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Cat Hunting
April 12, 2005 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Wisconsin considers legalizing cat hunting. For the Sid Vicious in all of us.
posted by Fuzzy Monster (152 comments total)

 
I hope Bill Frist gets to shot the first shot.

And of course this should teach feral cats...

DON'T FUCK WITH WISCONSIN(TM)!
posted by drezdn at 9:25 AM on April 12, 2005


So funny, I saw this link just now and ran to Mefi to post it. When outlaw cats are outlawed, only... wait...

I have about 8-10 neighborhood cats, on average, on my street. Somebody's feeding the bastards, as they're all plump and human friendly.
posted by cavalier at 9:34 AM on April 12, 2005


an estimated 2 million wild cats kill 47 million to 139 million songbirds

won't anyone think of the worms? by killing those songbirds the cats save billions of worms (and bugs).
posted by andrew cooke at 9:35 AM on April 12, 2005



That is rather large spread, but either way, that is a lot of freaking dead song birds.
posted by brheavy at 9:36 AM on April 12, 2005


You'll all change your tunes when a vast wave of wild cats -every last one infected with CWD because, let's face it, every animal in Wisconsin probably has it by now including the people- comes sweeping across the north east, eating every songbird in sight...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:37 AM on April 12, 2005


I hear it tastes like beaver.
posted by Floydd at 9:39 AM on April 12, 2005


I think it's a great idea. I haven't heard a whippoorwill since I was a kid. Why? Cats.
posted by Witty at 9:43 AM on April 12, 2005


...vast wave of wild cats...

If it tastes like beaver, I welcome our feral and frisky overlords.
More info.
posted by badger_flammable at 9:46 AM on April 12, 2005


You realize this will take eighteen million bullets, minimum.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:47 AM on April 12, 2005


Move all the cats to Ohio.
fucking Ohio.

Heh. I just had this hilarious picture of Wisconsons with guns out in woods, all calling, "here, kitty kitty kitty kitty...BLAMMO!"

Cats are bad news for the environment. They belong in apartments or extinctuated.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:53 AM on April 12, 2005


I think this is already legal in a few other states like South Dakota.
posted by CaptMcalister at 9:55 AM on April 12, 2005


I'm the biggest cat lover in the world, but trapping and spaying/neutering every wild cat is a lot harder and more expensive than shooting some. I also like songbirds and know that wild cats have devestated the populations, which is why I keep my cats inside and they're fixed.

So I'm marginally in favor of doing something about the wild cat population, if it's done right and carefully.
posted by mathowie at 9:59 AM on April 12, 2005


Well... it's I guess it's alright.... if they eat it.


MMMMMMMmmmmmmm..... Kitty....
posted by jpburns at 10:00 AM on April 12, 2005


CaptMcallster, from the article (ahem):

At least two other upper Midwestern states, South Dakota and Minnesota, allow wild cats to be shot — and have for decades.
posted by melt away at 10:03 AM on April 12, 2005


I think some of these protestors need to realise there's a world of difference between Mr Tiddles, your granny's cat and the hissing furry piss bags that live wild. Make the protestors take a wild cat home with them and see how quickly they change their minds. And I say this as a big time cat fan.
posted by dodgygeezer at 10:07 AM on April 12, 2005


Two things:

First, I wanted to quote something from badger's link, but it's one of those sites where you have to sign up for a subscription after you visit once.

Anyway, the gist was that someone said killing the cats will result in an increase in the rat population, and that the feral cats were a natural part of the ecosystem. Bullcrap, says I. If humans hadn't encroached on all the predators' territory, all them feral cats would be getting eaten up by coyotes and bigger cats.

Second, I think that making them legal to shoot is kind of sad, but fair. (What, are we supposed to catch and neuter badgers and gophers and skunks?) What I'm worried about is the people who like to shoot cats for fun. Your neighbor's dear little Fluffy pissing in your flower beds? No problem, just remove her collar and viola! you can claim ignorance and shoot her.
posted by Specklet at 10:08 AM on April 12, 2005


Surely this can be leaving a ball of yarn tied to the trigger of a shotgun outside.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:08 AM on April 12, 2005


*cough* Surely this can fixed by leaving a ball of yarn tied to the trigger of a shotgun outside.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:09 AM on April 12, 2005


I am in support of this only if they use flamethrowers.
posted by xmutex at 10:13 AM on April 12, 2005


I hope they give the cats all the catnip they need before the executions begin.

Either that or arm the cats so its a fair fight at the least.

posted by fenriq at 10:17 AM on April 12, 2005


Your neighbor's dear little Fluffy pissing in your flower beds? No problem, just remove her collar and viola! you can claim ignorance and shoot her.

I was wondering about this too. As I said on my blog: "Nothing starts up a good old neighbor feud quite like a cat shitting in a flowerbed."

But I wonder how likely it is for someone to get away with this. Usually there's a lot of yelling and harassing before the antifreeze is set out, so I'd think in most cases it would be easy to show that the "hunter" already knew the cat wasn't feral.
posted by sbutler at 10:19 AM on April 12, 2005


Sniper Kitty! fenriq, that made me laugh out loud.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:20 AM on April 12, 2005


Who needs a license to shoot a wild cat? That's the problem with you city people, thinking you need to create a law to allow something that's being done anyway.

BTW: you know those unwanted puppies you dump on back country roads? BANG!!! ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:24 AM on April 12, 2005


fenriq — HA! See, now, that's why I'm against getting rid of the image tag.
posted by papercake at 10:25 AM on April 12, 2005


Does this cat hunting idea remind anyone else of The Black Plague?

"It was rumored that dogs and cats spread the disease, so the Lord Mayor ordered all the dogs and cats destroyed. Author Daniel Defoe in his Journal of the Plague Years estimated that 40,000 dogs and 200,000 cats were killed. The real effect of this was that there were fewer natural enemies of the rats who carried the plague fleas, so the germs spread more rapidly."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:28 AM on April 12, 2005


I let my cat outside without a collar, and I have only a small problem with this law. I'm just picturing some crazy redneck who decides to spend the day with his buddies shooting every cat they see. Seriously, if a stranger were to shout "BOOGA BOOGA!!!" at my cat, they would never see him again. It's that whole "feral/domesticated" thing that I think the more ignorant people would get confused by.
posted by boymilo at 10:30 AM on April 12, 2005


Your neighbor's dear little Fluffy pissing in your flower beds? No problem, just remove her collar and viola! you can claim ignorance and shoot her.

You could have done this without a new law. Blast the critter, bury it under a rock. Legalizing the shooting of stray and feral cats has zippy to do with how feuding neighbors might handle a cat-astrophy.
posted by Witty at 10:32 AM on April 12, 2005


Ya-hey dere did you get one a dem 10-point tabby's dere, hey?

