back to article Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Housecats should be kept inside more often to keep them from their daily killing sprees, a study shows. KittyCam spots an injured bird KittyCam at the scene of the crime. Pic credit: National Geographic & University of Georgia Those cute kittens whose faces are peer from endless posts on Pinterest are actually predators, …

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  1. Callam McMillan

    My cat's favourite is little mice, although he does tend to eat them, leaving just the tail and the claws. You wont get any complaint from me though, eaten mice cause no problems!

    1. Rob

      Do you find...

      ... they also tend to leave the kidney/liver as well (I'm not sure which it is but mine always leave it).

      1. Pete the not so great
        Go

        Re: Do you find...

        Same here, often a little "peanut" left on the floor.

        Though just this morning, a dead starling on the bedroom floor.

        1. The Real Tony Smith
          WTF?

          Re: Do you find...

          There was a frog left in the living room this morning. Yes my cat is rather strange.

          1. Natalie Gritpants

            Re: Do you find...

            Would you eat a frog? Me neither, nor the cat.

            1. Chris Miller

              @Natalie

              I hear French pussies are rather partial to Cuisses de Grenouilles.

      2. Slim
        Devil

        Re: Do you find...

        Mine usually leaves the head, at least once a week i'll wake up to find the outhouse floor has several severed mouse heads staring at me, I swear he lines them up on purpose to face the door.

        1. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Do you find...

          Ours is a really awesome mouser, but one problem we have is getting her to drop it before she runs off someplace to hide it, to be found days later by me or my wife as we walk around the house sniffing and asking each other "what's that smell?"

          We can't really give her a hard time about it; she's working on instinct. I've been to South Africa and seen this done by leopards and cheetahs -- they'll nail an antelope, eat some of it on the spot, and drag the rest off someplace out of the way to stash for later.

          In Minnie's case, it's half a mouse in the third-floor bathroom, or behind a filing cabinet, or in my backpack. I've since learned to keep my backpack zipped up and my closet shut tight.

      3. Christine Hedley

        Re: Do you find...

        "Do you find..."

        Yes, usually by standing on something cold and squishy with bare feet. Seldom the highlight of my day.

      4. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

        Re: Do you find...

        the gall bladder, because it's full of bile which tastes bad.

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      That usually means they like you

      Or they're warning you that you're next.

      1. geekclick
        FAIL

        Re: That usually means they like you

        No it doesn't. When a cat brings you a dead animal or leaves a bit for you to find its to demonstrate what bad ass killing machines they are..

        See http://www.cracked.com/article/226_6-adorable-cat-behaviors-with-shockingly-evil-explanations/

        or http://theoatmeal.com/comics/cat_kill

        1. Mike Flugennock

          Re: That usually means they like you

          Actually, I used to think that, although I've heard that what they'e really doing is trying to teach you how to hunt... like when lionesses take their cubs with them when they're old enough, make them stay under cover and watch what she does, then shows them the kill as if to say "OK, now, did you see how I did that?"

    3. Test Man
      Thumb Up

      My cat also likes to leave bits of mice around too - leaving the butt end seems to be its fave way of "demonstrating" a kill.

    4. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      It's spiders with mine!

      Never forget the first time our own lone assassination squad came running up the path with this huge spider in her jaws, the big fat hairy legs dangling out of her mouth! She came in and spat it on the kitchen floor for us to see and this pathetic arachnid then attempted to crawl away on what was left of its broken legs.

      Only one thing I could do, gather up the unfortunate insect in a newspaper and squish it to put it out of his misery.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        One of mine brings in leaves.

        Then mewls incessantly until she is praised. At 4 in the morning.

        Other than that she is a complete menace to butterflies.

      2. Mike Flugennock

        Re: It's spiders with mine!

        Ours like to keep up her chops by hunting those first big, fat, slow flies of early spring. Many times, I've seen her leap up and snatch them right out of the air and chomp them down like popcorn shrimp.

      3. 4.1.3_U1

        Re: It's spiders with mine!

        -1 from me for insect, a spider is as stated an arachnid; +1 however for the cat - ours is lazy in comparison!

      4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: It's spiders with mine!

        Our cats in the Mid-East used to bring in all types of nasties, most still living, including poisonous snakes and acid-spitting lizards! But the best fun by far was watching them sitting on the balcony railings to snatch bats out of the sky at night.

        1. The Original Cactus

          Re: It's spiders with mine!

          "snatch bats out of the sky at night."

          My sister's cat was rather good at that. Bats and frogs she would bring in alive, and once she came over the garden fence with a dead seagull as big as she was.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      unless a pestie

      like myself is treating a rodent infestation with a 2nd or 3rd generation anticoagulant..

      Your cats as dead as the mice in that case!!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My cat only brings back mice, and mice shaped creatures (voles etc), due to living in the country this is a blessing in keeping the mice levels down and from infesting the house. He brings back 100% of his kills, not even slightly chewed, due to being repaid for his efforts in cat biscuits.

    He doesn't bother with birds, primarily because he's a lazy old sod, although somewhat disconcertinly he brought home a well cooked cocktail sausage as a "gift", quite where he found it I'll never know.

    Rather worryingly a local residents cat takes home rabbits, usually bigger than the cat itself, hope they like rabbit stew in that house.

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      I used to find rabbit skins outside the back door quite regularly courtesy of my cat - nothing useful for the stewpot though.

      1. some guy...

        I opened a door a few weeks ago to find one of my cats proudly standing by a grievously wounded rabbit (blinded in one eye, significant hole in its side, etc.) Figuring it would die slowly and painfully if I didn't intervene, I got a stick and knocked the rabbit over the head to put it out of its misery. I started to take it to the woods to discard the rabbit, then decided to just skin/gut it and throw it in the freezer for a future dinner. Haven't had it yet, but looking forward to it. (I gave the cat the rabbit's liver. :-)

    2. Miffo

      "keeping the mice levels down and from infesting the house"

      Not in my experience. The little rascals bring their victims in to torture them in comfort and then lose them behind something so we end up with mice where we didn't previously have them!

  3. g e
    Happy

    Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

    A rabbit... through the bloody cat-flap, to boot!

    1. David Knapman

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      Try a live adult seagull. No idea how it got it through the catflap and a foot long tunnel.

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        Same here - saw it trying to pull the largest seagull in the world through the catflap while it was still alive.

        Still, I'm not sure the greenies would be impressed as it was tempting for me to just angle the chair towards the door and settle in to watch fight-night. Probably more interesting than anything on TV at the moment.

        1. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

          After I finally figured out what the commotion was about the first couple of times, whenever I heard the telltale sounds of Minnie cornering a mouse, I'd also like grab my camera if I could, then sit back and watch the show.

          About twenty years or so ago, PBS did a really excellent documentary entitled, iirc, "The Secret Lives Of Cats" as part of its "Nature" series, following house cats around and filming them in the style of a wildlife documentary. The hunting footage was as amazing as any I'd seen shot in Africa.

      2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        My parents garden used to be plagued by neighbours cats, accept for the time every year when the sea gulls were in town, when they weren't having large scale battles with the crows down the local park, they used to delight in terrorising the local moggy population.

        The real trick was to put down a few bits of bacon rind to attract more the the white winged fiends :-)

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      I recall being awoken one morning by the dulcet tones ringing around the house of my wife screaming something like: "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!!! GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE YOU MISERABLE LITTLE B*ST*RD!!1111!!!!", followed by the sound of the cat making a hasty exit.

      She'd come down to find him sitting in the back room, looking awfully smug, next to a beautifully groomed and laid-out squirrel. She swears he was looking at her while projecting: "Look what I've got you. Squirrel. How fucking cool is that?".

      Hell knows how he'd brought that back and got it in through the catflap.

      1. Pete the not so great
        Thumb Up

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        Tres cool indeed, difficult bastards to catch them squirrels.

      2. druck

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        I've seen the rabbit through the cat flap technique. He knew with it being in his mouth barely able to straddle it to walk, there was no way it was going through the cat flap, so he turned around, reversed through the cat flap holding by its neck. The last thing I saw was a bunny sitting with its back to the flap, and suddenly jerking backwards inside - followed a few seconds later by a scream from the missus.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      One day I was driving slowly up a winding hill and I saw a bunny rabbit munching grass on the verge looking unconcerned. Next thing a cat jumped out from from the bushes and got it. I never knew bunny rabbits could scream but scream it did.

    4. ed2020

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      The biggest thing my cat ever brought in was a whole leg of lamb. We caught him dragging it upstairs to stash somewhere. Presumably it had been stolen out of somebody's kitchen.

    5. Kool-Aid drinker

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      In our case we had a cat that would bring live birds home and release them in the house. Chaos doesn't begin to describe it, especially if it was a decent-sized bird.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        A friend's cat once brought home a dog's ear. A little later they had a visit from the local constabulary to inform them that their cat had been reported for mauling a neighbour's dog. Nothing serious apparently as cat's aren't licensed, so the police were just informing them about what had happened.

      2. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        Mine brings in squirrels, rabbits, a hedgehog once, fish, rats (lovely!) mice, voles and various birds. Never a seagul though.

    6. John Sturdy
      Happy

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      I've seen a neighbour's Burmese bringing back a pheasant. Evidently well-trained.

    7. Slim

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      Mine has once brought in a hedgehog, we were picking the spines out of his face for days afterwards but he looked very pleased with his kill.

      Although lately he's been picking fights with foxes, don't know if he's mental or suicidal.

      1. Jediben

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        Foxes are quite wary of cats as far as I can tell - we often have a pair poking about for bread/nuts/slugs left out the front for the birds by our neighbour, and the local long hair is quite happy to sit on the fence and watch them. They, for the most part, keep a wide berth from her :)

    8. Mog_X

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      One of mine once dragged a (just about still alive) fully grown male pheasant in through the catflap.

      Another one has a fondness for rabbits - eats the whole thing except for the guts (which he tends to leave under my desk). Took him to the vets one time as he had injured his paw. Vet was very impressed when the full body x-ray showed two spinal cords - the cat's plus a bunny one in his stomach!

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      Yeah, our cat did that too.

      The rabbit was so big, the cat was staggering under the weight - if it wasn't so sad, it would be funny.

      He also bought in an adult magpie, which got free in the house, that was fun!

      Finally flew out an open window.

      The cat had met his match on that one, reckon the magpie must've given him an almighty peck and got free.

      Recently, killed two rats, but didn't bring them in, thank God. Didn't eat them either.

      Birds - 'little brown jobs' - a light and crunchy snack.

      Loves bunny brains the most - chews the heads of young rabbits - it's damn horrible.

      Caught him torturing one once - flinging it up in the air like he does with his fluffy spit covered toys.

      Cats are bastards, but heck, I love the little critters - so much like humans! :)

    10. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      A Hare as well as several rabbits, I once found a headless rabbit still warm so I skinned it & popped it in the freezer along with the ones Id shot the previous day.

    11. Sparkypatrick
      Devil

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      Similarly, a rabbit through the cat flap. But a buck rabbit bigger than the cat. An impressive take-down, but a complete mystery as to how he got it in. Laid as a present at the bottom of the stairs. If I knew how long it had been there (middle of summer), it would have made a great casserole.

    12. NomNomNom

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      the worst is when you open the boot of your car and find someone's body and you have to get to work, do you leave the body in the boot and go to work anyway or do you take it out and bury it?

      1. Gordon 11

        Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

        I can't compete on size (mine are wary of pigeons) but for oddity value, I found a small, almost-dead (and soon was) goldish on the floor one morning. I don't know of anyone with a garden pond around here, so where it came from is a mystery - unless one of them found a house with an aquarium (or even just a bowl).

      2. VinceH Silver badge
        Joke

        @nomnomnom

        You transfer the body into the boot of someone else's car. Well, that's what I do, anyway...

    13. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      Watching it drag an ostrich through the cat-flap was amusing, but we decided to get rid of it when it brought down the bull elephant.

      Get the next round in, and I'll tell you about our croc...

