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How to deal with free-roaming cats

Posted by midwesternerr (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 24, 08 at 15:00

The Problem: According to a study publisher in Biological Conservation, On average a cat depredated between 0.7 and 1.4 birds per week (see the link for reference and further info). In addition, free-roaming cats can spread diseases to humans, including one that specifically effects unborn children.
" problem arises when woman becomes infected during pregnancy. In these cases one half to one third of the infants produced by these pregnancies become infected while still within the womb. Other sources give the figure at 40%. We call this congenital infection. It is particularly severe if it occurs during the first third of the pregnancy (the first trimester). Although transplacental infections occur in these fetuses, few of these women show signs of disease they simply sero-convert and trap the organisms within their muscles. Children born in these circumstances may be sick at birth or disease symptoms may occur weeks to years later. Signs of the disease in these children include mental retardation, eye and nervous system disease, deafness, lung disease, fever, jaundice and rash. Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can also result in miscarriage." from http://www.2ndchance.info/toxoplasmosis.htm

How to deal with the problem?
1) Call your state or local humane society. The animal is being abused if it is left outside without access to food or water.
2) Contact animal control. Most cities have a leash law which appies to both cats and dogs.
3) Trap the animal and take it to a shelter. Hav-A-Hart type live traps work very well. I bait them with some Jack Mackarel from a can poured onto some newspaper and it works like a charm. The traps should be used in the evening or mornings since heat during the day could stress or kill an animal. You may occasionally catch something other than a cat. Just leave the door open and it will soon leave on its own.
4) If the person is renting call the landlord. I've done this several times and the landlord almost always evicts the cat or makes the owner keep it inside. Many times the person wasn't supposed to have the cat in the first place. If it's an apartment be sure to describe the apartment in detail (what's on the porch, in the window, etc) or get the apartment number so the landlord doesn't go to the wrong address (yes, this happened).
5) Print out information regarding life expentancy of indoor vs. outdoor cats and tape it to their door with a note that you will call animal control unless the situation is remedied.

While it is not our fault that cats are allowed to roam, endangering their own lives, the lives of unborn babies, and the lives of wildlife, if we don't do something about it, then who will?

Here is a link that might be useful: U of M: Cats indoors


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

You have a lot of facts are misssing. Lots of people hear this one-sided, misleading information and would dump their cat when the woman becomes pregnat.
1. In fact, some 40% of women are immune to toxoplasmosis, and this immunity can be determined by a blood test.
2. Raw or undercooked meat is the most common way that humans contract toxoplasmosis. If you eat meat, wash off all surfaces and utensils that touched raw meat, and don't prepare meat and raw foods like salads on the same cutting board. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
3. Toxoplasmosis can't be transmitted without direct contact with cat or the cat's feces. If you garden, wear gloves when working in the soil. The toxoplasmosis parasite lives in the dirt, so also wash your hands well after gardening.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Alek, toxoplasmosis was not really the point of my post, I merely mentioned it for awareness. However, in order to make a more balanced topic, I'm posting the information from the Center for Disease control prevention information from http://www.cdc.gov/toxoplasmosis/prevent.html as it pertains to cats and pregnant women:

"To prevent risk of toxoplasmosis from the environment:

Avoid drinking untreated drinking water, particularly when If you are pregnant or immunocompromised:

Avoid changing cat litter if possible. If no one else can perform the task, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.
Keep cats indoors.
Do not adopt or handle stray cats, especially kittens. Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant. "

Basically, just common sense, don't handle stray cats, keep your cat indoors, and wear gloves when cleaning its doo-doo.
Unfortunately, this common sense doesn't seem to be common practice for many of the people who live near me.

Back to the subject of free roaming cats, I called a landlord last week regarding one. The landlord scolded the tennet, but unfortunately he didn't listen for long. I just had to complain again. I think this time his cat is being evicted. Monday should be interesting.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Always a hot topic normally will be removed.

I do wonder how many lives have been disrupted by midwesternerr over hatred of cats and cat owners. I know the topic is free ranging cats but most of the people that post this topic want all cats destroyed. They seem to lack the guts to state this but is fairly obvious as they continue to post.

This said I am out of here.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

maifleur, I don't hate cat lovers, I;ve owned several cats in the past. The issue, at least for me, is determined by whether they are kept indoors or not. There is a leash law where I live, so anyone who allows a cat to free-roam is breaking the law. I am merely asking my neighbors to follow the law, doesn't sound unreasonable to me? I don't really see the thread as controversial at all. Cats indoors is what is best for the cats anyway.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

I love cats, but I think that they should be indoors. If they aren't, I have no problem with them being removed. I have to mind my dog. MIND YOUR CAT.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Yes, it is true midwesternerr is missing a lot of facts. He forgot to list out some of the more serious infectious diseases.

