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Monday, April 23, 2012

Should Cats Be On Leashes?

(Flickr/Shamanic Shift)

Concord, Mass., resident Lydia Lodynsky says that neighborhood cats destroyed her backyard bird sanctuary, despite a 6-foot fence, and she wants to do something about it.

After approaching her neighbors and receiving no response, she’s now proposing several Citizen’s petitions at a town meeting scheduled for Monday night.

The petitions call for an Animal Control officer to be hired, require that cats be licensed, vaccinated and regulated, and urge that the Town Manager and Board of Selectmen establish principles and guidelines for “Responsible Pet Ownership.”

While many towns require that cats be licensed or spayed and neutered, Lydia wants Concord to join the few American jurisdictions that have laws that regulate cat’s wanderings. Lydia told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that she saw a drop in the bluebird population in her yard from six males and females down to one male, after a cat got the last females.

“It was the saddest thing because for three weeks we had to listen him with the mating calls searching because there were no more females left in the area,” she said.

Guest:

  • Lydia Lodynsky, Concord, Massachusetts resident

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Jemimah

    Oh, good GOD!  I won’t go into a rant about the suffocating over-regulation in our country right now, but will make a simple suggestion: bells.  I don’t want to see birds eaten by cats, either, but a bell on a collar should be fair enough warning.  Sadly, life is dangerous, but it’s even sadder to get so hung up on keeping everything and everyone safe that no one–man or beast–has any liberties any more.

    • Llida

      bells do nothing for saving birds from cats

    • Matthew Pendergast

      bells don’t work. Cats should not be outside.

    • Frank

       Well known that bells do nothing.  Sorry you are ignorant about the problem of overhunting of birds due to high concentrations of cats, but maybe you should educate yourself before making some kooky conspiracy theory about restrictions on liberties.

      • Mike

         HAHAHAHAHA!

    • Terry

      You’re absolutely right. The issue *is* one of liberty. If you own a pet cat, why should it be ok for *your* pet cat to be in *my* yard?

    • Mjw

      Oh my god nothing.  I am completely with Ms. Lodynsky.  I encountered the same issues several years ago when I started to create a bird sanctuary in my back yard.  The feeders attracted birds and consequently cats—lots of them.  Some of my neighbors have FOUR cats.  It’s just incredible to me that people would decide to own a cat and then impose it on others.  And they’re not only killing birds, they use the yard as a litter box.  
      I have had the expense of enclosing my yard in more and that is completely unfair.  It should be the cat owner that keeps its cat in their own yard, not their neigborhoods responsibility to keep them out.
      Quite frankly, I am appalled at the lack of  consideration on the cat owner’s part.  They do not have the right to allow their cat in my yard. 

      • Llida

        thank you Mjw

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oregon-Stream/100002120209443 Oregon Stream

      To me, there’s something a bit unnatural about a cat being couped up in a modest house. And I know from experience that it ‘can’ lead to weight/health trouble if you can’t frequently play with them. So my two cats go out together for some exercise during the day and come back in before sunset. They’re fully vaccinated, have territorial control of our yard area/no serious fighting (not that anyone would want to mess with Harry :-) ), and they rarely catch anything more than a mouse. Even though there are lots of birds around here (that could themselves be classified as “invasive species” from Europe, re: the discussion below). :-0. 

      This is also in a quiet neighborhood and they’ve always been cautious of cars. So maybe whether you allow your cat out unattended might depend on the cat and the neighborhood circumstances/how many other cats are wandering around etc. I’m sure in many urban and suburban situations it wouldn’t be a great idea.

      • Llida

        density of homes, location, environmental surroundings – yes, all make a difference. That’s why this bylaw considers “agreement among community / neighbors”: if the neighbors agree to your cat in their yard, then there is no problem, is there?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oregon-Stream/100002120209443 Oregon Stream

          Well, around here there’s never been a formal agreement and never a problem. So ultimately it depends on the situation. As long as it ends at neighborhood agreement based on serious concerns, that’s fine in my book.

      • ..

        If you don’t have time/space enough to give your cat proper exercise, don’t buy one.

    • Headphones54321

      At least in Florida you can stand your ground and shoot the cat if you feel threatened.

      By the way, why is it such a burden for cat owners to leash their animals, but dog owners can figure it out? These animals should be controlled, for wildlife and human safety. I have liability insurance on my dog in case it gets lose and causes a car accident, I believe cats are an equal danger in this respect.

      • Anonymous

        Protecting yourself, your animals, and property from destructive animals is true everywhere. I’ve had to shoot and bury hundreds of these invasive-species cats in the past. I tried to feed some to starving native wildlife (all had starved to death or were almost there, from cats having destroyed all their food sources). But that wildlife promptly died from some disease in that cat-meat. Cats truly are complete wastes of flesh. You can’t even use them to safely feed your native wildlife. Leaving ANY cat out in nature, alive OR dead, is no better than intentionally poisoning your wildlife to death.

        The law in the USA is that it is perfectly legal to destroy any animal, someone’s pet or not, that is threatening the health, well-being, and safety of your own animals or family (also true even in most densely populated cities, firearms laws permitting, if not then 700-1200fps air-rifles are commonly used). The only animals exempt from you taking immediate action, legally, are those listed on endangered or threatened species lists, and any bird species under protection of MBTA (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act). Even then variances can be given should there be sufficient problem but this requires further study by authorities. Since cats are listed in the TOP 40 WORST invasive-species of the world in the “Global Invasive Species Database”, this means they have no protection whatsoever from being shot on sight, they are not on any protected-species list anywhere in the world. And in fact, if your area enforces and obeys invasive-species laws — as they should — then it is against the law to NOT destroy any cat on sight, someone’s pet or not. It is your civic and moral responsibility to destroy any invasive-species that is found away from supervised confinement and roaming freely in a non-native habitat.

        A cat-owner that releases their cat in an area zoned for any form of livestock or agricultural use or unincorporated land has no legal grounds to sue anyone if their cat is shot. Even if the shooter walks up to the door of the ex-cat-owner and hands their dead cat back to them, saying, “I shot your cat, here it is! Better luck next time!” Though local law-enforcement frowns on this because the criminally-irresponsible ex-cat-owner will just raise a stink with law-enforcement, wasting their time when they have more important things to do than explain to and coddle an idiot. Hence the popular “SSS Cat Management Program” (Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-Up) method to save your gendarmes the further hassle by the ex-cat-owning trouble-makers.

        In fact, here’s a publication from a study done by the University of Nebraska on the best ways to HUMANELY deal with a feral-cat problem wherever you live. This documentation INCLUDES the best firearms, ammo, and air-rifles required to HUMANELY destroy cats. http://deenawinter.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ec1781.pdf

        Besides, what difference does it make if the cat gets shot or ran over by a car, attacked by another cat or animal, drowned, or poisoned by plants animals or chemicals? The result is the same. The cause is the same — the fault of the criminally irresponsible pet-owner that let that invasive-species pet roam free. It only means they really didn’t care about that cat at all so nobody else should either. They’ve already proved their animal is expendable. You can tell who cares about their pets in rural areas, their pets are still alive.

        • reality check

          well said!  Why stop at cats!  keep those squirrels, deer, fox, rabbit, ground hogs, mice, ants etc. off my property.  don’t they know they’re trespassing!  who gave them the right to eat my vegetables.  I say every property owner should install an electric fence.

          news flash, cats aren’t native to  America…..and neither are YOU!  if you can’t see that your home and everything that supports your living there is more destructive to your birds than the cats then you need a history lesson. 

          • Anonymous

            Here’s my standard issue prepared reply for bible-home-schooled people like you:

            Homo sapiens is NOT an invasive species ANYWHERE, you freakishly stupid moron. Since humans have the genetic code to give them the capability to travel/migrate to ANY part of the globe, this means they are native to any area they can travel to on their own. Just like birds that have this capability and can travel to different continents and islands. Those that have the flight-range required to do so are NATIVE to those areas that they are capable of traveling to ON THEIR OWN.

            (And for the love of all that’s good in the world, PLEASE don’t display your further ignorance and stupidity by trying to claim that Europeans, Native Americans, and Asians are different “species”. That’s usually your next huge omelet-on-the-face move that you astoundingly ignorant fools make.) (edit: OOOPS! You already did! Like that’s any surprise.)

            Whereas, an animal genetically engineered through selective breeding, such as CATS, are NOT AN INDIGENOUS SPECIES ANYWHERE. They are no more natural to any native environment anywhere on earth than some genetically engineered insect that was invented in some lab, that once released out into nature will destroy all native wildlife, JUST AS CATS DO. Someone once kept a “pet” bee one time. He too selectively bred this pet. After he selectively bred it it was called an Africanized Bee. It accidentally escaped his supervised confinement, and look what happened. Luckily for us they’re’ not destroying the complete food-chain in every ecosystem where they are found today, are limited in their range, and they’re not spreading many deadly diseases to all humans and wildlife — you know, all those fun things that these domesticated-species cats do.

            If you phenomenally stupid cretins are going to use ecology, biology, speciation, and genetics in your arguments, the very LEAST that you could do is have a base comprehension of what you are talking about. Don’t you think?

            No. And that’s the problem with terminally ignorant morons like you, you CAN’T think.

            If ONLY there was a legal cure for “stupid”.

          • Guest

             You’re still a cunt.

    • amyinnh

       Please stop over with your shovel and spare me the time and “hangup” of burying of the beheaded squirrel in my yard.  My neighbor is aware his cat did this and yet, he’s nowhere in sight for the cleanup.

  • J Frog

    Birds on leashes, too??  Only fair.

    • J Frog

      ….because birds are trespassing and pillaging my garden.

      • Rnldjnsn

         Idiot

        • J Frog

           I guess someone can’t take a joke.

      • Anonymous

        Lemme guess…  Cherries?  Mulberries?

  • Llida

    I never advocated cats on leashes in the Articles; rather – I suggested building enclosures for outdoor cats, similar to people putting up fences for their dogs.

  • Mar

    I asked my neighbor just to put a bell on her cats so my birds could hear them coming – actually asked several times. No go. I feel about this the same way I do about dog shit – the good old days when you could just let your dog poop is over. Same for cats just roaming free. The bird population is seriously under attack!

  • Amanda

    I am grossed out by this whimpering ‘non issue’ – cats in ‘enclosures’ or on leashes – I think we should make Lydia live in doors or only be allowed out on leash and see how she likes it.   

    • Bob

       Non-issue?  Only if you have your head in the sand.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/science/21birds.html

      • Amanda

        this is a non-issue.  people and children starving and dying here in the US and across the world is an issue, not cats killing birds.  sorry bob.

        • Llida

          …. then I think you must be at the wrong story

        • Bob

           Brilliant.  Because there are people starving and dying in the U.S., we should disregard all other matters that do not involve starving and dying. 

    • Guest

      Amanda, Seems you think that only what concerns you is an issue.  There’s a word for that…self-centered comes to mind.  Maybe you ought to learn how to be considerate of others.

    • CarrieM

       Amanda, would you be okay if I let my dog routinely crap in your yard and urinate on your lawn furniture and car?

  • Jemimah

    Lest you imagine that I’m not all for birds, you should know that I am ridiculously soft-hearteda and don’t even kill ants anymore.  Last summer, I  pried a bird from the jaws of my cat, who was ON MY BALCONY when he caught a bird.  The bird lived and I was very happy to have saved it.  That said, birds are wild.  Cats aren’t going into people houses and replaying old Tweetie and Sylvester episodes.  You’re going too far.  There aren’t even leash laws for dogs in Concord, which is a wonderful thing.  At some point, we lovers of life have to accept that this is natural selection and the way of nature.  But I will say that I’ve seen evidence that bells do help. 

    • Llida

      I don’t know which Concord you live in but we do have “leash laws” for dogs in Concord, although they maybe better recognized as laws against roaming….

    • Bob

       Please read this article.  It is not the “way of nature” or natural selection at work.  It is a high concentration of an invasive species preying on a vulnerable population:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/science/21birds.html

      And of course there are leash laws for dogs in Concord; don’t be silly.
      http://www.massdog.org/2009/06/leash-laws/

    • Guest

      If someone doesn’t want a neighbor’s cat in their yard then the cat owner needs to keep it out of the neighbor’s yard – period. 

    • CarrieM

       “Last summer, I  pried a bird from the jaws of my cat, who was ON MY
      BALCONY when he caught a bird.  The bird lived and I was very happy to
      have saved it.”

      Sadly, while you saved it from suffering by being batted around by your cat to death, you didn’t save its life.

      Cats have bacteria in their saliva and claws that is nearly always fatal to small animals.  Unless you rushed the bird to a wildlife care center to receive antibiotics, it most likely died within 24 hours.

  • Mike from Rutland, MA

    Lydia, you just put a target on your back for critics on this messaging board and in your community for arguably THE dumbest reason.

    • Guest

      Meep, rather arrogant of you to decide it is The dumbest reason. Obviously, you aren’t inconvienced by the problem…it is a huge problem.  

  • Matthew Pendergast

    I love my birds, my cats and all animals. Cats should NEVER go outside. It is too dangerous period. If you want to give them the longest and best life possible, keep them INSIDE. One of my ferals has been inside for 2 years and she wants no part of going outside. When she’s purring with her motor on full power and looking at me with complete joy and peace in her eyes, I know she’s thinking thank you for saving me from starvation or death.

    • meep

      I agree, cats do live longer indoors.  The problem in your argument is that you’re speaking about the health of the cat.  The topic in questions is SHOULD owners be forced to keep cats indoors or tethered.  This is not about the health of the cat, it’s about the owner’s ability to make decisions about private matters.

      • Llida

        it’s not a “private matter” if it’s in MY yard!

        • Anonymous

          So….following this train of thought, since my neighbors fog their yards with horrific chemicals that threaten the wildlife in my yard, I  should seek sanctions against them? 

      • Bob

         It’s not a private matter if it’s impacting neighbors and birds.

      • Guest

        It isn’t really about the “owner’s ability to make decisions about private matters”.  Imposing a cat on someone and not allowing them to enjoy their private domain for which they pay taxes, is not a private matter.

    • Guest

      My cat went outside everyday for the full 21 years of her life. She enjoyed it every day.

      • Guest

        And your neighbors…or don’t you care that they have rights too.

        • Guest

          My neighbors loved my cat. They enjoyed seeing her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

    This woman is an idiot. Those birds, chipmunks, etc. could have died from *any* number of other causes. 

    I love birds (and cats) and have the privilege to live in the migratory flight path for bluebirds, cardinals, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, evening/rose breasted grosbeaks, flickers, cardinals, robins and dozens of english sparrows. We live in an urban neighborhood with at least a dozen cats that are largely outdoor cats, and cared for by a police detective on our block. We have *no* rat problem and we still have plenty of squirrels and other migratory birds.

