Re: Ask the Mineshaft: My Cat is Ted Nugent Edition

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I dunno. I freaked out momentarily when my cat ate the chicken wishbone I was drying out, then I realized cats eat that stuff all the time on the veldt. She turned out fine.

(While we're cat blogging, today my cat curled up on on the power strip my computer is plugged into and turned it off, and nearly simultaneously let out a truly horrific fart. Damn beasts.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-24-09 11:39 PM
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Might as well make the most of it and figure the more the kills, the less you pay for cat food. You could try to expose her to various small rodents and put her killing to good use.

As for the disease question, I wouldn't worry about it unless you see that the birds she's killing looked sick before the cat got them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-24-09 11:40 PM
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2: They look dead and carcass-y by the time I see 'em. It's kind of sick.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-24-09 11:44 PM
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Are you waiting for someone to make a "Cat Scratch Fever" joke? 'Cause I'm not gonna do it. It'll have to be someone else.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-24-09 11:47 PM
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In the cultural meaning as opposed to the semantic, I think "cat-blogging" necessarily includes a picture. Thus you can cling to your dignity.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-24-09 11:55 PM
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When the kills are fresh the bones are softer and more pliable. It is cooking the bird that makes the bones splintery and dangerous.

There should be plenty of info online about cats and hunting.

I found a ten pound possum on the living floor Sunday night. My dogs don't eat anything, but are efficient and enthusiastic, actually dedicated, killers.
I am a little ashamed and embarrassed by it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-24-09 11:58 PM
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5: My dignity, you can have it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:01 AM
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(Sorry to the photogs in the crowd; it's a bit overexposed or whatever.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:04 AM
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Here's an article

Bells don't work, feeding cats doesn't work, athough I suppose you could make the cat really fat. Can't train it away. Fake owls?

Cats and Bird Flu


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:09 AM
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Your roomie's cat is the one that looks suspiciously like mine, Stanley. They're evil beasts.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:11 AM
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I'm okay with her killing shit. I want to know if she's going to die or something. Bob's links suggest: yeah, maybe, but who knows?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:13 AM
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Please be less okay with her killing shit. Cats are bad for birds in ways that are bad for birds in general ecosystemic terms, not just for the specific bird.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:54 AM
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12: Go on. I'm willing to move to keep her inside (it's not that hard to do so). But why?

I should probably take my answer offline as I'm off to swim bed, but will read up tomorrow.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 1:05 AM
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All I know I learned on google, buthere goes:

Ecological Role: Although some "cat-philic" organizations insist that cats have been mistakenly vilified as native-species killers, it is apparent they do much damage in the ecosystems to which they are introduced. Cats prey upon birds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians whether or not they are given meals by human owners. Throughout their domestication, cats have become more dependent on their human owners for food, but since they have specific nutritional requirements that can only be met by fresh meat (and recently in the West, by high-quality commercial cat food), cats have retained their wild ancestors' ability and instinct to hunt. One estimate numbers the US cat population at 93 million (30 million feral and 63 million pet) and states that cats are responsible for killing 566 million birds each year. Other estimates put the feral cat population at 60 million and the pet cat population at 73 million. In one Swiss study on the impact of cats on a population of black redstarts, Phoenicurus ochruros , scientists found that cat predation reduced the population by 12% in three years by causing large numbers of egg and nestling fatalities. Another study of the impact of exotic species on seabirds on the California Channel Islands and northwestern Baja California Islands found that, of several exotics, cats had the greatest impact on seabirds; they are responsible the for the extinction of the Guadalupe storm petrel (Oceanodrama macrodactyla ) and for eliminating populations of three other seabirds. Whatever population estimate one chooses to adhere to, it is clear the number of cats is in the tens of millions and undoubtedly has an immense impact on our native ecosystems.

Threat(s): Cats threaten wildlife in a variety of ways. They act as a disease vector of feline diseases such as feline leukemia and FIV (the feline version of HIV) to wild cat populations in Europe and Africa and they interbreed with wild cat populations which may reduce the genetic fitness of those populations. Cats are a vector for rabies which they can then spread to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife such as raccoons. Cats pose a particularly major threat to both native birds and small mammals. The Audubon Society estimates that several billion small animals are killed annually within the continental United States by house cats and feral cats. On the islands of Australia, New Zealand, and Mauritius, the cat is responsible for exterminating several native bird species. A less serious, though definitely unpleasant, situation which cats can create is that of a nearby feral cat population. These populations are known for being noisy, especially when females are in heat, and for creating messy, unsanitary conditions.

More. Basically, it's a mistake to think of your pet cat as part of the natural circle of life.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 1:12 AM
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Bells sort of work. They reduce the number of species that get caught to the seriously stupid ones, like city pigeons. Better than nothing, but not 100%. Making the cat fat, though does nothing. Just means the last thing the bird ever sees is this obese cat biting its neck.

IME the only thing that stops cats killing birds is when the density of cats in the neighbourhood gets high enough that they spend all their time squaring off against each other and don't have the leisure to kill birds.

Or you could deliberately get mice.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 1:18 AM
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In what macroregion does Stanley live? Do cats continue to do invasive damage after they've been present in force for generations?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 1:53 AM
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Bell the cat, since that at least ensures the smart birds get away.

