Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What you can do to help feral cats.

My post:
Pets loose outdoors in our environment is not a problem of helping feral cats, but one of ending their destruction of our native fauna! It is neither compassionate, non-lethal, or humane to enable them to slaughter millions of our fauna each year.


Bret Ludwig said...

Responsible pet owners spay or neuter their animal and do not turn it loose if they can not care for it, nor do they allow it to prey on native species.

Unfortunately, even if 99% of cat owners were responsible, that 1% would be enough to cause the problem we have. One idiot in a metropolitan area or a county chucking a pregnant cat out the door when she is unwanted can mean millions of cats in less than three years. And the sad fact is about a third of cat owners are really responsible.

So while spay/neuter efforts are laudable, they don't do much.

One possible solution is introducing a predator to eat them, but any effective cat predator is going to be a hazard to humans. That is therefore not going to be politically feasible.

TNR is worse than a failure, it just means the colonies live longer, eat more fauna and cause more damage than otherwise would be the case.

Persistent and consistent eradication works. Cats breed very fast, but the machines that make ammunition are even faster. Shoot them and keep shooting them, and pretty soon the number of cats becomes pretty low.

I'd guesstimate I've pulled the trigger on between four and five thousand cats in 30+ years. I have shot them with everything from air guns to .375 H&H.

I have learned a few lessons.

Air guns and .22 rimfire (LR or smaller) doesn't cut it. The new .17 based on the Magnum might, the old 5mm Rem Mag did okay if in tight. A .223 is absolutely ideal. Bigger is OK but the ammo gets more expensive.

A generic "black rifle" (AR-15 clone) is the best cat gun there is. If pistols have to be used the .22 WMR works close in, otherwise, .30 Carbine or .32 H&R are okay.

The cat is a tough animal to kill cleanly and humanely. A well placed head shot is best. I only use the shoulder/heart shot when the cat is at an odd angle for the head and is near enough. A heavy rifle is reliable with the stern shot as long as the bullet's flight axis is fairly concentric with a line from the cat's anus to his heart.

In my opinion, the feral cat is the most rewarding varmint to hunt, although it is legal only in relatively few states. I have huned prairie dogs, woodchucks, coyotes, and several other varmintts but the feral cat is one of the wiliest and most tenacious. I'd far rather go after them than bobcats or lynx, animals which are far more beneficial and have a legitimate niche in our ecology.

Bird Advocate said...

I did a Google search and found you have done quite a lot of blogging on this subject. I also approve of your reference sources, having used some of them myself. Keep the faith.

rking8 said...

A civic answer is in order. Liberty and Order are the order of the day. We can exist better as a country if we observe better civic order. Liberty and order, the 1st cousin to truth and love is the only way.... Our founding fathers feared the mob and yearned for order. Licensed breeders, inspected kennels, licensed owners and pets, no free pet ads, & animal control auxilliaries would be a start. You can't show a dog in Germany if it has not passed it's Compaion Dog test & you need permission to breed. In Texas it's 2 yrs in jail if I kill a feral or trespassing cat anyone had the right to breed and throw away. I can shoot a man who comes in my yard or porch and does the damage a cat can do after dark. Free range in all states was outlawed years ago .No free roaming pets should be our mantra. I am starting a non-profit in Texas to fight for birds and pets. ACA (Alley Cat Allies) just defeated a move in the the Texas legislature to put cats on the invasive species list. THey have 180K paying mmebers and propbably at least twice that in fantic non-paying supporters. These cat ranchers who demand an open range demand NO RESTRICTIONS on cats at all. No license. No restriciton on trespassing and no eradication of ferals. What we are discussing is bigger than just cats denigrating our environment. It also relates directly to our civic order and how one set of citizens treats another. Cat owners make up 60% of all compnaion animal owners adn 60% have multiple cats. 2 out of 3 of these owners let their cats run free. AAC estiamtes there are 3 million cats in L.A. California is overrun in many cities-San Francisco is badly in need of reform. Greater Houston probably has 2 million. We have to go grass roots. I want to go to every county seat and every major birding city and area to work this issue amongst the people who sit in power. I want to know if they have free roaming cats and pin all I can down on policy. What I want to do will protect cats and enrich responsible breeders. The elected reps at all levels must be made aware of the science involved and that we have anew culture from south of the border & Asia that will control things in the coming decades. Both have very different culture than we have. We must have our house in order or we will live in chaos. Animal control must be brought into the light. I have elected officals, professionals like Drs and Lawyers, tell me they'll never license or restrict the number of pets. They'll disregard any animal control law they think they can get away with it. As long as we let them it all trickles down. If ordinary folks see elected and key govt employees get fined or fired or lose an election they will look up. It will further prick their ears up when they see neighbors getting fined & working off civic service-registering pets. In the mean time I agree-a bullet is better than starving. If any one wants to talk to me about organizing in Texas to call for a companion animal commission my email is rking8@gmail.com. My name is ron king, I live in Angleton Texas

rking8 said...

By the way I caught a wild feral that had killed all my sisters fowl. It was as muscled up as any bobcat I have seen. He escaped from me and a bulky sherriff deputy. A woman animal contrl officer came out with a loop and choked it down. It's dead now. I agree about the hunting. THey are very wily and any one hwo thiks they can trap them all is wrong wrong wrong. .