    Cats are predators. Birds are prey. The smart, healthy ones fly away and stay out of trouble, while those that are not, become lunch. That is the natural order of things.

    Birds don’t need legislation to protect them from the bad ol’ puddy tat.

    • Anonymous

      I would agree with you if cats were native species to the US which they are not.

      Cats should be contained where they can’t harm native species animals.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

        Fair enough. 

        So cougars, wolves, bison and black bears are all native species to the lower 48 states that have all but disappeared from the natural habitat. Perhaps we should bring them back, too.

        Better yet, if you live in a suburb, sell your house and move to an already-developed urban area if preservation of native species means that much to you. There is no more invasive species than Homo Sapiens.

        • Bob

           Call_Me_Missouri is not advocating “bringing back” black bears, he is advocating for invasive homo sapiens (you are right) to control one of their invasive domesticated animals to prevent the nearly complete decimation of native species, i.e. birds.  It’s not that hard or ridiculous.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

            Unless you know the user personally, I think Call_Me_Missouri can and should answer for him/herself. 

            While I choose to keep my cats indoors for all the reasons cited here, I’m not about to insist that others should do likewise. 

            I happen to like seeing cats pass through my yard, and I like seeing the cats in our neighborhood for the reasons I cited; they provide an important public service without the use of poisons or traps. We had a bad rat problem about 10 years ago and we don’t anymore.

            Perhaps the thing I left out is that many or most of these cats came to be in our neighborhood because of the irresponsibility of others; we live near a college and at the end of every term, irresponsible students who adopted pets and can’t/won’t take them home, release them onto the streets. It’s not many, but like clockwork, 2 or 3 show up every June. Our local chapter of the SPCA is also overburdened to the point of having to euthanize. 

            Though the system we have works…it’s not ideal to be sure. It does however stop a lot of the suffering that these cats might otherwise endure, and it’s certainly better than being put to death or stuck in a cage for years on end.

          • Bob

             Yeah, you just lost all credibility.  You’re clearly the idiot.

          • Beffkin

             Bob, you’re an arse. FACT.

          • Llida

            Craig – you raise one really important point here,  and that is the irresponsible act of students “dumping cats” they no longer want to care for  -  contributing to the cat problem, overburdening the SPCA and causing more cats to get euthanized; that is a tragedy all around for everyone! Education to humans is key for this problem, and teaching responsible pet care critical.  An Article for Responsible Pet Ownership addresses that, and that is being presented along with the Cat Bylaw in the same town….  More towns should do the same, for animals, pets and owner’s sake.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

            I’ve retracted the pejorative, with apologies to Llida. I was out of line.

            Llida: obviously, the education is out there for those who care to look. You’ve accepted it. I’ve accepted it. Millions of others have accepted it. Unfortunately, all the education and referential resources in the world are of no good to those who don’t care to listen, and it leaves the cats as being the only ones who suffer. Keeping 6 cats indoors is the most I can do…if I could do more I would. I do more than most. So I ask you what happens to the innocent creatures that end up on the wrong side of your bylaw?As for you Bob: how exactly have I lost all credibility? Because I think this is a laughable premise?

          • Llida

            I’d like to answer that – but I am not sure which creatures you are referring to in “on the wrong side of the bylaw”?  which ones are on the wrong side? 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

            That would be the cats.

          • Llida

            well  I don’t think a bylaw can affect anything that isn’t addressed by it….not at least the way these have been written ;-)

          • Bob

             With this line:
            Unless you know the user personally, I think Call_Me_Missouri can and should answer for him/herself.

            Let me rephrase my original point: the only person talking about “bringing back” black bears etc. is you in your specious analogy. 

            So far all of your cute analogies have been irrelevant.  Empty, illogical rhetoric.  You refuse to address the central points, i.e. that cat owners should not have unfettered rights to let their animals trespass on neighbors’ property, and a large body of evidence demonstrates that the high concentration of outdoor cats in urban and suburban communities is decimating bird populations.  Instead, you focus on assumptions based on your own limited anecdotal evidence, non sequiturs, “herding cats”, and an unfounded parade of horribles.

            The result is you are so self-satisfied with your cleverness (and others’ idiocy) that you are not seeing the other side at all.

            Do any cursory research and you will realize that, despite what you originally thought, this simply is not true:

            “Birds don’t need legislation to protect them from the bad ol’ puddy tat.”
             

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

            Ah. So I retract my pejoratives while you pile them on. Is this your idea of addressing the central point?

            Very well, I’ll address the central point: that because cats kill birds, they should be regulated like dogs.

            I went into this post expecting to pick it apart with the absence of hard fact, initially finding only blog posts and anecdotal evidence. However, I did eventually find a credible, authoritative source which prompted further reading. 

            And so…while I don’t often reverse myself, I’m man enough to admit when it becomes clear that I may have jumped to quickly to judgement. I concede that I may have done so here in dismissing this issue out of hand as laughable, and extend appropriate apologies to those whom I might have offended with my ignorance. There is indeed credible, scholarly evidence to support the assertion that in certain areas, cats pose a legitimate threat to native species.

            I still disagree however, that legislation should prevail over education.  My takeaway is that the problem with cats is the same as the problem with people: the population is not sustainable, and until there is universal spaying/neutering of pets of all species (dogs, cats, snakes, tortoises, birds), those species will be a growing threat to native species and biodiversity as a whole. But to place cats on the same level as kudzu is hyperbole.

            Moreover, every source I found also indicates that while cats present a problem as a stress factor to bird populations, they pale in comparison to purely human factors (e.g. buildings, windows, bridges, motor vehicles).

            This and the population issue obviously raises larger questions that cannot be settled here, and I won’t try.

            So I’ll conclude by saying you’ve got my attention, and I will work to support a solution that addresses the problem that exists outside the actions of responsible people.

          • Llida

            Craig – you have my deepest respect. For someone to jump into this as you did and then have the interest and motivation to look into it deeper, resulting in a different perspective, is an attribute few have. I wish there were more people like you  :)  Your conversation was stimulating, bright and ultimately educating; what better model could we ask for?  :)  

          • Llida

            thank you Craig :)  

          • Llida

            Craig – as we now have an Animal Control Officer in town (a huge improvement over last year!) we will work with his team to try to identify and return the cats to their rightful owners and if there is no owner, the cats (and dogs) are placed in a no-kill adoption center.

          • Anonymous

            RE:  irresponsible college student owners…   I think I benefited from one of those types…  My first cat adopted me while I lived across the street from a University.  It never occurred to me that she was likely dumped by a stupid student but it is likely that that is what happened to my poor little girl kitty.  I took her in and loved her for many years until she died.  Though I agree with you that dumping cats is totally irresponsible, I think I benefited from one of the jerks that did just that.

            I have no trouble passing laws forcing people to be responsible for their pets.  I think it is terribly unfair that dog owners have to have their yards fenced and keep their dogs on leashes but cat owners can let their cats roam the neighborhood spraying all over the place.

            Right now, where I live I cannot remove stray cats from my property AND the animal control people won’t do it either.  So, I’m stuck with these invasive not-fixed/neutered/spayed cats that show up every fall and every spring on our carport by the screened in door, face to face with my cats who have apparently decided that they are not going to welcome any more cats into their enclave.   When they can’t get to the invading cat to beat them up, they are so angry they forget what cats live in the house and start World War 3.  It takes several days to untangle the mess.

            Needless to say I own a trap now.  I haven’t had the heart yet to put it out to start trapping these cats, but eventually I will and I will dump these cats far away and they can pester someone else.

          • Llida

            Call_Me_Missouri = “like”   :)

          • Anonymous

            Yes, you CAN remove those cats from your yard. Where cat-advocates have successfully and illegally hijacked your communities, all your properties, and even your lawmakers through their manipulative deceptions and lies; you still have several very effective options.

            The two most popular cat management programs that are sweeping the nation today are:

            SSS = Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-Up
            TDSS = Trap, Drown, Shovel, & Shut-up

            Both are perfectly legal on every square foot of this earth. No local laws were broken if it never happened!

            (As an absolute last resort, Google for the effects of Acetaminophen pain-relievers, cheap generic tylenol family, being a safer and more species-specific method. But this is irresponsible to any of your native wildlife that might die from contracting any cats’ diseases that might feed on the cat. They really need to be dealt with in a manner where they can be retrieved and disposed of responsibly by burying deeply or incinerating to stop them from spreading their deadly diseases any further, even after they are dead.)

            It’s nobody else’s responsibility to keep THEIR highly destructive invasive-species pet off of others’ property. That’s THEIR job. It’s not even anyone’s job to let them know where their cat is or what happened to it. If it disappears or dies, by ANY means, that’s THEIR fault. Anyone who lets their cat roam free has already proved that their pet is 100% expendable. They don’t give one damn if their cat is ran over by a car, laps up antifreeze in a gutter or someone’s garage, eats vermin-poison under someone’s steps, or dies from cat or other animal attacks. They don’t even care if a loving family of 4 dies in a bloody car-accident from trying to swerve to avoid their cat. They care about NOTHING AND NOBODY but themselves. The ONLY time they express any concern is when their cat dies. Then they pretend to care so they can use self-victimization to manipulate everyone around them into feeling sorry for their pathetic and criminally-irresponsible lives.

            You can never train a cat to stay out of your yard. But I found that you CAN, in time, train a cat-owner in how to responsibly keep pet cats. They have already proved to everyone their pet is expendable, so just play along. Speed up the inevitable. You have to make about 12-15 of their cats mysteriously and permanently disappear before they start to figure out what they’ve been doing wrong all their sad and sorry life. Not only does this teach them how to be responsible pet-owners, but it also turns them into respectable neighbors.

            Though some cat-owners are astoundingly stupid. I had to shoot and bury HUNDREDS of their cats in my area before any of them started to figure out how to be a responsible pet-owner. Yes, they’re just that phenomenally stupid. Just like their cats. In fact, they’re even more stupid than their cats. If a cat can outsmart them to get outside — which of those two is smarter?

          • Guest

             You’re still a cunt.

          • Anonymous

             If you act as criminally irresponsible as those who let those cats by you, and dump them by me …. I’ve already shot and buried hundreds of your piece-of-sh** cats. I have NO intentions of going through that nasty job again. A job that was FORCED on me by criminally-irresponsible people.

            If anyone dumps cats by me again … there might be more than cats that are turning into trees out in the woods.

          • Llida

            I would agree and empathize with you on all accounts except “dumping them far away to pester someone else”; try finding the nearest shelter and have them try to place them up for adoption. 

        • Anonymous

          I’m actually OK with bringing cougars, wolves, bison and black bears back.

          I more than support the re-settling of already-developed urban areas for too many reasons to list.

          Anything else?

    • Bob

       Craig, the facts are out there if you choose to look.  The problem is the extremely high concentration of outdoor cats in urban/suburban areas.  And your natural selection theory is laughable.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

        No more laughable than herding cats through legislation. :-D

        • Bob

           We control dogs through legislation, why not cats?  True, cats are not going to maul a child (at least not too bad), but is protecting native birds from decimation really such a ridiculous use of the same police power?  I understand the gut reaction when you think of an individual bird and cat, but when you look at the facts, you realize it’s a real problem on a larger scale.  Here’s another NYT article that links to another study:
          http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/science/29angi.html?_r=1 

    • Terry

      I’m sorry, but your angry bias is blatently obvious. You pretend you respect the “natural order of things” but I don’t see you protesting the existence of roads, vehicles, pollution or pesticides. And as for the fictitious police detective that cares for the dozen cats in your neighborhood, I think he would probably have better things to do than to deal with *other* peoples’ pets. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

        Hmmm…well, we weren’t talking about any of those other things here until now, as far as I know. 

        But since you opened the door I’d be happy to state that I think I have a greater respect than most by recycling everything I can, buying locally-sourced organic produce whenever possible, refusing to use plastic shopping bags and walking or using public transportation whenever I can. 

        As for anger: I’m not angry at all. I just think this whole premise is goofy…herding cats indeed. I won’t apologize for saying so.

        And I think Detective Militello would argue that he is as real as you are.

    • Everymom

      I agree that’s the natural order, but the point is, some of us don’t care to have it be the natural order in our back yards. The point is simple – why should YOUR CAT be in MY YARD? My dog can’t be in your yard, can it? My kid can’t come to your yard if he feels like it, can he? So why do cat owners consider it their right to let their cats wander wherever they like? I’ve never understood that. 

      • Llida

        absolutely!

    • Mjw

      The woman is not an idiot…you are insensitive and nasty.  She has a very legitimate argument.  So, what is your excuse for being so unkind?  

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

        You’re right. I have none and have retracted the pejorative.

    • amyinnh

       Misses the point, that the cat, someone’s pet, is not welcome.  I can also claim my ‘gator, python, etc. likes to wander through yards and anything they’re bound to eat would die anyways.  Please post an address, I have a few neighboring cats I’d like to send the detective.

    • Llida

      sorry – but cats are not part of the “natural order”, especially once they’ve taken over a territory. We brought them here. It is our (humans) fault for allowing their numbers to grow out of control; that’s why the TNR (trap/neuter/return) programs have been used with the feral population, which is what it sounds like you are referring too.  Ferals are an entire different story, and this bylaw does not include them; the bylaw only pertains to domestic pet cats.

  • Anonymous

    Cats do not *have* to go outside.  I have 4 cats now and had two others before and I have owned them all…  formerly outdoor stray, feral and as I call them…  “5th generation indoor house cat”.  They all have been indoor only cats with me and none of them have shown any indication of feeling tortured by not going outside.  Actually the few times a cat has gotten out, the cat that left was so terrified that it took a lot of searching to find them.  One time I had to leave the door open for two days and the cat came back in on his own.

    People who let their cats roam only do-so in hopes of not having to clean up a litter box.  

    There is no smell more rancid than cat poop and cat pee.  There is no sound more grating than cats fighting.

    Cats belong inside.  They are not a native species in this country.  They have no business roaming, just like other imported animals.

    • Llida

      you are absolutely correct; cats are NOT native to this country….and not part of the natural landscape.  That argument is so old….

      • Jemimah

        What does the fact that they’re not native to the States have to do with anything?? 

        • Bob

           Non-native is not that important; invasive is.  Think asian carp.  Think kudzu.

        • Anonymous

          It has to do with the fact that cats create an imbalance in our natural local ecosystem.  Things were in balance before humans brought them here and let them loose and the local birds suffer as a result.

      • Anonymous

        Yes I know I AM absolutely correct.  I don’t need you to tell me that.

