Cat Poisoning and a Question

Okay, this cute little old lady has just killed her neighbor’s two cats because they were eating the songbirds in her backyard. I really don’t understand that reasoning, myself, since it’s not like they little flying voiceboxes are rare, or anything. If you keep feeding them, they’ll keep coming back. (And, yes, I’ll make jokes about keeping the catfeeder filled.)

Having said that, what sort of pet owner lets his pets out for 12 hours a day, after a neighbor has complained about thier behavior? It sure as shit wouldn’t fly with dogs, why is it any better with cats?

I don’t believe that the woman’s actions were proper. But I also don’t think she’s solely to blame for this: The cats’ owner was an idiot, who materially contributed to their demise.

Do any other Dopers care to share their views on this action, or my defintion of responsible pet ownership?

This is part of the reason why my cats don’t know the outdoors. Keeping them restrained is much more difficult than with a dog. I don’t condone the actions this woman took, but keeping your pets safe goes a long way towards keeping everyone in the neighborhood happy (and your pets healthy).

I don’t agree with what she did. Call the ASPCA enough times and they WILL do something.

That said, the owner was a jackass and a hefty portion [if not almost all] of the blame goes on his shoulders. Be a fucking responsible pet owner. It’s not that fucking hard.

One of my neighbours killed one of my cats. I can’t prove it but I know he did.

It was only well after the event that we got complaints about our other two cats going into their yard. So sometimes, ya can’t win.

My cats live outdoors mostly because:

  1. My wife insists on it. It’s either that or having them put down. She won’t budge on this.
  2. They love it. when we were living in a flay, they went stir crazy and tried to escape at every opportunity.

My cats go next door sometimes (not often). Other cats come in my yard - I just shoo them away. No biggie.

My cats are exposed to a little danger, but they are living much fuller lives than they would cooped up in the house.

That’s “flat” not “flay”.

See, that’s what I do too with strays – just shoo them off. Doesn’t bother me, no big deal. Thing is, people have a right to not have other people’s animals on their property if they don’t wish them to be there.

I guess it all depends on your location, but in most of the places I’ve lived you’re [general you] not just exposing your cats to a “little danger” by letting them roam free. People will poison, shoot, or otherwise harm cats. They will get squashed in the street. They will tangle with dogs or other cats or other wildlife. They will get into antifreeze and various chemicals. Could be totally different in Australia, I guess.

Sure, it would be great if none of that happened, but it’s just not so. Toddlers would love to have free reign, as well, but we put up those baby gates and playpens and such because that’s the responsible thing to do. Same with animals.

Back to the OP, if people can’t keep their kitties inside or otherwise safely restrained, the best option is to not have them in the first place.

chatelaine, that’s a very well-written and articulate statement. And you did very well in keeping from attacking TheLoadedDog for his views, which are in opposition to your own. (And mine, for that matter.) I would prefer to avoid having this thread devolve into a debate about how to keep cats - I would much rather have people come in and simply state where they fall on this issue.

If I allow your rebuttal to stand unchallenged, I’m afraid that the thread will devolve into the worst sort of Pit thread, even though your own post is in no way to be faulted.

So, as the OP, I’m going to ask that people refrain from confronting other opinions in this thread, and simply state their own views as calmly as possible.

All I know is that in the twelve months we were living in a flat, the cats went totally batshit. They hated it, and would spend all their time on the window ledge gazing out at the street. I had to slide out the door sideways, just opening it enough to get through, and pushing the cats away with one foot. When they did escape now and then, they didn’t run off. They just wanted to sit in the sun and be, well, cats. They are not little people.

The dangers mentioned are just the same in Australia, but it comes down to a choice:

  1. Keep the cats indoors 24/7 and have them possibly, on statistics, live a couple of years longer.
  2. Let them chase bugs, play in the tall grass, lounge on the concrete in the sun, stretched out, giving the occasional contented yawn, at the cost of possible greater exposure to danger.

As I said, in my case I have two options: 1. Outdoor cats 2. Dead cats (surrendered to the RSPCA).

Saying the owner shoulders most, if not all, of the blame is crazy. The batty old lady who decided to take it upon herself to kill a cat is 100% to blame. Hell, it’s part of living in an urban area. Other people’s animals sometimes annoy me. So do their teenaged sons. The loud parties. The v8 cars warming up at 5am. The low flying 747s. It’s called society, folks. The other option is a cabin in the woods. Fine if you want it, but I’ll stick with the petty annoyances.

I dunno. It used to be what you did with cats. My old man threw No Nads Nick outside every night: rain, sleet, snow, didn’t matter. He (NNN, not dad) lived to be 22.