    14. Often Confused
      Devil

      Re: Biggest thing my cat ever brought in...?

      Quite often (one of these every 2-3 weeks) - phesants, hares, rabbits, pigeons

      Small birds, mice, voles etc on a daily basis.

      Seagull once, bits of deer (dont ever want to find out how she achieved that one).

      The most impressive thing was her cat flap was in a window 3 1/2 feet from the ground that she brought these things through - some of them (including the seagull) werent even dead.

      Needless to say the cat was f*ing evil. Used to pick on dogs, other cats, foxes, a minx once and had eyes on a peacock. Used to hide under the sofa and attack your toes as well. Reckon she would have made pterodactyls extinct if they hadnt already achieved that themselves.

      As you can imagine she is dead now. Dont worry, I made sure to salt the ground and draw a pentagram around where she is burried.

  4. phear46

    i hate cats...

    Ours brings back all sorts, mostly mice, some dead some not. Small birds are a favourite, as are pidgeons,rabbits and anything else it finds...

    It wouldn't be so bad but its pretty much every night and I'd say 50% of the time the unfortunate creature isn't dead.

    If that's only 23% then our cat is responsible for mass kidnap/genocide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: i hate cats...

      I hate cats too. The only reason we have one is because my wanted one - if you have daughters you know what I mean.

      A hessian sack and some bricks are the best thing for cats.

      1. Semaj
        Trollface

        Re: i hate cats...

        "A hessian sack and some bricks are the best thing for cats"

        Many would feel the same way about your spawn.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: i hate cats...

          @semaj

          Ah you must be one of those people that think the Internet's sole purpose is to send mindless pictures of cats to people who couldn't give a shit

        2. phear46

          Re: i hate cats...

          I would never kill a cat, unless is was the best thing to do, but on the other hand I don't go mouthing off about people's kids.

          Be cool man, chill out!

  5. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I, for one,

    Wholeheartedly support the feline mammalian domination of the shit-bombing, food-stealing, down-dropping feathered dinosaur descendants.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: I, for one,

      I'd rather have the dinosaurs pooing on my lawn than cats.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I, for one,

        you need to speak to Sarah Palin then...

      2. Joe User

        Re: I, for one,

        "I'd rather have the dinosaurs pooing on my lawn than cats."

        We'll send a brachiosaurus round at 2. Please have a bulldozer and dump truck on hand.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Mine brings back fleas

    Frontline, Advantage, Indorex... you name it I've tried it....I've spent a fortune on these products in the last week :(

    It's a nightmare!

    It is true however that we no longer have a mouse problem.

    1. Rob

      Re: Mine brings back fleas

      You have my sympathies, we had an outbreak last year, a dose of frontline, washing all bedding and clothes and a large can of spray I bought of the internet to fumigate the house and furniture, took a whole day to do but definitely killed all the buggers off.

      (Let me know if you want the name of the spray, very effective).

    2. Peter Storm
      Alert

      Re: Mine brings back fleas

      Try Advocate for cats. Works great on ours. Frontline just doesn't work any more. It's crap.

      Just try googling "frontline doesn't work any more".

      1. mark 63 Silver badge

        Re: frontline dosent work

        I agree , its meant to last a month - maybe it'll work for a few days , and then you cant reapply it till the months up.

        So I recently tried Doc Marten's equivalent - pretty much the same

        Although I have been a bit lazy on the vacuuming every day that you're supposed to do at same time.

        will try advocate next

        as for the killing spree - I've recently had to finish a couple of birds off to put them out of their misery.

      2. Number6

        Re: Mine brings back fleas

        We're finding more fleas this year and have just switched from Frontline. On the plus side, one of the cats was curled up on a hard surface and I noticed several fleas staggering round in circles close to him, so presumably the new flea-juice has worked.

        If anything we've had less carnage in the garden this year, the number of rodent carcasses is much reduced over previous years so either they're eating more or catching less. If the latter then perhaps I'm feeding them too much and they don't feel the need to top-up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mine brings back fleas

          Try diatomaceous (sp?) earth - the kind used for gardening, not for pool filters. We dust the yard and carpets with it - only concern is that you don't want to breathe in a lot when you put it down.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mine brings back fleas

        Frontline still works over here (Denmark) as it haven't been over used yet so the little buggers aren't resistant yet.

    3. Marcelo Rodrigues
      Happy

      Re: Mine brings back fleas

      Have You tried the injected one? There is one that cuts the flea cycle: it drops eggs - but these never hatch. On application is good for 6 months.

      I got a flea infestation - and this one did the trick. Capstar, I think. The flea needs to bite the cat just once. After this, its eggs will not hatch. :D

      1. Jediben
        Joke

        Re: Mine brings back fleas

        I'm impressed you can find a vein to inject it - does the pack come wiht tweezers and a magnifying glass?

      2. Swift1
        Pint

        Re: Mine brings back fleas

        The product you are looking for is called Program. It is injected under the skin of the scruff. Has worked a treat with our four cats over the last 7-8 years. Yes, they will still get fleas but as previously mentioned, they cannot reproduce.

    4. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: Mine brings back fleas

      The first outbreak with our cat, she's only 9 months old so Frontline is actually working on her. She's clean as a whistle, it's the rest of the bloody house that's a pain in the arse to disinfect! Thank Christ for wooden floors, less place for the little sods to escape the hoover and sprays!

      Buy a flea collar, not for the cat but put it in your hoover "bag", it kills the little sods when you suck them up so they can't escape again!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: Mine brings back fleas

      a few suble hints but you will need to search to find them. the 'bay (worldwide) is your friend.

      1.fendona (alpha cypromethrin)

      2.ficam W (bendiocarb)

      3. Nylar (pyriproxyfen)

      Mix 1 with 3 or 2 with 3, DO NOT mix 1 and 2.

      That will get rid of ANY insect infestation, flea or otherwise.

      However, only treating the house will *never* clear up a bad flea job.

      Cats = fleas, there is no debate....

      PS, allegedly.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

    Yes, Cats Are Predators. That is how God/Nature/Thor/Allah made them ! It is Good To See that their biology is still intact.

    Can we just stop to impose our romantic shitty ideals onto perfectly well-working creatures ?? Can we stop to incarcerate cats into the small cage of a household ? If you don't like your cat to have freedom, to roam vast areas in successful search of prey - then please don't have a cat. Please don't have kids, either, as you are a Certified Idiot.

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

      The argument is that the ever increasing number of cats bred in captivity is unsustainable as it's adversely affecting wild animals.

      1. Peter Storm

        Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

        I think it's more likely that the ever increasing numbers of homo sapiens bred in captivity are having a greater effect on the wildlife population.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

        That argument is the full of crap bit. In these parts you can't rescue a cat from a shelter and still have it reproduce after you get it home. So it's only the feral ones or the pure breads that are breeding.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

      The issue as I see it is not the number of cats per se but that fact we keep the cosseted little f*ckers all nice and safe indoors so they don't get predated upon by whatever Nature would use to keep their numbers down. Where I live if they couldn't come into the indoor safety cell they would naturally get taken out by foxes.

      1. Pete the not so great
        Happy

        Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

        Or the 42 bus

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: whatever Nature would use to keep their numbers down

        I think Nature would use starvation rather than predation. Aren't cats at the top of the pyramid in most case? Anyway, it hardly matters because...

        It is surely a no-brainer that the cat population is unnaturally large for *exactly* the same reason that the human population is unnaturally large. Both have access to sophisticated medical treatment and an industrialised factory farming system that produces and distributes "ecologically infinite" amounts of food.

        1. HandleOfGod

          Re: whatever Nature would use to keep their numbers down

          Indeed. Although a big cat fan myself I can easily see that the vast numbers of them that exist are down to us and that by virtue of those vast numbers they can indeed inflict significant damage on wildlife.

          Of course, less well known but no less bad for the environment is the fact that dogs, being generally much bigger and more active and requiring much more food, are actually less environmentally friendly than owning a 4x4 due to the huge amounts of land, water and energy which go into producing the food they need.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            Re: whatever Nature would use to keep their numbers down

            So, you saw that episode of Q.I as well!!!

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

        In North America coyotes do the job, if given the chance.

      4. keith_w
        Childcatcher

        Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

        Around here they taken out by coyotes (Oakville, Ontario, Canada). Although there are foxes around, I haven't heard of any pets being lost to them.

      5. Nuke
        Thumb Down

        @AC 11:54 Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

        Wrote :-

        "The issue as I see it is [the] fact we keep the cosseted little f*ckers all nice and safe indoors so they don't get predated upon by whatever Nature would use to keep their numbers down."

        Most cats are not "cosseted". They can go in and out as they like (see references to cat flaps here). Even most domestic ones are semi-feral. Cats of any size do not really have any predators in nature : like ourselves they are top of a food chain.

        Having said that, urban people in the USA, where this report comes from, tend to keep their cats indoors and are a bit horrified by Europeans letting them go out. This report seems to be from that culture.

        It has always been common knowledge in the UK that cats slaughter wildlife.

    3. CABVolunteer
      Unhappy

      Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

      I totally agree with your suggestion "..then please don't have a cat". But what about the neighbours' feline predators?

      1. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
        Meh

        Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

        Neighbours cat, simples! get a DOG!

    4. ItsNotMe
      Mushroom

      Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

      Not too mention a COMPLETE waste of money on the "research".

    5. Mike Flugennock

      Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

      A lot of it, I think, depends on the environment. I live in the middle of a large city, and I wouldn't think of letting my cat out. There's just too much danger from cars, dogs, disease, sadistic children, weather. If you raise your cat as an indoor cat from the beginning, as a kitten, it works out quite well, though the wife and I would never have dreamed of declawing her, as there's the mouse population to deal with. So, we make sure to give her plenty of options for places to work her claws and plenty of positive reinforcement when she uses them; our sofas are remarkably unclawed, although the top of one of the sofa backs has a large permanent indentation as it's one of her favorite napping spots in the house.

      When I was a young teenager, our family lived in a far suburb -- "exurbia", as it's called -- far enough from the city that it was borderline rural, and so there was plenty of space for cats to range without having to go anywhere near a highway. We had a nice, big yard that bordered on a small meadow between our neighbors' back yards, and that was the local cat hangout, as well as the source of the field mice that showed up in our garages. Our cat never had to go near a busy street or highway as he could do all his socializing and hunting in our backyard (plenty of mice and moles) and in the little meadow (many a half-eaten rabbit turned up on our back patio in the early morning). We collared and tagged him in case he got lost -- he never did, in sixteen years -- and he got on great.

      In the city, it's way different. We have some neighbors who let their cats out -- I recognize some of the "locals" and know where they live -- and they seem to do OK, but the wife and I were not very comfortable with the idea, and so we raised Minnie as strictly a house cat. It's a pretty big house, though -- an old three-story townhouse -- so she has plenty of room to hang out, and good hunting in the winter when the mice start sneaking in.

    6. Fibbles
      Facepalm

      Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

      A lot of people here seem to be suggesting that the cat population we have now is somehow natural. They're bread like dogs but we allow them infinitely more freedom to go wreak havoc on the local wildlife. I can only assume this mass blindness to fairly simple logic is caused by the brain parasites most cats bestow upon their owners.

      1. Galidron

        @Fibbles

        Only the owners who eat their cat's poo. Most cases come from eating undercooked meat, and it's pretty rare (pun intended).

        1. Fibbles

          Re: @Fibbles

          10% of people have the parasite which is a fair chunk of the 25-30% of the population who own cats. It's passed onto humans via their excrement but you don't have to go around eating mouth fulls of the stuff. Cats, like most animals, are not clean by human standards. They bury their crap with their paws, lick their paws and groom the rest of themselves with their tongue. You only need to come into contact with a cat to get toxoplasma gondii and the more you're around cats the higher the chances are that you'll get the parasite.

    7. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Re: What A Load Of Homo Sapiens Bullcrap !

      Agreed. If cats obeyed laws and paid taxes they would not be wildlife.