Make sure you give your cat worming tablets on a regular basis (any vet will be able to advise), and keep an eye on her crapping habits - any digestive problems should show up there.

Hunting cats are a serious ecological problem, but at least if you bell you're doing your best to make sure your cat isn't a big part of it.

(I do think it's slightly cruel, once a cat gets used to going out, to keep shutting it up in the house again.)


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:30 AM
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I am a lurker. What does one do, just post comments on this thing?

Anyway on the Internets I once came across a cat bib type product that claims to stop cats from successfully killing birds. Messes with their coordination at the crucial moment of ninja-leap. I thought it seemed worth trying if I ever had an outdoor cat. Plus it looks undignified but the cat doesn't know this!

Any idea what kind of birds the cat is killing? Sparrows and starlings are non-native and anything goes (and are probably the easiest to catch if you are in a city-ish place). Killing migratory songbirds is sadder to some.

I think you have more disease issues with cats catching rodents. E.g. toxoplasmosis, right?


Posted by: llisa | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 5:19 AM
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it looks undignified but the cat doesn't know this!

You think that, but you'll change your mind when it shits in your shoes!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 5:31 AM
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Anything that licks its bum in front of guests has no dignity left. Bib it, I say!


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 5:48 AM
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If you live with a vicious predatory animal and you let it outside, you have to resign yourself to its killing things. Mine does despite wearing a bell and having been declawed (by whoever then left her at the shelter); here it's birds, back in New Mexico it was snakes. Nugent is probably fine, though I'd advise being extra diligent about flea medicine.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 6:22 AM
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It's always aggravating when you notice that the cat is fascinated by a giant roach, but isn't actually doing anything about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:02 AM
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That cat bib looks awesome. The little doofuses are entirely too conceited and need to be taken down a peg daily.

My roommates have two cats, but we keep them inside. Growing up my family had a bunch of cats and they roamed freely. We found mangled birds and rodents now and then, and occasionally just piles of feathers. It's hard to say that they were any use keeping rodents out of the house, though.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:04 AM
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The local bird population is limited almost entirely to sparrows, robins, and pigeons, despite the presence of dozens of mature trees (and shrubbery and such) within a 100M radius. I blame the feral cats (there are only a couple real residents, but we get annual influxes as well).

Come into my basement and do some good, you songbird-massacring MFers!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:12 AM
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24: We have at least one cat that cruises the block after dark, but we still have plenty of non-generic birds (including a pair of cardinals that were either about to get jiggy or having a domestic disturbance). Maybe the difference is some of my neighbors have a feeder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:43 AM
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Wow. eekbeat hasnt been gone that long. Next thing, you will be stalking strangers in convenience stores.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:44 AM
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My sister's old boyfriend had a cat that would talk to birds before killing them -- it'd sit still, and make these weird croaking noises, and for some reason birds would come near to investigate. Then it'd leap for them.

Birds: not clever.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:46 AM
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weird croaking noises, and for some reason birds would come near to investigate

A college roommate's cat did that exact thing. And birds would just start landing. So weird.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:54 AM
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I have 2 outdoor cats, one of which hunts. Both of them came to me and took up residence, so I can't see restricting them to the indoors. In fact, I did have them confined briefly when I moved, and the hunter drove me as crazy as I was clearly driving him.

But they're fixed, so my impact on the environment isn't nearly as bad as it could be. Perhaps I should buy songbird offsets in the rainforest, or something.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:29 AM
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"Perhaps I should buy songbird offsets in the rainforest, or something."

If the cats get rodents, you could buy mouse offsets. Basically, mail a can of peanut butter to JRoth with instructions to open it and put it in the basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:33 AM
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The cat did get a couple rodents just after the vacant house down the street was sold and its savanna mowed. Frustratingly, he decided to bring the live mouse home and play with it there. I had to lift up the sofa on one end so he could resume the game.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:45 AM
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Bells sort of work.

I suspect bells are very effective if you just make them heavy enough.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:49 AM
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If you live with a vicious predatory animal and you let it outside, you have to resign yourself to its killing things.

This is why my parents keep me locked in the basement.

There are a number of free range cats in this neighborhood. Some have collars, some don't. They kill birds in my back yard. This rather annoys me, as I'd like to put up a bird feeder, but I don't want to turn it into a self-filling cat feeder.

I can't think of any remedy - I don't want to start disputes with neighbors - but it is anoying. I hate cats. And people. They should all stay offa my dead brown lawn related program activities and not poop in my yard.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:51 AM
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but I don't want to turn it into a self-filling cat feeder.

Just wrap the post in razor wire. It'll keep pesky kids from messing with your feeder, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:54 AM
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I can't think of any remedy

Paintball gun.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:00 AM
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Paintball gun.

Seriously. Water pistols work, over time.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:02 AM
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I can't think of any remedy.

Large dogs in the back yard will work perfectly. You'll have to decide if the cure is worse than the disease.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:03 AM
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Paintball gun, water pistol: It's fairly difficult to hit a bird with either of those.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:04 AM
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I hate cats. And people. They should all stay offa my dead brown lawn related program activities and not poop in my yard.

The internet teaches us that cats may be toilet trained but kids? Trickier than one might think. It is my belief that this is why sandboxes exist.