        And apparently the message isn’t sinking in so it’s necessary to state the old argument over and over and over and over and over and over again.  It’s difficult to get a simple messages into Block Heads.

  • Ellyn

    I love cats AND birds.  BELLS should be mandated, no more.  Bells DO work and are the simple solution.

    • Llida

      do you have evidence of birds being saved from a bell wearing cat? I have heard thru hear-say that it works, but it did not work here, and it was attempted with all 3 cats…

    • Terry

      No, they don’t. Have you ever heard of facts?

    • Bob
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

    So secure your own yard if it means that much to you. Defend your own sensibilities versus forcing everyone else to abide by them.

    • Llida

      that is like asking our neighbors to put up a fence to keep OUR dog out….a totally inappropriate assignment of responsibilities regarding owning a pet….

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

        Dog laws exist because dogs are dangerous to people. Dogs also require maintenance, training and support to survive. Cats need no such oversight and if properly vaccinated (which is rightly mandated in most counties), pose *no* risk to people.
         
        Theres a reason that the phrase “like herding cats” exists as a simile representing a futile endeavor.
         
        Do you not see the irony in this proposition?

        • Llida

          no

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

            Figures. Tunnel vision. Go ahead and try to heard cats then.

          • Zack32

             Dear Craig,
                 No one is suggesting herding.  Your arguments is based on a false premise starting with a phrase you introduced that is not relevant here.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

            I’m sorry? What are you referring to?

          • Zack32

             You said:
            “There’s a reason that the phrase “like herding cats” exists as a simile representing a futile endeavor.” and
            “Go ahead and try to herd cats then.”

            I said:
            “Dear Craig,
                 No one is suggesting herding.  Your arguments is
            based on a false premise starting with a phrase you introduced that is
            not relevant here.” [i.e., herding]

            You said:
            “I’m sorry? What are you referring to?”

          • Bob

             Wow, you sure are getting a lot of mileage out of “hearding [sic] cats.”  Talk about tunnel vision.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

            oops…auto-correct ;-) fixed…

            yup. lots of mileage…infinite in fact, ‘coz it’s infinitely laughable.

          • Guest

            Herding cats isn’t the issue.  We need to herd inconsiderate neighbors.  Make them pay.  That’ll do it.

        • Everymom

          First off, cats DO pose a risk to people. Have you ever heard of toxoplasmosis? Second of all, does it matter whether they “pose a risk” to people. There are lots of things that don’t “pose a risk” to me; that doesn’t mean I want them, or should be forced to have them, in my back yard. 

        • CarrieM

          A cat bite or scratch that breaks the skin has a chance of developing into a deadly infection that can require amputation.

          If someone has a toy poodle that is a certified therapy dog, should they be allowed to let it roam free since its harmless to people?

          Other animals that pose no more risk to people than cats do:

          Ball python – a small, shy species of python that can’t eat anything much larger than a rat.  No one has ever been killed by this species, as it is almost impossible.

          Bearded dragon – a small/medium species of lizard that is harmless to people.  Eats bugs and vegetables.

          Leopard  gecko – small harmless species of gecko that feeds on small bugs.

          Parakeet – small species of bird that is harmless to humans.

          Rosehair tarantula – docile tarantula species possessing venom no more significant than a bee sting and, unlike bee venom, it is not possible to be allergic to it.  A bite from one would hurt no more than a cat bite.

          Should owners of these animals be allowed to let them roam free?

  • Guest

    LOL! Someone actually trying to legislate herding cats.

  • Juana

    Did Ms Lodynsky say she has a list of 85 ways to allow a cat out of doors and yet prevent them from killing birds?  

    I am a cat owner who at once believes: 
    1) It is entirely natural for cats t hunt, 
    2) an average American house cat is perhaps in a position to do too much damage; 
    in these times when birds experience so much more environmentally induced threats than ever before.  
    In other words, I could see at least tow sides of this issue. 

    BUT, I have not been able to identify anything, save one very expensive (~$2K for my tiny yard and likely $5-15K for a Concord homestead) net & steel post fencing with a full circumference top of fence skirting system (a hybrid of what they use at zoos for big ‘cats’ and what golf driving ranges use) which might work to limit the roving of a domestic feline.  

    I might add that the company that makes this item claims they will send a video and a sample of the fabric in response to an inquiry; yet they do not do so.

    • Llida

      Juana – I have a link on http://www.concordanimals.com to lots of enclosures that many have built on their own; you are right – many can take time…and some are quite elaborate. Many use chicken wire….   All have been happy with their results :)  Thanks for at least considering both sides….  Our surrounding wildlife has been and continues to be stressed – everything from urban sprawl, traffic, gas powered leaf blowers, overdone lawns, trees cut down for larger homes, diminishing food and water sources, etc…  WE are causing their stress, along with how we manage our pets and lives. We really could do much better…..

      • Juana

        Hi Lidia:

        Please be fair. 

         The sub link “Cat Enclosures” on the link you provided does depict TWENTY THREE  environments; improved for cats.  They include grand cages, large cages,  small cages, cat runs, house to garden transitional large cage spaces, other altered paved space and THREE cat enclosures; “Sue”, “Julia” and, “David”.

        It seems you do not want cats outdoors…that is un-natural for them…
        BUT you ARE entitled to your opinion.  

        I think perhaps you should be more honest about your stance: 
        you care more for cats than birds..
        and you really don’t care about the psychological well being of cats….
        and you wish to argue for this stance in your locale, Concord–
        and that’s fine; especially if your neighbors end up agreeing that this is how they want to live life in their town.

        But I very much dislike that you seem to be trying to promote that as ultimately correct.

        Arguments about nativeness to an area become ludicrous when exposed to longer time lines…
        Are homo sapiens native to North America?
        Do they kill animals and cause the extinction to any wildlife? 
        If so, should they be kept indoors?
        …..See Specieism (see Paul Singer))

        J

  • Norah

    How does the guest know that cats are doing the killing and not other animals, e.g. dogs, foxes, coyotes? If a particular cat can be identified as a primary killer, maybe a individualized solution can be negotiated. I have an outdoor cat and a bird feeder, and have not noticed a decline in the bird population since the cat arrived. My cat loves being outside, but if I discovered she was killing off neighborhood birds, I would consider an inclosure or keeping her indoors.

    Bells have not worked because she manages to slip out of her collar.

    • Llida

      because this guest is the author of the articles and I witnessed what happened many times….I work out of the house and do most of my work outdoors or by a window facing the yard. It is a very small yard and abuts 5 neighbors = a very dense area….

    • Bob

       How many birds would you have to catch your cat killing (in neighbors’ yards) before you decided to keep her indoors or build her an inclosure?  If you keep an eye on your cat while you are both outdoors together, fine; but if you let her roam the neighborhood, how can you claim to know what your cat is killing?  There is plenty of evidence that is not merely anecdotal that this is a big problem for birds.  Do you want to learn about it, or would you prefer to think of your cat as an angel?

      • Llida

        I like  you Bob :)

  • Llida
  • bwestfall

    I love cats–mine are all inside and I wish everybodies cats were indoor cats.  I love birds, but had to stop feeding them because of hawks (I know, native species).  I have tried everything, but to no avail, so I don’t get to watch wild birds!  That said, I can’t believe Robin didn’t make her guest fully disclose how she felt about birds.  It might make no difference, but if she has never owned a cat, then she has no real idea of how to manage a cat.  Also, she is wrong about it being relatively “easy” to turn feral cats into house cats–ask Alley Cat Allies.  And finally, I wish Robin had asked her guest if she likes cats, I’d bet
    not.  IT DOES make a difference to the argument if the woman has no empathy for cats and their owners.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

      All good points to add. 

      So for those in favor of herding cats by legislation…what’s next? Legislating hawks’ flightpaths to keep them away from songbirds? Controlling the Great Blue Heron to keep them out of people’s precious Koi ponds?

      • Bob

         I think you are intentionally missing the point.  Yes, there is an idiom in English “herding cats.”  We are not talking about herding cats.  We are talking about doing something very simple: controlling your pet so that it cannot harm other animals.  We do this with dogs.  We can do this with cats.  You keep them indoors, on leashes, or in an inclosure.  Does that sound like a slippery slope to legislating wild species?  I didn’t think so. 

        And we are not advocating this because cats shouldn’t prey on birds, it’s because the sheer number of them preying on birds has caused an untenable situation for those birds.  Our fault, but we can easily rectify this.

        Do the research.  If you are as responsible a person as you claim to be, I truly believe you will see the problem, quit the glib cuteness that is a substitute for thought, and recognize that the solution is not as difficult as herding cats.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

          I am not “intentionally” missing anything. 

          I vigorously disagree with both the premise and the solution, for the reasons I’ve cited in another response (in part to your other comments), particularly on the point of what becomes of the innocent, discarded creatures that end up on the wrong side of such legislation.

          • Bob

             Did you even listen to the spot?  What do you think the “wrong side” of this “legislation” is? 

    • Llida

      I am the “guest”: I have had cats in the past, and think they are beautiful creatures! And as far as feral turned into indoors = quite possible, and I know of several that are very happy indoors now :)  I think the more important observation here is that there may be “more adoptable” ferals than others.  Some ferals, or “barn yard cats” really should not be kept in a densely populated area/neighborhood. The cats in our neighborhood are extreme hunters and wonderful at
       their craft; should be put to better use in some suburban environment….

    • Mjw

      I neither like nor dislike cats and I think Ms. Lodynsky has a very liegitimate argument.  Urban areas are over populated with cats.  I recall visiting in Greece where they love their cats…and the place reaks of cat urine.  Is that were we are headed?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

        …and Buenos Aires ironically reeks of garbage and dog poop. But we don’t live in Greece or Argentina.

        Let’s not invoke hyperbole or far flung corners of the world into the argument.

        This is a question of the rationality of legislating the actions of cats and treating them in the same manner as dogs. All domestic animals should be spayed to control the population. There *are* too many cats, and there *are* too many irresponsible people out there. 

        But I’m sorry…it *is* possible to secure your *own* yard/house/car/belongings against intruders (human, canine, feline, avian, bovine, etc.), if you’re inclined to do so! It should *not* be a matter of public policy.

        • Catbird0

           No, it is legislating the action of the humans who own those cats.   I have legal recourse if a human trespasses in my yard – I should have recourse if their pet does too.  Why should it cost me money when my neighbor is being lazy?
          What is so wrong with legally treating cats the same as dogs?  It works in my neighborhood.

  • Grant808

    how bout getting a dog!
     

    • Llida

      got one; don’t feel like keeping her outside 18 hours/day guarding against cats! these cats were in our yard even during hurricane Irene; I don’t wish that on anyone’s pet :(

      • Catbird0

         many dogs can be just as bad for wildlife… especially if they were left outside as much as cats.

  • Julie

    We have 3 indoor cats here in Portland, Oregon. Our neighbors all have outdoor dogs and cats. The cats congregate in our yard as we are dog-free. They poop, fight and hunt on our property while our cats are kept safe indoors. Really bothersome as I garden and frequently come across the various remains.

  • Carol

    My cat is stealth at escaping despite all efforts to keep him inside. He is an indoor cat, but it is his mission in life to get outside.  It all started when my daughter put the darn guy on a leash and took him outside!!  AHHH!  I understand the plight, but leashing isn’t a simple or easy answer to the problem discussed in today’s broadcast.

    • Catbird0

       Look up Catios.  It isn’t simple or easy, but it is responsible!  :)

    • Woodsman001

      Rule #1 of pet-ownership: If the pet is smarter than you are, you shouldn’t be allowed to keep it.  E.g., someone being dumber than a rattle-snake keeping those for pets and they too escape confinement for being smarter than their keeper.

      I’ve noticed this anomaly with cat-owners. Nearly all of them are dumber than a cat. Think carefully now … what does it mean when a cat can “OUT SMART” you and get outside? I hope this isn’t too difficult to think about.

      If a cat escapes from an owner’s confinement, then it only proves that
      that cat is smarter than the human. This also proves they are too stupid to keep ANY pet
      responsibly (not even fish, this is how African Cichlids got into the Everglade canals, from pet-owners being just this stupid and irresponsible). So you are doing them and any future animals that they stop
      adopting a huge favor by destroying their clearly expendable cat for them as humanely as possible. Otherwise that animal of theirs would cruelly suffer to death under the wheels of a car or being poisoned, or attacked by animals, die of wounds, diseases, etc. You will be showing them that you actually care more about the humane treatment of their pet than they do by destroying it humanely before it can die inhumanely under their care.

  • Bess

    Could you put your energy toward stopping the clipping of birds wings .  Seems unfair in every way.  And then the nasty way laying chickens are treated.  If you can get such a timely radio interview, perhaps you;ve got some weight.

  • Heroutback

    Get a dog, that’ll keep the cats out.

    • Guest

      Don’t want a dog.

  • Maggie

    My experience with cats is that they terrorized the koi in my pond at my previous home, and now they come into my yard to do their business.  If my dog went into your yard and wreaked havoc, I’m sure I would have to answer for it.
     
    If cat owners can’t keep their cats out of my yard, then they should be held accountable. 

    • HopelessAboutChange

      Buy a soft-air gun and learn to shoot.

  • Tom_long2

    Anyone see that cat episode of South Park? 

    • Llida

      no – do you have a link to it?

  • Meg

    high powered water guns

  • Heroutback

    Our one formerly outdoor cat has caught many a bird with a bell on.

    • Llida

      ….there you go

  • Rachel

    Just heard this story on NPR. We own a cat that was once wild its whole first year of life. She was injured on the streets and picked up by my boyfriend’s mother who is a veterinarian. She saved her with surgery and we now have her in a 1 bedroom apt. She is happy as can be after being an outdoor cat! I think it depends on the cat. She hates going outside now. I think cats should be treated like any animal let lose. If I had birds I would also be upset if this happened and would expect my neighbors to show care as well.

  • T_mail

    If I dug up my neighbors new plantings and pooped in his raised vegetable garden, he would be furious and probably call the police.  Yet his (and others) cats do this all the time in my yard, causing damage and the risk of diseases that can be spread to humans.  Some say its not in a cats nature to be confined.  But dogs also love (and I mean love!) to roam freely.  But they are epxected to be kept in the owners yard–and mine is.  Owning a pet means accepting responsibility, and so does living in a community.  I am a responsible pet owner, and I expect others to be too. 

    • Llida

      I wish more people shared your sentiments! thank you :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1311861998 Craig Chapman

      Well…presumably as a human being with a shred of sanity, you would know better than to do that. :-D

  • Good Neighbor

    I have my cats behind a fence with a battery powered electric wire on top.  I’m glad to do this I’ve had one cat hit on the street and didn’t survive.  Another of my cats would go to a neighbor’s car port and climb up on the hood leaving scratches so I’m happy that can’t happen anymore.  My cats don’t seem bothered by the solution.

