scritchity-scratching, but that was as helpful as she got. We had to get old-fashioned mouse-traps, the cartoon Tom&Jerry type -- which worked well, baited with pnut butter crackers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Auxiris
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 11:55 AM

Have just deposited the fourth rat of the day on the compost heap (the crows and hawks have got into the habit of coming around and taking away the bodies) and have come to the conclusion, after reading some of the other posts, that indeed I have absolutely nothing to gripe about.

Perhaps these attempts to teach me how to kill and/or what kind of prey I should be hunting should just be accepted as normal. . . and at the very least amusing for the cats! And maybe someday—if I pay attention-I'll even learn how to hunt, who knows?

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: SharonA
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 12:10 PM

Marymac: When my Chester was a senior cat, he displayed the same sort of behavior when his kidneys were failing. The reason: the stools were hard because the moisture in them had been absorbed by the body in an attempt to compensate for the kidney failure. So he was constipated and the stools were difficult to pass, often hanging onto his butt till after he'd left the litter box and then dropping onto the carpet.

Don't know if this is Molly's problem, of course, but it would be wise to get her to the vet (with a recent stool sample if possible), describe her behavior and let the vet run some tests before assuming it's simply a behavior problem... especially since she's 15 years old!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 12:18 PM

My cats are all indoor cats and confine their hunting to unfortunate mosquitoes and the occasional bee. For a while, I lived at my father's house with LuLu. Dad had a basement full of mice. Every morning, like clockwork, he would get up at 4:30 for work, step on the latest kill with his bare feet, and shout "That F***in' cat!" Poor LuLu never got a thank you and never brought one to me. I think she enjoyed upsetting him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 12:28 PM

A very predatory cat can be a "one man" ecological disaster in terms of preying on baby rabbits, quail, etc. If you are a true animal lover, you wil keep such pets in the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 01:16 PM

Bollox!

Cat's are SUPPOSED to hunt.. and they are supposed to hunt small animals like rabbits, quail, mice, and on and on and on...

Ecological disaster?!?!?! That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard... I suspect you're driven not so much by animal 'love' as you are by the incorrect assumption that you can control the world...

Let your cat's out.. let them hunt... they were here before we got here... they'll be here after we're gone...

Too bad about Australia getting flooded by them though... that desert in the middle is gonna end up one big cat box...

Also, don't TRY to change a hunting cat's behaviour, unless you want a really depressed kitty in your house... If you don't let them out to hunt, you have to come up with other indulgences for them... lots of 'toys'... High places to get up onto... Things for them to get under... Oh... and new faces from time to time... even new animals... Keeps 'em on their toes...

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 01:51 PM

Cat's are domestic animals that do not need to hunt. That is what Cat Chow is for. In fact, a lot of cats do not even to bother to eat what they kill. Even though they have hunting insticts, that is no reason to let them kill other animals. If your neighbor's dog kills your cat, are you going to accept it if he uses the same logic that you did in your message? As for ecological disasters, you have little knowledge of the outdoors. If unchecked, a cat will wipe out an entire nest of baby rabbits, birds, etc. just to have something to play with. Or, they will easily kill the mother who refuses to leave the nest. Guess what happens? The babies starve. Magnify such incidents by thousands of cats with indifferent owners such as yourself and yes, it is a disaster. So, yes, keep the damn things indoors and get them toys or whatever. If you insist on letting them run loose, they should be spayed, neutered, and de-clawed. That makes them less of a killing machine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: lady penelope
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:03 PM

I have two cats, Cerys - who had never been out side till she was nearly two years old and promptly turned into a major hunter and Mungo who has been let out since he had his jabs and was looked after by a previous female cat, but turned out to be the laziest thing on four legs when it comes to hunting. Either that or he saw the documentary on Pandas and how they hunt by letting the prey come to them!

I've managed to dissuade Cerys from bringing in starlings to play with ( live )by shouting a lot when she brought them in, but she can't resist frogs and moths, which she will eventually eat (well the moths anyway ) but she does torture them something rotten.

