March 21, 2011

"I hope we can now stop minimizing and trivializing the impacts that outdoor cats have on the environment and start addressing the serious problem of cat predation."

Pussy belongs inside.

100 comments:

Henry said...

We need more coyotes.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)





Oh Puh-Leeeeeeze, people make an artificially supportive environment for birds and then complain about natural predation?

vbspurs said...

The American Bird Conservancy estimates that up to 500 million birds are killed each year by cats — about half by pets and half by feral felines.

GASP, I hadn't realised there were even 500 million birds up there.

Methadras said...

These leftards look for some sort of 'natural' ecosystem to hang their hat on when they don't realize that everything in the 'environment' belongs. If it just so happens that the 'environment' goes to shit. Oh well, and these fools can't do a damn thing to stop it much less mitigate it, much less things like their little 'micro-ecosystems'.

Maguro said...

Cats kill birds, no shit? Amazing what you can learn by perusing the nation's paper of record.

Scott M said...

The people across the street keep an outdoor cat that decided last year my front stoop is one of his undoubtedly many portapussypotties. It took me a long time to talk to them about it, but when I did, the woman suggested cyan pepper and that she would get me some.

When she didn't, and the cat kept at it, I invested in a cheap bb gun. Too bad the damned thing doesn't kill moles and voles.

Pogo said...

Cats are racist.

Phil 3:14 said...

Unintended consequences.

Same thing happened when they were brought in to solve a traffic problem.

kent said...

Pussy belongs inside.

Pussy purrin' and lookin' so satisfied;
Pussy purrin' and lookin' so satisfied.
Lost in his little yellow round eye,
Lost in his little yellow round eye,
Pussy purrin' and lookin' so satisfied.

Kitty rear up and scratch me through my jeans;
Kitty rear up and scratch me through my jeans.
Fuck you kitty, you're gonna spend the night --
Fuck you kitty, you're gonna spend the night --
Fuck you kitty, you're gonna spend the night --
OUTSIDE!!!

-- "Kitty," The Presidents of the United States

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


I invested in a cheap bb gun. Too bad the damned thing doesn't kill moles and voles.


Oh it probably does, just not at your house….and you think a BB Gun is going to stop a Zombie?

rdkraus said...

Few things are as amusing or exciting as opening the back door and having the family pet dash in with a half-dead bird it its mouth -just as you are serving Easter dinner to your family and friends.

Yeeee Haaaaa.

The joy of it is, the Goddamn cat thinks it's bringing you a present.

Revenant said...

GASP, I hadn't realised there were even 500 million birds up there.

I'm pretty sure there are 500 million birds just in my neighbors' backyards.

Class factotum said...

The people across the street keep an outdoor cat that decided last year my front stoop is one of his undoubtedly many portapussypotties.

I let my cat outside on a harness attached to the clothesline. She gets to hunt; we don't worry about the non-existent neighborhood pit bulls mauling her to death.

She cries to come inside when she is thirsty, hungry, or needs to use the litter box. That's right: she's outdoors in a garden full of loose dirt but that is not where she wants to toilet.

Paul Zrimsek said...

People’s reaction is that it is normal for cats to kill birds.

Well...?

Mary Beth said...

I keep my cats inside but it is to protect their stupid selves, not the birds.

Phil 3:14 said...

There will be hell to pay

kent said...

We need more coyotes.

I'm not entirely certain that smuggling all our cats back and forth across the Mexican border is really the answer wanted, here. ;)

Paddy O said...

Hear, hear. Totally agree.

Mostly because I think cats are almost entirely boring, while birds in their variety speak so much of a location. They're the vestiges of original inhabitants in our overly groomed and arranged locations.

Not all of them, of course, especially the flocks of parrots and parakeets that have made a home here in Pasadena.

Speaking of coyotes, when I lived in the mountains, near a national forest, there weren't house cats around at all. Very occasionally I'd see a cat, but never saw the same one more than twice. Not only the coyotes but also the bobcats, and raccoons. Which kept the forest so much more interesting.

SteveR said...

Meanwhile for large areas of the U.S., feral hogs are actually doing some very significant environmental and economic damage.