Seriously, where's Steve Martin when you need him?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:32 AM on April 12, 2005


Welcome to Wisconsin! Our State Symbol of Peace is the Mourning Dove. (And you can shoot that too!)
posted by ToasT at 10:37 AM on April 12, 2005


Love dove hunting... great fun.
posted by Witty at 10:40 AM on April 12, 2005


I am outraged that I am the only person outraged by this. This, like the clubbing of baby seals, is a question of what is necessary vs. what is unnecessary. Is it necessary to shoot cats or club baby seals? No. Will people find reasons to claim that is is necessary? Yes! That is because humans, especially Americans, are lazy and violent and will do anything to perpetuate behaving as such. Are these "wild cats" attacking small children? They are harming us in no other way than by depriving us of the company of singbirds. There has to be a better solution--namely, spay/neuter and release. In other words, be goddamn responsible.
posted by crapulent at 10:47 AM on April 12, 2005


I wouldn't hunt cats, wild or not, me. But all I have to say to those who would is: Don't miss... or at least save the last bullet for yourself. It's a one in a million chance, but if you got some pissed off feral ass murder junky cat on your face, gouging away with the impacted catshit and rancid songbird blood claws, suicide is gonna seem like a short hop into the strong arms of a forgiving god right about then... Maybe one of them hollow teeth with the cyanide?

on preview:
Crapulent, I am outraged, but one of my cats just last night bit me right on the web of skin between my thumb and forefinger and that shit hurts bad. So today I say let 'er rip boys, just be careful out there.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:54 AM on April 12, 2005


crapulent: Ever shot cats? It's pretty fun.
posted by xmutex at 10:55 AM on April 12, 2005


Don't miss... or at least save the last bullet for yourself.

Well, I would use a shotgun with 000-buck or maybe some #4's. Point, don't aim... and it's over.

crapulent - If there's anything outrageous about any of this, it's your comment(s).
posted by Witty at 11:00 AM on April 12, 2005


There has to be a better solution--namely, spay/neuter and release. In other words, be goddamn responsible.

Revenue from hunting licenses versus high cost of catch-and-snip program. Hmm. If I lived in Wisconsin, I know which I'd support.

I am outraged that I am the only person outraged by this.

Did I just stumble into an Onion article?
posted by DaShiv at 11:04 AM on April 12, 2005


While cats do have a major impact on the mortality of birds, windows are the number one killer.

I say we start shooting glass windows.
posted by Orb at 11:04 AM on April 12, 2005


DaShiv--killing all the school children would save a hell of a lot on education. But is that reasonable and humane?
posted by crapulent at 11:08 AM on April 12, 2005


They make banjos in Wisconsin?
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:09 AM on April 12, 2005


Because, of course, to keep the gun-toting sissies happy you have to give targets to them, expecially targets that don't shoot back but have more or less the same mental skills.
posted by elpapacito at 11:12 AM on April 12, 2005


Witty
I feel ya, I do. I've just seen some feral outdoor motherfuckers that look like they'd enjoy getting reduced to a fine red mist and a bad smell just to know that their homeboy lurking in the bushes was gonna make sure your eyes went to hell with them.

I think I'm correct in my theory that cats believe in vengeance, in the last futile act of defiance, believe in it the way some people believe in the risen Christ.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:12 AM on April 12, 2005


They are harming us in no other way than by depriving us of the company of singbirds.

What about all the bugs those birdies eat?

spay/neuter and release.

I wonder (seriously) if there is some way for folks like crapulent to make donations for this.


I say we start shooting glass windows.
Aheh heh. Heh.

posted by Specklet at 11:19 AM on April 12, 2005


every last one infected with CWD because
CWD?

Feral cats are a real problem. But I don't like the looks of legislation that further legitimizes those who like to torture animals. Feral cats also tend to hang around residential areas, not the best place for a shoot-em-up. (and if we take fenriq's suggestion the carnage will be appalling...)
posted by bitmage at 11:24 AM on April 12, 2005


I just want to know what Jean Teasdale of the Onion has to say about this.
posted by selfmedicating at 11:25 AM on April 12, 2005


Dear fenriq,
posted by dfowler at 11:26 AM on April 12, 2005


DaShiv--killing all the school children would save a hell of a lot on education. But is that reasonable and humane?

Ahh, I forget, animals are exactly equivalent to furry little humans. Do they have little souls that Jesus came down to save, too? How many cats have you registered to vote in the next election?

We've long used hunting to control the population of all sorts of non-endangered species out there. Many of those animals are quite cute, too. And tasty.

What's the difference between a pet rat and a pet cat? What's the difference between a feral rat and a feral cat?

Humane? Feral cats are predators -- how can you be so inhumane as to unlease cats upon all those cute little songbirds? I bet a few of those species are far more endangered than cats, too. And snipped cats still need to eat! Don't birds deserve to live?

You avian-hater! I'm outraged!

(I find pragmatic objections to be far more compelling than blanket "killing is inhumane" objections.)
posted by DaShiv at 11:26 AM on April 12, 2005


Ten points to the first person to make a feral cat fur coat.
posted by leapfrog at 11:26 AM on April 12, 2005


Orb, thank goodness we have high school kids with BB guns to take care of those pesky and dangerous glass windows.

I think its kind of funny that they say songbirds rather than just birds, as if the ability to make music makes them more valuable than a mute bird.

And crapulent, I'm outraged by it. But killing school children just wouldn't work, you see, their parents can file massive lawsuits. You'll never see a cat filing a wrongful death lawsuit. And with Johnny Cochran recently put in the ground, I'm not expecting one anytime soon. "If the cat don't shit, you must asquit!"
posted by fenriq at 11:29 AM on April 12, 2005


I just want to know what Jean Teasdale of the Onion has to say about this.

"I am outraged that I am the only person outraged by this."
posted by DaShiv at 11:30 AM on April 12, 2005


dfowler, I'm sending that to my buddy with the sniper cat so he can see the violence goes both ways! Great picture!
posted by fenriq at 11:30 AM on April 12, 2005


DaShiv--killing all the school children would save a hell of a lot on education. But is that reasonable and humane?

This has got to be an example one of those fancy debate terms everyone throws around here all the time... help me out here. I think crapulent is playin' us.

I've just seen some feral outdoor motherfuckers that look like they'd enjoy getting reduced to a fine red mist and a bad smell just to know that their homeboy lurking in the bushes was gonna make sure your eyes went to hell with them.