    • Llida

      great success story :)

    • Carol

       that’s pretty stinkin’ smart!

  • Lori

    I am a cat lover, but I do think there are responsibilities that cat owners have and they should practice curtesy towards neighbors. Bells are a good idea as far as protecting other animals, but my biggest problem with my neighbor’s cats is property destruction. Their cats come into my yard and use it as their personal litter box, destroying my rose bushes and digging up flower bulbs. They also sleep on my lawn furniture and urinate on another neighorbors motorcycle seat as well as my whatever is inside my father’s storage shed. 

    • guest

      that is awful

  • Tom_long2

    Oh, and I’m sick and tried of hearing about this stupid “problem”. Spay and neuter cats, round up the feral domestics, and feed your cat before you let it out. Yes cats are predators, and seems like no one has an issue with them killing rodents. By the way, why aren’t any of you “nature lovers” trying to feed rats? Are the rats and squirrels just unappealing to you? Didn’t you know that both rodents and birds spread diseases? Stop whining about the birds, quit being pussies…at least our cats aren’t.

  • Btmayo79

    Cats are cats. If they are kept inside, they are not true cats. If you own a cat and keep it inside, shame on you. You are tossing aside their natural instincts. I love birds, but stifling instinct is a terrible thing. If you don’t have space for your cat, read the writing on the wall and don’t have a cat. When I lived in California, I lost three cats to coyotes. I learned that there is a place for cats and where I lived was a poor place. Perhaps some of you should analyze where you live and reassess whether or not it’s fair to your pet to live where it lives.

    • Zack32

       Dogs are Dogs.  If dogs do not roam freely and hunt in packs then they are not true dogs. We make compromises.

    • http://twitter.com/37ft2in Cat

       You’re joking right? I have 2 happy, healthy indoor cats. I make sure they stay stimulated with toys and they get to watch & stalk birds from the windows.  They don’t have to worry about cars, coyotes or any number of cruel humans who think cats should be killed or tortured.  Let your cats out & let them live free and in danger.  I’ll keep mine inside.

  • Zack32

    Cats should be on leashes.  It makes them safer from cars, wild animals, etc.  Much as we love our cats, it is not fair to impose them on our neighbors who may not want them in their yards. This is an idea whose time has come.

    • Guest

      Well, well, well, a consider cat owner.  You desire an award!!!

  • Zack32

    I had a beautiful cat: white with brown and black markings. So smart that it would come when I whistled or rattled my keys. On day it got hit by a car; its face was badly smashed. $500 for the emergency treatment and surgery (they gave us a break on that) but the cat was never the same. I will never take that sort of chance again.

    This is a win-win. Cats will be happier and safer, and birds will be protected as well.

    • Tom_long2

      I don’t mean to belittle your personal experience. But we all live with that danger when we humans go out into the world. Yes we must supervise children, but at some point we give them more freedom.  Unless we want to keep kids always indoors to watch the birds (or other children playing) outside.

  • Jim/Deb

    Our last cat was feral-turned-domestic and an indoor/outdoor cat. She was a phenomenal hunter. We have a large back yard with neighbors all around. We’re also a registered backyard wildlife habitat, with- among other wildlife – 27 species of birds. Our cat did nothing towards decimating this population, nor have any other creatures, including cats, who visit our yard. Scamp lived to the age of 18. The one before her – also an avid hunter and an indoor/outdoor cat – lived to 27. Yes, 27. We love our wildlife, including whatever critters pass through, and we figure the less we mess with nature, rather than trying to control it (and animals’ natual behaviors), the better.

    • Tom_long2

      Similar situation to my family, except that we are not a “registered backyard wildlife habitat” . Still we have deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, rabbits, armadillos, turtles, snakes, and chupacabras.

      Oh, and we have birds – cardinals, finches, sparrows, doves, blue jays (on rare occasions), mockingbirds (our state bird, and my most hated), hawks, owls, and even vultures (turkey buzzards). And we have cats – two neutered orange toms that we adopted from the street/our front hedges, and way too many feral domestic cats.

      No shortage of birds here with our cats, neighbors’ cats, too damn many stray cats, and plenty of other predators/omnivores.

    • Llida

      which habitat are you speaking of? It must be large – which is one of the more important factors to consider. Our yard is .14 acres, and 3 cats were preying on that small area….

    • Llida

      Tom_long2 and Jim/Deb – where are these places? our yard is .14 acres with the 3 cats preying on animals….

  • Lorraine Lewin

    Our neighborhood has run amok with more than 20 cats “rescued” by a cat hoarder and we have witnessed with sadness the serious decline of local bird populations. If I can be fined $90 for having my gentle dog off-leash how is this fair? In addition, my dog only runs off yard for one reason – to chase the nasty cat that strolls in front of our front door each day and sits on our porch. I practice ahimsa in my life as a vegetarian but frankly – this is one breed I’d like to see reduced in population! Many neighbors agree and feel the town ought to limit #’s especially in such a condensed neighborhood as is ours. We asked the “hoarder” to put bells on at least and she claimed the cats removed them!!  So – the crazy hoarder is free to kill birds and risk life of dogs… 

    • Ghislainer

       Is anyone in the neighborhood willing to help the ‘hoarder’ in finding home for the cats?  The rescue is easy  – the challenge is in finding good homes…  It might take a village to keep people, cats and birds happy!

    • Llida

      this sounds as frustrating as our situation, and the frustrations seem to be shared by many.  I say it’s time we do something about it!!

  • Ghislainer

    ‘Cats and humans have shared a “special bond” for thousands of years.’  says Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies.  (full text in the following link:  http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=806 )
    This talk has helped me be at peace with the idea that some cats will live outdoors.  I keep my cats indoors and I also take care (spay/neuter/ vet) of stray/feral cats in my neighborhood.  Some times they are adoptable, sometimes not…  
    I strongly believe that the problem with birds and wildlife is the broad expansion of human made suburbia.   What wildlife lived in your yards before your house and neighborhood was built?  Is any of it left?  … Not the cat’s fault…

  • boohoo

    As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. 

    And as everybody who knows anybody who is infatuated with birds knows, they are not normal.

    Cats are pets that have played such an integral role to the success of our species evolutionarily that we can’t even tell if we domesticated them or they domesticated us.

    Birds are dinosaurs.

    Angry about cats killing birds in your yard? Thank the 10,000+ year old symbiotic relationship we have with them for that. And well your at it, thank them for the absolutely integral role they played in helping us transition from hunter-gathers to agrarians…which of course led to civilization…but whatever…

    • Zack32

       “As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat.”
      Does “nobody” pay for the vet bills and the cat food then?

      We had a 10,000 year symbiotic relationship with dogs as well. For the first 9,980 years of that, our domestic dogs roamed freely. Now, not.  Same with cats.

      • Cai Phillips-Jones

        Dogs never roamed free. What are you referencing? The word FERAL distinguishes dogs that roam free from domesticated dogs. With cats, the line  between feral and domestic has always been, and will always be, less clear.

        • Catbird0

           Feral animals are descendents of domesticated animals – and many of them, especially their descendents, revert back to domestication very easily!  Wild animals are different.
          If you travel to other countries, you will find that some of them do have large populations of feral dogs…

          I will thank my cats for their ancestors’ help by keeping them safely at home with me and spoiled rotten!

  • bellbird

    Another huge problem with cats killing birds is that they’re killing mainly the native species (e.g. bluebirds, chickadees, song sparrows, junkos, etc) which are already threatened by habitat loss and competition by invasive (and much more aggressive) birds like house sparrows and starlings.  A neighbor told me her cat killed all the chickadees in our neighborhood, but not a single house sparrow (the cat would bring the carcass to her door).  I have had a cat for 13 years and even though she was born in a barn and happily spent the first 6 months of her life there and outside she’s been an indoor cat ever since (and she’s utterly content to be inside, staying far away from the door when we’re going in and out).  I don’t see her life as diminished because she can’t hunt outside.   Cats are estimated to kill millions of birds each year, SO KEEP YOUR CATS INSIDE!!

    • Llida

      bravissimo! :)

    • Llida

      thank you bellbird! :)

  • Btmayo79

    If you own a cat, let it outside to kill things. That is what their genetics tell them to do. If you don’t, you are a bad animal owner. Owning something and suppressing it’s natural instinct is despicable. Bad owner, bad. Shame on you.

  • Nadia

    I have a cat who was a neighborhood stray and has lived outdoors for years. I also have multiple bird feeders and was totally freaked out when I discovered the 4th pile of feathers in 2 weeks. So I got a cat bib that’s recommended by Audobon. I thought she wouldn’t tolerate it but she’s fine with it. It doesn’t restrict her sleeping, eating, moving but it does interfere with hunting. So far, no new feather piles. It’s a simple piece of lightweight neoprene that loops around a collar with velcro. I can’t seem to get my photo to load but you can see it on-line if you google it.

    • Llida

      hmmmm…..haven’t heard about the success of that yet; more info / pictures / links would be helpful; thanks! :)

      • Nadia

         Here’s the link. This doesn’t address all the other issues raised, but at least it helps with the birds. http://catgoods.com/

        • Llida

          …..and you think the people who are against cats even wearing a collar would agree to “the bib”?  I think that’s unlikely, but you never know ;-)

          • Catbird0

             I think more people should use the cat bibs – but I still wouldn’t want my neighbor’s cat on my property.  They reduce, but don’t stop predation – especially for lizards which I really love in my yard.  And of course they don’t stop activities like pooping in the garden…

  • Zack32

    A dogs nature is to roam freely and to hunt in packs. When we live in close proximity to other people, we make compromises.  The suggestions in this radio show seem like reasonable compromises.

  • Btmayo79

    Thanks for deleting my on topic post.

  • Btmayo79

    Way to go, free speech. I’d appreciate an explanation for the removal of my comments. btmayo79@gmail.com. Thanks.

  • Llida

    how can we view ALL the comments, vs. 

    “showing 109 of 120 comments”?

  • Bobbygulino

    Yes I agree! Cats should be on a leash.

    Bobby G, Acton Ma.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jan-Nep/1537508430 Jan Nep

      cats should be on a leash.  it is unconscionable that cat owners consider to be so arrogant and disregarding of bird lovers and private and public property.  if i loved something, i would not let it roam free off of my own private property.  there is a certain anthropomorphism of “cats, as representatives of my own free will” must wander unattended.  I demand special exception to responsibility because my cat (a proxie of myself) must be given total freedom”    Local city councils, SPCAs are afraid of the power of arrogant cat owners to ever demand responsibility by selfish cats owners.

  • Jim

    I lived in a somewhat rural area of Illinois outside Chicago, and we would let our cat outside to go “mousing” in the farmer’s field behind our house.  There was one time where our cat did not come home for 24 hours, and we figure she got locked in someones garage.  Later, we found out that our cat had been mostly hanging around a neighbors house, where they had two indoor cats, and was working them up so to speak.  We felt bad about that, and decided to keep her inside 100% of the time (except when she got out the door by mistake).  Now living in Arizona, outside cats become meals for the coyotes.  I have become a firm believer in “inside” cats.  It is also sad to hear of the loss of the bird population in this article… 

  • bwestfall

    I didn’t have time to look it up for full statistics, but more birds are killed each year flying into windows and glass buildings than are killed by cats.  These huge glass monstrosities are having a big impact on the numbers of all kinds of birds.  Where is the outrage?

    • Catbird0

       There is outrage… groups like ABC have also spent a great deal of time and money working on problems like that too!
      It is a little different arguing with business execs, etc than it is with letting a pet owner know not everyone loves their kitty as much as they do…

  • Angelina Ballerina…

    Get a bb fun… don’t shoot anything outside of your yard…

  • Anonymous

    While I’m a proponent of
    keeping cats indoors, I am staunchly opposed to “laws that regulate cat’s
    wanderings.” Such policies serve as a Trojan Horse of sorts—appearing harmless
    on the surface, but with potentially dire consequences, especially for the
    large number of stray, abandoned, and feral cats.

     

    Akron, OH, introduced their
    “cat ordinance” 10 years ago. To my knowledge, the policy has done little or nothing
    to (1) address the “feral cat problem,” or (2) reduce the number of cats killed
    in the county shelter. (Summit County Animal Control does not, apparently,
    track such things well enough to tell me one way or the other.)

     

    There are plenty of humane
    ways to deter cats, by the way. Alley Cat Allies provides numerous free
    resources (http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=695). 

    Peter J. Wolf
    http://www.voxfelina.com

    • Terry

      What are these “dire consequences”?

      • Anonymous

        PedroLoco often has things backward from her reality-deprivation basement-life experience. The only “dire consequences” come from cat-psychotics who allow and advocate for the free roaming of cats.

        If you want to have all your pets euthanized, even though they are not sick; and have lots of your wildlife euthanized, even though all but one has rabies; and if you want to pay for an expensive regimen of rabies shots, out of your own pocket; then all you have to do is adopt their TNR lunacy in your neighborhood. Like the unfortunate fools who allowed that to recently happen in Carlsbad, New Mexico:

        http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-news/ci_20400835/rabies-outbreak-suspends-feral-cat-program

    • Llida

      Peter – I agree that the feral cat issue needs more attention, and that is why I excluded it from the domestic pet issues when writing the Concord bylaws; the ferals need to be addressed separately.  In MA there are a number of successful TNR programs, and most orgs favor TNR, so we have to remain sensitive to it when writing bylaws; that is my goal for Concord too – once we get an animal control person on board (without that, we only have a dog officer; its like cats don’t exist).  And if you read the bylaws in entirety, you would notice that I advocate for “keeping cats indoors or within the confines of the owners property”, and the cat being outdoors is NOT a problem, unless it becomes a problem or nuisance to another neighbor.  Good work on the VOXFELINA BTW ;-)  If 

    • Catbird0

      We do have laws that regulate dogs’ wanderings, but we don’t feed feral and stray dogs and we don’t use TNR on dogs and yet we don’t have a problem with feral dogs in the US.  Interesting.
      Look further on Alley Cat Allies own website – at their “key studies” in support of TNR.   You will find out that those studies had ongoing immigration problems and achieved most of their population reduction through removal of cats!  They were unable to demonstrate the necessity of returning a cat once they were captured.  (concepts, like the “vacuum effect” are a myth, especially with respect to fed and altered animals…)

  • Kimpill

    I have four cats and I am also a birder. My cats are strictly kept indoors. They have lots of entertaining and stimulating toys. The key is keeping them entertained. The reality for the outdoor cat is often a shorter life span from disease and road dangers. In the areas where they hunt, their impact can be devastating. Every year millions of song birds die because of cats that are allowed to roam and over populate. They are not native to this country. We brought them here. It is our responsibility to be good pet owers. I love my four cats. They are very dear to me. They are happy. They get along. Three of them are as close as a little pride. One of my rescues tends to keep more to himself, but he is a happy lap cat. He does not try to get outside and neither do the others.