As to bunnies, where are the owners keeping them if a cat can get at them so easily? I thought one of the main problems rabbit owners had was stopping them from escaping and protecting them from things like foxes.

the domestic cat is as indigenous to the british isles as we are and are not an ecological threat. ( well not by eating rabbits. )

As to pooping out side the box, your cat may have become ( for what ever felinous reason ) terribly fussy about how clean its' tray is and you have to either find a huge tray, or what I found worked, one of those cat loos ( the ones with the hoods ). The cat thought I was trying to take her to the vet, until she sussed there was a whole load of litter in there and then it suddenly became her best place! And we're talking about a cat that actually comes all the way indoors to go to the loo ( which should please the gardeners amongst you! )

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: MMario
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:09 PM

we got cats specifically to reduce the rabbit population in our area. The rabbits were destroying gardens, lawn and even trees. The cats keep them under control very nicely, thank you. Aside from the occasional "gift" offering our cats do eat what they kill. While the local coyote and foxes were keeping the rabbits under control in the woods and the more distant fields - they refuse to hunt in the area around the houses. The cats fill in that blind spot very well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: SharonA
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:17 PM

GUEST says: "If you insist on letting them run loose, they should be spayed, neutered, and de-clawed."

Spayed and neutered, yes! That will not only decrease the population of unwanted cats, but also (whether indoor or outdoor cats) will make your female more comfortable and will decrease the odor level in your male's urine.

Declawed and running loose outside, no! No! A thousand times, NO!!! If you declaw your cat, (s)he MUST remain indoors unless you take the cat out on a leash or put the cat in an outdoor enclosure safe from predators (and even those two outdoor options are iffy, since the cat might escape). A cat needs claws to defend against predators and to escape from them by climbing.

If the cat will let you, it's preferable to clip the tips of the claws to prevent damage to your furniture. Also, train the cat to use a scratching post (preferably sisal, not carpet-covered) if at all possible. That way, if your indoor cat does escape, (s)he is not defenseless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:24 PM

The "gift-offerings" are wasteful, cruel, and unnecessary given the options that even you acknowledged as viable. The fact that, to your limited knowledge, your cats generally eat what they kill does not apply to most cats. In fact, I don't recall ever seeing a cat eat an entire rabbit. And on the topic of rabbits, they are not a problem in most areas. And what about all the other species killed by cats: birds, squirrels, etc. And coyotes and foxes will hunt near houses and subdivisions if given the chance to adapt. Unfortunately, they will prey on (unnecesarily) free-ranging cats and dogs. When the owners complain, the coyotes and foxes are exterminated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: MMario
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:36 PM

How many years shall I give the local foxes and coyotes to adapt? It's been over 30.

one or two shrews or voles per cat a month (about the limits of our "gifts") are hardly going to unbalance the local neighborhood ecology. The only thing left of the rabbits, squirrels , possums, woodchucks, chipmunks etc our cats kill are normally the tails, occasionally a foot. The cats seem to do a much neater and complete job about disposing of their kills then most of the local wild animals.

I do have to admit they will occasionally leave the wings of large moths - eating only the bodies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:52 PM

1) Declawd cats can hunt and flee about 95% as efficiently as clawed cats... so that's a myth that declawed cat's CAN'T go outside...

2) Cat's domesticated?!?!?! You don't know a thing about 'em do ya?? They are so close to wild, it's not even funny... Cat's NEED to hunt.. so does your dog... That's what he's doing when you play fetch with him... he's hunting! Cats are just smart enough to not be fooled by anything less than a feather on a string, or a ball of tinfoil with nip in it... They are a preditor. Full stop... They WILL hunt no matter what you do, short of abuse...

3) "Magnify such incidents by thousands of cats"... that's called THE NATURAL ORDER!!! Some stuff kills other stuff... it's the way of the world... do you feel the same way when a shark cuts a swath through a herd of baby seals?!?!?! I hope not...

4)I've seen cat's eat a whole rabbit... Hungry or not... And well, what they don't eat, somethng else will.. there's NO SUCH THING AS WASTE IN THE NATURAL ORDER!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 02:55 PM

It is universally documented that Coyotes readily adapt to semi-urban (and even urban) environments. The fact that you don't see them in your backyard at high Noon doesn't mean that they aren't there. If they aren't, then it is probably due to factors mentioned in my last message. And I have to admit that you are starting to lose considerable credibility. First you claim that your cat consistently kills rabbits (because the neighborhood is overrun with them), now you are saying that it is mainly shrews and voles. Plus, you claimed that many of these kills were gift-offerings. Cats don't eat gift-offerings because they are killing them for you, not themselves. Please get your story straight. And you have again ignored my comments about the killing of birds. It is simply assinine to let cats prey on birds such as quail, pheasants, ducks, etc. Lastly, you must have very special cats as I have never known of one to kill and eat a possum, woodchuck (extremely rare) or an entire rabbit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:02 PM

So's anyway............One day Seamus looks over the fence and sees wee Moira, with tears on her face, burying a large box. He asks her what she is doing. She tearfully replies that she is burying her hamster because it died. Seamus replies, "I am sorry to hear that, but isn't that an awfully big box for a hamster?" "Not really," she says, "he is inside your feckin' cat!".

