Letter Re: Cats Moving into the Neighborhood


In response to the comment about cats moving into the neighborhood: be grateful. The Lyme spirochete has been around for millions of years. Lyme disease started to explode in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which is when the national spay-neuter programs got started, and the population of outdoor cats dropped like a rock.

I remember as a child in the 1950’s seeing kittens running around outdoors in the summer. In the last thirty years, except for my own protected outdoor cat colony, I’ve seen only one outdoor kitten.

The ticks that carry Lyme have a two year life cycle. The first year they spend on small animals; mostly mice and other rodents. The second year they move to larger animals such as deer, dogs and people.

Cats were selected by people for thousands of years to over-hunt, in order to protect farmers’ crops from rodents. A top hunter was valuable livestock.

What people didn’t know was that the cats were also protecting them from rodent-borne diseases. Like Lyme, plague, and other nasties.

A tick that was making its home on a mouse that the cat just ate isn’t going to bite you or your children next year.

And the mouse isn’t going to urinate deadly viruses on your kitchen counter at night while you are sleeping. (My indoor cats see to it that the exceptionally stupid mice that come into the house have a very short lifespan.)

Yes, the cats will kill a few unwary rabbit, birds and squirrels. However, except in subtropical areas, domestic cats cannot survive on their own in the wilderness. They are too small. Even lynx and bobcats are barely big enough. Cats need to live near human settlements for food, and for places to shelter from snow and bitter cold.

So unlike dogs, you are not going to find packs of feral cats dozens of miles up in the mountains, killing livestock and threatening people.

And should you find one, lost and hungry, take it home and feed it. It may save you from some nasty diseases while its patrolling your garden.


  1. Yep cats are good to have. Our Tom will chase off possums. As well as keep bird’s, rabbits and other rodents away from our house and garden. We live on 80 acres. No nice.

  2. We experienced this food-chain phenomenon as well. The city-crowd moved into our rural village of just under 200 and started capturing the feral cats. Some cats were ‘rehomed’ while others were neutered and released. Then we had a wet summer. Every house on Main Street had mouse infestations at a time when Hantavirus was also prevalent. Of course, plague is endemic here in rodents as well. Then the rattlers started showing up, attracted by the bounty. I’d rather have the cats.

  3. True, but cats are also the primary carrier for Bartonella, aka Cat Scratch Disease. The best defense, besides not getting scratched or bit, is to keep your immune system strong with good food and not run it down with sugar, grains, industrial food-like products derived from such, etc. This was a good recent podcast about Bart: betterhealthguy.com/episode38

    On balance cats are good, especially if they’re treated as carnivores and fed accordingly to keep their immune systems up, just be aware.

    1. Please add Pasteurella to the disease list. Most cats carry the germ in their mouth and cat bites can become infected with it. I’ve seen it in the ER on more than one occasion and the presentation can be impressive. One guy’s hand looked like somebody had stuffed half of a softball under the skin. He had been bitten 10 hours prior to the infection. This can be serious and life threatening. Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanate) is what I’ve seen prescribed and although you can get amoxicillin as a fish antibiotic, I don’t believe the combo drug is available other than as prescribed for humans. ALL of the infections I have seen were from people trying to pick up feral cats although domestic cats also carry the germ. Lesson here is do not try to tame feral cats. I concur that they are valuable for keeping rodents populations down but a house or barn cat is probably just as good. Maybe Dr. Bones could do an article on this.

  4. Every stray cat Iv seen has flees in central Texas.
    How many diseases come from flees? Stray/feral cats also get rabies right? Cats bring a multitude of other concerns, you can look up the stats of how many birds that they kill and they will kill all cotton tail bunnies from your property. And then they spray on tires and equipment around the farm, you keep your cats. I’ll take a rat terrier they kill all my rats and mice.

    1. We’re down to one Tom cat this summer . He seems to kill and eat mostly birds. 2 years ago we started raising two Mountain Cur dogs. (look them up) One of the unexpected bonuses is we now have no mice or voles, they are constantly catching rats and have gotten two possums this summer. They make great squirrel hunting dogs as well. I made a 1900 mile round trip to pick up our youngest Cur, well worth the drive.

  5. I’m sure crazy-lady cat hoarders everywhere are thrilled at this post. Personally, I’ve managed to live out my 54 yrs without the need of a cat in my life. I’m going to bet that the next half of my life won’t be dependent on them either.