We had a cat who was indoor-outdoor but the bell kept him from catching anything that we ever saw. I did once go running outside to intervene while he and a snake stared at one another and another time I had to go running outside to intervene while he stalked a small herd of deer but really, he hardly ever caught anything at all. Our current cats are indoor-only and occasionally will sit at the window and make the chirpy noises noted by others. It's very strange.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:08 AM
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We have cats that come through our garden regularly but they don't seem to make any difference to the bird population, which is large and vocal. We also have some red kites that circle fairly menacingly, but I assume they don't take domestic pets [carrion, maybe?].

Our neighbours have a bird feeder, but I've never seen any of the local cats stalking it. The cat we used to have used to sit on the shed roof and drop from the sky onto birds feeding on the compost heap below. Cats from above must have been a conceptual problem for the birds.

The same cat once took on a rook. The rook won. A couple of solid pecks in between the eyes and the cat was visibly concussed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:09 AM
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38 so if you can get away with the noise, try a 20 guage. Quicker than a paintball gun, but carries it's own cleanup issues I guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:09 AM
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I suppose that exercising my 2d amendment rights to bear paint guns and water pistols is a thought. But it might merely teach the cats to check and make sure I'm not around before going for the birds. Also, it seems like a lot of work. I'm really not into work. The dog idea may do it. I've got a deposit down on a dog anyway.

But at a more basic level I'm annoyed that the cat owners and cat fanciers have shifted the burden of their activities to me. Cats are like acid rain or air pollution - my neighbors emit cats, and the poop lands on me.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:10 AM
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But it might merely teach the cats to check and make sure I'm not around before going for the birds

The rabbits learned pretty fast not to go into the backyard of the house that I lived in during college. Any rabbit seen in the yard was greeted with a hail of paintballs. I like to imagine the rabbits hopping around with bright orange splotches served as a warning to the rest of them.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:14 AM
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I can also imagine the owners of orange splotched cats becoming upset with me for what I've done to their precious, Fluffums.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:19 AM
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I can also imagine the owners of orange splotched cats becoming upset with me for what I've done to their precious, Fluffums.

Hey if they don't want their cat to gain new and exciting colors they can keep them out of your yard. Killing them seems to be going a little to far, but painting them seems like a good compromise position.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:22 AM
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If you want to keep strange cats out of your garden (or "yard") then the white card solution is lion dung. Get down to your local zoo or safari park and obtain a bagful, then scatter some around the herbaceous borders. If you can't get lion dung, then the dung of any large predatory mammal will do. The smell scares them off.

If you don't have a local zoo or safari park, then you could try writing a polite letter to one further away - but check local laws on sending dung through the mail.
Alternatively, obtain a lion.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:33 AM
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"...but painting them seems like a good compromise position."

Given the fur and small size, it is hard to paint anything that intricate on a cat. If you want to paint animals, your best bet is a solid-colored cow. Just wait until they are asleep and be certain not to tip the cow over.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:35 AM
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And accept that the lion will have its own effects on local wildlife.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:35 AM
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And accept that the lion will have its own effects on locals wildlife.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:36 AM
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Hey if they don't want their cat to gain new and exciting colors they can keep them out of your yard.

Of course all right thinking people would agree with this. However, we're talking about cat owners who let their cats roam, a group already marked as not thinking right. As one of the goals is to avoid neighborhood conflict, I see some drawbacks. While I'm probably at least as well armed as my neighbors, they have me outnumbered and surrounded.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:45 AM
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What exactly are cat owners supposed to do to keep their cats out of specifically your garden?

Basically this comes down to 'people should never let their cats out', yeah? Which ultimately reduces to 'people should keep cats'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:56 AM
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I was brought up to think cats which never leave the house are sad and pathetic, and probably owned by neurotic people unless they lived in a big city.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:58 AM
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Shouldn't keep cats, I mean.

re: 52

Ditto.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:59 AM
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Basically this comes down to 'people should never let their cats out', yeah?

Shouldn't just let them wonder unrestrained. My parents cat goes outside, but it has a long leash that is tethered so it can't leave the yard.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:59 AM
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Average lifespan of an indoor cat is roughly 3x that of an outdoor cat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:02 AM
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Cats on leashes? That just seems wrong, though I can't put my finger on why.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:03 AM
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A cat on a leash?!?!?

Let's see...memory activated...no, I have never seen a cat on a leash.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:04 AM
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Let's see...memory activated...no, I have never seen a cat on a leash.

Really? I've seen several. Certainly not a high proportion of all cats, mind, but enough that it doesn't seem boggling.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:07 AM
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My dad says "Walking a cat on a leash is like pushing a string." And yet we have photos of my mom walking their cat through the airport, when they were flying across the country to move.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:07 AM
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If you use enough of the 'beehive quality' hairspray, you can push a string or make a great cat picture for LOLZ.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:36 AM
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Well, I've had dogs, and will have another, and the rule has always been that it's up to me to make sure that my dog stays inside my property. So I've spent time and money on a good fence for my yard, and my dog does not wander loose.

I realize that dogs are simply better people than cats, but I don't see that as a reason why the rule for dogs should be "my dog, my problem" and the rule for cats is "your cat, my problem"

Okay, I know, analogy ban. But I do think there is some basis for the analogy. On the other hand, I can see that having a parrot or an eagle who was not allowed to fly free in the neighborhood to hunt small mammals would be just cruel.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:39 AM
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55: not in QALYs it isn't, I bet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:51 AM
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had to go running outside to intervene while he stalked a small herd of deer

Why is it that cats have no sense of proportion when it comes to prey?

