Because any five year old who can't run at 50mph is asking for trouble anyway and probably not worth keeping.
Britain is at risk from being overrun by ferocious "supercats", as domestic moggies interbreed with fierce wildcats increasingly being imported by extreme pet owners. The stark warning comes in both the Daily Mail and the Telegraph. Each paper informed its pussy-loving readers this week of warnings from animal welfare groups …
Domestic cats are a non-native, invasive, destructive species.
They were introduced to these islands as mousers, but your average domestic moggy rarely catches house mice these days, instead prefering to maul outdoor wildlife. Feral broods breed rampantly leading to pockets of undernourished, in-bred mangy bundles of disease, although this is less of a problem in northern climes. (Northern Spanish coastal towns, on the other hand, are festooned with flea-ridden feral felines.)
They serve no useful purpose and are now mere agents of distruction -- ban the buggers.
I think the author of this piece (or maybe the source) needs a bit of basic education in biology. A chimera is not the same thing as a cross-breed (which is what you get when you cross animals from different breeds of related sub-species). That's what you will get by cats inter-breeding with wildcats of various sorts.
A chimera is quite a different thing and the name derives from mythology ((for instance the sphinx would be a chimera) - it's where an organism has two sets of co-existing cells, both of which originate from different zygotes. That is two different fertilised cells. This happens rarely, but occasionally in mammals (including human beings) when two ova are fertilised and they fuse at an early stage of development producing a single individual. This is a very rare event that happens with people too - there are documented cases where babies have a different genetic footprint to at least part of the mother's cells because her eggs derived from a different fertilised egg from other parts of her body.
Oher types of chimera can be created from different, but related animals by human intervention. Essentially it involves inserting cells from one fertilised egg into that from a related species in an early stage of development. Then you can littereally have an animal where some parts are distincly from one species and other parts from the other. But it is not a cross-breed, as the organs of sexual reproduction will derive from one species or the other - there is no mixing of genetic material at the cellular level. Sheep/goat chimeras have been created for instance.,
For those who are interested in such things, then there is a good case for claiming that all women are (in one sense) chimeras in that they carry two X chromosomes. At an early stage in the development one or other of the X chromosomes in each cellular nucleus is "turned off" and all subsequent cells generated from each follows that pattern. For characteristics expressed on the X chromosome, then this can lead to different cell populations having markedly different characteristics. It's why women have a higher occurence of auto-immune diseases and also why they are often immune to genetic diseases carried on the X chromosome.
Both the papers mention that the cats need a license if they are a wild cat, but not for the subsequent generations, This is inncorrect - you are not allowed to keep them domestically until they reach F4.
Most of the commentards on the daily fail website won't actually have met these types of cats, or seen that they are just like normal cats, love being stroked sitting on your lap etc. Ah well I guess it is a slow news week and they need some public hysteria about something..
'although she adds: “We always advise, never ever leave a cat alone with a child under five." '
Great in your own home, but I'm guessing killer pussy is allowed to play on his own? I'm sure next door will be ecstatic about the fact they can't let their four year old out in the garden
The same sort of thing was said about Bengals.
Sure, the initial crossbreeds can be very large and sometimes of dubious temperament, but there aren't many of these and they are generally not regarded as suitable for domestic pets. Later generations are generally smaller and have much more reliable temperaments.
"... the serval, a cheetah-like beast"?
Have you ever seen a serval? Or a cheetah, for that matter? There's one or two servals at Marwel Zoo near Winchester for those who'd like to verify a simple fact.
A serval is, on average, a third of the size of a cheetah and virtually the only thing it has in common with a cheetah is the colouring.
And since it is quite safe to sit in an enclosure with human-reared cheetah (in my experience - they purr, lick your hands and face, and like to lean on you like a big old bagpuss - beautiful friendly animals), I hardly think we that much to fear from something derived from a timid little serval.
"Wild servals are thought to be capable of bringing down a gazelle" - yeah, on a really lucky day, with a very small, weak gazelle with no mates.
Servals normally eat rodents, frogs and birds. Pretty much like your domesticated cat, if the Whiskas isn't forthcoming. Not much evidence of the domesticated cats round here eating small children. Unfortunately.
"never ever leave a cat alone with a child under five"
Presumably for the safety of the cat - ever seen a young 'un "caressing" a small animal?
And as has been pointed out it's a cross breed rather than a chimera as they are capable of producing fertile offspring and so are the same species. How you go about mating the two without the domestic cat ending up as lunch is an interesting point though...
I wouldn't be too worried about them mauling the local wildlife. For one the local wildlife here is seagulls, so it's 50/50 who'd win, and I'd prefer the uber-chat anyway. The other reason being if you paid 6 grand for a cat are you going to (a) keep it locked in doors, or (b) let it run the streets and end up on eBay? Exactly.