    1. We have two of those close and the trap is used about every other year until they feline population gets more manageable. Our Jack Russell works the rodents over quite well.

  6. With most everything in my life, I utilize a couple criteria when considering a course of action, especially in the farming world.

    1. How did God set it up? What system did he use? What simple methods can be used to produce food, clothing, etc. with what He gave us? It has become obvious to me that much of what modern science has suggested is actually secular humanism, because it seeks to take the place of God and the natural order He created.

    2. How have people lived for thousands of years? This is obviously wide open, because there are many answers. But they were largely agrarian, meaning they lived off the land. They drank raw milk. They had chickens. They ate meat. And (gasp) they had cats to catch the mice. So if people have lived with cats (unfixed) for thousands of years, perhaps it’s fairly safe for us to also have cats to catch the mice. I trust the ways that have been used for multiple generations much better than the “new” ways. The test of time is pretty hard to knock. There were cats in the Egyptian palaces to catch the mice. Cats adapt very easily to living with people. They are fairly easy to gentle down.

  7. I understand what you’re saying but i don’t necessarily agree. I think there are too many variables involved with the cat/lyme disease connection. Don’t forget: coyotes, hawks, owls and snakes are just as good at catching vermin as cats are. My thought has been that the balance of nature is easily upset after we humans move into any neighborhood, cats or no cats.

      1. It would indeed be a “wild guess”. When we had horses we had 2-4 cats around the barn. The mouse population was kept in check at the time I didn’t have any idea what a great job they were doing. After we sold the horses I had no need to keep the cats at the barn, or so I thought. As they died off or disappeared the Mouse population exploded. Mice in the cars, the house, the garage. When I returned to having a cat or two around the mice disappeared.

  8. research has shown that a single-celled protozoan parasite found in cat feces alters the brain chemistry of rats and mice until their fear of cats morphs into an attraction, a kind of aphrodisiac. When the parasites are in control, rats and mice are attracted to the smell of cat urine.
    Infected rodents don’t last long in the presence of a cat and their consumption ultimately results in a bowel movement that contains thousands of microscopic oocysts, the parasite’s infective stage, thus completing the cycle.
    Oocysts are extremely persistent in the environment and can exist for months or years in soil or water.
    It’s important to note that, while there are many intermediate hosts, the only creature in which Toxoplasma gondii can reproduce sexually –- the definitive host –- is a member of the cat family.
    Cats are largely unaffected by toxoplasmosis; they transmit the parasite to the rest of us.
    Rats and mice are used as proxies for drug testing and other research because their brains are not so different from ours.
    So it’s not a complete surprise scientists have discovered the same behavioral changes associated with toxoplasmosis in rats and mice – reduced anxiety, fearlessness and an attraction to cat urine – are also expressed in humans infected with the oocysts, according to Peter Marra and Chris Santella, authors of “Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer.”
    This finding may help explain the behavior of cat hoarders, people who seem unable to resist the urge to keep taking more in, even though their home is already overrun with dozens of cats and reeking of urine.
    ‘Cat hoarding without walls’
    One of the world’s most common parasitic infections, Toxoplasma gondii infects approximately 1 out of 3 humans.
    Unfortunately, the parasites that imbed themselves in our brains and alter our behavior are broadcast throughout the environment via cat feces. Researchers have found as many as three to 434 oocysts per square foot in soils, and the oocysts are washed into lakes, streams and the ocean.
    Places where cats prefer to defecate, like the loose soil of gardens and children’s sandboxes, tend to have the highest oocyst counts. But you don’t have to play in a sandbox and put your fingers in your mouth to become infected.
    The parasite can be ingested from aerosolized cat feces in settings like horse barns inhabited by “barn cats” and by drinking contaminated water.
    If toxoplasmosis merely fostered a desire to fondle kittens, it would be harmless. But the parasite seems to have much more pervasive and unfortunate consequences to public health. At least 80 studies have linked toxoplasmosis to schizophrenia and related psychoses.
    Toxoplasmosis has been linked to an anger-management behavior called intermittent explosive disorder, and infected humans are twice as likely to be involved in a car accident.
    Women with toxoplasmosis were 54 percent more likely to attempt suicide, and twice as likely to succeed. The risk of suicide was much higher for women with higher levels of antibodies, and infected women with no prior history of mental illness were at higher risk than those with no exposure.
    TNR advocates ignore or object to this research. Instead, they refer to a handful of studies that find little or no evidence of mental disorders following toxoplasmosis. A recent long-term study in New Zealand, for example, found no correlation between exposure to cats as a child and subsequent mental illness.
    But in that study “long-term” meant only to age 38. Most of the truly crazy people I know are older than that.
    There seems to be no argument over the affect of toxoplasmosis on human fetuses. If a woman contracts the disease while pregnant, and fails to get treatment, the infection may result in miscarriage, stillbirth or death shortly after birth.
    Congenital toxoplasmosis can affect a baby’s brain, causing mental or motor development delays, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. It can also lead to visual impairment and sometimes blindness. Serious stuff.