In my part of the country, cats do have predators, coyotes and owls, in particular

Coketown said...

Cats are filthy, disgusting beasts. I worked at a pet store for a while, and 95% of cat-related products we sold was to correct some nasty, horrible habit: spraying, shitting in potted plants, tearing up furniture, hairballs, pissing all over. Disgusting. And so rude! Cat owners seem to get off on being treated like dirt by their cats. And the #1 complaint of homeowners after squirrels was cats: they shit all over your garden, scratch your car, annoy your dog, mate in your flowerbeds.

Lucien said...

The facts that cats succeeded at forming a symbiotic relationship with humans resulting in the spread of cats to everyplace that humans go, and that they hunt there is not the disruption of the ecology, it is ecology. Some species adapt, flourish, and drive down their prey populations, others don't.

The earth (like some nasty-ass Honey Badger) doesn't give a shit.

wv: ratiessn -- a place kosher cats go for a nosh.

Paddy O said...

"Cats are racist."

Cats are like white people. They come in at first acting so innocent but then they're all about the hunting, going wherever they want, taking over the whole neighorhood, pushing out the natives, crapping wherever they want, selfish and demanding that everyone serve them. Then before too long, all the other animals are gone and all we have is cats around.

Cats and white people both homogenize the ecosystem.

Triangle Man said...

These people are not down with OPP.

Lincolntf said...

“They are like gypsy moths and kudzu — they cause major ecological disruption,” Dr. Marra said.


Dr. Marra is causing me major digestive disruption. What a ninny.

My cats (one male 14yo, one female 8yo) are free to go outside during the day. After years of apartment living I figured they deserved to go outdoors once we moved somewhere with a yard. The younger one occasionally (like once or twice a year) brings home a bird, but chipmunks are her favorite. Last summer she caught the same chipmunk (seriously, I recognized the little dude after a while) about a dozen times. I think he was her best friend. I always try to rescue whatever she's after, but sometimes it's just too late.
As for all the hand-wringing over the yowling perils and their taste for avian flesh, what are ya gonna do? Cats are cats and birds are birds. One eats the other. Has anyone studied the consequences of having bird-baths and bird-feeders positioned all over prime earthworm-breeding habitat? Talking about carnage.

Chip Ahoy said...

A friend belled his cat because it was way too good of a birder. Totally pissed that cat right off. Within a few days the cat learned it could silence the bell by dragging it through the dirt and clogging it up, and it went right back to its evil bird-stalking ways.

vbspurs said...

Revenant wrote:

I'm pretty sure there are 500 million birds just in my neighbors' backyards.

In honour of this thread, I've just bought 'iBird Pro' for the iPad -- which was 50% off (normally $29.99) today!

As far as what Coketown posted about the felines, put me down as one of those cat-abhoring people, too. Dogs are useful AND loving. Can't beat that with a rubber hose.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Look, this is strictly a survival question. If we start scooping up all the outdoor cats and putting them in cat jail or something, the world will soon be taken over by baby gray catbirds, flying out of the loo and infringing people's personal freedom.

lemondog said...

The American Bird Conservancy estimates that up to 500 million birds are killed each year by cats — about half by pets and half by feral felines.

While I agree cats belong indoor, primarily for their own protection, I take the number with beyond a grain of salt.

And this pussy cat finds the charge unbelievably tedious.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Lately I've had a mockingbird just outside my bedroom window which has taken it into its head to start mocking about 1:00 am and will NOT SHUT UP. I would pay for a bag full of outdoor cats, if anybody's got one.

Lincolntf said...

Think of how many invasive European starlings have been taken out by housecats. That more than makes up for the odd cardinal or bluebird.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am sure that there is some problem with house cats that get out on occasion. But I would expect that the much bigger one is feral cats. And, the solution there is to either kill or neuter them. It is feral cats have litters of feral cats that really disturbs the ecosystem.

Yes, cats are, now, part of it. But that is partially because the higher level predators have been controlled to protect humans.