  • Kimpill

    With regard to a cat’s excercise, that is my responsibility as an owner. I provide places for my cats to run within my house. I helps having three levels in the house and lots of stairs, but they have a sunroom to go into and cat tree. They love the cat tree. Three generations of cats have enjoyed it. I have had the same tree, constructed of tree stumps for twenty years. They can have a rewarding life indoors and long lives (19, 17, 16 years). At this time, I have an 11 year old, two 7 year olds and one who will be 8 in Sept. They have lots energy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1677735871 Ac Harlow

    Totally agree with her, they never seem to get the voles. plus they leave nice little surprises hidden in my flower beds.

  • Johanna

    The amount of comments within some hours proves that this is an important and emotional topic that needs to be discussed in public. The birds are facing so many challenges (environmental changes, loss of habitat, climate change, use of pesticides..) that many species already need our support. Cats are house pets and not wildlife and need to be kept in house or in the own backyard. Keeping them at home is not against their nature and cats will be perfectly fine with that.

    • Llida

      agreed Johanna; where are you from?

  • Mary

    Regarding keeping cats inside to protect them from real life, I agree with Jemimah & others who are appalled at this truly “control-freak” modern phenomenon.   Yes,  “something can happen to you if you go out”  but that’s not news to anyone from the planet.  Cf.  helicopter parent syndrome ad nauseum. Cf. the public policy that kills wolves to “protect” wildlife - (for hunters’ sport).

    Regarding protecting birds from cats – cf. humans over-running the planet with our concrete, steel, pollution, etc.  destroying habitat for everything but (barely even) ourselves, & then blame drops in bird or small mammal population on cats???  If animals hunting other animals upsets you, put in a complaint to God, & CC Mother Nature.

    Anyway, Lodynsky’s approach was too illogical, too much disinformation.  Like pretending not to know that cats are routinely immunized against feline leukemia.  

    As to cats “bothering the neighbors,” neighbors do many things with noise, smells, etc., which people see differently - rights or violations of rights?  Do people have the right to shine brilliant lights into your yard all night?  To vent chemical-fragrance laundry detergent into the air so the whole block smells like a gas station bathroom?  To run gas powered lawn mowers 8 am Sundays?  To play loud music at 4 am?  No end to this stuff.

    Too sad to me to see such things as dogs kept in crates, & cats cooped up till they become paranoid, frightened of everything, obese, listless, prone to FUS, etc.  Every living thing is evolved to be outside, & an animal’s primary sense is smell.  All the “training” you can do to deprive an animal of this is still unnatural.  But then there are people who live like that too, & have forgotten that it’s abnormal.

    • Catbird0

       One could say cats are “unnatural”; we’ve been genetically modifying them for thousands of years… 
      My cats seem to be extremely happy to be inside on my lap, especially on those cold rainy days…  but I do take them outside too – and I keep them under control, it isn’t hard to do.
      Johanna made some excellent points too!

  • wildlifer

    Jim/Deb and other commenters are in denial that their cats harm wildlife populations.  It is well-documented, so get your heads out of the sand.  There is nothing “natural” about a house cat hunting birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians to local extinction.

  • Matt

    If you are truly bird lovers, why are you folks creating traps? You’re setting up a buffet for all the pets and strays in the area with every bird feeder you place. The birds do not need you to feed them

  • Anon

    Typical Concord attitude. What a sheltered, spoiled little day care center for adults. She should just get a dog.

    • Llida

      got one!

  • Smiclops

    I think we should geneticly modify birds with claws and teeth, have them grow a few sizes larger and pit them against the cats in an all out battle royal (or Hunger Game for you youngsters). To the victor goes the spoils! Then you can have cat sanctuaries and listen to their mating calls, not as pretty maybe but certainly interesting. What do you guys think? :)

  • Smiclops

    I think we should geneticly modify birds with claws and teeth, grow them a bit larger and have an all out bettler royal (or hunger game for you youngsters) to see who comes out on top. To the victor goes the spoils! If its the cats win we can create sanctuaries for them and listen to their mating calls…..not as pretty perhaps but all of nature is beautiful right?  

    • Catbird0

       We have already genetically modified the cats…

  • Ron

    I couldn’t believe my ears when i tuned into today’s show. And I DID have a cat that I walked on a leash (But it was MY decision, not a law I had to abide by). What have we turned into as a society. Too many rules. Too many people afraid of risk. And now this. Stick a fork in me… I’m done.

    • Catbird0

       Too many people creates the need for more rules…

  • Anyeth

    While I understand the reasoning behind urging lawmakers to intervene,  the foundation for the petition is operating from the false premise that it is pet cats alone who are doing the damage. If one can identify specific cats and their owners, then it sounds more like an opportunity to improve communication skills rather than an opportunity to bring the law into it. Why isn’t mediation a option? Feral and abandoned cats are a big problem in many suburban areas and there’s not a lot of funding to make a significant dent in the issue. Just ask any animal rescue organization. I’ve heard several people mention they’ve had success with homing and re-homing ferals but there are just as many cases of less than glowing success. Leash/ harness training a cat is not even close to the ease of leash/harness training a dog. Most cats have a finite ability to be trained, and that goes double if one is talking about an adult cat vs. a kitten. All my cats have been snap- trained but out of all the cats I’ve had and raised from kittens, only one had the temperament to handle being harness trained. Instead of resorting to legal options, why not plant some rue, lavender, or pennyroyal to deter cats from going in the yard? There are other ways to handle this situation than resorting to this.

    • Llida

      the premise of the article is not based on a false premise; it only addresses pet cats since those should be handled by the owner / under the owners control; feral cats were intentionally omitted from this bylaw. Months of trying to resolve this with the neighbors turned into calls to the police (who handle animal related calls),  which ended with too many frustrated people and no answers. Hence – why the bylaws were created. Believe me when I say EVERY attempt at resolution was made. When all options have been exhausted, there is (unfortunately) ONLY this left to pursue…..  As those who have been involved at the local level of government might know, this is NO picnic, and it is ONLY as a last resort would I advise anyone to do this because it IS so time consuming, difficult, and with NO guarantees…

      • Anyeth

         Nothing in the above article states specifically “pet” cats, only neighborhood cats, which is operating from the assumption that all cats in the neighborhood have owners. This is the false premise I was referring to. Feral and abandoned cats may still be neighborhood cats and be very friendly to people, yet have no owner. Many people, out of kind-heartedness, feed feral and abandoned cats in a neighborhood, yet those people can’t be considered “owners.” I’m not unsympathetic to the reasoning behind the petition. I enjoy bird watching also and my 2 cats are indoor cats, because of my personal views on cat ownership. However, this does not give me the right to impose my views of cat ownership on others. “Should” is the most dangerous word in the English language, especially when applied to other people. If the owners of the cats can be identified, then I stand by my assertion that it’s a matter for formal dispute mediation between the parties involved. I do think it’s a shame Concord doesn’t have an Animal Control Officer but a “leash law” for cats is unrealistic. Maybe 1 cat in 1,000 can be leash/harnessed trained, and that’s assuming the owner has the knowledge, skills, and a pet of the right temperament to accomplish it. Let’s face it, it’s not a crime to be a jerk (more’s the pity)  but honestly, a modest sum spent on seeds and some (rather attractive and useful) plants will keep cats out of someone’s yard if the yard owner doesn’t want them there.

        • Llida

          Your comment ”
          I enjoy bird watching also and my 2 cats are indoor cats, because of my personal views on cat ownership. However, this does not give me the right to impose my views of cat ownership on others”; why not take that same viewpoint and apply it to the other side?  How does “the cat’s owner imposing his/her views and their cat’s behavior on me” sound? No compromise. Where do you go from there?  Many cases end up in abuse – be it to the other human being, or to the unfortunate animal stuck in the middle; so many cases end this way. There NEEDS to be another way to mediate. I already compromised by changing the landscape and habits in my yard 3 times; they refuse to compromise at all – even while the spring nesting and mating is at its peak. Where is the justice there? Where is the compassion? I also created another bylaw which creates a committee of citizens to listen and act as mediators for the community when these type of situations arise – be they for dogs, cats, whatever….. Maybe *that* will pass?   

          • Anyeth

             Ma’am, I’m sorry you have such difficult neighbors but one doesn’t always have the luxury of being able to choose their neighbors. There are professional mediation services available and any decent law office will gladly point you in the right direction. Even with my logic applied to the other side of the issue, it’s still a valid counterargument to say why should your bird habitat take precedence over an animals’ right to be outdoors? I see nothing that indicates the land is designated a conservation area. From the tone of the above post, it’s sounds less about the cats than it is about a personal beef with your neighbors. As for the “abuse,” it sounds far more likely that there’s perceived antagonism on both sides, hence the unwillingness to compromise. For example, did you consult any of your neighbors before deciding you were going to establish a wildlife habitat in your yard? Birds can be noisy and, not to put too fine a point on it, messy. There’s a reason why most wildlife sanctuaries are located some distance away from residential areas. Perhaps your wish for a bird habitat is simply impractical for the area you live in and I’m sure the local Audubon Society could provide suggestions for the suburban bird watcher. Good luck and best wishes with your endeavors.

          • Catbird0

             Sure, people have a right to let their pet outdoors – on their property.  It is not their right to let their cat hunt, poop, or even enter my yard without my permission.  That is called property rights!

            Where I live, the leash laws are pretty straightforward and they apply equally to cats as dogs.  They also stipulate that if you regularly feed a stray, it will become legally yours.
            Yet, the homeowner who complains about their neighbor’s uncontrolled cat still gets called the ‘bad guy’ – but at least they can do something!

            Many people enjoy sharing their yards with wildlife.  Indeed, it can help counter the habitat loss that we are causing in so many places.  There are groups, like the National Wildlife Federation, that encourage and certify backyard wildlife habitats.  This does not mean putting large piles of corn out for deer, etc.  When done right, it does not encourage excessive, annoying populations.  And, a neighbor’s pet is not the same (legally or ecologically) as that bluebird singing on the fence post.

          • Llida

            thank you Catbirdo!

          • Llida

            you are so off the mark….

  • Katedoordan

    Cats should be kept indoors. We’re not living in some open savannah. It is dangerous for domestic cats to be outside. Disease and accident and fight. Ask any vet.  Kate

  • Anonymous

    First, I must confess that I have a couple of “viscous  killers”, who mascaraed as orange tabbies. They do catch birds (and I hate this!), but they also catch rats, gofers, moles, and mice, which do property damage and carry a whole world of diseases.  In any case, cats are NOT in anyway the biggest threat to the bird population. I do not use chemicals in my yard. I don’t spray for insects, but most of my neighbors do. I plant a lot of flowering plants, and my yard is always full of insects, both of which birds need to survive.  In spite of the orange tabbies, my half acre yard is always full of birds.  Let’s be careful not to shift blame to cats when humans are at fault here. 

    • Llida

      very careful here! follow all the same steps you do as to lawn/garden care….but as with people, all cats are different too!

      • Anonymous

        Llida, could you please clarify for me the point you were trying to make. Thanks!

        • Catbird0

           Perhaps she means some cats are better hunters than others.  Many pet cats don’t hunt much at all.  But others are very capable of a great deal of killing…

    • Llida

      oh – and yes – this is definitely a “human” issue:  lack of consideration, feeling more privileged, not enough respect and not willing to communicate or compromise = all human faults at play here…..

    • Catbird0

       Cats are far from the only rodent predators – hawks, owls, and foxes, among others are too!  One could argue that letting your subsidized pet kill rodents instead of these native predators hurts them too!
      Cats are there because of us humans – when we let them kill wildlife, it is ultimately our responsibility.  Yes, we do a lot of other damage, but does that mean we should ignore what is going on in our own backyards?
      When you say your yard is “full of birds” do you know which species?  Some species , by their natural behaviors avoid cats better than others.   You should look up the concepts of population “source” vs. “sink”.   It could be that you are attracting birds  but they aren’t surviving for long…

      • Catbird0

         I’ll also add that I, too, manage my yard to support wildlife.  And, I am not overrun with rats and mice despite the fact that I keep my cats indoors.

      • Anonymous

        First off, my yard is in the very center of a metropolitan city. No hawks, owls, or foxes, so your argument does not apply in this case.  

        To your second point, I agree that cats are here because of humans. We domesticated them because we wanted them to stay nearby and hunt the small animals we considered  nuisances, which they do very well, a little too well sometimes. And, no, we shouldn’t ignore what is going on in our own backyards, but I will reassert that blaming cats for dwindling bird populations is doing just that. WE ARE LOSING OUR BIRDS BECAUSE WE ARE KILLING THEM DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY WITH CHEMICALS!!!!!  PEOPLE!!!! WAKE UP!!!! YOU CAN’T KEEP POISONING THE EARTH AND EXPECT NOTHING BAD TO COME OF IT!!!!!

        And, finally, yes I do know which species of birds come into my yard. I am an avid bird watcher, and a member of my local Audubon Society. I am visited by all of the usual customers, nearly all are native. I even have robins this year, which is a rarity in this city. My humming birds winter over (yes I know they are better at avoiding the tabbies), and I have wonderful and varies migratory flocks twice a years. They must have their own version of urbanspoon!  

        • Catbird0

           You’d be surprised how many native predators can be in the middle of a city!  You may have to set up a camera trap to catch them though…  and if they aren’t there, part of the  reason could be pet cats and dogs displacing them.
          Yes, those chemicals are terrible and there are many other threats to birds – don’t they have enough to deal with without having to worry about cats too?  Cats may not be the major cause of decline, but I doubt they are helping the birds any.  I hated it when my cats killed birds too- so I stopped letting them roam free when ever they wanted to.  I think the birds’ lives matter a whole lot more to them than having extra roaming time does to the cats.
          A lovely yard that attracts lots of birds is great!  But how long do those birds live and how many young do they fledge?  You could have a population sink on your hands…
          Robins tend to do very well around people – but they spend a lot of time on the ground in the range of cats…

          • cattykit

            Consider reexamining  the  “source vs. sink” debate to include the terrible things humans do with chemicals to the green spaces they claim as  their private “yards”.  It matters less what happens in my yard–hunting cats, hawk, owls, or foxes– than the fact that my neighbors for blocks around are spraying poison. Birds can not and will not thrive in that kind of situation. Bird egg shells have become so brittle that they cannot even tolerate the routine rotations the parent bird must perform to ensure incubation, and even when they do hatch, a good number of them have deformities.  The drop in bird populations is directly tied to the use of yard chemicals.  Hanging up bird feeders might make a homeowner feel better, but it will not change the long term outcome. To blame another species,cats, (yes, they are not native, but I will bet that none of us responding to this forum are native either!) for the decline in bird populations is preposterous.  
            My “lovely yard” is chemical free, complete with large trees and nesting birds (not a “sink”), but how much does that count in such a pool of pollution?