    1. Umm, wouldn’t this likely be someone who naturally is weak mentally and who has a naturally addictive personality? I love cats, I want them around, but I will limit them. I don’t have issues with that.

  9. Really? You really want a fox or a snake living in close proximity of your home? And a rat terrier? You enjoy that barking, jumping kind of animal around? We are all different, so live an let live, but as for me and my household, our dogs keep the deer out of the garden and the bears, foxes, and hawks away from the chickens and bees, and after spending 9 years using traps and poison to keep the rodents down (who ate my young plants), 2 gentle, outdoor Toms have done such a great job, we now no longer need traps or poison (ugh). These Toms live in the garage on an old mattress hung in the rafters with a wool coat during the winter. We leave free range food for them at all times and they have been the best addition to our homestead since we added the dogs. We won’t do without them. It does seem to be God’s hierarchy for our own well run homestead where every creature has a purpose. 😉

  10. Voles, squirrels (tree rats) and other odd assortments of critters that can survive the long arctic winters are good for target practice with the .177 cal or .22 cal airguns, as well as possible food supply. Cats cannot survive the winters here so they are either house kitties, or gone.

  11. The myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there’s nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents — all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction — even those native species which are better rodent predators than cats (such as many reptiles and shrews which destroy rodents right in their nests), the cats having destroyed them directly or indirectly.

    The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat’s Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. (remove all spaces from obfuscated-for-posting URLs) scitizen . Com / neuroscience / parasite-hijacks-the-mind-of-its-host_a-23-509 . html

    Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are. The cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents. Like “The Black Death”, the plague, that is now being transmitted to humans in N. America directly from cats that have contracted it from rodents. Yes, “The Black Death” (the plague) is alive and well today and being spread by people’s cats this time around. Totally disproving that oft-spewed LIE about having more cats in Europe could have prevented the plague — more cats would have made it far far worse. Many people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA in the last 2-3 decades; all three forms of it transmitted by CATS — septicemic, bubonic, and pneumonic. For a fun read, one of hundreds of cases, Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague — ncbi . nlm . nih . / Gov / pubmed / 8059908

    abcdcatsvets . Org / yersinia-pestis-infection /
    “Recommendations to avoid zoonotic transmission: Cats are considered the most important domestic animal involved in plague transmission to humans, and in endemic areas, outdoor cats may transmit the infection to their owners or to persons caring for sick cats (veterinarians and veterinary nurses).”

    Cats attracting these adult rodents right to them further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times — the more cats you have the more rodents and diseases you get. I even proved this to myself when having to rid my lands of hundreds of these vermin cats by shooting and burying every last one of them. A rodent problem started to appear about the same time the cats started to show up, 15 years of it. And, if you check the history of Disney’s feral cat problem, their rodent problem also started to appear at the very same time their cats showed-up. Coincidence? Not at all. (BTW: All cat-advocates’ beloved Disney’s TNR cats are no more, they’ve all been destroyed by hired exterminators last year. Disney finally wised-up.) All rodent problems around my home completely disappeared after every last cat was shot-dead and safely disposed of. All the better NATIVE rodent predators moved back into the area after the cats were dead and gone. Not seen one cat anywhere nor had even one rodent in the house in over seven years now. (So much for their manipulative, deceptive, and outright lie of the mythical “vacuum effect” too.) You will also find that the cities in N. America with the highest concentration of “community vermin” cats are also the very same cities with the highest concentrations of “community vermin” rodents. Again, coincidence? Answer: NOT AT ALL.

    Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents. I don’t care how many centuries that blathering FOOLS will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they’ll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities in Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.