I should add that my father lives up in the mountains, and when they first moved up there, had a white cat that went out on occasion. One day, they didn't get back in fast enough when it was at the door. Never saw it again, but did see some white fluffs of hair and a couple of coyotes were reported in the area. The next cats were declawed and never let out. They died peacefully of old age.

Oh, and then there was the predecessor to the white cat. I brought him home in 1st grade as a mother's day present. That was down in suburbia, and he used the garage, but never was allowed inside. He didn't hunt that often, but we knew when the poodle was into his food, because of the bird parts in the yard. Of all the cats my parents had, he lived, by far, the longest, nearing twenty before his demise. I was out of college by then, of course, and missed his passing.

kcom said...

According to a little online research, there are an estimated 10 billion birds in the continental US. The numbers vary with the time of year, of course, and migration patterns.

kent said...

According to a little online research, there are an estimated 10 billion birds in the continental US

... and all of 'em vote in Chicago.

edutcher said...

Cats do what they've evolved to do (Lefties should love that). Crying about this is like trying to hold back the tide.

PS The, uh, subtitle of this post conjures images I'm glad the blogress can't post.

WV "aloorch" What people say when they see the senior Senator from the Bay State.

samanthasmom said...

I'll make sure my cat understands that she needs to stay within her quota.

Crimso said...

How many birds are brought down by dogs? I know one of my boxers very nearly bagged a fairly large hawk one day. Had him on the ground, but the hawk was able to get away. How they came to grips in the first place was not observed.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Lincolntf said...

Think of how many invasive European starlings have been taken out by housecats.


Anecdotally, starlings and house sparrows were introduced in the nineteenth century by some goofball who wanted to have every species mentioned in Shakespeare in the US.

Michael said...

This argument is at least a hundred years old. Same stats though on the number of birds killed by cats.

Bob From Ohio said...

Birds (especially CATbirds) need to evolve some teeth, real claws and larger size.

If they don't, I assume they want to be killed by cats.

Carol said...

Who cares about catbirds, which move in on other species' nests, destroy the eggs and lay their own. They're little shits, they are.

Roman said...

To track these birds, a tiny transmitter was attached. Slowing down the bird, if just a fraction of a second caused more death by cat. Can this be justified in the name of science?

On an other vein: "A big cat can be dangerous, but a little pussy never hurt anyone."

vbspurs said...

This thread is just asking for some Mrs Slocombe pussy humour. I'm free!

Lincolntf said...

I was just using my camcorder to try to capture my little kitty in full huntress mode (she stalks the squirrels that live in one of our trees, but never bothers to actually chase them). As soon as I hit "Record" she flopped over on her side and started licking her belly. Be warned, birdies, be warned.

Coketown said...

"He said the leading cause of bird deaths over all, as opposed to the catbird fledglings in the study, remained collisions with buildings, windows and towers, followed by predators.

First they came for the housecats, and I said nothing. Then they came for the buildings, windows, and towers, and I said nothing...

Birds are clearly too stupid to survive with people around. So either the birds go or we do.

Dan from Madison said...

I LOVE my farm cats that are all rescues from the feral cat humane society. They keep the place rodent free and seem happy to have a second chance. If they get a sparrow here and there, good on 'em.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

I agree with those that say the cat should stay indoors - for the cat's own good. They can pick up diseases, etc outside and they fare poorly when tangling with autos. I sympathize with non-cat owners and cat-haters as flower beds make great 'litter boxes'.

Cats are opportunistic in the sense that they 'cull the herd' - that is, they take down the older, sicker birds first. I see no disadvantage there. In that sense, they are similar to the crow and the turkey vulture. They are nature's undertakers, of sorts.

So, following the logic, lets apply 'dogs' to the opening statement...

How much more grass, how many more window sills, wood floors, furniture, etc could be spared the indignity of an early demise if we all simply kept our dogs in their kennels???

deborah said...

I love little pussy,
Her coat is so warm,
And if I don't hurt her,
She'll do me no harm.

So I won't pull her tail,
Nor drive her away,
And pussy and I
Very gently shall play.

jr565 said...