Also, what was left out in the discussion of why it is bad to let cats hunt is that they kill for fun as well as food, and thus will often take more birds than they need, and more than the local bird population can support.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:04 AM
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62: Catnip does wonders for QALY, and can be administered indoors as well as out.

Letting cats out, but keeping them out of a certain person's yard: they have invisible fences for dogs, but why not for cats? You could persuade all your neighbors with cats to use invisible fences to keep the cats in their own yards. Alternately, you could put an invisible fence on your own yard facing out and persuade neighbors to keep collars on their pets. Both of these options presumes a fair amount of neighborliness which may not be in evidence, but I mention them in the spirit of brainstorming. If neighborliness is dead and gone, you can put traps on your property - no bait, you aren't the bad guy here, but a cozy enclosed space is inherently bait to a cat anyway - and deliver any cats you catch to the owner, or the Humane Society.

Lion shit is probably the best option given so far.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:06 AM
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Bird keep crapping on my car, so I don't really object to the free roaming cats much. There was some fool who kept feeding pigeons near me. They would go to the parking lot of the grocery store and throw bread out of the car and drive off. There were hundreds of flying rats on the wires and buildings around the lot. I'm guessing Giant Eagle finally caught them because there aren't as many birds around.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:07 AM
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Bird keep crapping on my car,

That doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning rawr.
Roaring's not for me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:14 AM
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Why is it that cats have no sense of proportion when it comes to prey?

Because cats and their owners are fucking morons. For more information on this, please subscribe to Michael H. Schneider's newsletter.

As to outdoor vs. indoor, the conventional wisdom among UK vets is that it's unhealthy to confine cats whereas in the US the conventional wisdom among vets is that it's potentially much more unhealthy to let cats roam. As apo says, studies in the US indicate that indoor cats live much longer on average. For all I know, studies in the UK show the opposite. However, some cats simply demand outside time and our vets have always said that in those cases it's far better to let 'em roam a little than to try to confine them against their will. Given that each has its own personality and preferences, I say people should go with what works for their cat. Our last cat, the one who was indoor-outdoor, was also strongly territorial and stayed inside our fence. He didn't want to explore the world, just to patrol our yard and get in stare-downs with the neighbors' dogs.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:18 AM
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I'm with Wrongshore, Stanley. When I worked at the Sierra Club back in the day, they made a very big deal about domesticated cat predation*. As a result, we keep our cat inside. But let me be clear: I'm not judging. Whatever you do is just fine with me, sweetie. I'm okay, you're okay.

* Syntax is troubling me, here. Am I saying that the cats were the killers or doing the killing?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:18 AM
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I feel that, in light of ari's pre-comity in 68, I should note that the first paragraph of 67 was intended in good humor.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:32 AM
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some cats simply demand outside time

My dogs require outside time.

Has anybody tried walking cats, on a long leash?
Me neither.

I bet someone could get rich with cat parks.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:34 AM
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Cats on leashes is indeed like pushing a string, or maybe walking a rock.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:38 AM
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pwnd 56-58 or thereabouts

I wish I had a million investment dollars to build a cat recreational area. Parakeets & gerbils in cages, although I guess that's cruel. Animatronic gerbils. Trees, sandboxes.

Agility courses.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:39 AM
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69: Given that you included yourself among the cat owners, I assumed so. Personally, my cat gets supervised outdoors visitation a couple of times a week. The rest of the time she spends chittering at the pigeons nesting across the way. I have no doubt that she would try to take one out if she got the chance, so inside she stays, even if I am not particularly fond of the rock dove.

(Also, many cats refuse to wear leashes. They just collapse when you put one on and refuse to move).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:44 AM
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Also, many cats refuse to wear leashes.

What you do is keep the harness on your cat for a week or two, with no leash attached. Then attach the leash and take them out. A good reason to harness- and leash- train your cat is that it makes moving way easier. Road trips with cats aren't very fun, but they're even less fun if your cat is in a crate, or if your cat escapes at a rest stop.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 11:53 AM
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Bird keep crapping on my car

My brain is managing to process this to the melody of "Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head".

Wrongshore/ari/et. al.: So is the keep-the-cat-inside-for-the-songbirds'-sake a California thing? My roommates' cat doesn't really wander out of our yard, and it's killing what appear to be finches. There's seemingly no finch shortage in the neighborhood, but I can make a push to keep the beast inside if it's really an ecological problem.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:02 PM
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They just collapse when you put one on and refuse to move

KYOOOOT!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:03 PM
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I think I've mentioned this before, but our next-door neighbor poisoned our cat when I was a kid. She warned us to keep the cat out of her garden, or she'd kill it. We explained that we really didn't intend for it to go in her garden, and it usually lived inside the house anyway, but on the occasions when it went outside for a bit we really couldn't control it much. (No one even mentioned a leash, that I recall, though I suspect the suggestion would have been met with laughter.) We asked if the cat was doing any harm and the reply was that no, the neighbor just didn't like cats. Anyway, I think we were successful for a few months (mostly just by not letting her outside), but then one day the cat was left dead on our front doorstep, with a note from the neighbor saying she'd found the cat in her garden and poisoned it. I really liked that cat.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:05 PM
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If I turn my high-strung, non-cuddly indoor cat into an outdoor cat, will she calm the fuck down?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:05 PM
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77: I'm pretty sure that, at least these days, you can't do that without violating some sort of law. Did you call the cops?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:08 PM
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77: I hope you salted her garden in retaliation.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:08 PM
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what appear to be finches

House Sparrows (actually finches)?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:12 PM
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79: we didn't call the cops. We weren't really the cops-calling type.