    No cat population anywhere has ever been able to control rodents effectively, in fact cats only attract a rodent problem. But native predators can get rid of rodents — easily.

  12. Here is an excerpt from a much lengthier post I sometimes share on the 3dozen+ deadly zoonotic diseases that cats are spreading to all other animals and humans. It will help to clear-up any misinformation and misconceptions about Toxoplasma gondii that is being spewed all over the net by these moronic T.gondii-brain-hijacked cat-lickers.

    … Then there’s cats’ most insidious disease of all, their Toxoplasma gondii parasite that cats spread through their feces into all other animals. This is how humans get it in their dinner-meats, cats roaming around stockyards and farms (herbivores can contract this parasite in no other way). 60%+ of game-animals too. This is why cats are routinely destroyed around gestating livestock or important wildlife by shooting or drowning them. So those animals won’t suffer from the same things that can happen to the fetus of any pregnant woman. (Miscarriages, still-births, hydrocephaly, and microcephaly.) It can make you blind or even kill you at any time during your life once you’ve been infected. It becomes a permanent lifetime parasite in your mind, killing you when your immune system becomes compromised by disease or chemo and immunosuppressive therapies. It can last over 18 months in any soils or 4.5 YEARS in waters and not even washing your hands or garden vegetables in bleach will destroy the oocysts. During dry-spells of weather (or inside low-humidity homes) when the oocysts become dessicated you can even contract T. gondii by just inhaling the air wherever any cats have defecated and the oocysts have become airborne/aerosolized. Contrary to cat-lickers’ self-deceptive myths, a cat can become reinfected many times during its life and spread millions of oocysts each time. It’s now linked to the cause of autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, memory-loss, prostate and brain cancers, IED (intermittent explosive disorder, i.e. road-rage, spousal abuse, etc.); as well as increasing the suicide rate in women almost 2-fold even though they’ve never suffered from any mental or emotional health issues previously. This parasite is also killing off rare and endangered marine-mammals (all the way up to rare whales) along all coastlines, along with inland river-otters, from cats’ T. gondii oocysts in run-off from the land, the oocysts surviving even in saltwater. A catastrophic ecological disaster of multi-continent-sized proportions worse than any oil-spill that has ever existed or could even be imagined. …

    Another interesting experiment. They wanted to find out if dogs could possibly transmit cat-shat Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. A dog infected with T. gondii from a source-cat cannot. The oocyst stage of this parasite’s life-cycle by which cats spread their parasite into all other animals is 100%-dependent on cat-physiology as its primary reproductive host. But if dogs ingest oocyst-laden cat-feces then dogs can pass the oocysts produced by cats & their common brain-hijacking parasite. ncbi . nlm . nih . Gov / pubmed / 9477489?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

    It is interesting to note that these Toxoplasma gondii oocysts shed by cats can even survive the hydrochloric stomach acids for the duration that they remain in a mammal’s digestive tract. And then they doubt my words when I tell them of the studies where they found that this parasite’s oocysts (seeds) can even survive washing your hands in bleach. You could wash your hands and garden vegetables in hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes for the same duration that food remains in an animal’s digestive tract and even that won’t destroy it. Your hands would be dissolved into a digestible pulp long before you could kill the Toxoplasma gondii oocysts.

    Yeah, “basic hygiene” is going to keep your kids safe from going blind sometime during their life, becoming autistic, schizophrenic, get ADHD, suffer from epilepsy, get brain and prostate cancers, debilitating depressions, suffer from memory-loss, commit unexplained suicides, have bouts of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), suffer from other neurological illnesses, or die if they ever require any immunosuppressive therapies or contract any immunity-compromising diseases during their lifetime if they had ever played in a sandbox that a neighbor’s cat has defecated in.

    Go ahead everyone, drink the cat-lickers’ Kool-Aid.

    Someone who will save the life of one of their clearly expendable vermin cats over yours is not to be trusted by any other human alive on this planet. Even cat-lickers can’t trust their fellow cat-lickers to save each others’ lives when it comes right down to it. Truth is, they’d even rather that their own family and friends die (if they have any) than any of their deadly disease-infested cats. Sociopaths and psychopaths, one and all, right to their very cores.

  13. From the CDC:

    If I am at risk, can I keep my cat?