This sounds like a perfect job for Michael Vick. Kill some damn cats, Michael and leave the dogs alone.
If you can get the cats to fight each other, all the better.

Richard Fagin said...

Here, kitty, kitty (as I open the back door and the 120 pound Great Dane rushes out to help save the environment for birds). It's more fun than watching the old bulldog bash Sylvester in the head. If cats could talk, that one would be saying, "Oh, sh*t!"

Richard Fagin said...

I didn't see jr565's comment before posting. Our two Danes got into it a few weeks ago and it was bloody. One had 37 surgical staples in her afterward. We were worried we were going to end up in prison like Michael Vick after that for instigating dog fighting.

jr565 said...

Birds, especially pigeons shit all over the place. If you live in the city like I do there are spots that are literally covered in bird shit and you have to run past it in the hopes that the birds perched there don't shit on you.
This is especially true where there are elevated subways. If you're standing, waiting for a light to change and are under an elevated train stop, you better pray that you aren't covered in feces by the time the light changes.
So, the less pigeons the better. If they could figure a way to get the cats up into the elevated trains to deal with the rats and the pigeons that would be awesome.
And my cat at home is the friendliest thing you could ever see. She will go up to any person and within minutes is sitting on their laps and licking their face. Don't get why cats aren't loved.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Carol,

Who cares about catbirds, which move in on other species' nests, destroy the eggs and lay their own. They're little shits, they are.

I think you're thinking of cowbirds. Catbirds (closely related to mockingbirds) raise their own.

tree hugging sister said...

Yes, they do. If they're outside, they need to be tethered, like my dog is required to be. Your revolting, indulged feline has no intrinsic, "natural" right be be yowling and pissing under my non-catowning/responsible dogowning bedroom window at zero darkthirty because you're too fucking lazy to clean a litter box.

bagoh20 said...

My pit bulls stand ready to serve the public interest and save the planet from this feline infestation. Deputize us, Sheriff.

"If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's just too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Lincolntf said...

New bumper sticker:

My rescue cat is smarter than your designer dog.

traditionalguy said...

We need a few billion to spend on high speed dogs.

dbp said...

The American Bird Conservancy estimates that up to 500 million birds are killed each year by cats — about half by pets and half by feral felines.

The Pecchia Institute For Global sharing (PIGS) estimates that 99% of all statistics by interest groups are just made up. "Fairness" dictates they pay a penalty for this, to me, of one Gazillion Dollars.

Revenant said...

Cats do what they've evolved to do (Lefties should love that).

That sentence made sense to you when you wrote it, eh?

rhhardin said...

A cat gets about a bird a day, is the old standard data point, so this is nothing new.

On the other hand, most birds are eaten with or without cats. A breeding pair over say a dozen broods of a half dozen baby birds winds up with only one pair surviving to breed, which is 1 in 36, if the population is stable.

Odds are not good for babies not at the top of the food chain.

The thing with cats in highly populated areas is that the number of cats does not decline in response to a decline in birds, for the cats go home to eat cat chow and do not starve. So they can wipe out pretty much all the birds in those areas where there are lots of people.

rhhardin said...

Bird and cat populations, if the cats can't go home for a regular meal, are described by the Lotka–Volterra equation.

Andrea said...

Pussy cat don't give a shit.

Steven said...

Domestic cats are generally less active and effective hunters than feral cats (who have to hunt to survive), while outdoor domestic cats do drive feral cats away from their territory. The result is that the actual effect of keeping domestic cats indoors will be an increase in the territory hunted by feral cats, and a corresponding increase in the rate of bird deaths. Telling people to keep their cats indoors accordingly will worsen "the serious problem of cat predation."

Lincolntf said...

If only there was some way birds could avoid cats, like flying away or something...
Face it, if my cat catches a bird it's only because the bird was a slacker.
(Of course, if Boo-Boo-Babyface-Bella comes home with an ostrich in her jaws tonight I'll feel like a fool.)

BJM said...

Pity the NYT isn't half as worried about Islamofascism.

Methadras said...

Pogo said...

Cats are racist.


No. Felines are Avianist.

LordSomber said...

Perhaps it is irony:
Catbirds sound like mewling kittens.