      But perhaps if there was more TV worth watching thay would not go out so much.

  9. AndrueC Silver badge
    Flame

    I'm going to risk a few down votes and suggest that a better answer would be a cull or 24/7 curfew. I'm fed up of various neighbour's cats coming into my garden to dig up plants and crap on the lawn. There should be harsher penalties for dog owners that don't clear up after their pets as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      From wikipedia: Vermin is a term applied to various animal species regarded as pests or nuisances and especially to those associated with the carrying of disease.

      Pests and nuisances - invading and damaging private property, i.e. digging up and killing plants and grasses

      Disease - carrying diseases and bugs that can be fatal to unborn babies and rendering privately planted and tended crops inedible due to fowling with urine and faeces.

      By these very simple definitions, cat = vermin.

      However the blinkered cat attendants (staff) will still complain that "it's in their nature" yet don't appreciate the generous offer that I'll personally undertake similar actions in their gardens - as in happily digging, urinating and defacating everywhere.

      For some reason, exterminating this particular variety of vermin is frowned upon, forcing me to spend my time and money preventing somebody else's vermin from invading and damaging my property. Still seriously considering the 220v AC mains electric fence just to see how high cats fly... :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Vermin

        I am currently using a SuperSoaker, but it doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent judging by all the cat shit that appears in our garden over night. Before I try the electric fence has anyone tried the sonic deterrents? Do they work? How about a Rasberry Pi linked to a PIR sensor, a few motors and a BB gun?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vermin

          Sonic Deterrent are utterly useless and a waste of money, the only success you could get from these is if you could physically beat a cat with it.

          Serving invoices for cat deterrents to blinkered cat attendants doesn't seem to work either...

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Vermin

            Sonic deterrants are not only completely useless against animals, they are also extremely annoying to those of us humans who can hear them.

            1. IDoNotThinkSo

              Re: Vermin

              I have a PIR linked up to a solenoid valve and a sprinkler. Cats soon get the idea and avoid the area - so the area changes regularly...

              Suprising how fast they can move and how high they can jump.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Vermin

                Scaring off cats without killing or maiming them? You must be gay

        2. Peter Mc Aulay

          Re: Vermin

          BB guns work, but I would recommend the semi-auto type unless you can track & aim really quickly. Repeat the procedure over a few weeks and make sure to shoot from cover. If you don't they'll just learn to fear armed monkeys instead of the hand of Zeus and it won't work as an area denial effect. (Cats are very superstitious.)

        3. upnorth
          Mushroom

          Re: Vermin

          same problem, but mostly solved with a combination of measures

          1. pricker strip on all fences - not 100% sucessful, but hugely entertaining watching them trying to walk on it

          2. They seem to have trails they use habitually - block them where you can. One particular thing that worked was putting a plastic strip under the gate which stopped them squeezing under

          3. block off their toilets - they seem to be creatures of habit particulaly enjoying crapping on flowerbeds. Blocked these off with chicken wire

          Dont see many cats in the garden these days, but price of peace is eternal vigelence

          1. Jediben

            Re: Vermin

            Chicken Wire or similar plastic netting worked for us when we first moved in. The local cats had been using the back garden as a toilet, but between the netting and my boy's rather vigorous defence of his territory, we no longer see foreign cats encroaching on our garden. Our two don't shit where they eat either, meaning we are poop free!

        4. andy mcandy
          Joke

          Re: Vermin

          all you need is a wheelybin :)

        5. xyz

          Re: Vermin

          > has anyone tried the sonic deterrents?

          I bought my girlfriend 2 for her bacjk garden and they do work.

          For the front garden, she scoops up the crap with a shovel and chucks on the driveway of the "owner."

        6. Evil Si

          Re: Vermin

          I tend to find filling the SuperSoaker with a mixture of tobasco and other spicy liquids helps. You only need to get a little bit onto the cat but it'll instantly clean itself and have a horrible, vomit inducing time doing it. It's very unlikely that it'll come back to your garden after that.

          As for my can (rescued the poor thing from abuse), he's too timid to kill many things. The local magpies even chase him out of our garden.

        7. keith_w
          Facepalm

          Re: Vermin

          try egg shells in the garden. cats dislike walking on them.

        8. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vermin

          The ultrasonic devices are a total waste of money.....

          They have no effect on anything except on wasting money...

      2. Citizen Kaned

        i hate cats. evil fucking animals. at least we dont get many in the garden now as the dog goes mental after them and there have been a few near escapes.

        i would like to throw cat shit over cat owners gardens. i have a dog and clean up after him.

        im still under the impression that most cat owners want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog. but cats are useless pets compared to dogs. nowhere near as nice or as much fun.

        as said, cats kill all the nice birds (with they would take out fucking pigeons though, annoying little shits in the morning) they are a nuisance.

        1. Peter Storm

          "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

          On the other hand, I don't recall hearing of any cases where a cat has torn the face off of a small child though.

          1. Citizen Kaned

            Re: "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

            true, but then again they scratch quite badly.

            not sure ive seen too many claims of dogs smothering babies in cots either... which apparently cats can do.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

              Dogs are okay as long as their owners have them trained. At least dogs become potentially useful members of the family. Cats are not much better than parasites. They come in for food and for a while will tolerate being stroked in exchange but I doubt they consider themselves part of the family. More like a wandering hobo with questionable habits who just knows where his personal soup kitchen is.

              As a side note: I seem to have had some success with the sonic deterrents. They aren't perfect but the number of incidents I suffer has dropped a lot since I installed them. I used to check the lawn every time before I mowed and would usually find something. These days it's quite rare to find anything and I've stopped checking now. Of course it might be that a particularly nasty cat has left the neighbourhood but still - it's possible those things work.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

              Only if the idiot parents don´t protect their children.

          2. John Sturdy
            Alien

            Re: "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

            I've heard of a Norwegian Forest Cat tearing the face off the last dog that came into its garden.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

            Just generalise why don't you. I suppose all dog owners let this happen do they?

            In many cases the kids who have had this happen to them have been trespassing by climbing over the fence to retrieve a football from a neighbours garden.

            1. keith_w
              Thumb Down

              Re: "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

              and in a lot more cases they are walking down the street when a dog, sometimes but not always, attacks them for no good reason.

              1. Captain Underpants
                Thumb Up

                Re: "want a pet but cant handle a proper one like a dog"

                @keith_w

                Yeah, cats + dogs are a problematic one: cats generally, on seeing a dog they don't know, will scarper. Dog then sees something running away and chases, on instinct, because the bit of its brain saying "CHASE THAT CAT-SHAPED THING" is more primal than the bit that might have learned that Chasing Cat-Shaped Things Earns It A Whack On The Nose or Stop When Master Says Stop.

                I remember spending several months training two ten-year-old cats to not be afraid of our new 2-year-old German Shepherd. Once he'd been made to understand that the cats were part of the family on an equal level to him, he calmed down - and the cats learned that they could stand their ground and bop him on the nose if he got silly. But that was several months of work, which involved a lot of shouting, discipline for the dog (who, to be fair, was very good-natured but like all dogs was a bit puzzled as to why the humans were telling it not to chase what looked like perfectly good prey), and alternately coaxing the cats into relaxing and trying to convince them to come down from the top of the bookshelf/mantelpiece/curtain rail.

                Walking down the street's a whole different ballgame. This is why I get angry when I see prats insisting that their dog is special and would never misbehave, so of course it's fine to leave them off the leash. I'm very fond of dogs, but being naive or in denial as to their nature helps nobody.

        2. Homer 1 Silver badge
          Terminator

          The only good cat...

          No, I don't want to kill cats, or dogs, or pigeons, or any animal. Unfortunately they don't share that sentiment (although admittedly killer pigeons are very rare), so that really only leaves two choices: either exterminate all predators, or live with the knowledge that such creatures exist (that includes humans, BTW).

          OTOH, I really don't think predators should be kept as domestic pets, unless their predatory behaviour can be controlled, and even then it's probably wrong, for much the same reasons as keeping a tiger in a zoo. What happens in the wild is another matter. For the purpose of this argument "the wild" technically encompasses your garden, but not your neighbour's. This is where cats become a real problem.

          Personally, if I had to choose between allowing a neighbour's cat to exercise its predatory prerogative in my garden, or saving the indigenous wildlife from its menacing advances, I'm afraid the cat's going to get it in the head, with a steel-toe-capped boot, every time.

          Just think of it as me exercising my predatory prerogative, and call it even.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yay! Good to see the downvotes coming in from the idiot cat lovers who couldn't possibly understand why somebody else would get upset about somebody else's pet's shit and piss everywhere over their private property.

        1. Citizen Kaned

          but they will complain if they see dogshit....

          oh well. let them keep coming in my garden but dont moan when my dog catches one and rips it to pieces.

          1. Captain Underpants
            Thumb Down

            @Citizen Kaned

            Well, if you will come out with a comment as retarded as "cats aren't real pets", what else did you expect?

            I've had cats & dogs my entire life - both species make great pets but have differing needs. Myself and the OH work full-time, so having a dog as the only pet would be pretty cruel (aside from which we don't have any outdoor space where it could easily roam). So for now, dogs are a no-go. Cats are much lower-maintenance pets and easier/more practical for such circumstances.

            If you don't like cats, that's fair enough. Trying to claim that this is some sort of Ultimate Objective Truth rather than your personal opinion, however, earns you a hat with the word "BELLEND" written on it.

            Responsible cat owners will at least make sure they've got litter trays for their cats (my cat gets allowed out for a while in the morning and a while in the evening, and mostly uses her litter tray rather than a neighbour's garden to crap in). Though in saying that, if you don't understand how cats (and dogs!) use urine as a way of marking territory you probably shouldn't expect any opinion you express about pet ownership to be taken seriously. Or are you trying to tell me that you carry a bucket around with you to scrupulously scrub away any and all piss-stains that might result from your dog trying to do the canine equivalent of scribbling "I woz 'ere" on any surface available?

            1. Tom 13

              @Captain Underpants

              Yep, we have two cats now. Mostly they stay inside. Both of them and their predecessor actual call from the door to be let in to use the litter box.

            2. Citizen Kaned

              Re: @Citizen Kaned

              i wasnt complaining about pee though. just cat shit you keep finding when doing gardening

              i am more talking about the majority of cat owners who let their cats out all day and then just feed them occasionally. of course there are house-cats but they arent the ones im moaning about.

              cheers for the hat... i will give it to the next person whose cat shits in my garden as well as some dog shit through the letterbox.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Citizen Kaned

              "Though in saying that, if you don't understand how cats (and dogs!) use urine as a way of marking territory you probably shouldn't expect any opinion you express about pet ownership to be taken seriously"

              So presumably when your cat pisses all over my vegetable patch to prove to other filthy animals that it's been there, then you'd be perfectly fine with me pissing in your fridge.

              1. Captain Underpants
                Facepalm

                Re: @Citizen Kaned

                @AC: 13:09

                Nice try at goalpost shifting - Citizen Kaned was moaning about cat piss and trying to present a notion of dog owners as inherently cleaner/more responsible than cat owners on the basis that dog owners clean up their dog crap. Which is a silly generalisation (clearly not all dog owners clean up their dog's crap, and clearly not all cat owners are inconsiderate gits who expect their cats to use everyone else's garden as a giant toilet).

                The thing is, though, cats and dogs both have much more sensitive olfactory systems than humans and so their more-pheromonally-charged urine is used as a territorial marker.

                You wanting to piss in my fridge isn't actually a pheromonal territorial claim, it would at best be a psychological territorial claim through demonstration of either physical or legal dominance (if for some reason you had the backing of the country's legal establishment re: urinating in my fridge). So it's not really a comparable circumstance, is it?

                I appreciate that the above doesn't much help you when it comes to keeping cats out of the vegetable patch - on which note, I've been advised by She Who Must Be Obeyed that grated lemon rind or citrus spray should keep them away. If they're determined to piss on your spuds, chickenwire is probably the way to go.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Citizen Kaned

            Ah so it's OK for your dog to exercise his natural instincts, ie killing smaller animals but not OK for cats to exercise their natural instincts?