Then I guess it would just make the "sport" all that more exciting. You could wear some paintball gear?
posted by Witty at 11:38 AM on April 12, 2005


The fact that feral cats kill birds cannot be considered inhumane in that it is only natural for them to do so. It is, however, inhumane for humans to kill cats because we do not need to do so in order to survive. I seriously doubt that anything other than a very small majority of these hunters (hillbillies) are going to actually eat the cats that they kill.
posted by crapulent at 11:44 AM on April 12, 2005


Oops. Small minority.
posted by crapulent at 11:48 AM on April 12, 2005


...CWD.
CWD?
CWD!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:51 AM on April 12, 2005


It is, however, inhumane for humans to kill cats because we do not need to do so in order to survive.

Survival isn't the issue here, no. We do, however, need to take judicious action to keep the ecological balance in order to keep other species from becoming dangerously depleted or overpopulated.
posted by orange swan at 11:54 AM on April 12, 2005


Hillbillies, crapulent? We're talking about Wisconsin here. Only 1300 feet separate its highest and lowest points.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:55 AM on April 12, 2005


Ten points to the first person to make a feral cat fur coat.
posted by leapfrog


As my mom used to say "There's more than one way to skin a cat, but not if you want to save the pelt."
posted by Floydd at 11:55 AM on April 12, 2005


crapulent: Ever shot cats? It's pretty fun.
posted by xmutex


Ha ha ha ha! Oh man, ROTFLMAO! I hear it's great fun to shoot women too! /sarcasm

Such a typical way to respond to a "problem." You don't like it? Kill it! It's the American way. Maybe we're the fucking problem.

Ahh, I forget, animals are exactly equivalent to furry little humans. Do they have little souls that Jesus came down to save, too? How many cats have you registered to vote in the next election?

/pukes
posted by tr33hggr at 11:56 AM on April 12, 2005


Gummo?
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:57 AM on April 12, 2005


There are hillbillies in every state. Regardless of the elevation.
posted by crapulent at 11:58 AM on April 12, 2005


Hillbillies, crapulent? We're talking about Wisconsin here.

We prefer to call ourselves "Hillwilliams."
posted by Floydd at 12:00 PM on April 12, 2005


CWD!

You think the feral cats are bringing down _elk_?! If that's the case, maybe they'd better send in the National Guard. :-)
posted by bitmage at 12:03 PM on April 12, 2005


"There are hillbillies in every state. Regardless of the elevation."

there are hillbillies on metafilter/\___/\
posted by svidrigailov23 at 12:06 PM on April 12, 2005


Wisconsin hillbillies? I hate Wisconsin hillbillies.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:12 PM on April 12, 2005


Oh, sorry, I guess that link's a little NSFW.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:13 PM on April 12, 2005


The fact that feral cats kill birds cannot be considered inhumane in that it is only natural for them to do so.

Yeah. But feral cats aren't a natural part of the ecosystem. They're domesticated (African/Asiatic) animals run amok.

From the link: Free-ranging cats are abundant and widespread predators. They often exist at much higher densities than native predators. They prey on large numbers of wild animals, some of which are rare or endangered. They compete with native predators, and they harbor a variety of diseases.

It's not all about birds.
posted by Specklet at 12:16 PM on April 12, 2005


You think the feral cats are bringing down _elk_?!

No, of course not. The cats are the original carrier of CWD. The elks contract it when they graze in fields where the cats have been shedding.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:16 PM on April 12, 2005


Even if cat hunting was explicitly outlawed, it wouldn't stop. It's always open season on woodchucks, feral cats and stray dogs for any kid with a rifle or shotgun.

No one investigates every gunshot that occurs in a rural area. I doubt that more than 1 in 1000 such gunshots are ever investigated.
posted by mischief at 12:42 PM on April 12, 2005


Even if cat hunting was explicitly outlawed, it wouldn't stop.

That doesn't mean is should be legal, or encouraged. Rape is explicitly outlawed, but continues, eh?
posted by tr33hggr at 12:45 PM on April 12, 2005


Such a typical way to respond to a "problem." You don't like it? Kill it! It's the American way. Maybe we're the fucking problem.

Where do you come up with shit like this? Yea, "people" are the problem, ultimately, I suppose.... since the cats didn't show up here on their own. But really, can you let go of this "American Way" bullshit? People kill animals/pests all over the world. Stop trying to pretend that you're looking at the bigger picture. This is the bigger picture and one way to help solve it is to kill the fucking cats. Jesus.

Rape is explicitly outlawed, but continues, eh?

Lord. You people are impossible.
posted by Witty at 12:46 PM on April 12, 2005


You guys that shoot cats are pussies. In my day, we'd make snares from picture wire to catch 'em, then we'd get right in there with a big stick, you know, real close, and club the bastards to death! Mmmmmm, so many cats, so few recipes...
posted by LowDog at 12:48 PM on April 12, 2005


You're right witty, it's not unique to America. I can agree with you there.

The rest of it, the bigger picture BS you speak of - bucketfull o' cocks.
posted by tr33hggr at 12:49 PM on April 12, 2005


The fact that feral cats kill birds cannot be considered inhumane in that it is only natural for them to do so. It is, however, inhumane for humans to kill cats because we do not need to do so in order to survive. I seriously doubt that anything other than a very small majority of these hunters (hillbillies) are going to actually eat the cats that they kill.

We kill termites to protect our buildings, we kill rodents to protect our warehouses, goods, and homes, and we kill deer to protect our cars and highways. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. We kill lots of animals for neither survival nor food

Why hasn't PETA shut down exterminators and pest control centers already? How dare they privilege photogenic seals and kittens! Someone get the Ugly Animals' Coalition on the damn phone already. Because otherwise, I see no reason why feral cats should be afforded any more protection than other non-endangered pests. Including being excluded from cat-hunting jokes on MetaFilter.

And ditto for animals killing other animals for neither survival nor food. Cats torture their prey before killing them, lots of animals kill to protect their territory, dolphins kill porpoises for sport, and nature is thoroughly inhumane when it comes to killing for non-food reasons.

...and yet you're quick to bandy about death upon children and women as a lame rhetorical trope in defense of being "humane." That's humane and enlightened talk for you! Because population control of pests is exactly equivalent to murdering family members or inflicting slow, agonizing death by Chinese water torture upon each and every animal!