Few people can afford six grand of cat.
Most people want a cat that is cute, friendly and playful. They don't want an unfriendly vicious cat.
Bengals are a cross between a leopard cat and a domestic tom, about five generations removed. They don't cause problems because breeders only release them to the general public once the wildness has been bred out of them.
Even a domestic cat is capable of stripping the skin off your back if it's sufficiently annoyed, but people don't tend to complain about them. If you treat them well about the worst you can expect is being patted on the leg/head to feed them.
I for one welcome our furry overlords.
It is not size that matters, it is how you use it. If you have been on the receiving side of a moderately annoyed Siamese you tend to remember that.
Also, 35 pounds is nothing in particular in Moscow. That was the size of a local moggie owned by one of our friends and he was not considered particularly large. I have not noticed the Russians claiming a drastic decrease in their population so ...
"Domestic cats are a non-native, invasive, destructive species."
Same can be said for domesticated dogs and humans.
"They serve no useful purpose"
See above. I would dispute this statement, but you are entitled to your opinion, as I am mine.
I've heard of more dog attacks on people than I have cat attacks. Based on what I have seen, heard and experienced over the years I would rate dogs to be far more dangerous, they are bigger, stronger and more likely to attack ANYTHING in their territory.
When I go for a walk I'm more worried about the 45kilo Pit-bull/Shepherd mix off its leash and barking at me than the feral cats I see along the way.
FD: I share my home with a cat.
Tux, just for the hell of it.
We had bengal cross living a few doors down from us and it was one mean mf... After breaking into my house (entering via catflap) it made off with our 12 week old kitten which we found the next day torn to shreds in the nearby woods. Poor lil kitty :(
Not sure it would take out a child but I suppose if pissed off could do some damage, yowwwll.
Anyway - it mysteriously disappeared shortly after having met my boot. Err, no, after we called the cats protection and they removed it I mean ;-)
No, by 5 they understand that if you torment or chase the cat you will get scratched or bitten.
OTOH cats are pretty good at training children. When my ~9mo kid was bothering our cat she stopped, put her paw gently on his cheek and extended her claws so he got the point(s). No scratch, but he learned quickly.
All cats are not domestic animals. Not in the same sense as dogs. They (cats) don't feel any need to obey You. They have no need to protect You.
Because they regard You as an equal - more or less. If we are good to them, they will like us. If not... well, they have 20 claws - and know how to use them.
Hence the warning about fivers and below. A cat is not forgiving as a dog (have You ever seen what a boxer puts up with?). If the child pull his tail, he will (probably) flee. If cornered, he will attack.
It's just a bad idea to force a reaction out of a cat. I know, I have 4 of them - and they all follow me around the house. :D
I really wish people would learn to understand cats.
I really wish they would.
"Oh he purrs and he's gentle and cuddles up to me" - yes because you aren't another cat. You aren't a bird. Watch what he does around other cats. Especially when you're not looking or he doesn't think you're looking. We have a tiny Burmese downstairs. My cat almost poos his furry pants every time he hears him because although he's tiny he has a loud voice and he's vicious. To cats. To people he's the friendliest, cuddliest, most playful pussycat. To other cats he's an evil and vicious bully. That's just how Burmese are. Siamese can be the same. Bengals are definitely the same and from what I've read, Savannahs are the same but twice the size. Lovely pets. Not good with neighbourhood cats.
I have spent a fortune on securing my property so the Burmese can't get in and now have a microchip-reading catflap so that only my cat can come into my flat. Cats are all about territory so this has really helped him settle. I had a tracking collar on him but he managed to lose it and am saving up for another one as they're expensive. Part of the reason I don't want to lose him is I wasted so much time and money looking for him last time he disappeared. Yes he's aloof (unless hungry), yes he's a pain in the bum and yes he kills stuff and brings it in to show me (or fails to kill it and sets it free in my living room - great) but he's my cat and I'd be dead nervous if someone with a Savannah cat moved in nearby. Especially if they don't know how to control their cat and refuse to accept that cats act very differently towards other cats than they do towards people.
Oooh we do seem to have a lot of cat haters out there! This article was forwarded to me by my better half under the heading 'Hamish gets about'. To explain.... Hamish is a 21yr old grumpy domestic shorthair with no claim to pedigree or genetic tampering. He has a propensity for launching unprovoked attacks on whoever he so chooses usually with very little warning. the rest of the time, to quote the excellent Terry Pratchett 'Hes just a big softy really'
Guess it must have been a slow news day as someone pointed out, maybe the required quota didnt die of swine flu and something else had to be scandalised as someone said.
We welcome animals into our homes and those of us who are sensible know that, most of our beloved pets are a days starvation away from eyeballing us and considering what we would taste like! If you keep a pet it is your obligation to be a responsible owner. I warn my friends children about Hamish and they leave well alone.