Maybe cats are just tired of getting punked.

Christy said...

I'm remembering the time I heard squawking and came around the corner to find my cat in the top of an ancient cherry tree surrounded and terrorized by a murder of crows.

Oddly, other cats would leave birds at my backdoor.

BTW, we had a hawk in the neighborhood that took out more birds than the cats did.

Lincolntf said...

When they came for the kittehs I did nothing because I was not a kitteh...

bagoh20 said...

I just don't buy this. We've all had cats, most of them never catch a single bird. The ones that do don't catch that many. On the other hand there are freaking birds everywhere. At my house in the morning it's a cacophony till noon, and all my neighbors have cats. This is bullshit.

MarkG said...

The world is tough on birds. They fly into windmills, powerline poles, and windows. They're attacked by cats and raptors. Their eggs and young are eaten by snakes and raccoons. When they migrate, they run out of gas over the Gulf of Mexico or get gassed by farmers in South America. Waterfowl that make it down to Arkansas or Louisiana are shot at constantly for four months out of the year. And that's just a start.

John Burgess said...

The US lacks a bounty on outdoor cats. It also lacks a decent cookbook on cats.

Think how many would be gainfully employed with even a $0.50/cat bounty. Potentially well-fed, too.

Lincolntf said...

If it comes down to it the cats will eat us, not the other way around.

Pogo said...

In the first scene of the post-apocalyptic movie The Book of Eli, Eli (Denzel Washington) uses a bow and arrow to kill a Sphinx cat.

That's one method to "start addressing the serious problem of cat predation."

rhhardin said...

The first brood of house sparrows each year is eaten by starlings.

After the first brood, there's enough bug protein around so that starlings don't bother birdlets anymore.

Grackles are out beheading adult house sparrows for a while in the spring too.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The sort of ecologist they always quote in these articles makes me think of a Foreign Service officer who's served too long in Riyadh, and has come to believe that nothing in the world is more important than stasis.

I dunno, maybe that's the only sort of ecologist there is.

Shanna said...

Funny how none of these stories about how cats harm the environment get into the poor widdle rats they kill.

I see way more birds in my neighborhood than cats. Have at them kitties!

Phil 3:14 said...

It just goes on and on. And it won't end well

David said...

What's wrong with you people?

No one--absolutely no one--has responded to the text of the Professor's link with sexual innuendo.

Slipping, people. Slipping.

Pastafarian said...

Steven makes the point I was going to make:

"Domestic cats are generally less active and effective hunters than feral cats (who have to hunt to survive), while outdoor domestic cats do drive feral cats away from their territory. The result is that the actual effect of keeping domestic cats indoors will be an increase in the territory hunted by feral cats, and a corresponding increase in the rate of bird deaths. Telling people to keep their cats indoors accordingly will worsen "the serious problem of cat predation.""

This is just the latest fluorescent light bulb. My pussies will go where they will. You want to keep them from catching birds? Have them declawed. It will save your furniture too. And they're still perfectly capable of defending themselves.

PatCA said...

Oh, I get it: you take away my wind turbines, I take away your house cat.

Ridiculous.

edutcher said...

vbspurs said...

This thread is just asking for some Mrs Slocombe pussy humour. I'm free!

Mrs Slocombe: I went to the Constabulary to help my neighbour find her cat and asked quite genteelly, "Have any of you seen this woman's pussy?".

Revenant said...

Cats do what they've evolved to do (Lefties should love that).

That sentence made sense to you when you wrote it, eh?


Lefties like all things evolutionary - or so they say.

Smilin' Jack said...

Birds are noisy and wake me up in the morning, and they crap on my car. Go cats!

EnigmatiCore said...

"the woman suggested cyan pepper and that she would get me some."

Good thing she never did. Those things are not nearly as good as the magenta ones.

Belkys said...

Since doves are rats with wing, well done

Shanna said...

It just goes on and on. And it won't end well

Awesome! We used to sing that song when I was a kid but I haven't heard it in years.

vbspurs said...