  • Kitcatgoddess

    I live in the suburbs just like you do. FYI Concord is a suburb. We have birds, feral cats, coyotes but the main hunters in my yard are the pair of hawks. I have one cat that goes out and my other 3 are inside cats. Sadly she once got a bluejay and that was the last bird. The blujays attack her head and the others really keep watch. These are not stupid birds. However, they all panic when they see the hawks. Many a bird has been killed by them as well as their nests invaded. The other day one of them got a squirrel. I don’t think you can blame cats for the total destruction of your bird population.

    • Llida

      I understand your point; well taken – but I can blame the cats for what “I know” they did vs. what a hawk might have done; I am home all the time….  thanks for sharing

    • Catbird0

       Many of us would argue that predation by hawks is different – they are part of the natural ecosystem.  Cats are not.  The cats have an extra edge in that they are subsidized predators and tend to live in more concentrated areas.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    Concord just needs a few dozen good coyotes to deal with the feral invasive species.

  • Claudia

    Kitties should stay indoors. They will live longer and healthier.

  • Jim/Deb

    On another note: Check out the Feral Cat Coalition in Oregon. They have a wonderful program for controlling feral cat populations – and although it sounds counterintuitive, it really works and is a humane way to deal with feral cats. To Llida: In answer to your question, ours is a large yard in an urbanized area, with a very busy street, on a major migratory flyway. We have numerous trees and a hedged area on one side that we’ve allowed to grow wild, so it supports all manner of wildlife and their respective feeding schedules. AND we have bird and squirrel feeders, as well as a new feral guest cat that we’re feeding (see FCCO above).  And let me tell you, our birdies are all over any cats or other predators that come around. Bunch of survivalists, I guess….  :-)

    • Zack32

       Your birdies sound very tough. For the rest of us, however, I think cats on leashes would be a good idea.

    • Anonymous

      The reason that it sounds counter-intuitive IS BECAUSE IT IS. It really does NOT work. The only thing that’s working are the deceptive lies they spew to con people like you.

      Data taken from TNR con-artists’ OWN resources:

      Estimated Cat Population of Oregon
      Estimated Number of Cats 1,860,650
      Estimated Number of Free-Roaming Cats 1,023,350
      Estimated Cost of TNR in Oregon Per Cat $170

      They’ve only TNR’ed 50,000 cats. 50,000 is 4.9% of the 1,023,350 feral cats in Oregon.This means that 95.1% of their feral-cats are are still breeding out of control.

      Oregon’s example is actually the highest trapping rate I’ve ever found and analyzed. It usually averages less than 0.4% everywhere else. Alley-Cat-ALL-LIES in NYC, for example, has only managed to TNR 0.024% of cats in their own city, yet they promote it as a worldwide solution. They can only trap 0.008% by years’ end, less than 1/100th of 1%, due to cats’ breeding rates outpacing them. They too are going backward.

      Now let’s do a 1-year population growth projection on those 95.1% that Oregon needs to sterilize yet — using advanced population-grown calculus with them breeding only 2 times per year, not the 3 or 4 they are capable of just to err on the far-too low side.

      (Running calculations ….)

      They’ll have 14,125,739 cats to sterilize this year if they hope to catch up to their breeding rate. That’s an average of 38,700.7 cats being born per day from their already existing non-sterilized populations. This is how many MUST BE TRAPPED PER DAY (if they start today that is, and attain that rate every day, 7 days a week, into perpetuity). It’ll only only cost them $6,579,119.00 PER DAY (or $2,401,378,435.00 per year, 2.5 $BILLION per year). Money that has been diverted (stolen by TNR deceptions and lies) in man-hours, donations, and outright cash that must be used for sterilizing an INVASIVE-SPECIES. That cost and trapping rate must be sustained into perpetuity. Because if they can’t trap them FASTER than that rate and expense per day, they are doing nothing to reverse their population growth. At the end of the year they’ll have only trapped 0.35% of them because the untrapped cats have now reproduced beyond their reach. Putting Oregon’s TNR programs right on track with every last other TNR program in the world (yes, the world, I’ve analyzed TNR programs in other countries too).

      EVERY LAST TNR program that I have checked is GOING BACKWARD just as exponentially rapidly as their cats exponentially breed beyond their reach.

      Trap & Kill was a complete and total failure FOR THE VERY SAME REASON THAT TNR IS ALSO AN ABJECT FAILURE. YOU CANNOT TRAP THEM FASTER THAN THEY CAN BREED AND THEIR ABILITY TO OUT-ADAPT TO ANY TRAPPING METHOD USED.

      Sorry to tell you, but “Hunted to Extinction” is the ONLY method that is faster than an animal’s breeding rate. Especially a man-made invasive-species like these cats that can breed 2-3X’s faster than any naturally occurring cat-species in the world.

      The sooner you people grow some balls, grow a spine, suck it up, and muster the strength of heart that is required to do what MUST be done; the sooner the problem will be solved.

  • Ron

    I don’t believe that leash in the picture is on that cat correctly.
    The cats right leg should be through that opening you see in the harness,
    that strap across the cats right shoulder should be along the breastbone.
    I’ve got the same harness and that’s how it is supposed to work, otherwise
    the harness as shown is pulling on the cats neck instead of on the chest.

  • Circusmcgurkus

    I used to live in Colorado where newcomers loved seeing deer in their yards.  They did things to attract the deer because they thought it was so nice to see these gorgeous animals in the “wild”.  Then, the cougars came because the people had drawn their food source to the now suburban backyards and folks were horrified that cougars killed the deer and the house cats and the small dogs.  Imagine that.

    House cats were brought here by humans for the purpose of killing vermin.  It is a tragedy that more healthy cats are “euthanized” here every year than the number of birds killed by house cats whether with homes or feral.  Cats do not select songbirds, they do not know that you baited this prey, they simply know it is prey.  I am guessing that no one complains when the cats also reduce the rodent population or eat the starlings or the pigeons.      

    I get that there are competing interests here and people should be concerned about the animals they bring into their homes, but it seems to me that the human factor is always the one that complicates the issue.  If you draw the wildlife into your yard you will witness the entire panoply of wild behavior from birth to death.  People who tamper with nature should be willing to experience the result. 

    Perhaps if approached with the issue, folks can agree to let their cats out only in the evenings when birds are less active (and rodents are more active) thereby allowing the cats to hunt and the birds to have their artificial sanctuary and the neighbors to be neighborly. 

    • Llida

      I don’t know where you came up with “more cats getting euthanized” than birds getting killed by cats, but I believe that is not correct….  And the neighbors were approached regarding the timing of letting their cats out; totally disregarded my request….and the nesting season is here now, and even without my feeding the birds, the fledglings are a target, and the cats are here everyday! What a waste…

  • Camerams

    Yup. Cats kill, and eat, birds, mice and other small animals. I don’t see anyone complaining that a cat ate a mouse who lived in his or her yard. That’s because people don’t love mice and don’t feed them. If you don’t want to make it easy for a cat to catch and kill birds, don’t put out a bird feeder. Of course, then you won’t know if a cat is killing birds because the birds won’t be congregating in your yard. Putting a cat on a leash is ludicrous. If that were a viable option, it would have been done long ago. And, by the way, even “indoor” cats escape and run loose (open the door and…whoosh…out they go). They’re small, they’re quick and, once they get out, it’s almost impossible to catch them.

    • Catbird0

       Cat are totally trainable – mine are and it wasn’t that hard.  I do take them outside, usually off a leash these days (on when they were learning)- but I stay with them.  They never go to my neighbor’s yard or get the chance to kill the wild creatures in the yard because I don’t let them.  I like the native rodents, rabbits, and lizards in my yard in addition to the birds. 
      It used to be common for people to let their dogs run everywhere, but now they don’t (in most places).  People can change their habits, if they want to.  And if they cared about being a good neighbor, they would!

      • Llida

        you my dear are responsible, and an ideal role model to follow for “a good neighbor”; wish I had you on either side of my house!  <3

        • Catbird0

           Thank you!  I like being friends with my neighbors!  And part of that is being respectful and responsible!

  • Anonymous

    Over two years ago I had to shoot and bury HUNDREDS of these invasive-species predators. They had completely annihilated nearly every last native animal on my land. Hard as it might be for some to accept or comprehend, the irresponsible past human behavior of “Hunted to Extinction” MUST now be employed to confront this problem. It is the ONLY method that is faster than a species can out-breed and out-adapt to. Especially a man-made invasive-species like these cats that can breed 2-3X’s faster than any naturally occurring cat species.

    I also found out another surprising thing about these cats. During my cat-eradication project, I was trying to save a few of the last native predators on my land from certain starvation. I tried to get them to put “cat” on their diet, but none of them would have it. Anytime a cat would enter my wildlife feeding area all the local predators would scatter, as if a bear had entered the yard (which also happened a few times). I was truly disappointed. This was after-all the small army I was going to try to raise to get rid of the cats ecologically. Even when offered a shot-dead cat, the moment they spotted it they’d scatter back into the woods.

    I finally figured out why, when one winter a small family of opossum I was feeding (2 adults and 3 kits they had while under my care), I managed to shoot an all-gray cat for them. The only solid-patterned gray cat I had ever seen. I thought one last time I’d see if I could use these cats for something useful, by feeding it to those opossum for a much needed protein boost. They gnawed on most of it, then I never saw them again. I found them that coming spring under a tarp where they were staying for the winter. Apparently they all died from some disease in that cat-meat. Alarming, in that opossum, due to their naturally cooler body temperatures, cannot contract nor transmit many common diseases. Not even rabies. They are one of the most disease-free animals in North America. Yet something in that cat-meat was able to kill them.

    Leaving ANY cat out in nature, alive OR dead, is no better than poisoning your native wildlife to death. These cats truly ARE complete and total wastes of flesh. They can’t even be used to safely feed your wildlife.

    But back to the reason all the wildlife would run from cats. This event with the opossum and the all-gray cat finally also let me know why all my local predators would not put cat on their diet.

    Anytime a native animal sees any unknown animal sporting bold patterns, they automatically presume that animal to be harboring some dangerous or deadly hidden defense mechanism. This is a universal symbol throughout nature. All of the most toxic animals sport bold patterns, from insects to reef-life to land animals. The stripes on a skunk are to alert wildlife that it has a hidden olfactory defense mechanism — it means “STAY AWAY!”. Native wildlife seeing bold-patterned cats is no different. It’s instinctive. Part of the nature of nature.

    This too explains why you will find stories online of how someone’s docile Mr. Fluffy managed to scare that “nasty” coyote out of their yard. The cat’s imagined bravado had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was the cat’s coat-pattern alone that was responsible for scaring that larger and capable predator away.

    You’re not going to be able to hope that nature is going so save your asses from this 100% man-made ecological disaster today. Because even if larger predators do take out some of the bland-patterned cats (and probably die from some disease in the cats’ flesh and fluids), then the only cats left will be the bold patterned cats to continue to breed out of control. Annihilating all the smaller prey so that all the larger predators starve to death (exactly what happened on my land). This man-made invasive-species cat will manage to completely wipe out the complete food-chain in every ecosystem where it can survive.

    The ONLY predator that’s going to solve this problem today is the human with a gun, taking out every last one of this species everywhere it is spotted away from supervised confinement. Stray or feral it matters not. For strays are the very source of all feral cats. That’s a HARD COLD FACT that everyone is eventually going to have to deal with. Or you will all eventually die under a sea of cats.

    That’s the ONLY way this is going to be stopped.

    One other note: Cat-advocates’ “vacuum effect” is a bald-faced LIE. After shooting and burying hundreds of cats over 2 years ago I’ve not seen ONE cat in all this time. (My wildlife is starting to rebound nicely too.) Simple reason being: CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of every last one and there’s none there to attract more of them. And should one or two ever wander into  your area again? Shoot on first sight! You MUST. Because if you don’t? You can bet your sweet ass that there will be hundreds more destroying everything in their wake again in just short matter of time.

    • Guest

       You’re a cunt.

    • Imkeumwet69

      ive never seen someone lose property from the invading menace of these out of control cats. Are they like squattors they just plant themselves there and dont leave? or did they build scratching posts and perches over your property line? or are they a syndicate and strong arm you into giving it up? they are CATS hello!!!!!!!!! They dont make anymore mess than squirrels rodents, deer , woodchucks etc. and nowhere near as birds . Maybe you should try online dating or get a hooker dudecuz you need to get a life.

    • JSebastian

       I cannot til I get some cat murdering asshole like you in my sights.  Bullet through the frontal lobe.

  • Anonymous

    Be cautious about using any cats taken from outdoors for adoption or you could be held criminally responsible. There’s no way to know a wild-harvested cats’ vaccination history, if any, nor their exposure to all the deadly diseases cats carry. If a cat has contracted rabies then a vaccination later will do no good. It’s already too late. There’s no reliable known test for rabies while keeping the animal alive. They need to be destroyed after they are trapped. It’s the only sane and sensible solution. This is why all wild-harvested animals of any type intended for the pet-industry must undergo an extended quarantine up to 6 months before transfer or sale of those animals to prevent just these things. Cats are no different than any other animal when wild-harvested. You’re risking this following story happening in every shelter across the land.

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/09/23/2631106/rabid-cat-adopted-from-wake-county.html

    Adopting any cat that’s been taken from outdoors is just playing Russian Roulette.

    Stray-cats, the very source of all feral-cats, need to be euthanized too or you’ll never be rid of the feral-cat problem.

    These are just the diseases they’ve 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: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, and Tularemia can now also be added to that list.