            Cats like dogs, just like their owners come in good and bad and trained and untrained. Lots of people simply let their dog shit in the street, parks and gardens and don't pick it up, where kids get to put their hands on patches where dog crap has been and get toxoplasmosis and go blind. Our cat has been trained, goes out but comes back and uses a litter tray for a crap. We deliberately got a female cat, had her snipped to keep her urges under control. Female cats don't fuck off all over the neighbourhood, shitting, shagging and fighting, they stay close to their home turf . It's irresponsible owners who don't make any attempt to train their animals, just like some dog owners.

            As to letting your dog rip a cat to pieces? What are you a 17 year old, pitbull owning, tattooed fucktard, I doubt that very much, so grow up eh!

            1. Citizen Kaned

              Re: @Citizen Kaned

              the vast majority of dog owners pick up their dog mess. certainly around us they do. maybe if you live on a council estate you might be less lucky with all the chavdog poo...

              no, i have tried to stop her chasing cats but its instinct. dogs see the garden as theirs. if an animal climbs in to piss or shit in my garden the dog goes mental and chases it. the cats know a dog lives there but still comes in. IMO it deserves what it gets if the dog catches it. she has never bitten anyone or another animal.

              ive never met a trained cat, i wouldnt dream of opening my front door and letting the dog wonder where it likes, like almost all (if not all) cat owners do. it must be a different female cat that comes in (there are about 3). they all live within a few houses of us so they might think its their turf. either way its pissing me off and im getting sick of them winding the dog up.

            2. John Bailey
              Facepalm

              Re: @Citizen Kaned

              @AC

              Be fair.

              It is highly unusual for an urban dog owner to let their dog "exercise it's instincts" and attack other animals. And dogs are usually not allowed to roam free. Even in the country. Actually, especially in the country. Where they can get into a pack and worry livestock. So the comparison is not really valid. Is it?

              As to irresponsible dog owners.. They do most certainly exist, but are not really the norm, where cat owners allowing their pets to go out at will, and partially eat wildlife, and damage neighbour's property... Are the norm.

              Unattended felines.. Common sight.

              Unattended dogs.. Quite rare.

        2. Wombling_Free
          Trollface

          So your answer is a DOG?

          Sorry, your ineffable logic has lost me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So your answer is a DOG?

            "Sorry, your ineffable logic has lost me."

            What, you mean choosing to use a predator of perceived vermin to control it? How bizarre, using Nature's methods, tried and tested over millenia?

          2. Sir Sham Cad

            Re: So your answer is a DOG?

            It's a Dog of The Gaps argument.

        3. Rampant Spaniel

          I like cats but I agree with the sentiment that owners should be responsible. When I was younger I lived in an area where we could let our cats and dogs out and they wouldn't bother anyone, way too far to travel to get to another property and pretty dangerous on the way (badgers would decimate a cat). I did see our cat try to take on a deer which was fairly amusing, the deer won. It never did try a horse or cow (although i did see it thinking about attacking their tails).

          Now I live where I cannot have dogs and we have neighbours close so our new cat stays indoors. A tropical environment and nearby fields provides plenty of targets in the house for the cat and failing that stealth attacks on any feet protruding from duvets seems to be good enough. If I let it out, it will crap in our neighbours gardens, I cant realistically stop it, so I don't let it out, my choice to have it, my responsibility.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Your "arguments" would fit on pretty much any species that you don´t like including humans. But I´m sure that won´t get in the way of haters no matter what they hate.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        You are quite quite wrong. At least in Blighty.

        Cats are classed as roaming animals, therefore ANY cruel methods to stop them entereing your premises are illegal.

        Sadly, there aint much that works.

        Cats are NOT classed as vermin. They are domesticated animals. Sorry to piss on your bonfire but thats the law.

        Water is the best way from a hose buit if they see you, they will associate you with the water and will still enter your property but just when you arent in the vicinity.

        Reponsible cat owner neuter and treat their pets for common parasites etc.

        Oh, the electric fence lark, i hope your child gets the first taste of it you spanner....Do you have ANY idea of the ramifications of doing that?? By all means use a proper HV low amperage fence...

        Please come in and piss and shit in my garden and i will happily hose you down, shoot you with my BB gun or electrocute you...In that order! Trust me, you will soon stop........

    2. VinceH Silver badge
      1. Cyberspice
        Thumb Up

        I keep snakes

        Its kind of like cats for people who are allergic to the buggers. They're relatively low maintenance. They eat rodents. However they don't shit on the neighbours lawn and don't have any claws. I'm not sure what's worse, a cat or python bite.

        I'd not have a Burmese Python though. The size and power scare me somewhat.

        I had a German Shepherd for years. He kept the garden pretty clear of cats. He eventually died of old age and my job means its not fair for me to have a dog at the moment. Hence the snakes.

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: I keep snakes

          I considered a snake at one point, but in the end I decided I didn't have enough room, so I decided to get a tarantula instead. When I got to the pet shop, though, they didn't have any - so I bought a couple of rats.

          I did eventually get a tarantula, though.

          And I had a German Shepherd for years, as well. I'd like one again but it's the same problem: It wouldn't be fair to have one at the moment.

    3. toadwarrior
      Trollface

      You have a crap garden and the cats are letting you know it. sort it out.

    4. Two Posts

      AndrueC said "I'm going to risk a few down votes"

      I'll join you and hopefully cheer you up at the same time.

      My dad told me a great story, about someone he worked with in the 50's who was "a real character" in his words and also in the office was a woman whose usual topic of conversation was cats.

      This "character" started a conversation one morning about how the cats in his neighbourhood kicked off in the small hours and woke him up. "I opened the window and through a brick at 'em" at which point the woman leapt up in horror and said "That's horrible, the worst you should throw at a cat is water", quick as a flash my dad's mate said "Don't be daft, I haven't time to boil water."

  10. LinkOfHyrule
    Holmes

    Who did this research again? The University of the Fucking Obvious?

    Cats kill small animals - its what they do, it says so on the tin etc - DUH!

  11. Suricou Raven

    Makes no difference,

    Every cat owner will insist that *their* cat is different, and would never hurt a fly. People get very attached to pets, both individual pets and just pets in more general concept. It's an irrational type of attachment that defies all attempt at argument.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Makes no difference,

      > Every cat owner

      ... is under a delusion.

      Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

      2.1 kills a week doesn't sound like enough to live on unless its rabbit.

    2. SuccessCase

      Re: Makes no difference,

      Not always. When it's teenage boys talking about their cats, it's more a case of which one is closest to the liquid metal incarnation of the terminator.

    3. Danny 5
      Happy

      Re: Makes no difference,

      I'm quite sure cat owners are aware of their feline friends being ruthless predators when outside. They're domesticated wild animals for gods sake, of course they hunt, it's in their blood.

      Dogs are no different btw, although it does depend on the breed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makes no difference,

        I agree, I have a Jack Russel and he is definently a hunter and according to my g/f who has own the last few generations of his line, it has run in his family line. We can not own cats due to this, but we have not had any mice problems.

    4. mad_dr

      Re: Makes no difference,

      Happily, my cats love flies. They keep them entertained, tearing around the house for ages, until either the fly escapes or one of the cats gets a lucky snack. They love spiders and moths too. They particularly like woodlice but tend to play football with them rather than eat them. They're sisters and hunt in pairs which is pretty disconcerting when you see them in action.

      Weirdest thing they've ever caught? Probably the bat that flew in through the landing window and started doing circuits of the bedroom one evening. I had a very brief "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!" moment until I realised just what was flapping around the room.

      Within about 5 seconds, the two snoozing cats on the bed had woken up, leapt in the air, snagged the poor little bugger and were about to tuck in. I managed to shoo them away and popped the bat back out the window whereby she/he flew off. My cats still haven't forgiven me for taking their prize... They're indoor cats with access to a netted garden so as long as the birds stay outside, they should be OK...

      Mind you - I was staying with friends in rural Cornwall a few years ago when one of their (extremely independent) cats decided that it would be a good idea to jump in through the open bedroom window at 2 in the morning and release the completely unharmed rabbit it had found in one of the fields, onto the bed for us to admire... Cue plenty of screaming from the wife and me, bleary-eyed, standing in my boxers, trying to talk the poor bunny out from under the wardrobe...

      1. Jediben
        Thumb Up

        Re: Makes no difference,

        My two are also fanatical moth hunters - my girl follows me upstairs to the office and waits for the light to be turned on during warm nights. She then spends 2-3 hours perched under the window just waiting for them to fly in.

        Her brother is a far more ambitious killer (specializing in blue tits at the moment :( ) but he's no above insectoid prey. He also seems to have much better eyesight for spotting the landed moths. While she can't see them against a white wall unless they are flying, he can snuff them out without bother.

        1. Peter Mc Aulay

          Re: Makes no difference,

          Heh. Mine are lazy buggers. They like to watch *me* hunt insects.

    5. Lord Voldemortgage

      Re: Makes no difference,

      "Every cat owner will insist that *their* cat is different, and would never hurt a fly."

      That doesn't seem to be the case judging by this thread . . .

    6. Tom 13

      Re: Makes no difference,

      The difference between a cat owner and a dog owner is that a cat owner KNOWS he has a barely domesticated wild beast who shares his living space while a dog owner has DELUDED himself into thinking he is the master of a wild animal. Both will kill given the chance.

  12. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    The researchers

    then went on to determine that men look at porn.

    1. John Deeb
      Holmes

      Re: The researchers

      no... to determine that men watch 77% more often or more vile stuff than spouses or friends would ever imagine. And also do not drag it back into the room to showcase it either.

    2. Wombling_Free
      Boffin

      Re: The researchers

      They put cameras on bears to find out where they shit.

      It's proper SCIENCE you know; without evidence the well-known aphorism is simply THEORY.

  13. RIBrsiq
    Facepalm

    "Research" carried out by MISPWOSO, right?

    Cats are predators (albeit small and adorable one). If someone doesn't know what that means, they should buy a dictionary.

    I expect my cats to ideally be self-reliant. Such that if I stumbled into a freak wormhole while walking across my living room one day and died horribly in the vacuum of space several lightyears away, they would only be minimally inconvenienced.

    1. Callam McMillan

      Actually your cats would be most upset. I mean, they would HAVE to go and get their food rather than being able to when they aren't happy with what the "tin opener" provides them!

      1. Mike Flugennock

        slightly inconvenienced?

        Right on, there. Who's going to open the cans? Oh, sure; Minnie could use her claws to rip open the bag of Meow Mix, but she needs the large bald ape with opposable thumbs to open little can of chicken and gravy.

  14. Greg J Preece

    Are you trying to tell me that animals kill other animals?? This is outrageous! Steps must be taken to stop this immediately!

    1. Geoff May
      Joke

      Must be the government's fault

      and I'll bet it never would have been allowed under the previous government ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree all animals must be killed to save the animals from those killer animals. KILL ALL ANIMALS... wel.. except the humans but all the other animals.

  15. Richard Scratcher
    Devil

    My cat is NOT a killer!

    That's because I read Beatrix Potter stories to him ever since he was a tiny kitten.

    No Sam, don't try to bite off Jemima Puddleduck's head, she doesn't like it.

    Is that Mrs Tittle Mouse under your paw Sam? Now let her go this instant! Naughty cat!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like tame cats to me, my parents cat probably kills (or did in his prime) one a day at the least, sometimes leaving a rabbit for my parents...

    So thye recommend keeping them in doors? personally I think cats SHOULD be keeping the pests down, otherwise they are a useless ball of fur, i.e. a tribble...

  17. geekclick
    Happy

    Efficient killing machines....

    Deadly all of them, sharp teeth and claws, fantastic reflexes, nine respawns and agility beyond the kin of mortal species. Not only do they kill indiscriminately they will also eat their owners if said owner dies locked in the house with their precious furball before the body is cold.