Christ, can't you save your outrage for those "cat lady with 500 cats buried under two feet of shit in apartment" or "teenagers adopt and mutilate black cat on Halloween" stories where animals are obviously being abused for no reason? The rest of us left our "more righteously outraged than thou" schtick behind in college. Many communities consider feral cats as pests. If they choose to use hunting as a population control measure, that's their perogative. Some would even argue it's far more humane than disease, starvation, or predation, but to me the difference is moot.
posted by DaShiv at 12:51 PM on April 12, 2005


Metafilter: Christ, can't you save your outrage?!
posted by bitmage at 1:00 PM on April 12, 2005


Excellent, DaShiv.
posted by orange swan at 1:00 PM on April 12, 2005


How do you know I'm not outraged by those things DaShiv? Oh wait, you know me? My mistake.

So make no apologies when asked why you care about animals. Remember that many people tend to be egocentric and narrow-minded. They fail to see relationships. They fail to think in the long term. People who work to protect our environment and all life see the long view. Callousness and indifference to the smallest and what may appear as the most insignificant life will in the end leads to a callousness and indifference to human life. Let's make sure that doesn't continue to happen. Let's work to stop it where it begins.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:02 PM on April 12, 2005


Lord. You people are impossible.

Hey, Witty, you know, I really lack sympathy for someone who gleefully contemplates splattering small animals with buckshot.

There's a difference between hunting for fun, and killing for fun. Mixing cats and buckshot is clearly the latter, and whatever spin on political correctness you want to use to dress it up, it's pretty effing disturbing, and I do NOT want to ever have to depend for my life on anyone who does it.

If they need to control the feral cat population, then do it, dammit. But it would be sick and disgusting if it ended up being an excuse for death perverts to get their jollies blowing them away.
posted by lodurr at 1:09 PM on April 12, 2005


...hillbillies, crapulent?

Name calling. Now THAT'S humane.

This is pretty humane, too.

The vote is only an advisory recommendation that would "affect any cat not under an owner's (lazy Americans) direct control or without a collar". Speaking of long term relationships and understanding nature: some Stanley Temple stuff.

It doesn't create a hunting season.
posted by badger_flammable at 1:11 PM on April 12, 2005


DaShiv, you sure have a lot of compassion for someone who photographs gay weddings.
posted by crapulent at 1:13 PM on April 12, 2005


"Rape is explicitly outlawed"

So is driving 70 in a 55. What's your point? ;-P
posted by mischief at 1:18 PM on April 12, 2005


So is driving 70 in a 55. What's your point? ;-P

That although people will still do activity X regardless of whether or not it's legal is a poor argument for saying activity X should be condoned,
posted by tr33hggr at 1:23 PM on April 12, 2005


Bring in the Cane Toads...

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly....
posted by Debaser626 at 1:24 PM on April 12, 2005


Whooo, this thread got fun fast. So shooting women in cat costumes at a furry convention in Wisconsin is cool right? Just not real cats. Can we shoot puppies?
posted by Stan Chin at 1:26 PM on April 12, 2005


lodurr - Gleefully? You added that part, not me. And please, there is no hunting of feral cats... it's shooting them, whether that makes you uncomfortable or not. Hunting is far more complex than would be necessary in the extermination of a pest like feral cats.

What silly little gun would you choose to shoot a cat with... knowing that buckshot (which is simply the name of the size of the pellet inside the shell) offends you so? If it were me, and I wanted to "do the job right", that's what I would pick. Less chance of missing, better chance of instant death. If you would rather fill the cat full of .22 LRs, go for it. But I've seen squirrels eat a few of those before expiring.

So paint your picture however you like.

That although people will still do activity X regardless of whether or not it's legal is a poor argument for saying activity X should be condoned,

Correct. It's neat to see that you've argued against the "point" you made earlier.
posted by Witty at 1:31 PM on April 12, 2005


Hmm. I think some of you are interpreting Witty's sense of humor as something other than grating tongue-in-cheek.

I love cats. I'm a vegetarian because of the horrific way animals are raised for food. However. Feral cats are an invasive exotic species. It is not natural to have them in this ecosystem. They are killing birds and other animals in abundance. They are carrying diseases. And (most importantly, for those of you who are outraged) they don't really have much in the way of quality of life . They're full of worms and ticks and fleas and skulk around urban areas looking for a safe place to raise their little feral babies.

They need to be controlled. Sure, I'd opt for capturing them, giving them their shots, rendering them infertile, and releasing them. But that is an expensive option, and it's just not going to happen.

As I said before, it's sad but fair. If we can't go around neutering all the prairie dogs and termites, why should feral cats get special, more "humane" treatment?
posted by Specklet at 1:34 PM on April 12, 2005


Very astute, badger_flammable. Are you upset because you wanted to put the tube back in?
posted by crapulent at 1:35 PM on April 12, 2005


Was that crapulent, or is it a gift?
posted by Floydd at 1:38 PM on April 12, 2005


Correct. It's neat to see that you've argued against the "point" you made earlier.

How so? I never claimed that making it legal would bring on hordes of cat killers. And I'm not stupid enough to think that declaring it illegal will stop people from killing cats. Are people going to do it? Yep. So does that mean it should be legal? Not always.

That's about as far as my "point" went Witty, but if you feel like fucking enlightening me to my obvious ignorance, please fucking do so.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:38 PM on April 12, 2005


Great -- condescendingly claiming the moral high ground (because anyone who disagrees with you is obviously egocentric, narrowminded, etc) while completely sidestepping any substantive points raised in favor of population control via hunting on this thread: the diseases spread to other animals by feral cats by their continued presence, their threat they pose as a non-indigenous species to native species by their continued presence, why they should be spayed/neutered at considerable cost (who's willing to pay for this?) when other pests are summarily exterminated without "compassion" or protest, etc. Or to answer for trivializing violence against women by comparing unsanctioned rape to unsanctioned pest control tactics and unsanctioned traffic violations (where are the feminists?). I can only conclude from this that you clearly value judging and bludgeoning others with your particular world view rather than any honest or meaningful attempt at dialogue.

DaShiv, you sure have a lot of compassion for someone who photographs gay weddings.

Lame. What do gay marriage and photojournalism have anything to do with pest control?
posted by DaShiv at 1:39 PM on April 12, 2005


No. I'm not upset. I'm consistent. I know I'm inhumane.
posted by badger_flammable at 1:40 PM on April 12, 2005


So you'd all be in favor of this if it were, say, feral humans whose population went way out of control, who were liable to spread disease, disrupt habitats, crowd out other species, right?

Oh . . . wait .
posted by tr33hggr at 1:42 PM on April 12, 2005


Side note - DaShiv, I don't think I've claimed any moral high ground, at least not in this thread. But if that's what it feels like from your end, my apologies.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:43 PM on April 12, 2005


So you'd all be in favor of this if it were, say, feral humans whose population went way out of control, who were liable to spread disease, disrupt habitats, crowd out other species, right?