    Cat-Transmitted PLAGUE:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8059908
    http://www.pagosasun.com/archives/2011/07July/072811/webplague.html

    Tularemia (rabbit-fever, transmissible to humans):
    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/health/miscellaneous/2011-09-14/cats-savoy-test-positive-rabbit-fever.html
    http://www.westyellowstonenews.com/news/article_02fceec6-f695-11e0-b752-001cc4c002e0.html

    Flea-borne Typhus:
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-317133-animals-cases.html

    Hookworm — ruined Miami Businesses:
    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-11-24/news/fl-miami-beach-hookworms-20101123_1_hookworm-infections-feral-miami-beach

    Their most insidious disease of all, cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasite they spread through their feces into all other animals. This is how it gets into meats and humans get it from meats, cats roaming around stockyards and farms. 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 unborn fetus of any pregnant woman. (Miscarriages, still-births, hydrocephaly, and microcephaly.) It can 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. It can last over a year in any soils or waters and not even washing your hands or garden vegetables in bleach will destroy the oocysts. Contrary to popular cat-lovers’ self-deceptive myths, a cat can also become reinfected many times during its life and spread new oocysts each time. It’s now linked to the cause of autism, schizophrenia, and brain cancers. This parasite is now also killing off rare and endangered marine-mammals along all coastal areas from cats’ T. gondii oocysts in run-off from the land, the oocysts even surviving in saltwater.

    Its strange life cycle is meant to infect rodents. Any rodents infected with it lose their fear of cats and are actually attracted to cat urine.

    http://scitizen.com/neuroscience/parasite-hijacks-the-mind-of-its-host_a-23-509.html

    Cats attract rodents to your home with their whole slew of diseases. If you want rodents in your home keep cats outside of it to attract diseased rodents to your area.

    The time has come to destroy them all whenever spotted away from supervised confinement. There’s no other solution. We have nobody but cat-lovers to thank for this ecological disaster.

    • Anonymous

      One more fun aspect to those TNR programs that psychotic cat-lovers are trying to force on everyone so nobody is left with any legal recourse to remove cats from their properties, businesses, and public lands.

      If you want to have all your pets euthanized, even though they are not sick; and have lots of your wildlife euthanized, even though only one has rabies; and if you want to pay for an expensive regimen of rabies shots, out of your own pocket; then all you have to do is adopt their TNR lunacy in your neighborhood. Like the unfortunate fools who allowed that to recently happen in Carlsbad, New Mexico:

      http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-news/ci_20400835/rabies-outbreak-suspends-feral-cat-program

    • Imkeumwet69

      I have to thank you. I havehated birds my whole life. I didnt like their incessant chirping,nesting in my eaves, shitting on my clothes on the line, my car , windows, even my head. I always thought i had no recourse but thanks to youwoodsman thats all changed. your rightthy’re trespassing. birds carry even more diseases than cats and nobody owns these nasty thinggs so there is zero chance they went to the vet and noones gonna keep them off my land. But now, thanks to you im gonna shoot the mother fuckers! yes and you killed hundreds of cats i must be able to get hundreds if not thousands. i gotta go im gonna be busy .I cant thank you enough click click boom! oh and fyi i agree you are a cunt. serial killers start with animals and from your comments seems you cant wait to move onto bigger prey.i keep my cat indoors but your just straight up ignorant.how about legislation againt hunters who kill birds and fowl for sport not because they are genetically progammed for it. or killing animals by humans that do it for the obvious enjoyment of not just the killing but the added benefit of devastating their owners. I hope your neighbors dont let their toddlers trespass cuz what choice will you have but to bust a cap in their asses.

    • Shutternut

      Like the guy said before… you’re a CUNT. And a crazy one at that!

      • JSebastian

        Hunting animals like Woodsman should be a national sport. I’d love to plant a sociopath like him. 

    • JSebastian

       You’re one strange psycho. Rodents are only attracted to human habitations because people are filthy slobs and rodents are efficient scavengers.  Rodent infestations are crimes of opportunity, so if humanity weren’t in general a goddamn bunch of degenerate slovenly apes, and kept their homes, businesses, and public areas clean and their larders sealed, then they wouldn’t have rodent problems. 

  • Anonymous

    I noticed that many many of the people here keep asking the same questions over and over again. Why do they let their cats on others’ property? Why can’t they understand this is wrong? Why can’t they be stopped?

    Here’s the answer to all those questions.

    Some important information to help you understand the behaviors of “cat-lovers” and their cats. Something I discovered when local “cat-lovers” (an oxymoron if there ever was one) were using cats to overtake my land and woods, eventually even by moving my property markers when using their cats had failed — failed because I got the legal go-ahead to shoot all cat on my land. (An expensive many $1000s lesson for these thieves, surveyors are not cheap.) I often wondered why they kept releasing new cats onto my land even long AFTER they already knew that all their cats were being shot to death, they were told this is what was going to happen, and WAS happening. They didn’t care about cats AT ALL! Clearly something else was motivating them. How many so-called “cat-lovers” do you know that release cats and let them roam free even after seeing many of them become road-kill, harmed by cat and animal attacks, die of diseases, killed by poisonous plants or animals they encounter outdoors, etc.? (Like every last TNR-advocate for starters.) They don’t care about cats, not in the least!

    Now you’ll know exactly why cat-lovers do what they do. It really has nothing at all to do with their concern for cats, nor even the lives of anything else, quite the opposite.

    Human Territorial Behavior By Expendable Proxy

    I have come to the inexorable conclusion that the vast majority of “cat-lovers” and cat-owners that let their destructive invasive-species roam free, and especially those that defend the rights of feral cats to overtake private and public property and wildlife areas, are only (cowardly) using cats as a proxy for their OWN territorial behavior. Not unlike uneducated inner-city youth that will disrespectfully and inconsiderately use loud music to stake-out a territory for themselves. Whether this behavior is done consciously or subconsciously, the underlying motive is the same. As long as they can have one of their cats defecate in another’s yard or destroy their property, animals, and wildlife; and the land-owner not have any recourse; the cat-owner/caretaker owns that territory. It’s time to put a stop to them using their “cute kitty” excuse for usurping and stealing others’ property. If they want territory they can damn well buy it just like anyone else. Instead they’re using underhanded, disrespectful, and manipulative means. By putting (and sacrificing) live animals in the path of their envy and greed. “Cat-lovers” only really want your yard, garden, or forest while making all others and all other animals suffer for what they can’t have nor own. Bottom line–they want to control you and your property. That’s _ALL_ that “cat-lovers” are really after. It’s why they don’t care at all if their cat nor any other animals, nor even other humans, get harmed by their goals and (lack of) values in life.

    Property owners’ tip:  Put up signs at the edge or your property, prominently visible to the
    criminally-irresponsible cat-lovers and all others. Or hand them a paper
    with the following notice (while in the presence of your witnesses). “Cat-Recreation Land-Use Fee: $10,000 per day per cat. Payable on demand.” You have every right to charge anyone any amount that you see fit for them using your land for any purpose of theirs. After
    posting notice then document with video and witnesses anytime you see
    their cats using your land for any purposes. When you take them to court for non-payment you get to legally own every last thing in their
    lives; house, cars, what’s left of their savings (if any), garnisheed
    wages if the amount surpasses the value of what they presently own etc.;
    just like they have stolen the use of your property all those years.
    Only you get to take all of their possessions for your own use legally.

    There’s an interesting news report about a community in Florida where cat-advocates are trying to get a court to allow them to use a local shopping-center where they can keep their cats (to act as speed-bumps, car-accidents, and health-violation-lawsuits waiting to happen I presume). They are also doing this to a whole hotel chain, several universities, and even churches. We can now add those to the kinds of property that they want to steal from the owners and control. It never ends with them. Destroy all cats before they and their advocates can and WILL destroy you. Don’t believe me? Google for what these demented cat-advocates are doing to Loews hotels in Florida.

    They can’t be stopped from their behavior. They psychotically believe they are doing “god’s work” for themselves. So you must destroy their MAN-MADE INVASIVE-SPECIES cats. It’s the ONLY solution.

    • Llida

      Woodsman – you certainly have a lot to say, and have done some research…You must own a lot of land where all this activity is going on; where are you located? Very different strategies you are using out there….

      • Anonymous

        I never state where I am located, not even using any of those 3 locations in online account info. I have collected more public death-threats from revealing and disproving all the lies, misconceptions, and deceptions of these psychotic, psychopathic, and sociopathic TNR cat-advocates than even Congressman Oda, all of his family members, and other lawmakers combined. The FBI wants my collection but I could care less. I can take care of myself JUST fine!  Though, it’s nice to have that list should anything happen one day. Then they’re ALL going down. :-)

        • lovelystrangeness

          Hmm, a quick Google says otherwise: “I live in wilkes county half the time and on the edge of clarke in madison county with my lady the other half”

          • Woodsman001

            I’m guessing that your secret decoder-ring that came in your latest box of Cracker-Jacks® didn’t come with a certificate of authenticity.

            I’d google to find out which counties in which state(s?) those are but … I think it’s more fun just knowing that your career as a private detective is already over and done with. Don’t quit your other career options! LOL!!!

        • Imkeumwet69

          im making a game out of bird killing cuz you made it sound so enjoyable. i made a chart with points for different species of birds, i lost count but im way past your meager hundreds. dude your the man i told all my friends about the trespassing thing and that you said its our right to kill them and the only solution. in a couple more months its gonna be clear skies and the chance of those vulgar flying disease spreaders will be a thing of the past.

  • Llida

    I just read one of the papers Woodsman001 was referring to:  
    http://deenawinter.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ec1781.pdf  …… take the time to read this. I shall refrain from taking a position on it; it is quite a lot to absorb from a totally different perspective. This is obviously a tender topic that is dealt with differently everywhere…  

  • Anonymous

    I think you’d have to have a remarkably docile and well behaved cat to get one of those harnesses on him.

  • Cat Lady!

    I think it is silly to have such a law if the “outdoor kitties” don’t catch the “birds” there are always the “hawks” just waiting in prey to catch there dinner.  I have had both indoor and outdoor cats – there is always another preditor out there waiting for the “kill”!  I also think that there are other issues needing attention and not the cat issue!

    • Llida

      alright – let’s focus on another issue: someone else being responsible for their pet and keeping it out of my yard after I’ve informed them I no longer want their pet roaming there….

    • Catbird0

       You are missing the point.  Native predators are fine – they are what the native wildlife are used to and they aren’t as concentrated in numbers as subsidized cats are.  Hunting cats harm both the native prey and predator species.
      And, as Llida says, it is a property rights/respect for your neighbors issue.

  • KC

    I have one indoor cat and one outdoor. The outdoor was raised as such and provides much needed, organic rodent control.  I adopted him specifically for that purpose. He is extremely well cared for, but will remain an outdoor, unleashed cat regardless of any laws that may be passed to say otherwise. Harnessing him is not an option. Of course there is the possibility of him being harmed by another animal or a car, etc., that’s naturally possible with any animal. Shall we restrain the coyotes now to provide them with protection? Build snake tunnels under roads? My cat was hit by an owl or hawk once. He healed the talon scratches and one puncture very well, without help from a vet.  He learned a valuable life skill from it: he looks up more. I bet that bird won’t mess with him again either. If you’re letting reproductively capable cats roam free, you are an irresponsible cat owner. If your cat is constantly using your sweet neighbor’s rose garden as a litter box or otherwise creating a serious problem, then you have an issue that you need to address. Maybe a leash is for you, but keep your laws off of my loved, healthy, hard working cat. 

    • Anonymous

      I have people like you living near me. All their invasive species cats got shot and buried. And there’s not ONE thing they can do about it. EVERY property owner in the USA has the RIGHT to defend their own animals against harm from someone else’s animal on their property. THAT’S THE LAW.

      I hope your neighbors learn that handy lesson soon.

      You might also like to know that your outdoor cat is actually ATTRACTING rodents right to your home. That’s how their Toxoplasma gondii parasites work.

      http://scitizen.com/neuroscience/parasite-hijacks-the-mind-of-its-host_a-23-509.html

      This is a bit like the concept of those UV bug-zappers. They work great to keep bugs out of your yard — if you put them in all your neighbors’ yards and not in your own.

      If you don’t want rodents by your house, encourage your neighbor to keep a cat in or around their own home and on their OWN property so their OWN property smells like the cat-piss that now attracts T. gondii infected rodents (infected from their own cat’s feces).  Their invasive-species cat will attract all the diseased rodents away from your own property as long as you yourself don’t have cats.

      • KC

        That is ridiculous and false; cats do not attract rodents. I know this because our property used to be infested. During the past few years, my cat has had to do more of his hunting in the fields near our property because he has eradicated most all of the rodents from our property. I too have people like you Woodsman that live near me. They are the ones who I would not hesitate to shoot and bury. You apparently need a life. Your comments show that you are a lonely loser. Reply if you like, but I’m no longer going to view or participate in this conversation. You and your comments are proof that idiots thrive on the internet.  

        • Llida

          KC – what you do with your own time is your business, but people who have taken the time to investigate, read and learn are not idiots; maybe you should spend a little more time reading and learning before ranting. The Toxo study was a scientific study and raised some important questions.  It was also fascinating to read.  Your loss…..

          • Woodsman001

            For even more fascinating reading, check out at least that first link in my reply to KC, the one from “theatlantic.com”. This parasite doesn’t just hijack the minds of rodents. It hijacks the minds of humans as well (and any other animal it infests).  I also strongly suspect this is why cat-hoarders cannot even smell that overpowering stench in their homes, yet everyone within the vicinity of a block from their homes can’t stand the smell and the home must be demolished — just to get rid of the smell from their neighborhood so property values won’t be destroyed too.

            This goes FAR FAR beyond the usual just getting used-to a familiar odor in one’s home. Like infected rodents find this smell attractive, I suspect it works this way on human minds too. The simplest test to find out if you’ve been infected by this parasite might be nothing more than smelling cat-urine. If you find it reeks (as most people do), you’re safe. If you don’t mind it or don’t even notice the smell, it’s too late; it’s already hijacked your brain and there’s no known cure to get it out of your brain either. Walk into most any cat-lover’s home and honestly tell them about the smell; they say, “What smell?”

            This is almost like sci-fi come to reality. Real-life “pod people”. Obeying a foreign parasite in their brains, and trying to get everyone else to welcome their parasite-overlord with open arms.

            See too why I don’t reveal my location other than N. America? :-)
            I’ll just add KC to that every growing list of pathological,
            psychopathic, and sociopathic cat-advocates that see nothing wrong with publicly issuing death-threats on humans. The FBI will certainly be busy should I ever share my list!

        • Woodsman001

          KC, This just goes to prove again what I’ve suspected all along … the Toxoplasma gondii parasites in cat-lovers brains won’t let them think nor reason beyond wanting to ensure the proliferation of more T. gondii parasites throughout the whole food-chain and into more humans, by spreading their genetically-engineered, nature-destroying, INVASIVE-SPECIES cats even further. Even if they have to harm or murder humans that stand in their way. They are being controlled against all common-sense and reason by the cats’ parasites that have taken over their minds.