    I love cats, i respect their total and utter contempt and disdain for everything.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Boffin

      Re: Efficient killing machines....

      People think because they run away from dogs they are inferior. Not true - they are smaller, know they will lose because of that, so do the self-preservation thing. Get a cat and dog of the same size and try it. Smarter, equipped with better weapons and faster. Doberman vs panther, rottweiler vs tiger - that type of thing. Which is the fastest animal on 4 legs? Who is the king of the jungle? Here kitty kitty ...

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Efficient killing machines....

        King of the Jungle?

        Bear vs Lion - Bear wins.

        Not sure how many Bears are found in jungles though :)

        1. Wombling_Free
          Thumb Up

          Re: Efficient killing machines....

          I think you might be a bit hard-pressed to find a lion in a jungle too.

          You might find a jaguar though.

          Actually, no, let's think about this. Bear vs. Lion, Rumble-in-da-Savanah style, would result in a win to the LION. Why? They Lion just has to run around the bear in circles - it will swiftly overheat and pass out with heatstroke.

          Host it in the tundra or temperate forest, and you get a win for the bear - the lion will quickly lose too much body heat - the bear just has to wait for nightfall.

          What you need is somewhere neutral, like... um... THE MOON!

        2. keith_w

          Re: Efficient killing machines....

          lots - check out the Jungle Book.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Efficient killing machines....

          Depends on what type of bear you are talking about polars bears could probably take out a lion.. There are plenty of bear species in jungles though. Just none that would take on a lion.. but then again lions don´t live in jungles. Generally speaking.

      2. KjetilS

        Re: Efficient killing machines....

        I've seen reports of cats killing or maiming dogs so bad they had to be put down (the dog that is). The reason? The dog managed to corner the cat, so it had no escape route.

        Also, I've personally seen a female cat with kittens attack a curious fox.

      3. geekclick
        Thumb Up

        Re: Efficient killing machines....

        One of my two love to terrorise the neighbors American Bulldog (the damn thing is the size of a small horse ffs!).... We also have a Jack Russel who lives in fear of both of the cats!

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Efficient killing machines....

        "Doberman vs panther, rottweiler vs tiger"

        Yeah, cos they're comparable in size aren't they. 60kg dog vs 150+kg cat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Efficient killing machines....

          That´s a very big panther or a very small tiger

      5. Tom 13

        Re: Efficient killing machines....

        Depends on the cat. Some smaller cats know EXACTLY how to put a dog in his place. My roomie is particularly fond of a story about her 15 pound cat taking one swipe at the 50 pound dog's nose. And thereafter, the dog always made way for the cat.

  18. Captain Underpants

    "Results were surprising"? Really?

    Clearly nobody in the study had much familiarity with cats, then.

    I've had pet cats most of my life and am very fond of the little buggers, but I've got no illusions whatsoever as to their nature - I don't see what's so shocking about animals expressing natural behaviour. Just because we've tamed them enough that we can make them pets doesn't make them adopt a vegetarian non-violent approach to life.

  19. Craig 2

    "cats are likely killing more than four billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds"

    Survival of the fittest at work, look what's happening to us humans now that particular evolutionary mechanism has been (almost) nullified.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wrong! Not survival of the fittest. The cat doesn't have to stand on its own does it as it can safely retreat to the security of the family home thereby removing natural predation. Put it truly in the wild and it will be at the mercy of "survival of the fittest". Plenty of cats near where I used to live were taken by foxes and I've witnessed one requiring surgery after meeting the business end of a member of the stoat/weasel/polecat clan. I'm sure in North America there would be plenty of animals capable of having kitty for elevensies.

      1. Tom 13

        @Anonymous Coward

        Nope. Our were rescued from the wild where they lived for many months. The rescue is to reduce disease vectors and the pound sterilizes the cats before they adopt them out.

  20. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    1) They're cats.

    2) It's taken this long for anyone to notice they were doing it - so they can't have been that big a burden in the first place.

    3) It's a natural process and cats, whether you like it or not, are now native to all countries. They can and will kill what they see move and short of locking them up (which isn't great for their health, or the smell in the kitchen) you can't do much about it.

    4) How many of the people saying their cats brought things back bothered to put a bell on their cats collar?

    Last thing my cat brought in was actually a frog, still croaking. The cat took great enjoyment from the way they just left it in the middle of the living room, waited for us to see what it was, then sat there while the girlfriend had the screaming ab-dabs, and I tried to herd a frog that I *could not* catch out of the house (we have raised sofas etc. and it was trying to look for shelter) using an unfolded sun-lounger as a snowplough to push it out the door. God knows how the cat managed to get him, he was a fast jumpy beggar of a frog, and the cat is nearly 19 now.

    1. Jediben

      We applied a bell to our boy after he provided us with 3 blue tits over one weekend. He was awkward for about a week and then he adapted his hunting technique to overcome and eliminate the bell movement. He was back to catching them, complete with bell, by the end of that week.

      All we had done was make him an even better hunter.

      The only thing the collar did do was make his occasional fights with neighbouring cats more risky for him - he came back one day without it.

      It appears that the quick release function must have proved its worth during a fracas, as I found it three doors down, hanging out of the neighbour's catflap :)

      1. Maty

        Bells on the collar don't help much, because most cats are ambush predators. They pick their spot wait for tweety (or whatever) to come in range and the cat then makes a rush. Tinkly bell or not, the prey sees and hears them, but by then its too late.

  21. Grikath Silver badge
    WTF?

    Wait a moment...

    You mean someone spent time, effort, and presumably a wad of cash to confirm that a species of a family of predators actually functions as a ...predator, especially given the fact that said species has been domesticated and bred specifically for the fact that it *is* an effective household predator that keeps the vermin down?

    Bloody amazing , that.....

  22. InsaneLampshade

    "killing more than four billion animals per year"

    Do I dare ask what would happen to the ecosystem if all these "four billion" animals weren't killed every year?

    1. Lars 3
      Joke

      Re: "killing more than four billion animals per year"

      Don´t be silly. That research would actually be somewhat useful and therefore clearly a waste of time.

  23. Psymon
    Headmaster

    The reason they leave the liver/kidney

    It's the same reason they can be so picky about the food they eat. Their upper palette is extremely sensitive to amonia, which is given off by decaying and potentially harmful/poisonous meat.

    Cats are truly magnificent predators. They are one of the few species on this planet whos digestive tract is optimised purely for a carniverous diet. You'd be surprised how many "carnivores" or "herbivores" that can actually eat alternatives. Even pandas show a preference for carrion when they can find it.

    Their entire body is optimised as the perfect predator.

    Hearing with directional/distance location accuracy only suprassed by the barn owl.

    Natural camouflage in their coats.

    retractable claws and soft paw pads allowing for incredible stealth.

    Vertical slit iris optimised to detect rapid horizontal movement.

    Reflective retina for night vision.

    To name but a few evolutionary specialisms in one of the most successful mammalian predators on the planet

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

      "digestive tract is optimised purely for a carniverous diet."

      But, one of my cats liked fried poppadoms, another - sweet corn from tincans. They all absolutely loved to chew green grass (then vomit it all over the house).

      1. Jediben

        Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

        My boy likes the taste of Tangy Cheese Doritos. Perhaps he is not as much of a connaseiur as he ought to be.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

        Mine eats garlic naan...

        1. Colin Miller

          Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

          Be careful with that - cats' livers can't breakdown the sulphur compounds in alliums.

          1. Ragarath

            Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

            They eat grass exactlly for that reason, to make them vomit and get rid of the crap they have in there. Every cat my parents have ever owned did it. Just try to make sure they vomit outside :)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

        My male goes bonkers for hulahoops, especially the cheese and onion ones

        1. keith_w
          WTF?

          Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

          aren't they a bit large? I mean they're what? 3 feet across?

        2. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: The reason they leave the liver/kidney

          My favourite cat ever was brain-damaged due to an RTA (rescued him as such via RSPCA). He had a number of odd tastes, the most curious of which was dried banana-chips!

  24. Raggs
    Holmes

    If the RSPB don't worry, why should we?

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/birddeclines.aspx

    If these guys aren't panicing about cat predation, I don't figure they're that bad. The USA is so sparsely populated in comparison it's unlikely to be a worser situation I'd have thought.

    My cat doesn't bring back too many gifts, but I know she eats fairly well, mostly takes the larger local lizards that I've seen. My dads cat brings home rabbits (generally bigger than her).

    1. JP19

      Re: If the RSPB don't worry, why should we?

      The RSPB seeing people in the UK spending 1.4 billion quid a year on cat and dog food probably think pissing off half of them by criticising their fluffy little innocent balls of fun won't be good for revenues.

      Generally cat owners choose low maintenance free to roam pets and inflict them on their neighbours and local wildlife. That makes them too stupid to understand the consequences of the choice or selfish bastards.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good riddance

    What have birds ever done for us? Fuck all except shit everywhere and give saddo's something to look at through binoculars.

    Go get em kitty.

  26. SiempreTuna
    Happy

    Cat Mad? Yeah, You Really, REALLY Are

    You know how cats dig their paws around in their poo then walk all over your kitchen work surfaces right before you prepare your food there? Well, eating all that cat poo results in around 70% of cat lovers being infected with toxoplasmosis.

    The life cycle of toxoplasmosis goes through (literally) cats to rodents via cat poo, then back to cats when the cats eat the rodents. Simple, if risky, enough.

    What's interesting about this life cycle though, is how toxoplasmosis helps that process along: to improve the odds of its rodent host getting eaten by a cat, toxoplasmosis makes its way into the rodents brain and alters it, converting the rodent's natural fear of cats into a craving for cat company. With fatal results. For the rodent.

    Now, ever noticed how many 'cat people' have a really, REALLY unhealthy obsession with cats? Well, guess what? That's not coincidence: that's toxoplasmosis.

    And it doesn't just result in an obsession with cats, toxoplasmosis has also been linked with huge increases in other psychoses - seems the changes toxoplasmosis induces to create the cat obsession leak into other areas - no surprise: the brain's a complicated organ. These side affects aren't a problem for the rodents, of course: they end up eaten. They are a bit more of a problem for cat lovers, who end up in houses stinking of cat piss. Or funny farms.

    Ain't nature a b*tch?

    [Cue howls of protest from cat lovers - just ignore them: they're most likely pyschotic]

    1. InsaneLampshade
      Happy

      Re: Cat Mad? Yeah, You Really, REALLY Are

      I for one welcome our new cat overlords.

      I've often actually wondered about this, it would be interesting if someone were to do a large scale study on toxoplasmosis in humans. You've gotta admire it though, I mean if people could get tested and be "cured" how many would choose to do so? I mean I like cats, I don't want to be "cured" of liking cats even if there were conclusive proof it was the toxoplasmosis making me say that.

      I wonder if there are other symbiotic behaviour changing infection relationships that humans could be susceptible to, maybe it's more common than we think, maybe our entire behaviour is dictated by our internal bacteria ecosystem!

      1. JaimieV

        There's a fair bit of literature on it

        Here's one of the biggest - synopsis and free download of the paper from http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/273/1602/2749

        1. Wombling_Free
          Trollface

          Re: There's a fair bit of literature on it

          Yep, I saw it on the Internet. It must be true.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like cats too

        But smackheads quite like heroin as well...

      3. Colin Brett
        Happy

        Re: Cat Mad? Yeah, You Really, REALLY Are

        "I for one welcome our new cat overlords."

        How long does toxoplasmosis (or its breakdown products or evidence of infection) last in a human corpse? Perhaps all the ancient Egyptian mummies could be screened or tested in some way to find out why they had such a fixation for felines?

        Gotta go. I've got a cat to worship at six o'clock.

    2. David Pollard

      Toxoplasmosis - miscarriage, stillbirth and blindness

      Although often dismissed as trivial or amusing, toxoplasmosis can cause serious illness and death. It's especially dangerous to the foetus during early months of pregnancy and later to those who have a latent infection and whose immune systems become compromised.