Are you ready for this, Clinton?? I agree with you completely on this. For our guest to suggest that hunting is unneccessary for cats, borders on the ridiculous. Cats are predators, and for the most part, carnivores. They are conditioned by thousands of generations of this behaviour. And even if we assumed that it isn't necessary, the cat lacks the ability to make this judgement. And furthermore, what cat do you know that allows itself to be taught any thing that it doesn't want to learn.............LOL?

Big Mick, who is proudly owned by Esmeralda the Calico.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: MMario
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:09 PM

"occasional" is not equal to "many" - nor did I say in the first post what the "gift" offerings were (and those ARE normally shrews or voles.) Our cats DO kill and eat woodchucks and possum- tho I will grant mostly the young ones. likewise they prey primarily on the younger rabbits. "consistantly" killing rabbits does not mean that is their only prey.

Regarding losing credibility - please do not read into what I have posted what you "THINK" I am saying. Nothing I have posted is self-contridictory.

Nor am I in an urban or really even a suburban setting - even the local farmers consider our section of the county to be "in the sticks"; the fact is that the foxes and coyotes do not hunt in the area closeby the house or our grounds - and we WOULD know about it as most of our animals (especially the burro) exhibit quite noticiable behavior if they spot either foxes or coyotes. So we are very aware of when they are around - day or night. Yes the cats take down some birds (and have been seen to take them down on the wing)

On the other hand we have lost duck nests to raccoon and possum many times. (the cats have taken the occasional young raccoon - but tend mostly to just drive them off)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:16 PM

Why is it necessary for cats to hunt? As domesticated animals they are supposed to be fed by their owners. They may want to hunt, but they do not have to hunt. My six year old niece WANTS to eat M&Ms for breakfast but she doesn't NEED to. And a well-fed cat will generally kill only for sport or "gift-giving." And yes, cats lack the judgement in regards to this killing. But i guess that I am being ridiculous in assuming that responsible owners who have some regard for other forms of animal life would be the ones exercising some rational judgement and feline control.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Jim Krause
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:30 PM

My, what a lively discussion here.

I own a cat, a Domestic Longhair, sort of a miniature Maine Coon. She's declawed, too. We got her that way, alas. One of her favorite pasttimes is to go down to the basement and hunt crickets when it starts to get cold in the fall. Of course she presents them to us with a definite attitude saying "See, this is how it is supposed to be done."

She is also a master at the art of bluffing. She chased the neighbor's cat off the porch one recent summer afternoon. The neighbor's cat is still equipped with her claws.

We do let her out, but only for short periods of time. These little rambles of hers are supervised. And she's pretty good about coming in when it's time.

I haven't noticed any decrease in the songbirds about the neighborhood, yet. It would seem to me that the bird, assuming it to be healthy would have the upper hand, being able to fly away and perch in safety on the nearest electrical wire, or a higher branch of another tree.
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:36 PM

Jim,

You represent rational cat ownership. De-clawing drastically reduces a cat's ability to kill other mammals. Spaying and neutering can also inhibit the so-called genetic drive that the other writers wish to wax so eloquently about. Ditto for short, supervised ventures outdoors. So, I trust that you never have to deal with decomposing rabbits in the flower bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: MMario
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:37 PM

well - our cats are barn cats - not to say that they never come indoors - but they are primarily responsible for pest control. They have cat chow available to them at most times (I would say at all times but we only check the bowls a couple times a day - and sometimes they might possibly go as much as 12 hours without kibble if it were to be emptied immedietly after filling.) guess what? they PREFER hunting. and there is really no way to stop them - given that we rely on them for exactly that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: MMario
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:40 PM

BTW - while cats are classed as "companion animals" there are factions in the intellectual community who argue quite elequently that they should not be classed as "domesticated". Most of the arguments revolve around the average cats instinctive drive to stalk and hunt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Gareth
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:45 PM

Have just watched a big moggy (Trs = CAT) stalking my terrier with intent one wonders.

The real fun was some years I spent in East Africa when my parents were teaching there.

We had a cat (inherited) it would hunt happilly and bring in presents. To deposit at your feet.

Not so funny when the present was a live, and very unhappy Puff Adder.