Cats are not wildlife, they eat wildlife.

I'm a cat lover. I keep mine indoors only and I now expect the same of others regardless of whether there are leash laws or not. I've grown so tired over the years of my yard being used as a kitty litter box and so tired of other people's cats killing my birds and chipmunks and anything else they can sink their teeth into.

I admittedly would like all feral cats humanely destroyed. I have never seen anyone standing in line at animal shelters wanting to take ferals home as pets to love and cherish forever. Stray cats and those that were former pets that were dumped by their owners should be taken to animal shelters where they can be placed in forever homes with people who will responsibly maintain them as household pets.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Update on the cat situation:

The cat owner tried to claim the cat wasn't his because he was being fined. Ultimately, I captured the cat and took it to a local animal shelter. He then admitted the cat was his in order to find out where the cat had been taken. I refused to tell him because I knew he would just turn it loose again. Hopefully, the cat is in a better home now.

I think he may be turning a different cat loose now. I spotted it the other night. I should have it trapped within a week (Im still celebrating the holidays, so I won't be able to trap it for a few more days). I'd also like to get some photos of the cat inside his apartment so that he can be fined again and maybe he will finally either stop doing this or get evicted.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

"Hopefully the cat is in a better home now" Huh? More likely, the cat has been euthanized. You probably killed that cat AND it was your neighbor's pet. I suppose you have no interest in getting along with your neighbor.

After reading these types of threads, I am thankful that I don't have neighbors like this. I am a native plant nut, birder, and a wildlife gardener, and yet I have an outdoor cat. She catches mice, moles, voles, chipmunks, baby rabbits, and an occasional bird. It bothers me that she catches birds, but not the rest. She performs the invaluable service of keeping the population of these pests in check (and there are still plenty of them running around).


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Actually it was just the opposite, by refusing to keep the cat indoors despite repeated complaints, he is basically saying he doesn't care what the other neighbors want. What he does on his property is his biz, what he sends into my property becomes my obligation to regulate. I have no desire to trap cats, it's actually a rather large pain in the you know where to trap them, make sure they are in the right temps with food & water, and then haul them down to the shelter. I could just call animal control to come trap the cats, but they automatically euthanize and do not check the traps as often as I do, so yes, I do think I am going out of my way to give the cats one last chance to find a good home.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

gee I am a native plant, and wildlife Gardner with a nest box trail and a fishpond for all types of critters. I can not believe you let your cat out to kill Chipmunks, rabbits and birds. How can you call them "pests". You are no more a Native Gardner than the man in the moon. You call Native animals "pests" and allow your NON Native animal to kill them. In THEIR natural habitat YOU are the pest and so is your cat. Glad you don't live near me,bet you do to cause if your cat is killing things on my property you wont have your cat any more! I value our native "pests" more than my neighbors feelings. BTW The 2 strays that were killing my wildlife this last year were brought into my home, I intended to send them to a cat rescue group however nobody is accepting cats as they are over run. One is on my lap purring as I type, the other is snuggled up on my bed, I already have 2, didn't need 2 more, the sad thing is the idiot who owned one of them has never looked for her, posted a flyer or a lost add in the paper, he will never see her again, they are now a part of my family. 2 years ago I took 12 cats to a rescue group all but 3 were adoptable. The cats are not at fault, the bad cat owners are. My wildlife refuge, (including small critters) will NOT tolerate ignorant people that let their cats roam!


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

You all are entitled to your personal opinions, however, when you present your opinions on a public forum, you might discover that not everyone out there agrees with you, despite your apparent convictions.

Your concepts of who is a "native gardener" and what is a "natural habitat" are subjective, since the truly native and pristine ecosystem on the North American continent is long gone. Felis catus and Homo sapiens are both invasive species here, however since we and they are both highly successful species who have actually enhanced each other's survival for thousands of years, it's not likely that either one is going anywhere anytime soon.

That said, I do agree that the population of feral cats should be controlled. However, it is APPALLING to me that you would kill a neighbor's pet in "defense" of chipmunks and rabbits! (and I am no big fan of neighbors)


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

OH NO I would NEVER kill a cat, as I said 2 have just ended up in my home and are loved. I will simply remove the roaming cat and find it a more suitable home. I dont consider cats left outside as "pets" and people who leave them out deserve to lose them....but only to a warm loving home.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Don't worry, I've yet to meet any wildlife gardeners who would willfully kill a cat. Most of these people are animal lovers who, like me, would gladly go far out of their way to avoid seeing a cat be put down. However, the problem is such that there is not a good home for every cat. There are simply too many of them and not enough people who can properly care for them all by keeping them inside, paying for vet bills, and feeding and playing with the cats and so on.