She was a pretty nasty lady overall, though. She attacked another neighbor's dog (an adorable little dachshund) with a garden hoe when it once ventured onto her lawn. The dog needed a lot of stitches, and possibly more extensive surgery--I don't recall exactly, I was pretty young. I know the dog's back was pretty thoroughly torn up.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:15 PM
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75: I was in Wisconsin when I worked for the SC (an organization I now disavow, btw, not to mention the corrupt movement with which it's affiliated). The problem was national, I'm pretty sure. If you want links, I can e-mail an old colleague and get some. Also, the apparent lack of a problem, based on data drawn only from your neighborhood, probably isn't telling you that much*. So if the cat isn't going to go crazy, keep it inside. Or, if that won't work, use heebie's method above and then take the critter on leashed walks. Or don't. Seriously, I don't have a cat horse in this race. I'm just repeating the ecologically appropriate thing to do.

* I know you know this. I'm just feeling social-sciency because of the chapter I'm writing at the moment. Or, not writing at the moment.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:16 PM
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when I worked for the SC (an organization I now disavow, btw, not to mention the corrupt movement with which it's affiliated)

Look, ari, Roberts and Alito piss me off as much as anybody, ,but this goes too far....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:34 PM
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House Sparrows (actually finches)?

The bird to the left looks exactly like what Nugent is killing.

And with 83, ari has succeeded in shaming me enough to lean on the roomies to keep the cat in. Damn academics with their words and such.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:35 PM
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It might also be actual House Finches (male left, remale right). They are a western species that have naturalized in the east and flourished.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:38 PM
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I've walked my cat on a leash, and I know others who have, too. You need to used one of those leashes with a reel so you can let the critter roam a bit, and you have to be alert for the possibility of the cat going around things like telephone poles. Also you need to use a harness rather than just a collar or you risk accidentally hanging your cat if it does get the leash caught on something. It's a bigger deal than with dogs because cats are much better climbers. Also helpful is a second short leash so you can swap leashes in order to untangle the longer one.

Currently my guys are indoor cats, though we have a regular session of sitting on the porch watching the kids on the playground and dreaming about biting through their necks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:44 PM
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86: Do you think I could ask the Finches for tips on flourishing in the East?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:45 PM
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86: On review, they're probably some sort of sparrow, and I got the word "finch" from my Appalachian-American roommate. Let us not judge her for her people's folkways.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 12:47 PM
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Cats that hunt do sometimes get parasites. Blah blah annual vet checkups including a stool sample.

More to the point, put a bell on him/her. IT might not work, but it might save some songbirds.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 1:01 PM
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remale s/b female

Ths is one I struggle with a bit since I am an avid birdwatcher, have feeders and an outdoor cat. Fortunately, the current cat is too incompetent to catch birds (there are usually Mourning Doves around when she goes out and when they take off with a racket it always startles her and she gets a "Whoa, dude! What was that?" look on her face—not my startest cat ever). Chipmunks and voles are her speed (prommpting me to build a "chipmunk emergency shelter" in the garden, but some of them still try to hide in a just a small pile of leaves or behind some foliage). Several other cats do come around, however.

I wonder if the social norm will change to not having free-roaming cats. In the small midwestern city where I grew up, most everyone's dog roamed free. (Good and bad, it made walking and riding my bike to school an exercise in knowing where the bad dogs were, but I also had two specific neighborhood dogs that were almost always available to play with in my yard if I wanted.) Somewhere between the late '60s and the '80s this became completely not cool (there may have been ordinances passed as well). I wonder if we are in the same process with cats (and I am sure it differs by neighborhood/region).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 1:05 PM
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65: There were hundreds of flying rats

We do hate our unintentional symbionts don't we.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 1:08 PM
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What you do is keep the harness on your cat for a week or two, with no leash attached. Then attach the leash and take them out.

Yeah, I tried this. Maybe I need to do it longer than just two weeks, but I lack the patience.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 2:15 PM
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The house sparrow on the left is the female.

The house sparrow is really a sort of invasive finch. Behold, the evil of house sparrows. If the cat is really only killing them and not any other birds, it's doing a good deed!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 2:22 PM
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Cats that hunt do sometimes get parasites

I think "inevitably get parasites" is closer to the truth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 2:33 PM
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the SC (an organization I now disavow, btw, not to mention the corrupt movement with which it's affiliated)

Just curious, but could you expand on that?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:00 PM
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"the Sierra Club (an organization I now disavow, by the way, not to mention the corrupt movement with which it is affiliated)"

Brought to you by the Foundation for Painfully Literal Responses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:04 PM
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I too wish to know what ari's on about.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:07 PM
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One solution that works with black cats is to paint a white stripe down their back. They will spend so much time trying to get away from amorous cartoon skunks that they will not have time to catch birds.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:10 PM
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95: I dunno, my childhood cat hunted when on vacation (apartment dweller in the winter, mighty hunter in the summers), and never seemed to get parasites.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:12 PM
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Spike, are you being serious? What do you use for paint?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:13 PM
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Spike, are you being serious?

meet

amorous cartoon skunks .