Oh . . . wait .
posted by tr33hggr at 3:42 PM CST on April 12


These cats! They're PEOPLE!!!
posted by Floydd at 1:45 PM on April 12, 2005


comparing unsanctioned rape to unsanctioned pest control tactics and unsanctioned traffic violations.

I did not make that comparison, in terms of saying the things are equal in and of themselves. Of course they are not.

I was instead comparing the legality of the two situations, and responding to the comment Even if cat hunting was explicitly outlawed, it wouldn't stop, i.e. - yes, you are absolutely right, it would continue, but that doesn't make it right. Stupid, empty argument.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:49 PM on April 12, 2005


But thanks for linking to my profile - I need the hits!
posted by tr33hggr at 1:50 PM on April 12, 2005


Since you object to shooting cats and since poisoning is good enough for cockroaches, we'll just poison the cats instead. IOW, back to the antifreeze. ;-P
posted by mischief at 1:51 PM on April 12, 2005


That's about as far as my "point" went Witty, but if you feel like fucking enlightening me to my obvious ignorance, please fucking do so.

Ok... I FUCKING will... hehe.

You said... "That although people will still do activity X regardless of whether or not it's legal is a poor argument for saying activity X should be condoned."

But you've also said, "So you'd all be in favor of this if it were, say, feral humans whose population went way out of control, who were liable to spread disease, disrupt habitats, crowd out other species, right?"

And you've said, "That doesn't mean is should be legal, or encouraged. Rape is explicitly outlawed, but continues, eh?"

I just think it's kinda funny how you can tell someone else that this is poor method for argument, while pulling it off twice in the same thread yourself.
posted by Witty at 1:51 PM on April 12, 2005


Cat People: Marked with the curse of those who slink and court and kill by night!
And this Schiavo-ism:
The alternative to humane euthanasia for almost every stray is a violent end or slow, painful death. Many "throwaways" die mercilessly outdoors from starvation, disease, abuse --- or as food to a predator.
posted by badger_flammable at 1:55 PM on April 12, 2005


Boy that is funny. Got me there. I did say that it should be illegal, and then went and said that legality isn't a valid argument. Now if only I could track down the comment where I said it should be illegal . . .

I never said it was pointless to compare situations Witty. I did say, meant to say, will say and am saying that the context around my original response in question in this thread to this comment: "Even if cat hunting was explicitly outlawed, it wouldn't stop. It's always open season on woodchucks, feral cats and stray dogs for any kid with a rifle or shotgun. No one investigates every gunshot that occurs in a rural area. I doubt that more than 1 in 1000 such gunshots are ever investigated." stands. That response was "That doesn't mean is should be legal, or encouraged. "
posted by tr33hggr at 1:58 PM on April 12, 2005


I am trying to have an honest and meaningful dialogue with you. But when the first and only proposed solution is to dig out the guns and start shooting, well, I would hardly call that a "dialogue." Where I live, there are numerous programs in which veterinarians will spay/neuter feral cats for free (if someone is able to capture them). It seems likely that the local Wisconsin vets would be willing to negotiate some kind of low-cost arrangement for dealing with the feral cat population in a more appropriate manner. It is not so much that I am against hunting. "Hunting," to me, means killing for food. And as I said before, nobody is actually going to eat these cats. This is just sport--an extremely dangerous and irresponsible sport. How can you shoot cats in a residential area??? For one thing, cats are very fast. This is just going to end poorly for everyone. It is one thing to go off in a rural area and hunt deer for food, but an entirely different arena when we allow people to shoot to kill domestic animals in their backyards, frontyards, parking lots, etc.
posted by crapulent at 1:58 PM on April 12, 2005


tr33hggr yabbers " So you'd all be in favor of this if it were, say, feral humans whose population went way out of control, who were liable to spread disease, disrupt habitats, crowd out other species, right?"

No. Cats aren't people. Dogs aren't people, cows aren't people, chickens aren't people, and neither are baby seals, even the ones with the really big, sad eyes. It is such a ridiculous and weak argument to constantly say "Well, would you do this to people?" People and animals are not the same. There are plenty of things I would do to an animal (eating it comes to mind) that I would not do to a person. I think feral cats should be shot. I don't think any person, even stubborn, self righteous, holier-than-thou (you are claiming a moral high ground) hippies like tr33hggr should be shot. Ever. Because they're not cats.
posted by PhatLobley at 2:03 PM on April 12, 2005


*idly imagines an underground army of suburbian Wisconsin mercenaries, polishing their machine guns while awaiting the day when justice will prevail and allow them to declare an apopolectic war on the felines at the K-mart shopping center. Civilian casualties be damned. Your friendly neighbor, your kids, and the school crossing guard have are ready to draw their arms the very second they're allowed to shoot cats. Because it's that widespread of an urge.*
posted by Stan Chin at 2:06 PM on April 12, 2005


It is one thing to go off in a rural area and hunt deer for food, but an entirely different arena when we allow people to shoot to kill domestic animals in their backyards, frontyards, parking lots, etc.
posted by crapulent


Wow. I hadn't realized that people were advocating shooting domestic animals in backyards, front yards and parking lots! I thought this was just an advisory referendum to declare feral cats an unprotected species.
My mistake.
posted by Floydd at 2:06 PM on April 12, 2005


Floydd, please stop trying to bring rationality to this conversation?
posted by Witty at 2:09 PM on April 12, 2005


For one thing, cats are very fast. crapulent

Luckily, most cats are fast only for very short distances.
posted by badger_flammable at 2:13 PM on April 12, 2005


But when the first and only proposed solution is to dig out the guns and start shooting, well, I would hardly call that a "dialogue." Where I live, there are numerous programs in which veterinarians will spay/neuter feral cats for free (if someone is able to capture them). It seems likely that the local Wisconsin vets would be willing to negotiate some kind of low-cost arrangement for dealing with the feral cat population in a more appropriate manner.

No one in Wisconsin is saying shooting the cats is the only solution.
posted by Specklet at 2:15 PM on April 12, 2005


Floydd, please stop trying to bring rationality to this conversation?
posted by Witty


Fine, I'll just go home and eat some pu.. uhm, cat.
posted by Floydd at 2:16 PM on April 12, 2005


Floyyd, perhaps you are an idiot and you should refer to the title of the article being discussed.
posted by crapulent at 2:17 PM on April 12, 2005


People and animals are not the same

Well, yes and no. Much of the psychological panic here stems from the fact that while we have a scientific understanding of what is human, there is an underlying cultural phenomenon that extends the community of the human to objects and creatures that are "socialized."