Outdoors cats live far fewer years than cats kept indoors, they are subject to and spread disease to both other cats and humans. There are laws against cats roaming freely in every town in my area. I am asking the single neighbor who breaks the law to come into compliance with the laws or to continue to have his cats removed and be fined. He will either have to follow the law or find somewhere else to live, those are his choices.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

You must know that adult cats are very difficult to adopt out and that millions of cats are euthanized every year in shelters. So by trapping a cat and bringing it to the shelter you are basically giving it a death sentence. Not only that, but you're torturing it first, forcing it to spend its last few days under severe stress and in metal cages. Frankly, IMO shooting a cat and killing it quickly would be far more humane (NOT that I am advocating any such thing).

Yes there are bad pet owners, who ignore or abuse their animals, or let them breed out of control. They are irresponsible jerks. Perhaps your neighbor wouldn't win any pet owner awards, I don't know, but surely in the cat's experience, living with this particular owner in that particular home was better than being placed into metal cages and then killed. Looks to me Midwesterner, like you are angry with the pet owner and have taken it out on the pet. Good job!

For the record, I am a responsible pet owner, with no cat leash law anywhere in the state (IMO our legislators have far more serious issues to worry about). I have 2 female cats, both rescued as kittens, spayed and never bred, vaccinated and wormed regularly, very much loved. One is strictly indoors, one has limited outdoors time. I am thankful for both of their assistance with keeping the gardens and house clear of mice, moles, voles, and rabbits, which I call pests because of the harm they cause to human property and landscapes.

Now I am done with this thread.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

thats why I have 2 new cats I didn't need. No room at any foster homes, my babies now. God brought them and they are loved.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

There probably are not any state laws against off leash cats here either (I have no idea) it is the municipalities and counties that create these laws (ie my neighbors, well, with the assumed exemption of the one guy!). I have not trapped any new cats nor seen any lately. Now if only I could find a solution for thoe house sparrows!


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

would be great if we could get the cats to go after only them!


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Midwesterner - I know you're a nice person. From reading this, I suspect you didn't realize that the cat was almost certainly put to sleep. If it happens again, you could call them first and just ask what percent of unclaimed adult cats are euthanized. You may be able to find a no-kill shelter that will take it instead or try to give it away yourself.

We don't have a leash law here for cats. I keep mine inside anyway. She wouldn't last long outside. The neighbors' dogs run loose. They ARE supposed to be contained but they're not.

To help you to be more tolerant, keep in mind that mice carry more diseases than cats, and cats kill far more of those than birds. And remember that we don't have the natural predators that we had many years ago for mice. I'm not saying it's ok to let cats and dogs run loose especially in town. I'm just saying there will always be a few people that do, even when there's a law against it and we have to be tolerant of people like that as much as we can. The world is a better place for ourselves AND others if we forgive (tolerate) each other.

I also think taking the cat in and then not telling them where was asking for it. Hope for your sake they don't retaliate with Round-Up or something worse.

I usually don't post on hot topics. Not just because I prefer to stay out of it but because topics like this are the reason why the Wildlife forum is so slow. There are hundreds of people are Gardenweb that love wildlife. This forum is supposed to be primarily about what to plant to attract wildlife and I think it would become a more active forum if that type of thing were discussed more.



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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

one of those horrible bird catching wildlife killing cats the neighbors let loose in the neighborhood is purring on my lap right now, she shows no interest in being outside again! This cat will never step foot outside again unless she is out with me. I will have to have her on a leash to see if she can be out again..She may not be interested since she has big windows to "hunt birds' in


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

The reason this thread exists in the first place is that a wildlife garden and any loose cat are incompatible. I'm not interesting in tolerating loose cats, the reason I have trapped them is because I have no intention of ever tolerating a loose cat :)

The difference is that I do not dislike cats. I do not want to see them put down if there is any other possible alternative. However, simply allowing the cats to run wild is not an alternative for me or my neighborhood. As far as I know we do not have a mouse problem, I've never seen one (honestly) in my house or any of my neighbors' houses


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

"He then admitted the cat was his in order to find out where the cat had been taken. I refused to tell him because I knew he would just turn it loose again."

Appalling. Imagine if someone had kidnapped your child, and you never saw them again? To not even TELL the person where you sent their pet is beyond cruel...