    Yes, you may keep your cat if you are a person at risk for a severe infection (e.g., you have a weakened immune system or are pregnant); however, there are several safety precautions to avoid being exposed to Toxoplasma gondii :

    Ensure the cat litter box is changed daily. The Toxoplasma parasite does not become infectious until 1 to 5 days after it is shed in a cat’s feces.
    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 with soap and warm water afterwards.
    Keep cats indoors.
    Do not adopt or handle stray cats, especially kittens. Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant.
    Feed cats only canned or dried commercial food or well-cooked table food, not raw or undercooked meats.
    Keep your outdoor sandboxes covered.
    Your veterinarian can answer any other questions you may have regarding your cat and risk for toxoplasmosis.

    More on: Handwashing

    Back To Top

    Once infected with Toxoplasma is my cat always able to spread the infection to me?

    No, cats only spread Toxoplasma in their feces for a few weeks following infection with the parasite. Like humans, cats rarely have symptoms when infected, so most people do not know if their cat has been infected. The Toxoplasma shedding in feces will go away on its own; therefore it does not help to have your cat or your cat’s feces tested for Toxoplasma.

  14. In fact, cats fall into a similar category as the Arctic Wolves – they are both “immigrants” – not native species. The predation on rodents and like critters is far higher by owls than cats. Moreover, fox and coyotes are highly effective predators on rodents as are other raptors. Cats do far more damage to wildlife than any natural predator. Whatever benefits they might bring in rodent reduction are not worth the cost. They are given far to much undeserved credit in regard to rodent control, which should be attributed to the native predators.

    In some parts of Idaho, a mange has decimated the fox and ‘yote populations resulting in an explosion of voles and cottontails – Blaine County is a prime example. So where are the cats??? The rodent population will be reduced only when the natural predators recover from the die-off. Cats will not contribute much. In many areas of this state and the nation, cats have become a “pandemic” to native species. They have no place in the wild kingdom. The Audubon Society has facts and figures.

    I’ll leave the facts on the diseases they bring into your home to those who can speak to that subject better than I can. I hope someone with knowledge helps us out. The risk they bring into your home should scare you.

    In the meantime, please don’t let the cats run free!!!

  15. Both the Pros and the Cons have good arguments.
    But, I come down on the Pro side for one basic reason.
    For thousands of years farmers have had cats around.
    The Egyptians thought hey were so important they even had a cat god.

    1. Yes, cats were important to Egyptians, but not in any way that you nor other cat-lovers think of them today. When supplies in surrounding lands ran-out, they started to breed them for animal sacrifices.

      Watch this video from the reputable PBS “NOVA” series; pbs . http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/animal-mummies.html

      It explains how and why all sorts of species of animals were mummified to act as prayer-note envelopes to send prayer pleas to the god or goddess of your choice. Species of animals from ibises, to crocodiles, to even full-grown buIIs were mummified to send a message to that animal’s kindred deity. The “soul” of the animal was supposed to carry their prayer-note directly to the lap of the deity represented by that species. It was big business for them, they sold mummified animals of any species to any visitor from any lands as a way of contacting their favorite deity. Like a Fed-Ex to send messages to your gods. Cats, of course, being the most prolific and easiest to breed for mummification were also the least effort (compared to catching an ibis, crocodile, or the extensive effort to mummify a buII; for example). The greater value cats had to them were when cats were dead and mummified for a pre-addressed message envelope to contact their Bastet. This is why they found over 300,000 young mummified cats buried there. Cats were a low-effort and cost-effective dead-animal-messenger. This too probably accounts for Bastet’s popularity, driven by the cost and effort of a dead-animal prayer-envelope, she was cheapest and easiest to talk to. Any dead cat was good for a hope and a prayer to Her. 🙂

      I often wonder if this isn’t what, in part, led to their eventual downfall, what with all the diseases cats spread. Someone was at least smart and wise enough to make it a religious-custom to kill them at high rates. Cats’ Toxoplasma gondii brain-hijacking parasite might have even caused mental problems in their leaders and general population (as it does today; causing autism, schizophrenia, ADHD, IED, epilepsy, memory loss, debilitating depressions, prostate-cancer (a new finding), female-suicides (did this cause the fate of Cleopatra?), and brain tumors in humans — the “insane cat lady” isn’t just an urban legend, there’s real evidence to prove their mentally-compromised medical condition now).