I did like the comment about children under 5 not left alone with the pet for the pets safety, one of our other cats is regularly put through 'cuddles' and the dog has put up with everything from having his teeth brushed, piggy backs and playing nurse from friends children.
To all the cat haters commenting out there who have taken a scaremongering article about a specific breed to have a pop at the entire species Felis catus, I have only one thing to say........
Hamish would LOVE to meet you and he hasnt eaten yet!
Britain already has a problem with gangs of feral kids using dogs as weapons. Maybe it's time that the British people stopped milling around and looking saying at their feet "who, us?" and started to act against the new breed of stupid, thuggish and irresponsible people who seem to be intent on ripping the country apart and turning it into one giant ghetto.
@ john 154: taste just like rabbits. Without claws and head You won't spot the difference (so i heard)
@ wickedwitchwest: Full ACK
Similar in our house :-)
@ Simon Brown: Don' worry, cats don't kill each other when they fight. As soon as the 'ranking' is fought out peace is restored
Harboring fugitives of both species in my home (to protect them from a brain heavy, sociopathic, emotionally challenged and over anxious lynch mob), I really can't say who has the bigger potential to cause trouble: cats or dogs.
( I guess it's catually our children I will have to blame my grey hair on in the end ;-) )
All I can say is: the problem is never with the animal. It's ALWAYS the owner who screws up when an animal becomes rogue, usually with the owner being screwed up in the first place. But it's the animal that pays the bill by being euthanize.
And there is also no better or worse breed, not for dogs or for cats. Only inbred, overpriced purebreds may turn out psychopathic be lost cases from the start sometimes. But then, we have a Doberman (uncut, with papers), and she is the most gentle creature You can imagine- to anyone and anything, actually.
Anyways. IMHO there is more trouble to be had from a cow sized Mastino, even 'though they are absolutely friendly by nature, simply because they are massive and clumsy, than from a 'triple sized' cat. If You allow it to be a cat, that is...
Many years ago, a friend of mine wanted to dispose of some kittens of her current moggy to good homes. I chose a cute little tabby (female): definitely of domestic descent, no inbreeding, apparently of perfect temperament (when young). I gave it to my parents. Within a year, it had:
- stripped the wallpaper from the hall by playing "wall of death" on it every night;
- jumped onto my father's bare shoulders while he was shaving (no warning) then slid down with all claws still fully engaged;
- lacerated my mother's hands without warning while lying apparently peacefully in her lap being stroked (several occasions);
- ambushed me from under the bed while I was turning in while staying with Mum and Dad, lacerating both of my bare feet.
My father blamed me for teasing it, but I am sure it had "turned" without any provocation. Other family members blamed my mother for keeping it in all the time. Take your pick.
The name of this pest? "Angel"!
She's got a point, though putting a figure on it (5 years old = safe to be alone) is unrealistic. Any cat or dog can take a good chunk out of a fully fit adult if the fancy takes it.
Our ancestors domesticated dogs because they could, y'know, actually do stuff and work for us. I guess cats can be handy for keeping vermin down, but most owners today don't retain them for this service. We've simply developed this queer mania for "companionship" with animals whose minds we can hardly begin to comprehend. It's a strange mix of ego and insecurity, perhaps with a little bit of misdirected nesting instinct.
With this comes a conceit that we have "tamed" the lil' fluffer to the point that aberrant, anti-social behaviour is no longer a remote possibility. *Wrong* without exception, I'm afraid. You simply cannot rule out animals, be they cat, dog, guinea-pig or parakeet, flipping that switch and acting on deeply-buried genetic imperatives. So if you own a pet, don't leave it in a room with anything that might fit under the categories of Prey, Threat or "Fun Time" and that can't defend itself adequately.
For the record, our cat is 99% of the time a complete soft shite, but about 1 in 5 house-guests will provoke hostility (if not outright fisticuffs) for no apparent reason. And on recent experience we will *never* subject another cat to her company if we can avoid it - she's a bully that has terrorised her own former litter-mate in its own home :(
Domestic cats are bad enough, they run free, unlike dogs, so often leave nasty, stinky messes in other peoples gardens, attack bird life, and annoy/scratch dogs; so I personally regard most 'domestic' cats as vermin.
It is only a matter of time before some idiot owners lets these cross-breeds run feral either by accident or neglect, then they could become far worse problem than feral dogs.
Large cat cross-breeds should be under the same or more stringent restrictions as dangerous dog cross-breeds, because they could do just as much, if not more damage, and even be a threat to native wildlife, like foxes!
Didn't we learn the lesson about the idiocy of importing foreign species, like Grey squirrels, American Crayfish, etc., later to discover that they are driving our native species to extinction.
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