I love birds and wildlife as much as the next person, but I also have a HEART. You, apparently, are lacking that commodity.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

It is not lack of heart but being selfish. Some want, not just midwestenrr, what they want, how they want, when they want, and to heck with anyone that does not believe the way they do.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Guys if he really wanted the cat back there are only a handful of shelters within driving distance. I just looked in the phonebook to see how hard it would've been to find the cat, and in less than 15 minutes he could've called every shelter in the surrounding area and asked if they had a cat matching the description (it was a very distinct cat), but I honestly doubt he bothered nor would he have been willing to pay the fees to get the cat out of the shelter and have all the required shots, etc, applied.

Again if I had wanted to be mean I would've called animal control and the cat would've sat in a trap for hours and then been put to sleep with zero chance of adoption. Instead I took it to a shelter that tries to adopt out all non-feral house cats and only puts them down as a last resort. The shelter utilizes a website and other programs to encourage adoption and make the process as easy as possible. However, just sticking cats in bad homes is not a solution. They will just end up dumped in allies or spreading disease.


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RE: maifleur

maifleur, I just now saw your response. What you have to understand is my community got together and made a law saying cats and dogs cannot be offleash at any time for the good of the community. Unfortunately, this person decided what the rest of the community wanted did not matter. What he wanted overrode the thoughts and wishes of everyone else. I understand some people want to let cats roam and they are free to do so in some areas. However, this is not one of those areas based on laws the community voted in. Actually, every community I've ever lived in has had this same law. I think there are a handful of people who want to see cats roaming loose and those people simply get mad when they see the laws being enforced. However, this is a free county and anyone who doesn't enjoy such protections of the laws are free to move somewhere else. God bless America :)


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

In most areas it is the city council not the citizens that vote for leash laws. It does not matter who did what. Have you checked back to see if cat was killed. Did you provide the fee that most shelters require. If you haven't why not?

I do not want to think that everyone but a handful of people want to have all of the free roaming cats killed. Some areas need free roaming cats to keep the rodents in check. A good example this past couple of weeks was where the cats were removed to protect the birds. With the cats gone the rabbits have eaten most of the shelter for the birds.

The feral and free roaming cats provide a service to everyone by keeping the rodents in check. They are also more likely to prey on injured and sick birds and animals. I do not like it when I can not plant certain flowers because of the vole population eats the roots. Or the squirrels dig and eat all of the tulips. I would ask you to do a little additional research and report back. Ask at your local garden center what animal damage do their customers report most often. I am not including going to the bathroom in flower beds. If your community is the only one with the leash law and the surrounding areas do not have it this will not provide an encite to damage that free roaming cats help prevent by being able to hunt during the nighttime when more of the pests are out.

My message is not just for you but for others that think their solution is the only solution. Be it cats, pesticides, herbacides, house colors etc.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

maifluer, actually removing the cats from island was still the right decision. It is just now the other invasive pests, rabbits, must also be removed to restore balance to the ecosystem. Any way you try to slice it loose cats are bad for people, pets, and wildlife by either direct threat or spread of disease and must be eliminated from densely populated areas. There is nowhere I know of within 40 miles of me in any direction you can move that allows off leash cats. It is outlawed both in the city and county, for public health reasons more so than wildlife reasons, but wildlife are better for it


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

We will just have to disagree on the benefits of roaming cats. But if you would, and I don't know where you are located, start watching for changes in wildlife especially as coyotes start moving into your area. In several areas cats keep down the food sources of coyotes. As the food source increases more coyotes are seen in the urban areas.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

think about it this way though, most predators, like wolf,bear, fox, coyote,bobcat,ect, have been removed or are at best strictly controlled by us, thats why you see tons of rabbits and squirrels in the cities, thats why people get into crashes with deer-the rabbits,deer and squirrel here in MN are all native, but they've become a problem because no predators are left to control them in city land. The best thing to do with ferals if they are becoming a problem, is to capture/spay/neuter and release,

Feral cats help control these animals (besides deer- feral dogs can do that) from dying anyway from hunger- after they wreck the native landscapes first.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Appalling. Imagine if someone had kidnapped your child, and you never saw them again? To not even TELL the person where you sent their pet is beyond cruel...

I imagine if a parent left their toddler unsupervised to roam the streets at night, DCFS would take the child and put it in a safe home.

Feral Cats kill native birds, so they don't help the native landscape...


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

true Joepieweed, but what really native anymore? Unless strict govermental control steps in banning hmeowners flora rights with private property. I don't think native plants/wildlife have much of a future. our parks are being consumed by Garlic Mustard, and buck thorn, most of these plants are on threatened or endangered species lists..