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:15 PM
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Spike, are you being serious?

No


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:21 PM
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Hurry up, ari.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:46 PM
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I was mostly kidding. But I have stopped giving money to the Sierra Club because of its muted and, to my light, lame* response to Hurricane Katrina. Which is the source of my beef with the environmental movement on the whole**. Environmental justice is too often an afterthought, in my view, for most of the mainstream environmental organizations. And, you'll be stunned to hear, I'm pretty sure this is rooted in these organizations' elite origins. History: hard to escape.

Okay?

* Albleist. Sorry.

** There are exceptions, I know, and some of them get my money. Well, they did, before I heard that my salary's getting cut by 8%.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 3:52 PM
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the biggest problem i have had with letting a cat out of doors is cat-fights. when cats lose fights to other cats, they get bitten on the rump. this can lead to abcesses, which are horrific.

you can't really see the abcess, often, because it is hidden under the fur and is sort of below the surface, so it can go undetected for quite a while. my cat's did: the cat became very inactive and very prone to just lying on a soft spot, but got upset if any part of her other than her head was touched. finally, i decided she was behaving too oddly, and that i needed to take her to the vet. she freaked out when i tried to pick her up, dashed madly around (not her normal style at all), and finally, after climbing up on the fridge, squat-leapt down from it to the floor very awkwardly (you could see it was hard for her to move), causing the abcess to burst, causing many things including me & her to get splashed in abcess pus and blood. trauma all round.

she did heal, though!


Posted by: murphy | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 5:18 PM
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Abscesses, schmabscesses.

Curious factoid which I've never bothered to confirm but did hear from a vet: puncture wounds, e.g. from the fangs of another cat in a fight, have a tendency to abscess in cats because they -- the cats -- lick the wound, and their saliva contains a natural healing agent of some sort that causes the skin to close over the wound. Yet deep wounds are supposed to drain -- that's part of what pus, and whatever that clear leaking liquid is -- is for. The wound should stay open, but darn cats, with the licking of the wounds.

Anyway, what you do with a wound like that (on a cat), if you notice it early on, is apply a warm compress to it -- a warm washcloth -- for a few minutes every day. This keeps the skin from closing over, allows the wound to weep. You might also (not to be gross or anything) press on it precisely in order to make it, er, flow. You actually want to see some pus, or rather, you don't want to see puffiness under the skin, and should get that stuff out of there.

Yes, I've lived with cats who came home with these kinds of wounds once a year or so. Sometimes we caught it early enough, just based on the cat's behavior, that we could tend it ourselves before a visit to the vet was called for.

Oh! And that's what those head cones the vet sometimes hands out are for, the things that go around the animal's neck up in an inverted cone shape around the face: to keep the cat from licking its wound(s). We affectionately called a cat or two who was subjected to this indignity "bucket-head."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 5:39 PM
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105: Thanks, ari! I sort of figured that might be the reason, but wasn't sure and wanted to hear what you had to say.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:12 PM
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My cat will walk on a leash. I think the trick is to start while they're young, have them *really* want to go outside and not have access except with the leash, and be really, really patient and willing to basically follow them around. Then, after lots of practice, you might get to the point where you can occasionally get away with tugging them in a particular direction. As long as you don't do it too much.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:29 PM
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I think "inevitably get parasites" is closer to the truth.

My cat's 16. She hasn't had parasites since I got her, at which time she had a tapeworm.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:31 PM
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Oh god, someone fill me in on the Sierra Club and Katrina, please. Bc my membership's up for renewal. And if not them, then who should I support?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:34 PM
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The Sierra Club employs at least one young man a finer and more upstanding than you simply could not hope to find, so bear that in mind.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:40 PM
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Dude, my husband works for the DoD, for god's sake.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:41 PM
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108: I'm nothing if not predictable.

111: Send your cheque, made out to "cash," directly to me. Or, if you're feeling feisty, to these folks. Unless you like having your money spent on producing glossy calendars and salaries for white people who stuff envelopes. Now who's the radical, minnie?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:44 PM
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I meant money dedicated to environmentalism as such, not Katrina/NOla specifically. And I'm quite aware that some of the charities I support are in the glossy calendar biz, because I'm a bourgie tool who thinks that lobbying is probably the more productive route to mass change on policy issues.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:47 PM
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That said, the 8% cut for you guys seriously bites. If I get a job (HA HA HA) anytime in the coming year, I'll tithe to CA education one way or another.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:48 PM
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I assume the walking-cats-on-leashes thing chiefly applies to non-fixed cats in dense urban environments.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:49 PM
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I don't think so -- as I understand it it's about predation, not kittens. So more important in rural areas with more birds, and less important in cities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:50 PM
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117: Nah, my cat is fixed and I don't live in a dense urban environment..


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 7:51 PM
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118, 119: I'll have to review the links and information upthread. I frankly have a really hard time having cats who turn into zombies when kept solely indoors. Not all cats turn into zombies, but some do, and I consider them mentally/emotionally straight-jacketed.