Ah the fun of sepperating Cat, Puff Adder and Self without getting bitten by Cat or Snake.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 03:51 PM

IF you are in a situation where cats are truely needed for pest control (i.e. rats and mice), then there is no need for them to be killing shrews, voles, rabbits, etc. In fact, aren't shrews mice eaters. Kinda problematic huh? And just because cats do provide some valuable pest control (i.e. legitimate barn cats) in some instances, it is foolish to assume that all cats everywhere should be able to kill indiscriminately. Cats may PREFER to hunt, but to repeat, the owner is suposed to be the one doing the thinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 04:01 PM

By the way, I have a German Shepherd who is driven by his genes and PREFERS to hunt and kill. I want to indulge him in this as well as save on Puppy Chow. Why don't some of you who have spoken up against cat control give me your addresses so that I can bring him over for a kitty hunt. It should be perfectly acceptable (and natural) according to your logic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 04:36 PM

Your kid might WANT to eat M&M, but a cat NEEDS to hunt... It's instinct... there's a big difference between a WANT and an INSTINCTUAL DRIVE... Neutering, while a good population control and will stop your tom cat from wanting to go on a tear for 2 weeks every spring, doesn't do much for the hunting drive... As I hinted at above, the only way to alter a behaviour so ingrained in a cat is by abuse... may as well try to teach it to not purr... or to not shed...

I also tend towards siding with the non-domestication side... Cat's haven't been living with us half as long as other domesticated animals kile say dogs and cows that have been SO SCREWED UP by the idiots of the human race (Who think they can -CONTROL- the world or that the big invisible white man in the sky GAVE it to them!!!) as to now be totally dependant on them... Abandoned cats can go feral again and become wild to the point where they cannot be taken back into homes... Dogs that get abandoned rarely return to that feral a state, and in fact will be KILLED by truely wild dogs for being 'humanised'...

Dogs have been with the human race since the time of the caves... Probably even much earlier... cows about the same lenght of time... There's strong evidence that cats have only been living close to humans since the Egyptian Era... Not a long time at all when it comes to attempting to repress or change instinct...

I wanna get a Bengal Cat... and teach it to hunt neighbourhood dogs and kids!!

gods love Ian and his furry (and not so furry) friends!

LOL!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:08 PM

HEY!

What happened to the html I put in the above post???

Cat musta got it...

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: gnu
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM

Cheucie was an apartment cat when I married the ex. We got a house. She was four years old and she was tentative about the world outside. She would explore, but not hunt. I brought home some partridge the first day of the fall hunt and showed them to her. The very next day, the worst catterwalling you ever heard came from the back door. We ran to see if she was still alive. She was... and so was the pigeon she had pinned under one paw, whilst looking up at us for praise. I swear, she was smiling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: SharonA
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM

Ever see the Far Side cartoon "What We Say to Cats/What Cats Hear"?

The "what we say to cats" panel shows a person talking to a cat, and in the "speech balloon" of the cartoon is a litany that goes something like "Bad kitty, mustn't climb the drapes, mustn't take fish out of the aquarium, mustn't kill the pretty songbirds" or some such.

The "what cats hear" panel shows the same scene, and in the person's "speech balloon" is... nothing.

A cat will hunt whatever it finds to hunt, indoors or out, regardless of what humans think is proper prey and what we think is not. Also, our definition of proper prey changes with the situation: for the gardener, a cute little bunny or squirrel or bird is a destructive pest that should be kept out of the garden if the crops are to survive to maturity.

The value judgments about which animals are "okay" to kill are made by humans, not by the animals themselves. Try to tell a cat that it's "right" to kill a mouse but "wrong" to kill a rabbit because you don't "need" him to do so. Try to tell a dog that it's "right" to eat the beef-flavored dog food and "wrong" to eat the roast on the table because he doesn't "need" it since he has his dog food.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:47 PM

Squirrls... yuck...

Feckin' tree RATS!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:15 PM

i stand corrected on the declawing front...

http://www.hdw-inc.com/declaw.htm

I'd -never- declaw a cat!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:25 PM

As I said, my cats are indoor beasties, have full dishes, and lots of toys. However, on the odd occasion, when a mouse makes an appearance, they get it and leave it for me as a gift. My beloved Freddie, on his last night on this earth, fulfilled his lifelong dream and caught a bird. I don't know who was more surprised. But Freddie dropped it to take a better look and it flew away. I praised the poor old guy anyway. He did finally catch one, after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:27 PM

Strange but true. The night after Freddie died,a dead bird was left at the backdoor. It had never happened before and hasn't happened since. I like to think he came back to get it right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cat's hunting habits
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:48 PM

I wonder if Mike Byers and I are neighbors. It's fun to watch the neighborhood feral cats stalk our huge wild turkeys. I wonder what would happen if a cat ever decided to try to catch one. The cats also play with half-dead snakes and lizards, and leave them outside my door. No rattlesnakes yet - but it's bound to happen.
We have very few tame cats in the neighborhood - they don't coexist with the feral ones.
-Joe Offer-


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