      Here's a link from the NHS:

      http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Toxoplasmosis/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

    3. Intractable Potsherd
      Thumb Down

      @SiempreTuna

      So what is your explanation for the huge number of people that are dog/rodent/snake/fish owners then? Undiscovered bugs that affect the brains of these people, maybe? Or are you just talking out of your arse?

      Yes, toxoplasma does *seem" to have *some* effect the behaviours of *certain* cat prey species, but since humans don't fall into that category, I'd say you need to quite a lot more work to prove your point. But then it wouldn't make for cheap jibes, would it?

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: @SiempreTuna

        Oh, and during a recent hospitalisation for an unknown illness, I was tested for toxoplasma (amongst many, many other things) because it was a reasonable thing to do given that I have had cats for over 35 years now. I don't have it, so that tends to undermine your you silly argument, at least in part.*

        * I know; one datum doesn't mean anything scientifically, but s/he wasn't being scientific either.

      2. SiempreTuna
        Happy

        Re: @SiempreTuna

        You don't see quite so many people with houses full of dogs/rodents/snakes/fish and those that you do also seem a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, though my guess is the source of those problems could lie elsewhere.

        The affects of toxoplasmosis are pretty well documented - there's really not too much *seem* or *some* or *certain* about it.

        There is also a strong corrolation (obviously, appropriate provisos apply) between the sudden increase in cat ownership following a fashion for all things Egyptian in the C19th and an increase in reported cases of various psychoses, including schizophrenia. Of course, it could just be coincidence ..

        I'm assuming you're a cat person ..?

        As for the accusation regarding cheap jibes: guilty as charged. But really, people who eat so much cat poo? Least of their problems ..

  27. Tom 38 Silver badge

    This is only a surprise to subscribers of Cat Fancy and city folk.

    I grew up on a farm, at the most we had 8 cats, who all lived outside and spent their time killing anything smaller than a chicken that came within range. Interestingly, lots of them had favoured prey - one of them would go crazy about dinosaursbirds, one would mainly hunt baby rabbits, one mainly rats.

    Quite often, they would bring whatever they had caught 'home' to the back door and eat everything except the entrails, leaving them on the step.

    Another thing that all cats like to do is play. People go *c*r*a*z*y* when a cat starts playing with a laser pointer, or a ball of yarn. The same people look much less impressed when the cat is playing with a heavily injured mouse, catching it, mouthing it, letting it go, catching it again, until the mouse dies of a heart attack.

    Only much much later did we ever have a cat that came inside the house. I stopped that when I woke up one morning to find half a dead rabbit at the foot of my bed.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the cat told us what to do

    cats. nasty to the weak. grovel to the strong. It's like the template for British foreign policy . lol

  29. Jimboom
    Coat

    I have one of each

    I have 1 cat that is a Garfield (even looks like him and is as fat), and doesn't do anything more than occasionally bring in a frog to play with in the house. Never kills anything that one.

    But then his sister, now she likes to bring in baby birds from our garden. She tried taking on the parent birdies but couldn't do more than hurt it's wing.

    Yes, cats are wild animals essentially... but ain't we all. ;-)

  30. A J Stiles
    Holmes

    Another press release from DOBO .....

    the Department Of the Bleeding Obvious.

    The Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats. Once they began farming, and producing more food than they could eat at once, they built grain stores along the banks of the Nile; which, in turn, attracted mice, rats and other assorted creatures, much to the consternation of the Egyptians -- fortuitously for whom, the ready supply of mobile protein, in its own turn, attracted wild cats. Impressed by the way the cats had appeared from nowhere, and their ability to sit very still for hours on end before pouncing on a mouse before the mouse knew what was happening, the Egyptians began worshipping them as Gods.

    Also, cats killing garden birds are actually performing a useful function. The ones caught by the cats are the weakest. They probably were going to die sooner or later anyway; at least this way, they don't deprive the others of scarce food.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re:performing a useful function

      I have two problems with your rationale there. Firstly, bird populations are *way* down on what they were a few decades ago so their food probably isn't "scarce" anymore. Secondly, since the cat population is kept artificially high by industrial food production and vetinary intervention, they aren't just killing off the weakest, but going on to kill off the majority of the "fairly fit" as well.

      Of course, since all the same arguments apply to humans even more than they apply to cats, so I suppose I'm a hypocrite. Perhaps the correct Darwinian view is simply that cats have discovered the perfect evolutionary strategy: look cute to humans.

      1. A J Stiles

        Re: Re:performing a useful function

        Problem is, the decline in bird populations isn't due to cats.

        If anything, it's probably due to better home insulation; in Winter, we're keeping more heat in, leaving less for the birdies. What a dilemma for the tree-huggers! Save energy, harm wildlife!

        Anyway, this doesn't really affect my main point. If cold is the problem for birds, then the easiest birds for cats to kill will be the nesh ones; shivering and hopping from one foot to the other, rubbing their wings to try and keep warm, complaining in bird language how freezing they are ..... Cats don't mind a tasty cold meat snack. The birds left to pass on their genes, pass on the gene for cold-tolerance, and so it goes on.

  31. BrentRBrian
    Trollface

    BAN ALL CATS

    They kill indiscriminately .. CALL PETA ! CALL THE SIERRA CLUB !

  32. Wombling_Free
    Boffin

    Could we see the same data for dogs please?

    Bogan / trailer trash / chavs best friend kill FAR more than cats.

    They will all happily kill humans too, given a chance, something I am yet to hear attributed to a housecat.

  33. xyz
    Mushroom

    The only legal way to kill a cat...

    ...is with a dog. True, ask any copper. We need dogs, lots of dogs. Personally I think you should be allowed to kill any cat on site.

    1. Wombling_Free
      Mushroom

      Re: The only legal way to kill a cat...

      Yeah, and those fucking annoying pandas.

      While we're at it, lets kill ALL animals other than dogs, because dogs are so cool.

      Plus killing animals is so much fun, eh?

      1. Robbie

        Re: The only legal way to kill a cat...

        Lol. The biggest threat to wildlife is man.

        I'm all for cats killing birds. I live in suburban wooded area (aka guano-ville), with birdshit absolutely everywhere. As for the shit spreading by cats -- humans do a fair bit of that too!

      2. xyz

        Re: The only legal way to kill a cat...

        > Yeah, and those fucking annoying pandas

        I don't have the problem of pandas crapping in my garden, I have a problem with people's cats crapping in my garden. BTW, pandas eat shoots and leaves (pun intended) and as far as I know have never induldged in bird hunting. You've got to try to be less petulant otherwise you'll break your iPad

        1. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Down

          Re: The only legal way to kill a cat...

          So have you done anything about the cats that crap in your garden, like talked to their owners about it if they're domesticated or reported them to rescues to get them picked up if they're strays?

          Or was it easier to just post some bellendy borderline-psychopathic comment on an internet forum?

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
            WTF?

            Re: done anything about the cats that crap in your garden

            Great advice. All I need to do now is catch the cat, identify the owner and wait for the owner to reprogram their cat.

            I think this comments forum just jumped the shark.

            Have you ever tried catching a cat that doesn't know you? Have you? Really? !

          2. xyz
            Devil

            Re: The only legal way to kill a cat...

            > Or was it easier to just post some bellendy borderline-psychopathic comment on an internet forum?

            Erm...you were typing?

            Anyhoo...a fact is not psychopathic, it's a fact: The only legal way to kill a cat is with a dog, because it is the order of nature. I didn't write the law BTW and I don't understand how it's not a national sport 'cos it would beat dog fighting.

            Oh and we did talk to the owners; we scooped up their cat crap and ladelled it onto their doorstep and anyone who complained was offered a physical resolution path :-) They kept better control of their vermin after that and then moved.

            1. Intractable Potsherd

              @xyz

              So your argument is "Something is causing me a nuisance, therefore it must die". On top of that, you go further and say "Anyone that disagrees with me should just STFU or risk bodily harm*"

              I'll be watching out for your trial with interest. We don't live in the 19th Century any more.

              * " ... anyone who complained was offered a physical resolution path"

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: The only legal way to kill a cat...

      Which site?

      1. xyz

        Re: The only legal way to kill a cat...

        > Which site?

        Ok sight, but on site (as it the site of a building) works just as well. The key point of the message to take home is...KILL THEM, KILL THEM ALL.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cats on-site

      Maybe you should ask them if they have legitimate business on-site, such as feline technical support, before taking such drastic measures.

  34. JeevesMkII
    Pint

    My kitty...

    ... is an expert hunter, but strangely enough won't touch anything which even reminds him of meat. Offer him most wet cat food or meat prepared for humans and he doesn't recognise it as food. He only seems to eat biscuits. Whoever owned him before we did has a lot to answer for.

    I'm not sure who these kitties are who manage to catch birds though. None of the kitties I've ever owned have managed to get within so much as a meter of a bird before they were spotted. One did bag a rabbit though. A big, adult rabbit. Which he dragged through the catflap. Minus its head. And left under the sideboard. I think he might have been trying to tell me something.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My kitty...

      I've seen mine get a bird once... and only once. Other than that he's either keeping it very quiet or he's just crap at it..... Sorry moggy but I think its the latter!

  35. xperroni
    Paris Hilton

    "cats are likely killing more than four billion animals per year..."

    Wait, four billion?

    I know that small creatures compensate their short life-span with larger numbers, but isn't that a tad too high?

    1. Stylee

      Re: "cats are likely killing more than four billion animals per year..."

      It certainly seems impressive when compared to the relatively measly 10 billion animals that humans kill for food every year in the USA. Although I suppose the human food animals are much bigger. If only the cats could learn to cooperate and hunt in packs, they might be able to bring down a cow - if we say one cow equates to a thousand mice, then cats would be able to cut their kill count to 4 million. If they were killing for food, which they aren't.

      Yum, cow - mmm.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: "cats are likely killing more than four billion animals per year..."

      Hardly. Take a few (ok, quite a lot actually) million pet cats. Multiply by the number of days in a year, which last I looked was several hundred. It may or may not be true, but it is perfectly possible.

  36. heyrick Silver badge

    Sometimes when I've out at night stargazing, I hear a jingle (my cat has a bell collar so its effects on the local bird population would be lessened) and then I hear silence, then some scrabbling, followed by crunching. Flip the torch around, she apparently plucked a mouse off of bare tarmac!

    Well, it's one less mouse to worry about...

  37. Chris Hunt
    Facepalm

    The other side

    Speaking for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Worms, what about the massive bloodbath perpetrated by birds on my little wiggly friends? Many millions of them carried off by birds (especially the early variety) every day.

    Animals kill each other. If you can't handle that, read Beatrix Potter instead.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: The other side

      Come back with that argument when it is *domesticated* birds killing the worms.

  38. Mark Dempster
    Mushroom

    Extinction-Level Event

    I used to live in an area that had a small wooded area 100 yards or so from my house, in the middle of a large housing estate; the only reason it hadn't been built on was because it was a conservation area, a pond in the centre of it was the only home in the UK to a particular breed of newt.

    My cat developed a habit of catching these newts and leaving them (usually in pieces) around the house. In the last 2 years I lived there, though, no newts were brought home. I honestly believe that she single-handedly wiped out the entire species...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Extinction-Level Event

      and that's why people shouldn't have them. Fucking creatures.

      Used to have one pissing and shitting in our garden and, before all the cat-tards get defensive, the area in which I live has strict rules about keeping cats indoors if you want to own one i.e. don't let them roam wild. Still, a couple of well placed shots with stones from the trusty left arm has seen the f*cker off for now.

      Cat owners need to get a grip. How would they like it if I came into their garden and did a shit? Or perhaps just let my dog shit on their patio? Wankers.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: area in which I live has strict rules about keeping cats indoors

        Yeah, those would be the areas inhabited by fuckwits who should never be allowed to pass laws since they have no understanding of basic science.