There was mention somewhere upthread that cat food doesn't meet their nutritional needs. I don't know -- now at this point we're saying that domesticated cats need to be reined in, to their nutritional detriment, because of their possible predatory effects. I don't really want to be a zoo-keeper in this regard, or the warden of a mental hospital.

Note, I am not saying that all cats should roam wild and free to kill as they will. My own cats have been quite temperate in their killing; it never seemed to me that they were killing vast numbers of birds and such. So I can see that having roaming quantities of cats would be a problem, but we're drowning in wildlife here.

I'll check into this for our area.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:05 PM
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There was mention somewhere upthread that cat food doesn't meet their nutritional needs.

Cats require animal protein. They can't be fed solely off grain-based dry food, like dogs. But most cat food nowadays fit cat's nutritional requirements just fine.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:14 PM
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... it it's about predation, not kittens.

Well, I wasn't too happy the time there seemed to be a sudden explosion in the cat population, many of whom took up residence under a shed in my back yard (or so it seemed). I think kittens were involved. My partners' dog, who stays here a lot, was very excited and took up excavations under the shed foundation, with unfortunate effects.

And if I ever see loose cats around my land in the mountain, where I seriously do feed birds (both migratory and domestic), I'll be very unhappy. I seem to be spending $200 a year on bird food out there, and it's not so I can entertain cats. There are wild turkey out there, as well as squirrels and chipmonks and lots of bird. On the other hand there are big hawks and big owls, so maybe the loose cat problem would solve itself.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:16 PM
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My cat is having a bad, bad day. If birdmurder would make him feel better I would set him upon the nearest trembling of finches without hesitation.

I took him in for odd urinary behavior -- squatting on the rug and leaving tiny splashes, and then convulsing slightly. It was a blockage. He had to stay in hospital two nights with a catheter to wash out the crystals. We put him on new food and gave him a run of antibiotics just four weeks ago, when a similar thing happened though not so severe.

When I picked him up, the vet was less concerned with the repeat blockages than with the threat of his great corpulence advancing to diabetes. Unfortunately, none of the schemes to keep him from stealing the skinny cat's food have been successful. The last one -- in which I fed the skinny cat next to my bed, so I could defend it from the fat cat -- resulted in the skinny cat learning to wake me up every two hours for more food, half of which the fat cat would eat.

If it happens again, he's going in for a perineal urethrostomy, aka the kitty sex change. My wife is very anxious about her cat losing his penis.

He was a miserable motherfucker on the ride home -- shat and pissed himself, and ran under the bed before we could wipe him off. He ended up in the tub, sulking through an awkward bath. Poor kitty.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:17 PM
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123: Yeah, I think of this as feline non-specific urethritis, for some reason -- but it's FSU, Feline Urological Syndrome. I had a cat with this, male, also with an obesity problem.

He was in and out of the vet hospital several times over the course of his 18-year life, with blockages due to the damn crystals.

There's a special food for it, which can be got from the vet expensively, but there's a somewhat more generic brand called Hi-Tor Felo Diet. I believe it was the low magnesium that was supposed to be good for urinarily-challenged cats. My cat Two-Face did well on it. Ask your vet, maybe -- that's who told me about it.

This Hi-Tor comes in a number of varieties, an actual "diet" kind (lose weight!), a regular kind which actually seems pretty fatty, and so on. The cat doesn't like any of it at first, but if that's all you give him, hey, he'll learn. Basically he has to be on a controlled diet.

As for defending the skinny cat's food from the corpulent cat, you just kind of have to develop a routine according to which you don't leave food down that the fat cat can get to. If the skinny cat can jump up onto a shelf and the fat cat is too fat to do so, put the food up there, and the skinny cat learns to jump up there? That's what we did.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:46 PM
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Further to 124: I guess what I didn't quite say is that it's majorly, majorly important that the FSU cat not eat the regular food. There's really not a lot of lee-way there.

But I guess if he's going to have a kitty-ectomy, it'll be solved? I chose not to look at that link.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:53 PM
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She hasn't had parasites since I got her

Odds are close to 100% that your cat has toxoplasm gondii.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:55 PM
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Odds are close to 100% that your cat has toxoplasm gondii.

Yum!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 8:59 PM
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You really shouldn't eat those, Parenthetical. And, Wrongshore, I'm very sorry about your cat. I hope it works out.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:03 PM
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128: I'm very sorry about your cat. I hope it works out.

It's so hard to get them on the elliptical if they aren't already into it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:05 PM
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Dousing the elliptical in tuna works well at first, but attracts flies after a while.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:08 PM
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I suppose my repeated FSUs upthread should have been FUSs.

126: Good lord. Cat ownership is dangerous to pregnant women.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:11 PM
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124: Thanks parsi -- I'll look into that food, we've got him on the fancy anti-crystal stuff. If there's an option that's both dietary and fights blockages, it could be worthwhile.

We've tried putting the stuff up high, but it was never high enough. Our though going in was that it would be a self-limiting problem, but fatty is a dedicated nosher.