Anthropologists have documented instances where plants are attributed human characteristics and to which human social mores are applied. Simply put, societies have a tendancy to project our social order on whatever is close at hand and associated with that social order. This is why the Pets or Meat lady in Roger and Me upset so many viewers.

What worries me more than the fate of the little furry critters (I have a cat of my own) is the fact that stories like this seem to get a lot of people bent out of shape, while ones involving rotten things happening to humans seem to attract less attention. (present company excepted - I've seen all the newsfilter posts 'round here)

An ex-girlfriend of mine who teaches high school once told me that while she got no parental complaints for showing her students films involving violence (a documentary on the occupied territories, wherein actual people die on film!) parents only objected to a film with seals being clubbed. WTF?
posted by pieisexactlythree at 2:18 PM on April 12, 2005


"cats and peoples is different'
wow!
you people are so disingenuous and boring __________////
!!!!c'mon!!!
entertain me !
posted by svidrigailov23 at 2:19 PM on April 12, 2005


"This is just going to end poorly for everyone. It is one thing to go off in a rural area and hunt deer for food, but an entirely different arena when we allow people to shoot to kill domestic animals in their backyards, frontyards, parking lots, etc."

Bullshit. In most cities and residential areas it is illegal to discharge a firearm unless you are defending yourself or are at a designated shooting range. This law doesn’t change that.
posted by Tenuki at 2:21 PM on April 12, 2005


Now that you mention it svidrigailov23, how do I know that some of you out there aren't actually cats yourselves? The anonymity of t3h interweb conceals much!
posted by pieisexactlythree at 2:24 PM on April 12, 2005


Bullshit

Well, to introduce some facts...

It is unlawful to discharge any firearm within 40 rods (640 feet) of any public park, square or enclosure owned or controlled by any municipality . . . and resorted to for recreation or pleasure, when such park, square or enclosure is wholly situated without the limits of such municipality.

< ...>

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm while on the lands of another within 100 yards of any building devoted to human occupancy without the express permission of the owner or occupant. Building does not include any tent, bus, truck, vehicle or similar portable unit.

It is unlawful to shoot from or across a highway or within 50 feet of the center of a roadway.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm in a school zone. Exempt is private property not part of school grounds, a school approved shooting program, law enforcement officers, and school security guards.

http://home.wi.rr.com/ccw4wi/wi_laws.html
posted by bitmage at 2:26 PM on April 12, 2005


First we need to get rid of the damn Asian Ladybeetles. :)

(I am terrified by orange ladybugs, especially after having opened my eyes one morning to see the window behind me nearly opaque with the things.)
posted by sian at 2:27 PM on April 12, 2005


If I were Floyd, I'd say:

"crapulent, perhaps you are an idiot and you should refer to the content of the article being discussed."

Then I'd quote the part in the article where they identify the contention:

Residents in 72 counties were asked whether free-roaming cats — including any domestic cat that isn't under the owner's direct control or any cat without a collar — should be listed as an unprotected species.

But I'm not Floyd. So I won't.
posted by Specklet at 2:28 PM on April 12, 2005


I love my cats but I do know the difference between the purring beret that sleeps on my head and the rangy feral who drags his kill into my garage and then pisses everywhere to mark his territory. Feral cats have short, brutish lives, no question.

But my question is do these environmental engineering initiatives really work? Is it really as simple as kill the ferals, save the birds? Can we selectively kill animals and “keep nature in balance,” whatever that means? (Looking back to that seal hunt thread from a few weeks ago.)

I do find it interesting that some farmers and hunters are objecting to the law. I’m sure my relatives wouldn’t want anyone shooting their barn cats.
posted by Sully6 at 2:31 PM on April 12, 2005


When I first heard about this a month ago I thought, Ah yes--more death and suffering is the solution!

Cats aren't people. Dogs aren't people, cows aren't people, chickens aren't people, and neither are baby seals

They are animals. People are animals, too--hairless primates with big, juicy brains. Some people draw the "us" line at their own at their own race or nationality. Some draw it at their own species, as you do. Clearly, you are not alone, but not everyone sees it that way.

They only thing that sets us apart from other animals, as far as I'm concerned, is that we're the only species with any control over how cruel we allow ourselves to be.
posted by apis mellifera at 2:31 PM on April 12, 2005


So, it appears that

if you're on your own land
away from a highway
not in a school zone
more than 40 rods from a public park

then you are free to blast away at cats.

I have no idea what the population/housing density in Wisconsin is, and I suspect there are other local laws that apply in towns. Out in the sticks, better keep kitty in your yard.
posted by bitmage at 2:31 PM on April 12, 2005


Specklet, since I am crapulent, I will refer you to the sentence below that where it says "If listed as so, the cats could be hunted."
posted by crapulent at 2:38 PM on April 12, 2005


Yeah, but Floyd's point was:

I hadn't realized that people were advocating shooting domestic animals in backyards, front yards and parking lots!
posted by Specklet at 2:59 PM on April 12, 2005


Trophy cat
posted by Witty at 3:25 PM on April 12, 2005


It seems likely that the local Wisconsin vets would be willing to negotiate some kind of low-cost arrangement for dealing with the feral cat population in a more appropriate manner

That will still cost more than $0.

This is just sport--an extremely dangerous and irresponsible sport

It's not sport, it's pest control. No more sport than setting a mousetrap is sport. People wouldn't (necessarily) shoot feral cats for fun, they'd be shooting feral cats to kill the cats. The object isn't the hunt, the object is the cat being dead, same as with a mousetrap.

Presumably you'd be free to use other legal non-firearm methods to try to kill cats "in backyards, front yards and parking lots."

*shrug* I'd rather have fewer cats, more little birds and wee small mammals for a while, and then more owls, hawks, buzzards, bobcats, and whatnot (even coyotes, I guess) eating the aforementioned birds and mammals, than have feral cats wandering around.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:45 PM on April 12, 2005


I apologize. In the original link it didn't specify where the hunting would be allowed. In the Los Angeles Times article it specifies, "Shooting a stray cat in the city, for instance, would be illegal — but doing so in rural areas could be acceptable." In any case, that's probably just rhetoric.
posted by crapulent at 3:49 PM on April 12, 2005


dashiv dolphins kill porpoises for sport

<gasp!>

/hides under the table fondling shotgun awaiting the murderous dolphins
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:54 PM on April 12, 2005


Gleefully? You added that part, not me

LOL!

You'd think people around here didn't know you, Witty....
posted by lodurr at 4:05 PM on April 12, 2005


I agree with Mathowie-- I'm marginally in favor of doing something about the wild cat population, if it's done right and carefully.