        On the cat shit front, cats bury theirs dogs leave it in the open. I've cleaned way more dog shit out of my yard then I've ever cleaned cat shit. And I've now lived in a house with cats more years than I've lived in a house without cats. And most dogs do their business while on a walk with the owner standing over it while it is doing so. Much easier to clean up when you're standing right there when it happens. If you ever find cat shit in your yard and can prove it was my cat and not the feral ones running around, I'll happily come clean it up.

        1. VinceH Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: area in which I live has strict rules about keeping cats indoors

          "On the cat shit front, cats bury theirs"

          Except when they don't.

          When a friend of mine moved house several years ago, the removal men discovered a huge pile of cat shit under the trampoline in the back garden. It seems one of her cats had used it as regular toilet for a very long time. It was out of sight, but out of sight is definitely not the same as being buried.

          And worse is that it was under the trampoline, on which her daughter regularly played.

          At the time, she claimed not to know about it - but I've always been a bit suspicious about that, because I remembered a time, maybe a year before, when I was in her garden throwing a ball around with said daughter. The ball went under the trampoline. I was going to retrieve it, but she stopped me, suggesting we do something else.

          Putting two and two together, I'm inclined to think she knew the cat was using the space under the trampoline as a toilet, and chose to ignore it.

          Oh, and the removal men refused to touch the trampoline after they'd moved it and discovered what was underneath - it got left, and so did that cat shit. A nice little present for the new owners of the house.

  39. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
    Boffin

    You're ALL missing the interesting bit of the research...

    The researchers found that only a third of cats actively hunt. Two thirds don't hunt, or are so crap at it that they don't catch anything. What I'm guessing is going on here is based on how most predators actually develop hunting skills. Most predators, especially ones with complex hunting strategies, do not have innate hunting abilities as such but are taught by their parents how to hunt, and more importantly what to hunt.

    This is why a lot of cats bring back live prey to their owners: the cat thinks that its owners don't know how to hunt, and need teaching, hence the live prey brought into a closed space where it cannot get away and the "kittens" can hunt it down for themselves, making as many mistakes as they need to do.

    I'm guessing that the developmental window for learning how to hunt is fairly short, and that the majority of cats which don't hunt, or which hunt only insects, were kept indoors during this period and neither they nor their mother had access to the outdoors to bring in examples of what to hunt for them. This really needs checking out; if this is the reason, then we can drastically reduce the toll on the country's birdlife by selectively depriving kittens of the lessons needed to hunt birds.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: You're ALL missing the interesting bit of the research...

      Perhaps a bigger factor might be how much food the owners give them. If they aren't hungry they have no need to hunt. Perhaps we don't even see proper cat hunting with domestic cats, because they don't need to properly hunt to the extent that they pull in enough food to survive.

      In my opinion a lot of cats largely just kill out of bordom. See how excited they can get over a piece of string waved in front of them, or how curious they get if they find an unfamiliar area and have to explore it all. So I think when outside for so long they inevitably come across unaware birds and mice and suchlike and much like a piece of string it grabs their attention and they go for it to play. My own cat scratched me quite a lot when I played with it with a piece of string. It's easy for me to imagine most kills are unintentional and the cat is just playing with the animal like it would play with a piece of string but in the process slowly kills it. Of course once the animal is dead the cat might eat it, even partially, but I don't think the process can be described as hunting. Even if the cat in bordom looks for mice, or birds to play with I still don't think that's really hunting. Hunting in my opinion would be searching and killing prey simply to eat with no fuss.

      Basically you have no hope to stop them. I can't envision the possibility of a cat not becoming transfixed by the sight of a small animal moving in the undergrowth and trying to play with it. I mean what else is the cat going to do all day? sunbathe? write a report? A small animal moving around is probably the most exciting thing a cat can find.

  40. Dan Paul
    Holmes

    Just a crazy cat lover says, Let them Eat Birds...

    I've had both dogs and cat and have to say that I like cats much better as pets. Far less trouble, completely self sufficient and yet very lovable and affectionate creatures. The worst thing about cats is the litter box but at least cats will crap in a box while dogs will go anywhere they lose control (usually on a carpet).

    As far as cats being predators, get used to it. I have had cats that brought in gifts and ones that just expected to be fed. When a cat brings you a "gift" it is just that. The cat is trying to show appreciation for the good food and back scratching that you have done for it. Let alone that most of mine have been rescues and they have always been quite appreciative of not getting killed for some reason. Your cat has shown that you are the leader of the "pride" and brings food to you, simple as that.

    In the 80's I had two cats, Boogy (Striped tiger) and Biko (Coal Black), mother and son who were the best hunters ever, Boogy would leap 8 feet into the air from a standing start and catch bats on the wing in the garden at night. Biko was mostly a mouser and would leave 3/4 eaten gifts at the side porch every morning. Boogy was crazy though, every summer day she would jump up and hang by one paw from ground to the windowsill with a mouse or a vole under the other paw, hang there and mew until I recognized her by say "Good Girl" then she would bite it and bounce off the house and run to the back porch where she would kill the mouse after playing with it for a while.

    We had a cat called Dammit when I was a toddler that would guard my stroller like a pit bull. Anyone who came near that cat and was not family was in for a real surprise. This cat was so smart that my mom would let it out in a basket on a rope from the second floor apartment window and the cat would yeowl to come back in the same way when she was done with her business.

    Another cat I had actually jumped up on the back of a German Shepherd that liked to poop in our yard and ran him down the street like a furry jockey. That dog never came back again, too embarrased.

    Spooky, my current feline pal will run up and jump on the couch and rub his nose on my cheek and give me a quick "Mewf" and lay on my lap. He comes when I call him just like a well trained dog. He weighs 18 lbs (he's 30" from nose to rump not including tail) and I've seen him scare off a pair of Foxes, Racoons and Opossums. Most dogs are little problem and they usually run away. Funny thing is he does not hunt for food (too well fed?) and let's most things escape after he gets bored. Weird thing is he LOVES Garter snakes.

  41. John A Blackley

    Is it only in Georgia

    that people didn't know cats are predators?

    And is it only in the western world that people are horrified by that fact?

  42. Bgfreeman

    As Mr. Pratchett puts it:

    If cats were shaped like frogs, we'd see what nasty, spiteful creatures they really are"

    Yes, cats kill stuff. That's what they do, and yes they crap anywhere that other crap has been. Boo hoo.

    I'd still rather have cats than mice,v oles and corrosive-shit birds around my house.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terriers

    Just to cheer up you cat haters. My terriers bring back cats through the dog flap. All in the proper state ie dead.

  44. I Am Spartacus
    Holmes

    This is a hilarious thread

    First we have the no shit Sherlock moment from a group of University researchers.

    And then these comments. As a cat owner, I understand all the stories of what was brought back. They way they are told had me laughing so loud over lunch some colleague though I had gone mad.

    Well done everyone - damn fine effort..

    Thank you!

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A simple natural principle at work

    It's called 'Survival of the Fittest'

    if birds, mice, voles etc... are too slow to escape a predator, are they fit to survive - nature ( red in tooth and claw ) says no.

    AC to avoid the cat haters and religious anti - Darwin nuts

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: A simple natural principle at work

      It's only Darwin-at-Work if the cats aren't supported by an industrial-scale food production and distribution network and all the vetinary care that human intelligence can provide.

      For a more realistic ecological perspective: the UK cat population is about ten million. The UK wild-cat population is less than a thousand. FOUR ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE separate your comments from reality.

  46. georgeclooneylookalike
    Mushroom

    Kil em all

    It should be the law that if you se a cat on your turf you can kill it. Bastards!

    1. easyk

      Re: Kil em all

      I here-by enter into record House Resolution #4721: the georgecloonylookalike "F*ck Them Pussies" bill of 2012.

  47. DJ Smiley
    Devil

    Vast numbers of them committing genocide the world over while

    So..... a creature massively expanding its explosive growth; committing genocide the world over and nothing keeping it in check. All of its predators are either gone or secured. Nothing to hold it back.

    Humans, a wonderful example of what happens when you have no predators.

  48. Mike Flugennock

    "Surprising, if not startling"?

    What's so surprising? F'crissakes, man, they're cats -- you know, like lions and leopards.

    Our little Minnie may be cute and sweet and affectionate, and she may like to curl up in my lap while I'm watching TV, or snuggle up between my wife and I when we're in bed, but that doesn't change the fact that she's a little killing machine.

    Mind, you, we live in the middle of the city, so needless to say, we raised Minnie as strictly an indoor cat, though we didn't subject her to the humiliation of de-clawing. Still, even though she's strictly a house cat, that doesn't mean she doesn't get plenty of hunting in. Normally, I'd say we have a bit of a mouse problem at our place, but we don't as we've got Minnie on the job. Last winter was especially cold, and a fair number of mice were finding their way into the house; Minnie nailed pretty much every mouse that dared to show itself -- at least ten that I know of. She was amazing to watch in action; she went from being our sweet little Minnie to being something relentlessly and ruthlessly efficient. I'd be at the drawing table working, and suddenly there'd be this big commotion in a corner on the other side of the studio, and it'd be all over before I knew what was happening, and Minnie would be trotting into the hallway with a mouse clenched in her jaws.

    Way to go, Minnie. Good job, sweetie.

    Look out, little furry folk! He's the all-night working cat.

    Eats but one in every ten --- leaves the others on the mat.

    --jethro tull

  49. Dana W
    WTF?

    The Horror!

    Predators hunting animals! How shocking! I thought they were supposed to subsist on apple pie and cabbages!

    Who is actually shocked by this? How is this shocking news to ANYONE? The Disneyfication of people who are surprised that cats eat mice and don't befriend them for charming buddy adventures is kind of stupefying.

    Its as bad as people who try and raise dogs on Vegetarian dog food.

  50. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    My mum owned a cat that was, for want of a better phrase, traditional cat skills challenged.

    One day he came in an rubbed around her legs crooning weirdly .

    "What the hell's wrong with the cat? ARRRGH he's killed a mouse!"

    Yep, they do bring in their kills to show off. Not a big cat person myself, but this behaviour is obvious, not anthropomorphic.

    I can say this because the cat in question was in fact incapable of killing anything of the mammal family since it would sneak up, then sit up an mewl at the target, which would run or fly away at top speed. The birds of the area knew him by sight and would let him "sneak" in amongst them while they fed since they knew he'd announce his intention to attack when he was ready. It always seemed to come as a surprise to the cat that the target would flee, too. He never learned.

    The mouse it brought in that time was cold and stiff as a board. It had obviously died of old age, but that didn't stop the cat from claiming the credit. It laid the body at my mum's feet and then demanded she look at it with very odd and bizarre behaviour. What else could it have been about?

  51. Tikimon Silver badge
    Boffin

    The blindness of cat lovers...

    Good gravy! Cat lovers think their little moggies can do NO wrong! To listen to the cat lovers, it's perfectly fine to replace wildlife with hordes of stray cats. What's going to keep your trees and gardens pest-free when all the songbirds are dead? Those birds eat lots of bugs you know.

    There's good (non-greenie-whacko) research documenting the correlation between stray cats and loss of wildlife in urban-suburban areas. There's also good documentation of how trees without birds are less healthy and grow less (as much as 60% less in a year).

    Dogs aren't allowed to roam about killing at will, there's no good reason to let cats do it. As far as "following instinct to kill things", apply that argument to dogs and see how bogus it is. We routinely stop pets and livestock from acting on their instincts, for their good and ours.

    Hey cat lovers, do you make excuses for your delinquent children too?

    1. easyk

      Re: The blindness of cat lovers...

      A fine statement of truth. I am at a loss as to why anyone would have a problem with what you said. Is it because you called their house pets "stray"? People need to think rationally about this. Emotion is clearly clouding their judgement.

    2. Galidron

      Re: The blindness of cat lovers...

      I would like to see more predators in the urban setting. Maybe eagles, owls and the like. Mostly anything that will kill the damn squirrels. Where I live I think they are the most dangerous population to the birds, there are maybe 2 cats around but so many squirrels in the trees that they spend a fair amount of time tearing holes in people's houses to make a place to live.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: The blindness of cat lovers...