Even native gardens we dote on and plant at home are in danger if they are on private land,some jerk can buy your lot, spray with roundup and plant marigolds or impantients.. Just about the only natives that are truly safe are either thousands of miles away from humans- boundry waters, for example( I went there and just about every plant there was native) or on DNR land/state wildlife refuge property.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Off topic but many of the native plants have been placed in non-native areas by well intentioned people wanting what they read without realizing that they are reading a book for a certain area not the area they live in.

Another difficulty with native plants is they thrive in certain conditions. With the recent bird report where most birds have moved their wintering grounds at least 35 miles north and some of them much further. If the plants remain native and are not reproduced via bird droppings with seeds the migrating birds must find a new source. The non native plants will be considered native in a few years because that is all that the locals have ever seen.

If anyone wants to start a new topic on this and not hijack this thread go for it.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Agree I discovered rattlesnake master isn't native to MN, and I'm growing it, I didn't know bird migations are changing from climate, creepy.

Feral cats should be fixed and then just left to nature, no longer able to procreate they'll die off or live out their lives as best they can, TNR is big on this, the problem isn't that there are free roaming cats, its that there are such numbers of them and that most spay/neuter places are much too $$ to be fixing cat after cat after cat. All killing does is weed out ones who could have bonded to people, and help make the survivors even more wild.


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How to deal with free-roaming cats

We found this blog through a Google search only because we are desperate to rid our yard of the smells and damage that free roaming cats (and their negligent/inconsiderate owners) are depositing on our hard earned personal tax paid property. We have tolerated these cats over the past 5 years but it really has exceeded the point we wish to tolerate. Every spring and fall we replace and turn the dirt of our flower/VEGETABLE/HERB gardens (yes we did intend to EAT from these gardens but that we now find from midwesternerrs posting it medically is not such a good idea). Gardening was supposed to be a relaxing and enjoying experience for us to relieve stress and help us save money by growing some of our own food. Not a routine of cleaning up neighboring cat defecation. Unfortunately these gardens (all around our house) have become the neighborhood litter box and fighting area for these roaming cats. This past weekend we woke to all four of our vehicles seriously scratched and severely dirtied by these animals. It appears if they had an orgy on top of them because we heard the moaning and fighting related to mating cats that evening (it was only appropriate since it was Valentines Day). We were forced to file a police report due to this incident. We're pretty sure the cats owners will not be willing to help with our insurance premium! We were directed to contact animal control to help resolve this issue. We were also directed to use pepper spray to try to deter them from coming here. Recently, we have observed at times there are sometimes upwards of five cats or more on our property of all types, ages and colors most of which do not have collars. It is not our intention to hurt these animals because it is not the fault of the animal, it is their nature. However, they are not natural to the area as other animals are i.e. deer, birds, squirrel, mountain lions, coyote, bobcat, rabbit etc. so they are not permitted to roam. Please remember that ALL domestic housecats were brought to the U.S. from somewhere else. We have no idea where these cats are coming from; if we did our first response would be to speak with the neighbor to peacefully resolve this problem. Like other cities in the U.S. our City has ordinances to control this problem. We vote and avidly attend public city meetings. We are confident that the decisions to incorporate and support animal control and leash laws have been put in place by the citizens who care for the city and taxpaying people who reside in it, not just left up to the devoted elected officials. We intend to express our freedom to exercise these ordinances. Unlike lisa11310 who adopted the two neglected/beautiful cats into her family/home; we cannot make the commitment required to keep a cat (or dog) due to the lack of time we have to care for the animals. I am astounded by neighbors who believe that when they see their beloved pet/family member hopping the fence or leaving their property they are narrow mindedly/ inconsiderately assuming the animal is not defecating or causing problems and their neighbors and figure they enjoy their pet like they do. In fact, considering our circumstances I am under the impression that is exactly why they hop the fence. I have heard that cats are very particular and will not eat where they defecate. It has become very costly for us to replace our garden soil and mulch twice a year. Those of you bloggers who want to complain about our posting and the contents of it please remember we are desperate to rid this unwelcome/unsolicited problem not out to harm the animals. Instead please help us figure out how we can eliminate this smell and contamination from our property in a safe and effective manner as well as safely deter these cats from coming here to comfortably relieve themselves.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

saychris, if I had the situation that you described, I would be trapping those cats and turning them over to animal control.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

I agree too.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

If you care about wildlife, how can you let your cat outdoors? This is ridiculous. The most ridiculous are the people that say there is no native wildlife, or the reduction of wolves justifies outdoor cats. That is lunacy. If you have an outdoor cat, just admit it, you don't care about native wildlife.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

It is definately a difficult issue to handle. My experience has been feral cat populations have tumbled in the midwest with the resurgence of natural predators, mostly coyotes, but fox and bobcats probably also contributed. Now coyotes are too common and feral or pet cats have a hard time establishing a population. I see this all the time in areas of urban sprawl, the "have you seen my cat" posters, while you can hear the coyotes howling after dark. I've seen coyotes near our neighborhood and I see very few free roaming cats anymore.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Thats probably the best way to control things, just fix um and let nature take its course, if of course assuming they are un-adoptable.