128: Thanks, ari. If we have to take radical measures, I won't tell you, OK?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:13 PM
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131: Yeah. I have to start changing the litter soon, don't you know. (No announcements, just vague plans.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:14 PM
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131: It's estimated that ~1/3 of the world's human population is infected.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:20 PM
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My understanding is that if she's lived with the cats for a while, she's probably already infected, which poses no threat to a pregnancy. But still, better for me to do the litter once we start trying.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:23 PM
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Wrongshore, our cats are on Prescription Diet W/D, which is supposed to help with Kitty #1's urinary issues and Kitty #3's fat fattiness issues.

Of course, it's ludicrously expensive.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:23 PM
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134: but it might be linked to abolitionism.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:26 PM
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These are good suggestions. Thanks, --.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:32 PM
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136.1: Yeah, the Hi-Tor is supposed to be a less-expensive alternative to the W/D. It's still more expensive than regular cat food, but it did work (as in, not cause problems) for my cat with this health issue.

132: We've tried putting the stuff up high, but it was never high enough. Our though going in was that it would be a self-limiting problem, but fatty is a dedicated nosher.

I hear you about the dedicated nosher bit.

Do you have the option of feeding them in separate rooms with a closed door, or perhaps feeding the fat cat out on the porch and the other inside? Then pick up the non-acceptable dish of food once the skinny cat is done, before releasing the fat cat from his segregation. It's a pain in the ass, but my household, cats included, got used to it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 9:36 PM
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Bobcats used to be pretty common in these parts. But now they aren't, and their spot in the food chain has been taken over by house cats, because, hey, something had to.

Thus, I don't worry so much about predation, as its the natural order of things. It keeps the birds honest.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:16 PM
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But now they aren't, and their spot in the food chain has been taken over by house cats, because, hey, something had to.

This would only be possible if you didn't feed the house cats.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:18 PM
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This would only be possible if you didn't feed the house cats.

Actually, in almost all the cats in my neigborhood are feral, so its not that far off. They do raid my compost heap, however, which was I suppose was not an option open to bobcats in the forest primeval.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:31 PM
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in separate rooms with a closed door

The skinny cat eats all day. So we have a chain that we try to set just wide enough for the skinny cat to slip through. Unfortunately the only limiting factor is the width of their heads. Fats's head is bigger, but not nearly big enough to make it a secure system.

Fortunately, skinny throws up about a quarter of everything he eats no matter what it is, and has done so for six years, so there's no harm in giving him the dietary food.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:39 PM
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Easiest solution: RFID collars. Automated food bowl that lifts its cover iff skinny car is near and fat cat is not near. Solved!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-09 10:40 PM
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I'm not half the gizmocchio that you are, but I actually thought of that. Know anyone who will build it for me?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 12:37 AM
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145: Do ti yourself! You'll have help. Otherwise? Find some high school kid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 12:42 AM
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Ignore typos in evaluating the validity of my plan, obviously.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 12:43 AM
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147: Ignore typos in evaluating the validity of my plan

Humans, the flexible read-eval-printact loop.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 12:54 AM
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123: My cat had kidney stones and needed the operation. He still developed stones again, and needed another surgery to scoop them out. Distressing and expensive. The thing I hate about these expensive vet visits is talking about money - there has to be some amount I'm not willing to spend to keep the fluffy little bastard alive, but just thinking about that fact distresses me. He's doing pretty well right now, eating the fancy cat food that has to be bought from the vet.

When the vet told me about the need for the operation she was *reeeaaally* careful and sensitive about it in an absurdly funny way. Obviously she'd dealt with some guy who had all kinds of masculinity issues tied up with his cat. It's just cutting his dick off. It's not something genuinely emasculating, like a vasectomy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 6:45 AM
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all kinds of masculinity issues tied up with his cat

This is funny on so many levels.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 6:52 AM
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The neighbour's cat has recently chased a *fox* out of our garden...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 6:52 AM
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151: that's nothing. When I was a kid, my brother's pet rabbit attempted to mate with a cat. (The cat ran like hell; the rabbit was unharmed, though cckblckd).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 7:12 AM
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146: I totally wrote to machine project. I'm a member, may as well get some geek out of it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 9:30 AM
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Amazing, my parents have the exact same cat situation as wrongshore. Obese cat with bladder blockade, followed by penectomy, who wants to stay inside, and athletic cat who wants to go outside all the time. Low-magnesium food regime has been adopted for both.

The question: how to limit the food intake of obese cat, when they have shared a food dish all their lives and indeed are accustomed to a food dish always being somewhat semi-full? One could start feeding the outdoor cat outside, but then he might just stay outside 24-7. I think the only answer is to get them re-accustomed to a practice of only eating when an owner opens a can of food. But the idea suggested here of putting athletic cat's food on a high place that obese cat cannot reach may also work.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 9:45 AM
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Oh, Wrongshore! That's some harsh times. It's exactly where we were at with one of our cats a year ago, so I feel your pain. We now have controlled feedings, including for the skinny one, where we stand over them and referee. We give the fat one the fancy urinary food and the skinny one plain ol' Fancy Feast. One thing our vet told us is that dry food is much likelier to lead to weight problems so we switched them to wet and immediately saw weight loss, so you might see if your vet agrees.

Pain in the ass, but they are our babies. I will be crossing my fingers for yours.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 10:26 AM
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toxoplasm gondii

In the novel Peeps there's an amusing suggestion that the side effect humans most suffer on being infected is that they become great fans of cat ownership and decide to adopt one or five of their own.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-26-09 10:33 AM
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