Pussy belongs inside, indeed. Coming home from church just now, a fat cat (not the Wall Street variety) crossed in front of car, and I had to slam on the breaks to avoid hitting him/her. We're both fortunate there was no car behind me, because if I had been rear-ended, there would've been a very dead cat on the road.

vbspurs said...

Incidentally, I may not be much for cats, but if you are, don't forget to give generously to the Roman charity for wayward cats: I Gatti di Roma.

They've been there since Caesar, and they're fagged out.

Shanna said...

They used to run this song on a Nickelodeon cartoon when I was a kid, but this is a muppet version :)

The Cat Came Back

Methadras said...

Thunder Cats, HO!!!

SNARF SNARF!!! What The Fuck, Lion-O!?!?!

EnigmatiCore said...

At this late point in the thread, let me just express my enthusiasm for pussy outdoors.

Matthew said...

Ever been to the base of one of those new-flangled wind turbine generators? Wall-to-wall avian carnage.

Windmills porbably kill just as many birds who just aren't fast (or smart) enough to slip between the whirring blades, or fledglings who's...ahem...bird-brained... parents decided a 100' tall metal structure with a set of giant, rotating Ginsu blades on it was a good place to nest.

I think they're attracted by the better school districts and easy access to the new Birkenstock outlet.

Ain these parts (Staten Island,NY) there's something like half-a-dozen bird sanctuaries, and if you get your lawn chair and sit on the boardwalk near the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, you can watch the rescued-from-extinction Peregine Falcons ravage the sanctuary birds. Bring asix-pack for that one.

We also have a flock of wild turkeys running loose around here that seems to grow in numbers monthly that no feral cat not taking acid would even dream of trying to take on.

foxtrot said...

I believe in cat abortions, or "feline reproductive rights" as the left would call it.

foxtrot said...

"The American Bird Conservancy estimates that up to 500 million birds are killed each year by cats — about half by pets and half by feral felines."

That's funny, I always see cats being heckled by birds. An what about eagles, owls, and other large birds that prey on small animals.

I see this as animal class warfare. The story NPR could do about this.

Matthew said...

Coming soon: Cat-control laws.

When cats are outlawed, only outlaws will have cats.

Of course, then we can look forward to a return of all those rodent-borne diseases that were mostly eradicated by free-market medicine, but which won't be covered under ObamaCare.

Matthew said...

I say we ask the Arab League for permission to bomb the cats, so as to save all those innocent birds.

Chip S. said...

"Pussy belongs inside."

Tell that to Lindsay Lohan.

Michael McNeil said...

Ever been to the base of one of those new-flangled wind turbine generators? Wall-to-wall avian carnage.

Really? A piece back in 2007 in the journal Nature reveals a report by the National Academy of Sciences, based on 14 good-quality studies, on the environmental effects of windpower and windmill projects (see Emma Marris and Daemon Fairless, “Wind farms' deadly reputation hard to shift,” Nature, Vol. 447, Issue No. 7141 [10 May 2007], p.126), noting that “the average death toll attributable to an average wind turbine” is 3% of a bird per year — that is, “it takes 30-odd turbines to reach a kill rate of one bird a year.”

Matthew said...

I would assume that Marris and Fairless never had to clean up the mess with a shovel and a plastic bucket?

I have.

I used to work for a 'green energy' company that had several small windfarms that I had to travel between every month. Dead birds in the vicinity of a windmill are about as common as dog poop is on your front lawn.

Y-not said...

The environmental impact argument is weak and really unnecessary.

I've never understood why dogs are expected to be kept leashed and under control by their owners, but cats are not. If someone can train their cat to stay on their own property, more power to them. But people do not have a right to invade - and disturb - my property by proxy.

I've had both dogs and cats most of my life. Knowing how common it is for people to take out their frustrations on small animals, particularly cats, I would never let my cat outside off-leash.

vbspurs said...

Edutcher wrote:

Mrs Slocombe: I went to the Constabulary to help my neighbour find her cat and asked quite genteelly, "Have any of you seen this woman's pussy?".

LOL! Thanks for the laugh, Edu. I did catch it after all. :)

Cheers,
Victoria