If only it was illegal to have intact cats! of course now they are so many free roaming cats, there would still be litters.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Coyotes do not affect cats very much. Climbing a tree is a very useful.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

even so coyotes are crafty. I'm sure one could climb if he/she really wanted to. I know Foxes can.

Basically whiether we like it or not there will always be free roaming cats-thanks to the "oh its america we can't allow no freedom of choice attitude". Though well intended, this viewpoint has caused more problems then bless for us.

Until spaying neutering is required by law nationwide as is rabies vacs there will be free roaming cats.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

It would be easier to put them down than spay/neuter them. I have never killed a cat, but I won't frown if someone does. That may sound bad, but I think the wildlife would be better off.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Yeah and then more move in to take their place- Fix and release um, and they'll still defend their turf acting as feline birth control.

Lets look at what happens to an indoor/tame cat ( average wise.)

Most indoor/tame cats eat high processed kibble or canned, composed of horrible things. They sometimes get de clawed (like having all your front hand digets removed by surgery) and de moewed, they get fat from free feeding and sleep day in and day out. 30% do not see a vet. The poor diet causes dental disease or kills them in some other way. They rarely have an enjoyable life, most die before they even reach old age or indeed leave kitten hood, bouncher's take um to be killed by labs,or fed to pit bulls snakes,, used in cult sacerfices, or sat on by little kids, sold to people who really shouldn't have a pet and end up PTS in an animal shelter and when they die they are useally ground up into cat/dog food as meat meal or meat and bone meal.- this is most cats, not all but most.

It is said that 2 out of every 3 kittens born in America, will have these things happen before they find homes,meaning most do not survive kitten hood. If they DO find a home then 70% of the owners will probably feed a crappy food, I don't know what the ratio is for de clawing or de meowing but I'm sure its over 30%. of all owned cats

Outdoor cats have their diseases/injuries, have exposure to the elements, get hit by cars, shot by people, get eaten by predators, so the reality isn't good either no matter which way you turn to.- BUT they forfill their instincts and have more natural lives. and they do eat a natural diet

( which sadly is sometimes native wildlife/ but most of what they eat breeds so quick that its not really in danger of extinction anyway/or because of city life, and because city life means lack of predators needs a predator native or not...),

-Back to feral cats-

They unless (taken by AC or roadkill companies) do not end up laden with PTS chemicals and made into pet food. They do not end up de clawed or de meowed, (the ends of nature are mostly quick, useally suffering a coyote attack, is brief- better then a lifetime of pain and fear from a de claw surgery).- unless maybe if they are not true feral. Frankly because the cat is so undomesticated when it comes to domestic animals to begin with some are probably better off wild, or living wild.

I'm not advocating outdoor cats, nor am wanting to be letting them all be wild but, compared to most indoor cats in shelters or in abusive suitations they have it pretty darn good IMHO.

It is impossible to control outdoor cats by just killing them all. All you doing is making them more wild and making their lives even more awful then they are already.

We have a black cat in our area that is I believe is turning feral. (saw fresh tracks this/or last whensday morning by our house in the snow) am I going to call AC, trap or shoot it-NO! its luckier IMO then the poor de clawed stressed cats at Marys group home that bite people and eat garage I say. Its getting a natural diet and controlling things.. Besides black cats have a low adoption rate when they are tame.