      It is also interesting to note that people who want to worship cats today, claiming that’s what Egyptians did, aren’t doing it properly. They must kill them while young, mummify them, insert a papyrus prayer-note to the god of their choice (but only if that is its totem-animal species, so it gets to the right address), then leave them at the altar of their nearest place of worship.

      It seems that today’s cat-lickers just can’t do anything right.

    2. re: On the pro side because of “history”?

      Your reasoning reminds me of the story of a housewife who, whenever cooking a rump-roast always cut off a large portion of one end of it. Her husband was always baffled by this and asked her one day why she does this. She said she didn’t know, but that’s the way her mother always cooked that piece of meat and it always turned-out perfect. One day her mother came to dinner and the husband asked her about how and why she always cooks a rump-roast by cutting of a large portion of one end of it.

      Her reply, “Oh, because the only baking-dish I’ve ever had is too small for a whole one.”

      That’s what blindly following history without asking questions brings you.

  16. For those unaware, here’s the full list, many new (and deadly) ones that even the CDC hasn’t put on their websites yet.

    These are just the diseases these invasive species vermin cats have been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Afipia felis, Anthrax, Bartonella (Rochalimaea) henselae (Cat-Scratch Disease), Bergeyella (Weeksella) zoohelcum, Campylobacter Infection, Chlamydia psittaci (feline strain), Cowpox, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Cutaneous larva migrans, Dermatophytosis, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Neisseria canis, Pasteurella multocida, Plague, Poxvirus, Rabies, Rickettsia felis, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection (including the most dangerous new super-strain found only in cats), Scabies, Sporothrix schenckii (Sporotrichosis), Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasmosis, Trichinosis, Visceral larva migrans, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Bird-flu (H1N1, H5N1, H7N2), Bovine Tuberculosis, Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, Tularemia, Rat-Bite Fever, SARS, an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staph aureus (MRSA — Meticillin-Resistant Staph aureus) “The flesh-eating disease”, and Leishmania infantum; can now also be added to CDC’s list.

    When ridding your lands and lives of these highly destructive man-made invasive-species vermin cats please do so in a manner where you can safely and sanitarily retrieve that useless carcass and dispose of it so no other life comes in contact with it. Your wildlife and neighbors will thank you. If using guns, I’d even advise against using a shotgun (the tool of choice in the past), too much disease-filled splatter. Make it clean as possible. Wear gloves while disposing of any cat-carcasses and even bury or burn those gloves too when the last cat in your area is finally gone. You need to dispose of that cat safely and hygienically so that wildlife won’t die from the deadly diseases cats spread even after their death. Leaving ANY cat out in nature, alive OR dead, is no better than intentionally poisoning your native wildlife to death. I know this. I fed some wildlife and their offspring that they had while under my care with one of the hundreds of shot-dead cats on my lands. Those native animals then promptly died from some disease in that invasive-species cat-meat. Cats truly are complete and total wastes-of-flesh. They can’t even be used to feed wildlife safely. And letting live cats roam free is absolutely NO different than throwing DDT on everyone’s property to outright kill any other living thing. It’s now time to put the cap back on every bottle of man-made environmental-poison labeled “CAT” and dispose of all of them too as environmentally safe as is humanely possible. Then make the production, ownership, and use-of any bottle labeled as “CAT” into a punishable fine, just like DDT was responsibly dealt with to end that similarly man-made environmental disaster.

  17. It looks like a bunch of guys have been listening to the dog tell them how evil cats are. We are an equal opportunity farm. We allow both cats and dogs equal opportunity as long as they get along with the other. I try to remain objective when world war three breaks out on my patio because the dog got a little rough with the cat.

    1. “Just the facts ma’am”. Sgt Joe Friday. Not productive to turn things into a gender scrap. The facts are what they are. Felines have a serious detrimental impact on native species don’t belong in the wild. At best, they belong confined in homes, and not allowed to run free. The negatives they deliver are documented, not opinionated. There is no place for subjective opinion in rational arguments.

