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Destructive Pets

 
 
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 07:55 am
It's considered a personal attack, by some, to criticize their pets, and I sympathize, to a degree. It's hard to be critical of the adorable cat you've raised from a kitten, even when you know the dear has taken to hunting wildlife for sport. When the cat has taken to killing a squirrel a day and leaving it at the door as an expression of affection, I think the owner should take steps to modify that behavior. In my view, there are two kinds of cats, regardless of breed. There are those I've just mentioned and then there are the ones that don't leave home and would not harm a flea. In the past, I have owned both kinds.

The wife and I have been walking in a local park for many years. As we followed the trail around the lake, we always have been aware of the squirrels that often would follow us to beg for food. I had taken to carrying a sackful of raw peanuts, in the shell, for them. Then they put a couple of subdivisions jam up against the park. Now, the thriving population of squirrels has dwindled. I have seen just two all week. People bring pets. Wildlife is decimated. That's the only explanation for it. The crippled duck that we were feeding has vanished. I don't know what to blame for that one.

I don't think it's so much to ask, that people keep their animals at home.

Squirrels can be nuisances too. But they don't have a choice where to live. And they are but one example of all the animals being killed, due to careless humans.

 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 11:23 am
@edgarblythe,
I don't know anything about your park, but the only animals I've ever seen people to parks over here are dogs.

Cats just go out on their own, mine spend 90% of their time in the back garden.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 12:11 pm
@izzythepush,
Most dogs are supervised when they leave the house. Around here it's the law to keep them on a leash. So, there are not many dogs allowed to become predators. I have met a few that were. Some years back, when I lived a bit more to the country, a man offered to give me two Rottweilers. I saw them and they showed signs of being very friendly to me. They were beautiful and well cared for. But I had two dogs, both of which had litters, so declined to accept them. It was a few days later I learned he had to get rid of these dogs, because they had gotten in a habit of nighttime roaming and killing livestock.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 12:13 pm
The cats from the new subdivisions just have to get beyond a wooden fence and they are in the park.
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 12:31 pm
@edgarblythe,
If anyone's dogs got out of night and started killing over here they wouldn't do it for long. Chances are they'd be destroyed and their owner jailed.

As for cats they go where they want, and do what they want. Both mine were killers, not so much now because of old age, but I still get the odd rat. I don't mind that, at least the birds get away now.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 02:45 pm
@edgarblythe,
But if owners are abiding by the leash laws - there is no reason that you cannot bring your pets....as long as they are leashed, controlled and picked up after.

Its just like kids - pet parents need to take care of their pets - not everyone thinks they are adorable.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 02:53 pm
@Linkat,
You are right. I am complaining about the ones that run free. More often cats than dogs.
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 03:13 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

You are right. I am complaining about the ones that run free. More often cats than dogs.


My cats were always indoor cats - better for the environment and better for the cats mortality. Outdoor cats have a significantly lower life expectancy.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 04:49 pm
Another thing about squirrel population diminishing, birds too, is whacko locals putting down poisons.

Here in NYC the Parks Department often places poison bait in the parks. Usually around the base of trees. Although it's meant to do in rats, other critters are the ones that suffer the most. Rats, similar to roaches seem to be indestructible.


Oh,the Parks Department does put up notices so folks are careful with their pets,children and other loved ones.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 05:07 pm
@Sturgis,
The squirrels at the park were unmolested for years. I can't see them suddenly killing them off. But I will try to investigate. I have been blaming cats, because I have seen so many of them kill for sport in the past and because the subdivisions are new and touching the park.

In town, the grackle birds were needing control, as were pigeons. Suddenly one day all but stragglers were gone. I understand the need to react to such overpopulation. Still, it hurts my feelings to see them poisoned and gone.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 05:15 pm
@edgarblythe,
I don't care for the poisoning method. Too many innocent animals end up sick, or dead.


With most animals there are natural ways to get them to leave. Change their food menu into something not so desirable. They'll vamoose to another town.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 05:16 pm
@edgarblythe,
The city I used to live in had tons of pigeons. Years later my mom (still living there) told there are no more pigeons. Apparently the city had influx of cape Verdeans (there were always a population of them - I had a very good friend from this background) any way - my mom said in their culture they ate pigeon - no more pigeons as a result.

I did see in Boston once on the common - someone feeding the pigeons - then all of a sudden they are flying and feathers everywhere - they guy pulled out a net captured one put it in a sack and then proceeded to walk to the subway station with his - I am assuming -- dinner.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jul, 2019 05:37 pm
@Sturgis,
People are too quick to resort to poison. I prefer too many birds to spreading poison.