But doing something about cats in Wisconsin involves hunting. Hunting in Wisconsin involves beer or cheap brandy. Hunting and drinking involve hunting accidents. We excell at hunting accidents in Wisconsin. If people weren't killed, it might be our official sport.

Won't someone think of the Wisconsinese?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:12 PM on April 12, 2005


They only thing that sets us apart from other animals, as far as I'm concerned, is that we're the only species with any control over how cruel we allow ourselves to be.

Hear hear.

This thread does have many intelligent points for both sides, and the debate won't find logical, reasoned closure and probably not in Wisconsin. I am a regular birder and bemoan the decrease in certain species, but we also have to remember that our whole landscape is becoming artificialized and there is more toxicity now in the water and soil then ever before. Yes, ferals of many species are destroying ecosystems. Yes, this should be controlled. But the problem is bigger than cats and songbirds in Wisconsin. Human activity has introduced foreign creatures into many ecosystems, resulting in devastation. How should we respond? Humanely control the population, but also change human behavior. How to control the population? Shooting seems like a last straw than a first attempt. Biologists have developed a dart that injects a hormone to sterilize deer. Perhaps the same could be done for the feral cats? Perhaps the answer needs to be a complex response to a complex problem...

Then again, humans sure seem to resemble a feral species ourselves.
posted by moonbird at 4:14 PM on April 12, 2005



These cats! They're PEOPLE!!!
posted by Floydd at 1:45 PM PST on April 12


So:

Cats = people
Soylent Green = people
therefore...
Cats = Soylent Green(!)

Hot damn! I think you've got yourself a business venture there, Floydd.
posted by Vervain at 4:39 PM on April 12, 2005


Couldn't they lure all these cats into a large, cylindrical cage and have them generate electricity for dog clippers or something?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:43 PM on April 12, 2005


You'd think people around here didn't know you, Witty....

Ok, maybe you're right.
posted by Witty at 5:23 PM on April 12, 2005


I hate it when city people get all bent out of shape about farm things.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:30 PM on April 12, 2005


we're the only species with any control over how cruel we allow ourselves to be

We're the only species with any concept of cruelty. Therefore, what constitutes cruelty is whatever we decide constitutes cruelty. Thus, we can simply decide (as many people have) that hunting animals for the purpose of pest control is not cruel. Or we can decide that it is less cruel than allowing the animals to breed unchecked (possibly requiring more drastic and cruel measures later that will result in many times the number of fatalities), or even that the human suffering avoided by the elimination of the pests outweighs any possible cruelty that could be done to them by hunting.

It's okay not to do something because you have a gut-level revulsion to it. I probably couldn't go out and kill cats, because I have a cat that I like a lot. But don't mistake your personal revulsion for a moral imperative. It's so easy to twist ethical discourse when you allow yourself to become outraged by the fact that other people aren't revolted by the same things that revolt them. They invent reasonable-sounding concepts like "animal rights" to rationalize their emotional responses, thereby confusing discourse and poisoning people's ability to think for themselves. Don't fall for it. You can slather all the rationalization on top of your feelings that you want, but it's still an emotional reaction at its base, and emotional reactions are no way to make important decisions such as who or what lives or dies.
posted by kindall at 8:53 PM on April 12, 2005


I'm with Sian, the ladybeetles scare the fuck out of me.
posted by drezdn at 9:38 PM on April 12, 2005


(Geesh... pronoun trouble. Pretend I actually typed what I meant to say.)
posted by kindall at 11:26 PM on April 12, 2005


Cats and Wisconsin is a bad mix. I write as a former resident who lost cats, possibly 3 of them, to 'Wubba Gubba" (with the green teeth). As someone said, legal or not, cats are shot.

I don't really have a problem with feral cats being shot, provided they are in fact feral. But these cat haters there want to shoot cats for crapping in their flower beds, and they don't give a damn that its not feral. They want cats "controlled". The very idea of controlling a cat is oxymoronic.
posted by Goofyy at 6:10 AM on April 13, 2005


People: 6,830
Cats: 5,201
The vote is in.
posted by badger_flammable at 6:35 AM on April 13, 2005


apis mellifera : "Cats aren't people...They are animals. People are animals, too--hairless primates with big, juicy brains. Some people draw the 'us' line at their own at their own race or nationality. Some draw it at their own species, as you do."

In the same vein, unfortunately, plants aren't people. They are living things. People are living things, too--animals with big juicy brains. Some people draw the line at their own kingdom, as vegetarians do.

Basically, unless you're religious (organized or unorganized), you probably realize that everything is just a collection of atoms, and that some of those are arranged as "rocks", while others are organized as "amino acids", "proteins", "cells", and "living organisms". The line is arbitrary. Our societal mores and morals generally draw a line between humans and non-humans, while in older days the line was drawn between races, and with vegetarians is drawn between kingdoms. It's all equally arbitrary and decided by society and upbringing, so arguments along the lines of "humans are animals just like cats" are about as irrelevant as "humans are humans, unlike cats".
posted by Bugbread at 7:20 AM on April 13, 2005


Goofyy how is controlling a cat oxymoronic? I've got two and they've never once took a dump in the neighbour's vegetable garden.

mischief: No one investigates every gunshot that occurs in a rural area. I doubt that more than 1 in 1000 such gunshots are ever investigated.

I'd bet it's a lot less than that. Unless someone turns up shot the police are likely to do squat about gunshots in a rural area 'casue for the most part it's not illegal. I've routinely cranked thru a few hundred rounds of 22LR in an afternoon of target shooting with some friends and never once seen a cop (in Canada though).

crapulent: for one thing, cats are very fast.
Cats got nothing on gophers. Or rabbits.
posted by Mitheral at 8:01 AM on April 13, 2005


badger_flammable's link says the legislature will need to enact a law to allow this to happen so I'm thinking the cats of Wisconsin are going to be safe from reclassification for a long time.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 AM on April 13, 2005


I love cats, always have and always will, but a life as a feral cat is not pleasant. A feral cat lives a short, harsh, brutal and unhealthy life. However, we can only blame ourselves for this sad situation. We don't spay or neuter our cats and we let them wander at will.

Humans are, well, human and therefore make mistakes. There will be cats that are shot and not killed. There will be cats shot that aren't feral cats. There will be animals shot that are mistaken for cats.

I don't have an alternative to offer, but is making cats open season really the way to fix something humans fucked up?

I've learned something reading a few of the comments up thread - I didn't realize we have psychopaths amongst us. I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised.
posted by deborah at 8:32 AM on April 13, 2005


deborah : " I don't have an alternative to offer, but is making cats open season really the way to fix something humans fucked up?"