      1. Just interjecting my experience here. I moved to a country home on 15 acres in 1998. In the field next to mine was a small prairie dog town that housed about 25 or so mounds. In the first month out there, a small weasel showed up on our back porch (just checking the new house out.) he/she was a very cute animal. I would get a glimpse of it every so often that first year. it lived in the prairie dog town and obviously ate them.
        A year later, the weasel was gone. The barn cat (1 cat only, spayed) and it couldn’t co-exist that close together. Within a year, the prairie dog town was out of control. The approximately 25 mounds quickly grew to 100, then 200, then 400 mounds. I had to work with the property owner to poison the prairie dogs on a regular basis and never could get the population down under 50 to 100 mounds. That one weasel was the most effective natural control I’ve ever seen of those prairie dogs. My cat occasionally ate one, but mostly just begged for cat food. The cat also caught mice for fun, but never really effectively controlled them, even when we underfed it it to force it to hunt.
        Within another 3 years, I had trouble keeping cats around because the coyotes would eat them. In the end, I couldn’t get rid of the cats because the kids liked them, but they were miserable at keeping the rodent population down.

    2. If you own a farm and have free-roaming cats, do you sell or give-away any products from your land or livestock? Even fresh eggs.

      If so, we need to call the health-department on you and have you shut-down. Those nasty Toxoplasma gondii infected eggs, cheese, vegetables, and milk isn’t allowed on the market legally.

      What’s your name and address. It’s time you were shut-down for the safety of your whole community.

  18. Great comment HJL! Even though the records are anecdotal m/l, the fact remains that the weasel was the effective natural predator, the cats were not, and the pop of the p-dogs skyrocketed when the weasel decided to re-locate. Lord knows where/why he vacated. Might have died, become lunch for another predator, or simply skeeedadled. Enter the subjective factor of “kids loving kittys”, and the problem becomes clear. “Reason” is often conquered by emotion. Too bad kittys aren’t ugly 🙂

    PS: bet this writer had no idea how big the reaction would be on this issue!

    1. There’s a good reason one species was even named the Barn-Owl, another the Rat-Snake. Gray-Fox being another excellent mouser, they don’t even have European fowl on their menus and will even climb trees to keep squirrel populations in check. Even the 1.75-inch Masked-Shrew, a David & Goliath success story, evolved a poisonous bite specifically for preying on rodents right where they breed. Even the scent of these miniature marvels being around drives away rodents (unlike cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasite that just makes rodents attracted to cats). But what do their cats do? They destroy these most beneficial of all rodent predators the very first chance they get.

  19. If you feed outdoor cats used for rodent control even a scrap of food they won’t hunt. They have to starve to want to kill. If you starve them they’ll clean the place out. I’ve seen it over and over in peoples barns, the minute you put out any cat food at all they stop hunting completely.

    1. @TexasScout,
      I would agree. The problem is that if you don’t feed them, there always seems to be some neighbor that will happily throw out a few scraps for them and the *poof* no cat. Cats have to be the most fickle disloyal animals I have ever known.

    2. This is a lie. Cats hunt whether well-fed or not. We purposely bred them to be that way. The two drives to hunt or eat are now controlled by two different portions of their brains. In fact, a well-fed cat will hunt and torture-to-death even more animals than a starving cat. They have more energy to do what we bred them to do.

  20. In the wintertime, I give the dog and cats some dry cat food. It is in limited amount. Sometimes, I feed the dog in a separate area than the cats. In the summertime, I give low protein, low fat dog food in limited amount. It keeps them alive and present, but not satisfied. The idea is, they fulfill their dietary needs from mice and such. It seems to work. My cats are always on the skinny side. I’ve actually been quite surprised at cats I see years later at other people’s houses, cats I gave them. They get huge! Mine never ever get that big.

    1. Self-inflicted ignorance won’t save you from today’s reality.

      And as long as you mention it …

      Yes, “The Black Death” (the plague) is alive and well today and being spread by people’s cats this time around. Hundreds of people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA in the last 3 decades; all three forms of it transmitted by your community-vermin CATS — septicemic, bubonic, and pneumonic. For a fun read, one of hundreds of cases, Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague — http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8059908

      There were 6 more deaths from cat-transmitted plague in just the last 6 months. How many more deaths by cat-transmitted plague do you want to wait for before you finally believe it?

      Recommendations to avoid zoonotic transmission: Cats are considered the most important domestic animal involved in plague transmission to humans, and in endemic areas, outdoor cats may transmit the infection to their owners or to persons caring for sick cats (veterinarians and veterinary nurses).”

  21. I have a new found appreciation for feral cats,
    we had a long term rabbit and vole infestation in our neighborhood and while I was catching plenty of them in traps it didn’t seem to make much of a dent in the population. Then we had a feral cat and 4 kittens show up. Now I rarely see any rabbits and have not seen a vole in a very long time.

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