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  •  The little furry murder machines also catch lots (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, drmah

    of mice and bugs and lizards. So, overall they do pretty good work. The birds they catch are much less frequent than other creepy crawlies that they dispatch, so I don't think birds are in much danger of going extinct; and, just imagine how much bird shit you'd have on your car if the cat didn't scare them out of your yard.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:16:57 PM PST

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    •  those creepy crawlies . . . . (5+ / 0-)

      are food for other animals, including birds. There are no loose threads in the web of life.

      Pooties are indeed killers.  There are many islands where introduced feral cats have wiped out . . . well . . .  everything. And many more islands where cats are banned, shot and poisoned, to prevent that from happening again.

    •  Please read the study (6+ / 0-)

      Your impression that cats do not kill many birds and their overall wildlife impact is unimportant is not a scientific study.

      Please keep your cats indoors.

      We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

      by Urban Owl on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:39:28 PM PST

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      •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

        A show on Animal Planet a while back rated domestic cats as the all-time greatest killers.  All felines are terrific murder machines, but house cats take the crown as most lethal killers.  Before my late parents started keeping Speed inside, he'd bring back rabbits, all sorts of birds, anything.  I inherited him after my parents died.  He is now a contented inside cat.  The old man's sleeping right next to my chair as I type this.

        If Speed the dreaded killer can be turned into an inside-only cat, it's possible for any cat to undergo the transformation.

        Tell me what to write. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

        by rbird on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:47:21 PM PST

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      •  I actually read the study before it was posted (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        colleen, elfling, shenderson

        here, but you sound a bit more alarmed than even the author of the study, who did not say that all cats need to be kept inside. Simpler steps, like adding a bell, are suggested instead. Yes, cats do kill billions of birds and mice, but it is doubtful any of these animals are headed for extinction. The population of rodents is quite large and can grow very rapidly if left unchecked. Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, often in densely populated areas and can perform a useful function in controlling this, even if it offends some people's sensibilities. Yet, birds and mice are still not extinct. Furthermore, the birds they hunt are not exactly eagles or condors. So, I think there should be better recognition of the fact if cats didn't scare away and sometime eat certain birds, their populations could become unsustainably high. I have also learned, after reading many scientific studies, that it's usually not a good idea to put too much stock every latest study. Not only is it wise to wait for more peer review, but the results are often badly misinterpreted by what passes for science journalism these days.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:03:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's also remember that things don't always go so (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pam from Calif, howabout, drmah, rocksout, BYw

          well for little tigers:

           photo thought.jpg

          Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:08:54 PM PST

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        •  Ask the aussies about the cute little bunnies n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          the good witch, shazamtwix

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:31:39 PM PST

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        •  Know what else is a bad idea? (0+ / 0-)

          Introducing invasive species into ecosystems that aren't equipped to adapt to them. Just ask the Australians. Hares, anyone (but they're so much fun to hunt! Surely that can't be bad)? Oooh... or maybe Cane Toads (but they'll control our cane beetle population... what could go wrong?)! SO MANY fun ways to mux up a fragile biosphere...

          Cats have indeed been domesticated for thousands of years in Africa, Europe, and Asia. In North America... not so much. Admittedly I don't have any good figures on when they may have been introduced to N.A., but it can't have been more than... 500 years maybe? Long time for us; not so much for an ecosystem that's been doing its thang for millions without felis silvestris roaming around.

          Yes, of course "birds and mice" aren't extinct. But consider the populations of birds who ARE impacted  in N. America: Cardinals, Bluejays, Piping Plovers, and others. Just because they're not extinct doesn't mean felines don't have a hugely negative impact on them. As with most large-scale threats to wildlife, human interference (here by introducing a new predatory species) in ecosystems is the culprit.

          See more information from the American Bird Conservancy:

          In short, it's not hard, people. Keep your kitties indoors. The cost to you is nominal (and by nominal I mean non-existant), and the benefits to your cat and nature are high.

          "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" -- William of Ockham

          by shazamtwix on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:35:23 PM PST

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    •  Great snakes! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      howabout, Diana in NoVa, True North

      My sister lives near Sacramento and their neighborhood would be overrun with rodents if the various outdoor cats didn't keep them under control.  If the rodent population gets too high, rattlesnakes are attracted to the food source and move in.

      Cats also kill snakes.  I read once that in Ancient Israel it was considered bad luck to go into a house that didn't have a cat because you were in danger of being bitten by a poisonous snake.  Maybe this had something to do with why cats were worshipped in Ancient Egypt -- something modern cats have not forgotten.  There's also a Muslim legend about how the Prophet was threatened by a snake one day and a cat killed the snake.  In gratitude, the Prophet stroked the cat's back, and that is why cats always land on their feet.  He also ran his fingers across the cat's forehead and down the back of her neck -- on tabby cats you can still see the black stripes left by his finger-tips.

      Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

      by Caelian on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:05:38 PM PST

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    •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

      I did want to ask this question, purely playing Pootie's Advocate, whether the damage to animal populations we like is not substantially offset by them keeping unwelcome populations in check.  Especially when you don't live on an island, where a nonindigenous apex predator can more easily wipe out a prey population.

      And I wonder if those with suburban backyard bird feeders and unwelcome neighbor cats might successfully train their neighbor pooties, by spending some patrol time outside with a water pistol.  I successfully persuaded a neighbor bully cat to stop coming in my cat door by entrapping him one night (rigged the door to open in but not out), and then chasing him around for a while with buckets of water.

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