My guys have been indoor and outdoor kitties. I must say they are markedly happier when they can go outside, roll in the dirt, chase moths, sniff the flowers. Rudy caught a bird recently, brought inside to eat it, and later barfed up a foot and a leg. Jerk.

I’m not so sure that cats are a huge danger to songbirds, no matter how many they murder for pleasure. There sure are a lot of them lil feathered buggers.

That old lady perpetrated a whole lot of trauma on those little kids. Just sayin’. A coupla bells around the neck might have rendered the whole awful situation moot.

Oops! I’m with you, sorry about that.

TheLoadedDog, I shall leave your last post to stand as the end of our discussion in this thread and offer no counter. :slight_smile:

chatelaine, np. :wink:

I hope that TheLoadedDog and others will agree to a cease fire here.

I can see the validity of a debate on this issue, but I don’t care to host what such a debate would become.

Yair. No worries. I just get a little defensive because I know where these threads end up, and I know I’m in the minority, so it’s a case of hunkering down and dusting off the box of grenades.

FTR, my cats are in a closed backyard with seven foot metal fences. The male has never had 100% use of his hind legs. Oh they work okay, but he’s not up to leaping fences. He never leaves my property. The female can, and obviously do scale these fences, but it’s an effort for her, and usually she can’t be bothered as there’s not much point. I’ve secretly watched her do it, and all she wants to do is walk along the top of the fence, and about 80% of the time she comes back down on my side anyway.

With the intruding cats: we have a big black bruiser of a thing that lives in the house across the road, and it comes in to steal my cats’ food and terrorise them. Well it used to. Doesn’t anymore. I scared it off without cruelty. One minute Mr Black Cat is marching through my backyard like he owns it (my cats hiding) - and the next there is a 6’4" screaming maniac (yours truly) flying out of the back door with a bucket of water. Splash. Cat buggers off. I only had to do that twice, I think. The cat doen’t come in anymore now he knows about the big two-legged cat that lives here. :smiley: But it worked, and it didn’t hurt the cat.

And before anybody asks, that’s former male and female. If anybody wants to rant about unfixed cats being let out, then I’ll be 100% with you. Now those asre truly irresponsible owners.

So true!

Funniest. mental. image. ever.

TheLoadedDog, thanks! I know how emotional both sides can, and do, get on this issue, and wanted to avoid that.

I will break my own dictum to admit this much - were I your neighbor I’d have no problem with the situation you’ve described, even though I remain unconvinced that it’s the right solution.
Of course, I am the one who calls birdfeeders ‘catfeeders.’

Not to excuse the cats’ owner, but who would expect someone, especially a neighbor, to poison your pets? Perhaps it happens more in other areas and the owners should have known better? Both sides were wrong and the poor kitties paid the price.

Conventional birdfeeders (heh, catfeeders) didn’t work for me, so now I subscribe to BirdieTV. A saucer of birdseed set in sight of the sliding glass door. My two little monsters spend hours watching sometimes.

Just out of curiosity, is there any kind of fencing that a cat won’t climb? A tall wood fence, maybe? Or would they get their claws in?

I do see that cats would be much happier if allowed outside–but I also see that they need to be restrained for their own good. It would be nice if one could create a safe outdoor environment.

They can’t climb my fence (it’s a painted galvanised metal six foot fence resting on a one foot concrete base). However, my cat can climb one of several fruit trees we have, and then she leaps across to the top of the fence - a tricky move as it’s only an inch or so wide.

There are a lot of businesses that specialize in cat fences. FWIW, I’ve never used any of them and don’t know of anyone who does, but I’ve heard a lot about this one: Purrfect Fence

Unfortunately a lot of people who own animals fail to realize that other people might consider them to be pest. I don’t like it when my back porch, car ports, and both cars smell like cat piss. My wife enjoys feeding the squirrels and birds because she loves to watch their antics but she didn’t set them up so cats had a place to hunt. I don’t like finding cat turds while I’m working in the garden. I don’t want someone elses cat to have its babies in my shed again.

I don’t see what makes killing a cat immoral when we kill other pests like rats, mice, armadillos, and rabbits. I live in a rural area so I suspect many of my problem cats are actually feral. In years past my fear of killing someone’s beloved pet has kept me from taking actions against them but while putting together my new lawnmower this spring I smelled cat piss and decided it was the final straw.

So I came to the conclusion this spring that any cat on my property was fair game. I don’t care if the cats run through the woods and have themselves a grand old time. If I see one on the lawn or closer then I’m going to shoot it and leave it in the woods for the scavengers. They’re pests and I’ll just treat them like pests.