A man I used to work with was given the task of getting thousands of birds to leave four trees at the corners of the community swimming pool. Those birds had it looking like rain, right into the pool, by day and night. We tried several methods, which I no longer recall the nature of, all but putting phony owls up there. These huge trees were safe and perfect for birds. But in the end the people had them all cut down.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jul, 2019 09:24 am
My dog is a shepherd/Lab mix, according to the rescue shelter. He has that instinct to kill any varment crossing his path, beginning with his favorite: cats. I keep him in a fenced yard, with a security area between the driveway and road, to keep him from leaving the yard. I had no idea he was that sort, until some months after bringing him home. He will go after lizards, dig for moles, and he has no mercy if a cat wanders in. He loves people and other dogs, and I saw him nuzzling an escaped pig through the fence. It's a situation I would not have invited, but I may have saved his life by taking him home. In many situations he would be shot or else returned to the shelter.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Jul, 2019 12:22 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

edgarblythe wrote:

You are right. I am complaining about the ones that run free. More often cats than dogs.


My cats were always indoor cats - better for the environment and better for the cats mortality. Outdoor cats have a significantly lower life expectancy.


In total agreement.

Cats need to be spayed/neutered and kept indoors.

They are happier and healthier that way, and live much much longer.
0 Replies
 
Seizan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2019 05:39 am
@edgarblythe,
I have had cats all my life. Where we live now (on Okinawa) we have had between 12 or as many as 35 cats at once (we rescue). Many were not actually our pets, but stayed when they found they could get healthy food and occasional meds when needed. I've posted about some of them on A2K before, so some of you may be familiar with a few of our cats that became true pets.

We are down to about 15 cats now, and some of them are aged. We just lost our beloved Nemo to old age and organ failure (20 years old).

But I digress...

None of our cats ever brought down anything larger than a mouse, occasional rat, or a too-friendly and extremely stupid bird of small size. The cats we care for are well-kept, well-fed, and healthy. Even the strays that wander into our yard, abandoned by their departing American "owners", to find food and shelter, are rather tame. I think they feel no need to kill creatures they cannot eat, other than to express (affection? gratitude?) their feelings toward me and my wife. To date, they have killed nothing larger than a rat. Even that is seldom.

Cats chase small animals because they are bored or hungry. Owners who feed cats well and care for them (play with them, cuddle them, etc.) don't normally have large "gifts" left for them all the time.

But -- squirrels are no easy pushovers. They have sharp teeth, strong jaws, and are strong enough to grip and rip into even smooth bark. When a cat and a squirrel tangle, the cat stands a good chance of getting bitten, clawed, ripped, almost savaged. It isn't like catching a mouse, it's a life-death struggle. Squirrels do not give up easily.

So after dancing with a squirrel, the cat usually goes home wounded but "victorious". What happens over the next few days depends on how good the owner's vet is at stopping the infection, blood loss, maybe damaged organs,etc. Vet bills can add up.

Sometimes the vet says "Well, your cat tangled badly with a squirrel..." and the owner often blames the squirrel for attacking his/her cat...! So the owner takes action via poison, or calls a pest control agency, or complains to the city office.

It's possible too that the squirrels realize the new population of cats is a potential threat too their young, and have moved away to safer and "wilder" locations.

I suggest you call your local town or city office Animal Control section, and just ask if there has been a program launched to decrease or eliminate the squirrel population. Also, as mentioned earlier, poison may have been laid out for rats, etc., or other "pests" that may have a bearing on the squirrel population, and the squirrels just got in the way.

If you have seen that an apparently uninjured cat has killed a squirrel, it may have been a squirrel that was weakened or dying from some other cause (poison, etc.).
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2019 05:41 am
My personal experience: I have had two cats at different times, who daily left me presents of dead squirrels at the front door.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2019 05:45 am
I do have to backtrack on some of my original diatribe. The squirrels at the park really were poisoned by the park. I had been feeding them peanuts forever and it seemed out of character for them to do that. These little creatures sometimes followed us all the way to the truck. I guess they thought they were too close to the picnicers.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2019 07:32 am
@edgarblythe,
Back in the mid-90s, I lived with my s/o who had 2 cats. I brought in my 2 cats, Bonkers and Meshuganeh. Then her teenage daughter gave her b/f a kitten. Of course, her b/f didn’t have his own place so we had to take it in. Her 20 -yr-old son came home from college. His g/f gave him a kitten which he brought him to stay. Now the house had a population of 4 adult cats and 2 kittens. Needless to say there was a major competition amongst the male cats for number one spot.

Believe me when I tell you in our backyard there was scarcely a live peep, bird chirp, or cackle or sound from squirrels. There was always a small pile of moles voles and dead sparrows at out doorsteps.how ver, the line was drawn whenI found a small dead rabbit in our basement laundry. At least I was the lucky one to find it and not my s/o.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Aug, 2019 07:49 am
@Ragman,
Yes. I am not anti cat, but they are much closer to being wild, many of them, than the doting owners imagine. One of the best pets I ever had was a calico. I can't begin to tell you how sweet and loving she was. Always seemed grateful that I rescued her when somebody dumped her. She never left the yard even though she had the freedom to do so.
 

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