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TSIAS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:22 PM
Original message
My cat likes to assault birds
I know it's not much of a shock that cats like to torment other animals sometimes. I have 3 cats. Two of them are pefectly fine. My 15 year old, King, is too fat and lazy to go chasing after birds. Even when he was young, he wasn't into it. My youngest one, Buster, is literally scared of anything that moves. He's even timid around my pet iguana.

Unfortunately, Trix likes to go after the birds. Actually, it's anything that moves. She attempted to kill my iguana last year. Luckily, we heard the cage fall and were able to save Squiggy the Iguana. I don't think she wants to harm the animals. She just is very curious and likes to play around. She's gotten about 5 birds recently. It looks as if she'll need to be declawed very soon.

The whole situation is kind of upsetting. We have to keep the iguana inside the bathroom. If it were ever left out alone, he would surely either be killed or go loose. We could never have birds of our own. You really hate to part with a pet you've had for years, and I don't think we'll do that.

As I finish cleaning up the feathers, I'll be interested in hearing about other DU'ers in similar experiences.

--Taylor
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stopthegop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. I can understand it being kind of upsetting..
but cats are carniverous predators...the real question is why all cats don't behave that way...
good luck
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pmbryant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. We keep our cats indoors during the day
That has greatly cut down the number of birds they kill. :-)

Personally, I could never get a cat de-clawed. :scared:

--Peter

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Gato Moteado Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. actually, they kill just as many at night.....
....and maybe more. they climb into the trees and knock young birds out of nests. fledgelings are also very easy prey for house cats.
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pmbryant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I only have empirical evidence to go on
There have been no more piles of feathers since we started this practice.

:shrug:

Our cats don't appear interested in birds unless they are flying or hopping around on the ground.

At least so far (it's been many months). If this changes, of course, we will have to change our policy.

--Peter
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TheBlob Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. My dog likes to assault cats
Go figure.
:-)
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Gato Moteado Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. keep cats indoors....
....pet cats are one of the biggest killers of native songbirds. because domestic cats aren't natural predators, having been selectively bred for millenia to kill vermin, they wreak havoc on native wildlife. they don't have to deal with the elements the way natural predators do and they are well fed and kept free of disease so they are much more effective at killing stuff than natural predators. plus they live in unnaturally high densities....i'm sure you've seen large groups of neighborhood cats gathered around some cat-lover's house, but you'll never see bobcats or pumas in that type of density.
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xJlM Donating Member (955 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. I've got two
One is a real predator, and she likes to reward me with the corpse. Of course, that's all she's got to give, so it's really a gift of love. She was a stray I adopted, and then I got her spayed after she had a couple of herds (it would have only been one, but she escaped two weeks after the first litter and stayed out balling for two days). The second is a kitten from her first litter, and she wouldn't even kill a mouse she caught somehow in the yard. Of course, she's never been hungry in her entire life (except those two days when she was first born) so I guess the predator instinct didn't surface in her.
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Hex_0x Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
8. One of my cats
...is the bane of all small creatures foolish enough to enter the yard. Although she is a rather fat cat, she is able to eviscerate a fair share of birds and mice. I have two other cats, one is the mother of the master huntress, but they do not kill anything but kibble.

We have no other pets so the killer instinct does not really cause a problem. I don't believe in declawing because it is kind of like mutilation (it is like removing the ends of your fingers from the second knuckle). It will not stop her from hunting as she can still grapple her pray with her forepaws and claw with her hind paws not to mention her teeth. I would look into mounting the iguana cage securely. You can also put a bell on her collar to warn the birds of their impending doom.

Hex
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. Cats are hunters
when they have been taught by their mothers as kittens to hunt, therefore the female is an especially intrepid hunter as she has to feed her kittens as they become weaned and eat solid food.

A Momma cat will start bringing live prey in the house to train her kittens when they are as young as 3 weeks old. If the kitten is separated from the mother too soon, they never learn to hunt. We had one of those, a wonderful cat anyway, he also had bad teeth and ricketts, but otherwise lived a healthy life.

If you cannot keep your cat in here are a few things you can do:

1. Do not let your cat out early in the morning or at dusk, a time when birds are likely to feed.

2. Get a safety collar (one that will snap off if the cat gets it entangled) with a bell. The birds will learn to listen for the bell!

3. Go out in the yard with your cat, the birds will see and hear you before they see and hear the cat.

4. By all means, don't declaw the cat for this reason. Cats don't kill with their claws anyway, they kill with their mouthes. They snap the spinal cord of their prey with their teeth. And cats should never be allowed out if they have been declawed because they have no defense against dogs, cats or other humans who may cause them harm.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
10. I adopted a declawed cat from the shelter
The cat refuses to use the litter box and claws at the door when she needs to go. When I ignore her request, there are messes on the carpet that have to be cleaned up and disinfected.

So the cat goes outside. She is a mouser. Even without claws there are dead mouse carcasses to throw out almost every day. Sorry to say that there are also bird feathers and bird bits and pieces to clean up every once in a while.

So, declawing will not change the strong hunter instinct some cats have. Anyone need a litter box, never been used?
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. Your iguana must not be very big yet
Ours, Tastes Like Chicken, is now big enough that even my three very large Maine Coons (all very predatory) are quite insecure around him. The way he moves makes them nervous. I do not, however, allow them in the room when he's running around out of his cage, just in case.

As to the other critters - my cats have never been (and never will be) outside, but they certainly are death on anything that gets in, mostly giant house spiders. I have yet to find a live spider more than a foot from the door - the cats kill them almost instantly. Flies and even wasps are killed very efficiently as well. I can only imagine the havoc they'd wreak around my birdfeeders.

I used to have a cat that learned to kill birds even with a bell on her collar. She'd sit perfectly still under the birdfeeder, waiting for birds to hop down to pick up fallen seeds, then would snag them in a microsecond. She killed snakes, moles, chipmunks, you name it. I stumbled into the bathroom once without my glasses and got something stuck on my big toe. It took me awhile to figure out what it was - it was a decapitated rat skull. She'd eaten everything but the skull.

I don't miss the plethora of little corpses since I started keeping cats indoors. It's bad enough finding all the spider legs and dead yellow jackets discarded all over the kitchen floor.
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Delarage Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-20-03 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. Dog and cat tag-team
I've had a similar problem with my dog (lab) and cat. There have been two bird casualties and one fatality in my back yard. On the first occasion, it was some type of banded racing pigeon or something. I was cutting the grass when I looked over and saw the lab shaking a white bird around, feathers flying. I ran over and she dropped it and it staggered off, blood on its back. As I put the dog in the house, I looked back and the cat was pouncing on the bird (I forgot the cat was out). I got her off of it quickly.

Fortunately, I have a bird rescue place (Tri-State Bird Rescue--any Delawareans in the house?) nearby, so I put it in a cat-carrier and whisked it to them. It has since recovered and been released.

The latest victim, apparently a bluejay, was headless by the time I discovered it. The cat was gnawing on its lifeless body and the dog was standing there wagging her tail. I don't know which one rubbed out the bird, but that was that.

I have since put a bell on the cat's collar. There have been no recent attacks, but it's only been two weeks. We'll see.

BTW--I was appalled at first, but the dog and cat were so horribly disappointed that I was angry that I felt guilty.
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