We have a very high squirrel population and few predators, there are probably few cats. ( I put out food for squirrels this winter and over 7 big ones showed up in our front yard.) we even have them making a nest in our attic!.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

"It is said that 2 out of every 3 kittens born in America, will have these things happen before they find homes,meaning most do not survive kitten hood. If they DO find a home then 70% of the owners will probably feed a crappy food, I don't know what the ratio is for de clawing or de meowing but I'm sure its over 30%. of all owned cats"
"Most indoor/tame cats eat high processed kibble or canned, composed of horrible things. They sometimes get de clawed (like having all your front hand digets removed by surgery) and de moewed, they get fat from free feeding and sleep day in and day out. 30% do not see a vet. The poor diet causes dental disease or kills them in some other way. They rarely have an enjoyable life, most die before they even reach old age or indeed leave kitten hood"

Who says that exactly? Where does that info come from, or is it speculation? I guarantee that the average indoor cat lives over twice as long as a feral cat.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

I don't tell people what they want to hear just so they can feel better about letting theirs cats roam (which is in most cases illegal due to city or home owner association laws anyway). As far as the personal attack on my character, I think I'm going to be the grown up here and not even respond other than to say if you stop talking on a forum just because everyone doesn't agree with you, then you're going to be moving around an awful lot :) Rarely does everyone agree on *any* issue.

UPDATE: Since I originally posted this, no new cats have been found on my property. This is proof that humane, live trapping combined with talking to neighbors does work without the need to involve animal control. Animal control euthanizes all cats immediately, so you may want to consider (as I do) taking them to a shelter.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Midwestern - I wouldn't have done what you did. I still remember how traumatic it was for me to lose a pet when I was a kid. But I'm still your garden/wildlife buddy. : ) We are ALL trying to encourage wildlife.

I haven't been posting here much because this forum is so slow. Very few new topics have been coming up. The fact is, if we want this forum to be active, we need to avoid controversial topics and stick to the main "Gardening for wildlife" theme. Info about what to plant for wildlife is the kind of thing that people are looking for. I think you want this forum to be more active and so does everyone else. What kind of information are new gardeners looking for? If someone visits this forum and finds controversial topics, are they going to feel welcome? It's like walking into a room where a bunch of strangers are arguing. You don't join in, you leave.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

  • Posted by cjc45 9 Mount Dora (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 29, 09 at 16:15

I agree that cats should be kept safe inside but my vet says that a cat that has run free as an adult cannot adjust to being kept inside. I think most of the depredations must be by feral cats, well-fed cats don't seem to have the will. I used to chase off my two neighborhood cats until I saw them "hunting:" they're so inept it's amusing to watch.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

The cat's access to food has little effect on predation because a cat's predation is not based on hunger. Cats will kill based on instinct. Actually, a well fed cat is a much worse predator because it has ample energy reserves. To be honest, I don't think this forum is going to be very active whether we talk about cats or not lol There are lots of essentially dead forums on gw, some far more dead than this one and some that are very active.


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Onto something useful

Ok so something productive that can be added to this thread.

Firethorn has been suggested as a means of controlling cat access to bird feeding stations. Of course it's not full proof by any means, but if densely planted without gaps firethron may be a means of detering or at least slowing down furry predators. To gain access to the feeding area, keep a couple of the firethorn bushes in planted so they can be moved to the side.


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Crap

Supposed to say keep a couple in move-able planters to access to the feeding station.


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Woman's account of terrorizing cats

Here's an account I found of a woman's wildlife garden being terrorized by cats until she had no choice but to consider removing the cats. In this case, it looks like just threatening to trap has done the trick

Here is a link that might be useful: Veggie Resolution


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Adjective not a verb

Note that terrorizing is an adjective to describe the cats' actions, she is not terrorizing the cats :)


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

This is an important topic to discuss. It directly impacts wildlife, particularly birds who have no defense. Even the saliva of cats is deadly to birds.

Although my township has an ordinance in place since the early 90s prohibiting cats running at large, many cat owners ignore the law. I've found dead cardinals, dead robins,dead catbirds, dead shrews - beneficial insectivores, all left behind by cats. It upsets me to no end because I have a wildlife certified habitat which should be a refuge for me and the birds. Instead cats jump a six foot privacy fence and stalk the birds. It is definitely a case of others imposing their will on me and my property. It's just as offensive to have dogs running loose, but at least dogs don't kill the songbirds. Federal law protects songbirds and I believe that law should be obeyed by cat owners.

Anyone deluding themselves about a happy marriage of cats and birds needs a wake up call. My first parrot had a vet visit. The doc was an avian specialist who allowed Chuckie the cat to roam the office. She assured me the cat was no threat. The sight of that cat terrorized my conure. When in the exam room, my parrot, sitting on my shoulder saw Chuckie sneak up from behind. I was unaware. Chuckie leaped onto my arm and shoulder and sank his claws in. Fortunately the parrot saw him approach and jumped off. So much for the "bird friendly cat" ! That was my last visit to that veterinarian.

I also detest being awakened late at night by cat fights. The smell of cat spray on my outdoor furniture is not neighborly.