I think you've encapsulated the situation perfectly: people don't have alternatives to offer. It may not be the way to fix something humans fucked up, but neither is doing nothing because of lack of alternatives. And doing nothing has been proven not to work, while making cats open season is an unknown. Might work and might not. The folks supporting it figure that something which may or may not work is better than something that is known not to work.
posted by Bugbread at 8:43 AM on April 13, 2005


And look at all the people who would rather just pat each on the back and say, "everything is going to be alright." ...DEB.

It's not "open-season" on feral cats. It just making it NOT illegal to kill one (since people are already doing it).
posted by Witty at 8:44 AM on April 13, 2005


I don't have an alternative to offer, but is making cats open season really the way to fix something humans fucked up?
In the absence of a viable alternative to dealing with feral cats, it's a start.


I've learned something reading a few of the comments up thread - I didn't realize we have psychopaths amongst us. I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised.
posted by deborah


If one percent of the general population is psychopathic, there may be 233 psychopaths amongst us.
Watch your back, and put a collar on your cat.
posted by Floydd at 8:47 AM on April 13, 2005


I live in a rural area and have problems with both feral cats and abandoned dogs. The feral cats don't last long or cause much more than fights with tame pet cats, the coyotes in the area control their population quite well. A more serious problem is dogs, both free ranging house pets and the seasonally abandoned ones. Dogs chase and kill (for fun) domesticated farm animals ranging from fowl on up to full grown cattle. If caught in the act dogs get shot. Dogs will form packs and have no natural control. The migrant workers are the reason for most of the seasonally abandoned dog packs. At the end of the AG season when many return to Mexico, they just leave the dogs to fend for themselves. To protect my animals, each fall I generally have to shoot 5 to 10 dogs.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 9:53 AM on April 13, 2005


we can only blame ourselves for this sad situation. We don't spay or neuter our cats and we let them wander at will.

I'm sure the feral population is breeding just fine without the addition of your house-trained Morris-cat to the mix.

The problem is well beyond merely spaying the household cat population.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:07 AM on April 13, 2005


MADISON, Wis.
A proposal to legalize the killing of feral cats is not going to succeed, Gov. Jim Doyle said Wednesday.
"I don't think Wisconsin should become known as a state where we shoot cats," said Doyle, a Democrat who neither hunts nor owns a cat. "What it does is sort of hold us up as a state that everybody is kind of laughing at right now."


So, Mourning Doves are O.K., but feral cats are out....
(And when do people NOT laugh at Wisconsin?)
posted by Floydd at 11:22 AM on April 13, 2005


Aren't they "Morning Doves"? Or is it really "Mourning"?

And what's so special about them that they shouldn't be as hunted as, say, grouse?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:42 AM on April 13, 2005


Yep, Mourning Doves.

And what's so special about them that they shouldn't be as hunted as, say, grouse?
posted by five fresh fish


There's more meat on a grouse.
posted by Floydd at 12:00 PM on April 13, 2005


And what's so special about them that they shouldn't be as hunted as, say, grouse?

They're a migratory game bird... s'all I can tell ya. They can fly upwards of 60 MPH and cut left or right on an edge. They're make it tough, for sure. But good eatin'.

They're called mourning doves because of the sound they make (as would be expected I guess).
posted by Witty at 1:18 PM on April 13, 2005


Ooops... I misread what you meant fff.
posted by Witty at 1:19 PM on April 13, 2005


I don't know where people are getting the idea that this is a first resort. Everyone I know who owns a farm or works on one (literally hundreds of people) has done the trap/spay/vaccinate thing at some point in an effort to reduce the local feral cat population or to save some kittens and find them homes. I don't even like cats and I've hand raised a few litters and paid for their treatment and I've also paid to have quite a few humanely destroyed.

But there are a LOT of cats. If you live anywhere near a suburban area you could be looking at 30-100 feral cats showing up on your property every year. 90% of which will attack your own cat, necessitating vet bills. We caught 34 in 3 days once at my friends place: she lives near a military base and said it happens every time there is a big shift of troops.

Most veterinarians will not spay feral cats for free, at least not in those numbers and there is the issue of treating any illnesses (most strays have feline leukemia or AIDS in my experience), medicating them and trying to place them. If one of them bites or scratches you, you are looking at a doctors visit at best and blood poisoning and some time in the ICU at worst (has happened to 2 people I personally know).

They are not a native species and they don't exist in harmony with their surroundings, the population is kept artificially high by people releasing cats and by other people feeding them.

The real problem is irresponsible owners dumping these animals: that is where the unnecessarily cruel act is. Very few people enjoy disposing of cats but it's a necessity. And it's definitely better than drowning them. And it's not just cats, dogs are a real menace and I've even heard of two or three instances of emus being dumped out in rural areas. Animal control won't come and get emus by the way, in case anyone was wondering. Apparently they're too dangerous.
posted by fshgrl at 4:06 PM on April 13, 2005


I'm late back to this and I imagine that no one is paying attention, but I'll answer anyway.

bugbread - At this point, even with the mistakes that will be made, shooting them may be the best alternative. I'm hoping that it happens only after they've exhausted all other avenues.

Witty - It's obvious I'm not one to just pat someone on the back and say it'll all be alright. I totally agree something should be done. And putting aside the feral cat issue - is making something legal just because "people already doing it" the right thing?

Floydd - Yes, right or wrong it is a start. 233 possible psychopaths among MeFis? I figured there were a few but that figure is startling. Also, my cats are indoor cats. The only time they are outside is when they have their harnesses and leashes on or they're in a cat carrier because they're going somewhere.

five fresh fish - Yes, but the situation started because of people not neutering their pets and/or dumping them to fend for themselves.

fshgrl - The real problem is irresponsible owners dumping these animals: that is where the unnecessarily cruel act is. YES! If people were held responsible for their actions, this planet would be a lovely place. [ /pie in the sky dream ]

Guys, I'm just questioning whether shooting feral cats is the right idea. Maybe a quick bullet to the head is the right answer. I really don't know.

This is obviously an emotional situation for those who love/like/respect/whatever cats. A little respect for that would be appreciated. Comments showing apparent glee at the killing of feral cats (or any animal) really are beyond the pale.
posted by deborah at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2005


Yes, but the situation started because of people not neutering their pets and/or dumping them to fend for themselves.

The situation started a hundred and fifty years ago, with the very first cats that came across with the Mayflower.

That means whoever said "...we can only blame ourselves for this sad situation. We don't spay or neuter our cats and we let them wander at will" is being a little disingenous: even if everyone in North America were to get their pet cats cut, we'd still have an ongoing and massive problem with feral cats.

There are no easy solutions to this problem.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:47 PM on April 15, 2005


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