      The loss of wildlife in areas mainly comes when it goes from fields to 'urban/sub-urban'. Any subsequent feline decimation is minor in comparison.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you find

    cat owners as annoying as iPhone owners?

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Do you find

      Moreso. I've never had any of their iPhones shitting in my garden.

  53. sisk Silver badge

    Suprised?

    Who's honestly suprised by this? As cute as we find them and as friendly as they can be to their favored human slaves they are still predatory animals with a sadistic streak a mile wide.

    Despite having known this for several years, they're still my favored pet. What does that say about me?

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Suprised?

      "What does that say about me?"

      That you have toxoplasmosis, a brain parasite carried by cats that makes humans more amenable to felines when infected.

  54. Claus P. Nielsen
    Holmes

    Clearly a case of bad upbringing

    The researchers are looking at this all wrong.

    The shocking thing is not that some cats kill around 2 small animals a week.

    The shocking thing is that 2/3 of the house-cat population are apparantly not capable of capturing and killing anything!

    This is clearly a failure in their upbringing, most likely brought about by a stupid human taking them away from their mother before she has had a chance to teach them how to hunt.

    The scientists notion that you can extrapolate from a small-scale study in a certain county to nationwide numbers or even that you can compare kill-rate between feral cats and domestic cats is laughable.

    Feral cats that can't capture and kill will die.

    Cats in the countryside have more opportunities for kills than cats in the suburbs and they have correspondingly more opportunities than cats in the big cities.

    before an extrapolation can be made, it is necessary to get data from a much more diverse set of areas than what was the case here.

  55. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Boffin

    Hunter instinct not fully suppressed in domestic felines

    Who'da thunk? Truly ground-breaking research, this is.

  56. bruceld

    My darned large orange cat...

    My partner and I lived in a penthouse with only one neighbour couple in another suite on the same floor.

    My cat discovered how to climb up on the roof and 'find' things. He kept bringing home alot of bones. I could never figure out where he kept getting these rather large bones from.

    Some time after we found out our neighbours were missing.

    Of course I'm just pulling your leg. ;-) I think seagulls and crows were flying their goods on top of the roof.

    One epic battle though. I was sitting quietly with the partner on a beautiful summers day. We heard this crashing and we looked out the patio window. There was an epic brawl between our cat and a rather large seagull. We were like "Wow!!" Finally the gull flew off and our cat comes running in fresh from a brawl and we could see this look of pride and glory on his face and demeanor!

    Good kitty!

  57. Triggerfish

    Upbringing and hunting

    There must be some correlation between how the cats have ben brought up and their skills. I've had two cats that grew up as kittens in a nice house and they were pretty indifferent hunters, (admittedly I also lived in a more urban area).

    Before that I had two strays that hung around and became house cats and they were unholy terrors for anything they could find rats killed and left on the step, mice dropped live in boots, birds for release in the front room, and for some reason the odd live hedghog in a washing basket (I figured they thought the rats were to tough for the training sessions they had planned for us), one of the cats cornered a neighbours alsatian and red setter in the garden after the dogs broke through the fence.

    A stone of tomcat in its prime can quite easily handle itself.

  58. N2 Silver badge

    Typical American 'cuddly bunny' rot

    Our two cats kill about 3 or 4 mice at least each day & have also killed two rats. If attitudes like that are allowed to prevail then where will it end?

  59. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Happy

    I'm glad to see...

    ...that the posts are overwhelmingly in favour of cats doing what they're designed to do.

    I wonder why there are none of the tree-huggers around trying to pretend that nature is all cuddly and cute...?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have a furry assassin squad as we live out in the sticks and my wife is phobic about mice and lizards (really...) , currently its ranks are depleted in numbers to 3, the old girl we've had for 13 years, one that we got when someone gave her away, and a bengal/farmcat cross who's just turned 1. He brings in rabbits etc, for a while I thought he was finding someones hunting stash and nicking them because they were bigger than him, but the other day I disturbed him dragging one across the wilderness reserve we call a garden and he dropped it in surprise and it bounded off, only for him to recapture and deliver a proper fanging to the neck job done. He ran off with it and left part of the bum for me later on...

    He's offspring of another bengal who went missing aged 3, but he was even worse, he used to bring snakes back (yeah, a poisonous viper, in the downstairs hall that I had to take off him and stand on it with big boots and subdue it with a brick hammer as it was so p***ed off, after hearing loud screams of "THE CATS BROUGHT A BLOODY SNAKE IN NOW" from a safe distance upstairs), rabbits, various birds of varying sizes, you name it if it moved and was smaller than a collie he'd have a go. He even used to chase the kids across the room and have them if they annoyed him too much. Fantastic...

    .

    I love cats, and we've always had them, but anyone who doesn't know they're natures supreme small fluffy animal assassination specialists either hasn't had one, or hasn't got eyes. They got a job to do here, and do it well they do. Mid summer I'd expect to see the bengal cross with 3-4 mice a day, with whatever else he could bag + the stuff he doesn't bring home for fear of having his new toy taken off him.. Can I have their research grant to state the bleedin obvious instead of them?

  61. This post has been deleted by its author

  62. NotSmartEnough
    WTF?

    Bird numbers

    It would be interesting to know how much of the decline in bird numbers is due to an increase in the numbers of domestic cats, rather than, say, destruction of hedgerows or reduction in insect populations due to pesticides, etc.

    That would be a bit like doing research, wouldn't it?

    On another topic, and in response to the foaming-at-the-mouth 'cat shit in my garden' bunch: I take the kids to the park, guess what I have to clean off shoes/pram wheels far too often: cat shit or dog shit? Go on guess. When was the last time you had to step round some cat shit on the pavement?

    1. Mike 137

      Re: Bird numbers

      Well this is only "anecdotal", but I had a wide variety of small songbirds visiting my garden bird feeders for several years - I usually had to refill them daily. Then two neighbours introduced three young cats around Christmas time 2011. This year I have only recorded two visits to my bird feeders since January, and the untouched seed goes mouldy in the feeders.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bird numbers

      "When was the last time you had to step round some cat shit on the pavement?"

      There's no pavement in my garden, but cats shit on the lawn.

      1. NotSmartEnough

        Re: Bird numbers

        What's your point? Are you saying that fouling is ok as long as it's Not In My Back Yard?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My favourite is a 22LR lead bullet right between the cats eyes

    I'm in full rural zoning with farms and it is illegal to let your cat out of the house. Us farmers have a rule that if your cat is out of your property and in their farm it is classified feral and gets shot. 22LR works wonders at 5 cents a shot as would a 17HMR. But if all a farmer has handy is a larger caliber then it's pink mist time in the paddocks. Same with any stray dog. Too much money in livestock is at risk to allow developmentally retarded city dweller mentality to rein supreme in rural zones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My favourite is a 22LR lead bullet right between the cats eyes

      So, you get some free rodent control done by the local precision hunters who are sized so they won't put your livestock at risk, and instead of taking advantage of the saving in poisons and effort to control them, you kill the animal helping you? that's very intelligent...

      Our local farmer isn't equally as mentally challenged, he not only tolerates other cats on his land, they have a big pack of feral ones meowing around the barns for the warmth and easy food supply, keeping his grain store and other parts pest free. But of course, he has half a brain.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Maty

      Re: My favourite is a 22LR lead bullet right between the cats eyes

      If you want to sound convincing about 'retarded mentalities', learn to spell 'reign'. Otherwise you are just convincingly retarded.

    4. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: My favourite is a 22LR lead bullet right between the cats eyes

      AC - I bet you think badgers cause TB in cattle too.

      Ridiculous zoning laws are decimating the countryside far more that any predator.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I cannot believe they were surprised.

    It's obvious to anyone who has owned a cat.

  65. RP84

    Our cat has a bit of a thing for Indian dishes, we've had Pakoras, Samosas and mini Naan breads delivered straight to the living room floor.

    Trust me, a circular Naan bread doesn't look like it should in the dark at 3am.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @we've had Indian dishes delivered straight to the living room floor

      You should get it to take orders round the area

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pigeons

    If anyone's got a kitty-killing-machine that needs to "get over the little phase" or "get it out of his system", then please send 'em to central London. We've got more pigeons that we know what to do with, some of which are so fat it's a miracle of aerodynamics that they can even fly. If ever-so-cute kitty wants to help themselves, I'm sure we'll all be grateful.

    1. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge

      Re: Pigeons

      Dito Reading. Send in the cats as the flying rats are a pain.

  67. Mike 137

    Reasons

    A huge amount of the comment here and elsewhere on this research anthropomorphises cats - accusing them of "murder", "torture" &c. &c. All this misses the point entirely. Cats are much more hard-wired than many of us would like to believe. They are to a large extent stimulus-driven automata, pre-programmed to pounce on small animals that move in their field of awareness.

    That means it's the responsibility of the "owner" (although nobody really 'owns' a cat - it simply occupies a territory that you may also occupy) to minimise the damage a cat can do - particularly in densely populated urban environments. The simplest fix is a collar with a bell on it, but it has to be a sensible bell, not the tiny token gesture fitted as standard to most commercial cat collars.

    A bell does not so much alert the prey as distract the cat by spoiling its stealth as it springs - provided the cat can hear the bell and it is fitted when the cat is young enough. If it works, operant conditioning eventually sets in, reducing the incidence of the predatory behaviour.

    Nevertheless, the biggest problem for prey species is not the behaviour of the individual cat but excessive predator density. Where I live, nine or ten cats have "homes" within an area of one acre (18 residences). This is at least 20 times the natural predator density, and is only sustainable for the predators because the cats are artificially fed. It is however, completely unsustainable for many of the prey species.

  68. Triggerfish

    The mice jst need to get kitted up

    Mouse armour.

    http://luxlife.in/armour-for-cats-and-mice-created-by-jeff-de-boer/

  69. James 36

    how many ?

    birds in the US

    well at least 10 billion according to this

    http://birdstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2002/07/how-many-birds-are-there.html

    its a blog so treat with caution

    so 500 million killed by cats in a year

    equals 5% of the population (using merkin billion)

    so 95% of the bird population unaffected by cats

    sounds sustainable to me

    1. Fibbles

      Re: how many ?

      You're looking at the bird population as a whole, each type of bird fills a different niche in the ecosystem. You can't possibly claim it's sustainable without having a break down of the numbers. Saying cats only kill 5% of birds is as broad and useless a statement as saying cats only kill 5% of mammals. What if that 5% is all the rodents? That'd arse up our ecosystem quite badly.

  70. WorsleyNick

    Cats and prey

    Over the years I have been owned by many cats and can say that their behaviour is vary varied and much of it appears to be learned in their youth and their is a fair amount of learning by copying as well as experience.

    Unfortunately my wife is very definitely not a cat person and we have a two legged cat predator in this area, who chopped the head off our last cat. Which is a pity because we are plagued with mice in this area.

    I have a feeling of gratefulness to my near neighbour who is owned by two cats. They are both mousers, and appeared to have honed the skill to perfection, I hope. They both associate mice with food. I have watched them stalking mice, playing with them (in reality not play but a way of ensuring that they are not bitten by the mice), killing them and then settle down to a fine meal. After eating a mouse they then settle down to a well earned clean, polish and sleep in the sun. These two cats eat the whole mouse, I have been owned by cats that leave the liver.

    If a cat has successfully learnt to catch mice and rats (even) they, being creatures of habit, rarely, in my experience, seem to graduate to birds. It is probably only sick, poorly, birds that they go for. Around here (inner London), it seems to me that the greatest amount of predation of small birds comes from Corvids, squirrels and foxes. I have seen Magpies and Crows going through my trees looking for smaller birds nests, and it happens every year. I know when it is happening, the Corvids and the small birds put up one hell of a racket.

  71. Dylan Fahey
    Paris Hilton

    Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

    Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think...

    How could Paris not know?

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