When Doug Tallamy gave his wildlife program, he mentioned the decline in songbirds along both the Mississippi flyway and the Atlantic flyway. Window crashes were a large cause in the decline. Cats were mentioned as well as contributing to the decline. Anyone placing value on the native songbirds should do all they can stop the decline. This means not letting cats run loose.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Hawks and owls species are natural predators to rodents,Not the domesticated cat,Domesticated cat kills for sport (watches the law protected bird suffer then walks away) kills rodents then does not eat them, therefore taking food from our native hawks and owls mouths,Domesticated cats that are allowed to roam unsupervised are unwanted pests within communitys,Cats destroy property,kill for fun,and pose health and safety issues within a community period.Just because you don't have laws that hold you accountable and responsible for your cats don't make it right for you to take advantage of it,which is exactly what you are doing when you come up with ignorant statements such as our state or local town we live in don't have no type of laws for cats,we have more important issues, well if it's not important to you that your neighbors protect there investments,I must question your logic as well as who you really are.Your mentality way of thinking is hindered when you devalue your neighbors by not respecting boundarys.It is in the best interest of Humans-wildlife-Cats health and safety that you control your cats,if not you become a burden to society.You will find individuals who allow there cats to roam, come up with excuses to justify there cats behavior,the truth is these people live by how they feel and this is how they make decisions,the irresponsible cat owner does not make decisions based on what is in the best interest of everyone involved, The cat controls them with the crying to go out, the owner cant take control then says oh he is so unhappy,the reality is the irresponsible cat owner is unhappy and intolerant of his own cats whining, so they let it out unsupervised,he is neglecting his own cat as well as devaluing his community.Domesticated cats do not spray for territory,Cats spray to send a signal to all other cats in the area that this is neutral ground,then they congregate,which in fact irresponsible cat owners don't understand this either because it's not happening in there yards,because Cats are extremely territorial around there own property.We will continue to have irresponsible cat owners as long as there are no national laws to hold cat owners accountable and responsible for there cats, we know if there are no consequences people don't learn nor do they care.Have you ever heard this one,You draw the predators such as the cat to your yard when you feed wildlife? well for starters domesticated cats are not a natural predator of north america's wildlifes, so now having this knowledge ... keep your pest cats in the house safe.Birds that come to feeders lack food and nesting sites due to habitat loss,therefore allowing your cat to roam contributes to the wildlifes decline and struggle to thrive and survive.Don't ever knock someone who gives back to wildlife,these people are doing good and what is right and productive,unlike the irresponsbile cat owner who could careless about the damage and defecting his cat does in his neighbors yard,it is disrespectful and should not ever be tolerated.Irresponsbile cat owner what have you done good today? I will say it again it is in the best interest of everyone involved,keep cats supervised for health and safety issues.Be responsible.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

I have read several opinions about neighbor cats, in my case neighbor cat tracks up and urinates on my automobiles I can have them washed and by next morning they are tracked up again. neighbor refuses to try and resolve the problem. so I have decided to dispose of said cat, if you don't agree then you send me money to have my automobile's washed every time this happens.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

I too have dealt with numerous, free ranging, neighbourhood cats and have tried some benign remedies such as cayenne pepper and moth balls to no avail. From now on, I plan to get the cages from the bylaw dept., trap them and turn them over to the town. My yard is not their litter box and none of my neighbours would appreciate it if I had a dog that I allowed to roam free to poop and pee and harass their pets, children, birds. It is complete lack of respect for others`property and irresponsibility for the safety of their pet. If they really were concerned about their pet`s welfare and respected their neighbour`s property, the cats would not be roaming free.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

I just can't stand my nosey neighbors. Always at the windows looking to see what we're doing. And I mean always.

Cats are not a health issue. There have been wild cats crossing my property for over 20 years. I have had a garden for over 20 years. We have never, never, never, never been sick.

Midwesternrr, you are just a nosey busy body who needs to find something productive to do with your time. Some people just need to get a life. Shows when you post four or five times in a row on your own thread. Sheesh. How about volunteering at the shelter where you bring your "rescued" cats? Then you can see what really happens to them and report back to us what a terrific deed you have done.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

Feral cats are most definitely a health issue. I used to try and rescue these poor little abondon strays until they infected my domestic cats! Apparently feline leukemia and feline aids runs rampant in our area, unbeknownkst to me. I will never, ever again bring strays into my home. They disrupted my domestic cats, caused innumerable and costly damage to carpets, drapes and bedding and ultimately resulted in my having to euthanize 3 of my cats, as well as the strays! What am I most upset about? People that do not spay and neuter their animals! To me, that is the height of irresponsiblity.


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RE: How to deal with free-roaming cats

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