          Get tested for T. gondii if you are defending these invasive-species cats’ lives. You’re most likely obeying cats’ parasites in your brain now. You can no longer think nor reason like a human anymore, ignoring all logic and common-sense. Your thoughts demoted to that of parasitic protozoan awareness, where only its base biochemical survival matters, without concern nor regard for anything else in its environment. (Sounds just like every cat-lover, doesn’t it.) Though either way, even if you are not infected by this cat-parasite and still feel that it’s better to harm a human than a cat, seek professional help before you act on these blatantly clear psychopathic and sociopathic thoughts and values of yours.

          For just a few of the links on studies of how this cats’-parasite hijacks the human (or any animal’s) mind:

          “How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy”
          http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/8873/

          “Toxoplasmosis and psychology: A game of cat and mouse”
          http://www.economist.com/node/16271339

          “Crazy Cat Love: Caused By Parasitic Infection?”
          http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/18/crazy-cat-love-caused-by-parasitic-infection/

          “Research Links Parasite In Cats To Mental Illnesses”
          http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127955946

    • Llida

      the media misrepresented the bylaw, which does NOT advocate leashes for cats. That would be an individual choice made by each owner.  As far as your comment about restraining coyotes – those are categorized as “wildlife” and not as your pet; TOTALLY different situation…..totally different bylaws….  My suggestion is to read up more…

  • Trkahan

    This is ridiculous. I think Concordians have better things to do, or at least they should.

    • Llida

      tell me – what more important rights do we have, besides civil, than jurisdiction over our private property? 

  • Anonymous

    If only we had Sarah Palin as governor and could hunt cats from helicopters.

  • Mikej21

    Outlander
    Woodsman001  I see you don’t like cats I myself am not fond of them myself and have the had a few cats seem to disappear from my property when after speaking with owners about them using my garden as a litter box.  I have a small farm and a few neighbors cats that tend to wander .   Being in the woods and with a lot of coyote and other wild life such as a big old Boar raccoon I watched turn one of my neighbors cats into a pile of fur when it decided to try and stand it’s ground over a a dish of dog food I am not over run with them.
     My brother is also a Animal control officer and gets many calls from the SO CALLED CAT LOVER about their poor  missing kitty that has not come home for a week.  His answer to them is this.

     First is it an indoor cat that got loose?   if  it is then it is most likely dead and gone it is not accustom to traffic , dogs , wildlife and other outside dangers.  

     Is it an Outside cat.  If it is use to going out and being semi wild  then it is not even thought of as being dead maybe for a couple of weeks because they wander and do what they please so  the fact is they just could have found a better place ( some one leaves food out for them or takes them in being so kind hearted  to care for a stray)  The cat is gone and that is it.

    Then if the cat was an indoor cat that got away he will put it on his list and keep an eye out for awhile his position is full time as he works with the town and the state so he is out all the time.  if it is an out door cat . well his comment is plain and simple you do not want to loose a cat then keep it under control. The cat does not need to be let roaming free and many people who own cats can verify they do quiet well inside. If you choose to let your beloved fluffy outside then do not play broken hearted when you find it a flat piece of fur on the road or I spot  it hanging from the jaws of a coyote crossing my my side field or it gets into something and just plain dies.  picture your poor fluffy injured and frightend out in the wild some place and could be saved it you could find it.  The thought of it suffering like that seems not to matter to you so do not play cat lover when like woodsman001 puts it like it is and I agree you are just a bunch of idiots.

    • Woodsman001

      I used to actually like cats. It took quite a bit to muster-up the strength of heart that was required to shoot the very first ones. But it was a no-brainer. Either the cats died, or the last few surviving animals on my land would have died. Cats had already heinously destroyed over 95% of all other animals on my land. The only way to get the wildlife back was destroy the cats. No other option.

      I don’t even hate cats today. The only thing that’s changed is that cat-lovers and their cats have taught me to value all other life-forms on earth above them. Both are useless life-forms in my book. Of no worth whatsoever.

      And thanks for sharing a similar view of the REAL WORLD with some of these bambi-cartoon-educated people. :-)

      Nature does not make any distinction on whether an animal is “cute” and if that’s any criteria for it to survive.

      Aside: Though, there are the facial features of all infant animals that trigger the parenting instinct in all animals to better ensure their survival at first. This is why barren and childless women bred these child-like wide-eyed features into their cats. Those that they found more “adorable” were kept, given more nutritious foods, and bred anew. Those that weren’t so “adorable” looking were given less nutrition (intentionally or unintentionally) or less safe habitat or were discarded. Fewer of those went on to become new domesticated cats. They selectively bred childlike faces on animals. They’re now trapped in a mental and emotional onanism by selectively-breeding them more baby-like to further trigger that instinct in themselves. Trapped in an escalating emotional and mental masturbation through selective breeding an animal. Hence their ever popular anthropomorphization of cats. In their out-of-touch-with-reality minds, their cats ARE their human infants, the very children they’ll never have (or lost). They don’t even realize that when their cat rubs up against them that it has NOTHING to do with affection. That’s merely a territorial marking of an animal on its food source.

      • Mikej21

        No problem on the Real word and since Concord is in a world of it’s own any way I have just one comment find a farm near you and ask the owner if he could use a free barn cat if he says sure then  Havahart Live trap it is quiet and will do the trick.

            Bait it with cat food and set it around bushes and places were the cats will use to travel  and ambush from.  When cat is caught  bring up to farm and give to owner you can not just abandon them it is a felony offense. but give it away and keep quiet about it.  You caught a cat in your trap on your property how do you know if it is a feral cat ( a cat gone wild ) or some ones fluffy you don’t right well take the wild cat out to a farm and let it do it’s thing hunt the mice around the grain bins .

        In NH a feral cat is considered a wild animal so like catching a wood chuck in your garden and eliminating it is the same. so if you know of a way to dispatch them legally then it is your call.

            Again how do you determine if a roaming cat is feral or not well there is no way to tell so any cat you catch handle it carefully because you can get rabies and other things and a cat scratch if you look up on the internet it will back this up can get infected real quick. so handle them carefully for your own sake.
          

        • Woodsman001

          I don’t think you quite grasp the whole situation. I had to shoot HUNDREDS of cats because of the exact “solution” that you posted. People not wanting their cats anymore and then convincing farmers and other rural people in the area to take their cats in for them. They NEVER stay where they are dumped. Roaming far and wide. Even if they return to their roost in the morning, all night long they are out on the land annihilating all the wildlife for play-toys, and in turn, starving all the native wildlife to death that made use of those smaller animals for food. Native wildlife didn’t waste those animals, they were an important part of the native food-chain — completely destroyed and wasted by waste-of-flesh cats.

          The only way to solve it here was shoot every last one of them. Collared or not, stray or not, pet or not, feral or not. They ALL were shot dead. I have a box full of collars to prove it. I found that you can’t train a cat to stay off your land and destroying all wildlife, but you CAN train a cat-owner or cat-lover to stop wasting their time getting new cats that just get shot a few days after they get them. Even after losing hundreds of their cats over the years, guess  what I spotted on my land yesterday? 3 NEW cats someone around here took in. Their days are numbered. Cats attract cats. Let even ONE survive on your land and it will turn into hundreds in a short matter of time. Even ONE must be shot on first sight.

          Cat-lovers are JUST this amazingly stupid. They already lost hundreds of them by letting them roam free. Even the Sheriff told them their cats were going to be shot to death. And what do they do 2 years later? Try it again with 3 more cats. What? They think I’m going to stop shooting them if they just keep getting more of them? IDIOTS.

  • Mark_johnson772003

    %^& like this, and the bottled water, makes me ASHAMED to be from there.

    • Llida

      …rightly so

  • Llida

    Concord – where are the free-thinkers? where has the compassion for nature and neighbor gone? last night the lamb was slaughtered…the town of Concord showed absolutely no interest in acknowledging the issues with pets and wildlife in the community: Hiring an Animal Control Officer – shot down. Instituting a Cat Bylaw that was carefully written to respect both pets and people – shot down. Even the simple concept endorsing Responsible Pet Ownership – shot down. Someone in the audience stated that if they adopted a Responsible Pet ownership program that would make “Concord look bad”….(how dare someone even suggest there could be irresponsible pet owners in Concord). My thoughts? Not recognizing the need for any of these programs is the real shame…real, real shame……

  • http://hereandnow.wbur.org/kevin-sullivan Kevin Sullivan

    hey folks  — there’s an update on the cat leash story! http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/04/27/concord-cats-roam

    • Mikej21

      Yep  The cats a free and the town has shown it’s still not all there.  The plastic bottle ban The stores in the town can not sell will be bought in Acton and Maynard ect and the stores in Concord now loose income and people who own pets do not have to be responsible pet owners they can use the neighbors yard for a litter box. Well
        Good luck to them I use to live in Acton MA.  next door to Concord.

          Got sick of MA any way and went to NH.  Still no matter were you live you just have to take care of things the way you can when it comes to defending your rights.  So when it comes to a free roaming kitty using your yard as a litter box or hunting the birds. Then you can use a havaheart live trap on your property.  You can not just drive off and dump it that is a felony charge of abandonment.  But since you do not know if it is a feral cat ( cat that has gone wild )  or not be careful handling it and find a farmer who would like a free barn cat and give it to him.

         The cat can hunt all the mice and rodents it wants and the farmer keeps his barn and grain shed taken care of.  And just take care of it as you need too and keep quiet about it.

      • Woodsman001

        Again … PLEASE don’t advocate for people to dump off cats at farms and rural areas. Don’t you think people in the country have enough of their own cats? This is why they constantly drown kittens, or shoot adult cats on sight. I’m sick and tired of having to shoot and bury HUNDREDS of everyone else’s cats!

        Cats dumped off at other locations do not stay where they are dumped. IT WILL NOT STAY ON THAT FARM OR RANCH Dumping a cat from your area on anyone else is no better than what the criminally irresponsible person did to begin with. Solve the problem! Be a respectable and RESPONSIBLE human and don’t go just making it into someone else’s problem!

        I, for one, KNOW that NO cat that ever comes onto my property will ever be a problem for anyone nor any other living thing again! I EXPECT YOU TO TO BE JUST AS RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS AND JUST AS RESPONSIBLE AND DO THE SAME. If not? Then that make you NO BETTER than every last low-life TNR advocate that has ever existed.

        If you trap it? DROWN IT (or shoot it), then bury it so it cannot go on to harm any further life with all the diseases they carry today.

        Drowning is even more humane than what animal shelters use. An extensive study and broadcast on the BBC network on the most humane ways to kill a human (in regards to death-penalties), was also presented as applicable to humane animal euthanasia.

        Out of ALL the methods they researched and the researcher himself even tested (right up to but not actual death) was Death by Hypoxia. This is the loss of oxygen to the blood. This is by far, no hold’s barred, above all the rest — THE MOST HUMANE METHOD EVER FOUND.

        Any living organism (with higher functioning nervous systems, i.e. has a brain) will die in a complete and total state of euphoria, not even aware they are facing death. This was one of the methods that the researcher even used on himself to test it. He allowed himself to be monitored under the conditions of high-altitude situations, where the air was withdrawn from the chamber. He was having a blast. And didn’t even realize that in the next 30 seconds he was going to be dead.

        This is also the phrase of “The Rapture of the Deep” for divers, when they run out of oxygen. Ask any drowning survivor and they’ll tell you what an interesting and wonderful experience it was to face death. None of them ever fear death anymore after surviving a drowning. Once a human or animal gets over the initial discomfort of holding their breath — it’s euphoric blissville all the way to death.

        The ONLY reason that the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) does not condone the use of drowning — is because that’s $80-$120 out of their pockets each time someone uses this method.

        Here’s a link to that research that was broadcast on PBS not long ago:

        BBC – Horizon – The Science of Killing – BBC Horizon Show in Humane Euthanasia http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/broadband/tx/executions/

        You know those “gas chambers” that all cat-lovers are up in arms about? THOSE ARE ACTUALLY THE MOST HUMANE WAY OF ALL.

        And if you still don’t like the idea of drowning? Then CO2 can also be used for euthanasia by hypoxia. And that IS approved by the AVMA.

        Use CO2 paintball cartridges fitted with a valve and a hose. A 16-gram paintball cartridge produces almost exactly 400 cubic-inches of CO2 at 100% concentration at atmospheric-pressure. A 30-50% concentration is used for humane euthanasia, respiratory arrest in under 1 minute, death in under 5, as reported by AVMA’s own findings, published in their own reports of “humane euthanasia”. Adjust # of CO2 cartridges required according to the cubic-inch confinement space of the cat. One 16-gram CO2 cartridge can fill an 800-1200 cubic-inch space with 50% to 30% concentration. An enclosure of 8″-12″ X 10″ x 10″)

  • Freddie

    I have NEVER encountered a homeless cat with rabies although they of course can be infected. Cats seldom fight with animals such as racoons which are a major spreader of this disease. Dogs are much more likely to obtain rabies as they tend to chase animals such as racoons. They are, in turn attacked in self-defense and thus, infected . Cats don’t chase racoons. Feral cats can have diseases such as feline AIDS, not passable to humans, and feline leukemia which they can pass to other cats. Chances are good that they may have fleas or parasites or illnesses that will affect only themselves. All my cats had been homeless and abused or abandoned before I gave them a loving home, complete with all vaccinations etc. Before a cat is taken to a shelter for adoption, they are screened for infectious diseases. A few tests by a prospective adoptee would run about $100 and put one’s mind to rest as well as save a life.

    • Mikej21

      Hi Freddie

      how often do you see a rabid fox? dog? skunk? well they are out there as well as rabid cats. and my friend  a cat will stand it’s ground against a dog  even if it does not chase a dog but gets caught and has to defend it self. Wild racoons that are use to feeding around garbage cans and homes were food is left out will attack a cat and kill it I am sorry if you do not understand it but it is a fact.  in fact a mother coon that has young if it runs into a cat around a feeding area such as garbage  ( and yes cats get into garbage ) will kill it out of protection for her young. A large boar ( Male ) coon will defend HIS territory and they can kill a cat with out breaking a sweat. If you think Kitty is safe from such wild life my friend you need to start looking up your facts.  The recent rise in Coyote problems also make Kitty a lunch menu Item as well as small dogs.  Cats Can carry rabies quiet easily and a sad mistake if you think they can not. If you find a feral cat I am glad you have found the ones that can be helped but again they can be a lot sicker than you may know and wish later you had.  Good luck with your rescue ideas but be real in your facts Cats will chase young racoons I had a large mouser that would come to the barn with dead  squirrels and rabbits which are large for a cat to take on but he was a hunter and that was why he was king of the barn till a fox got him.  I 

    • Mikej21

      Add on Also Skunks are more likely to spread rabies that racoons one more thing to look up you’ll  find that dogs are not more likely the get rabies than cats .
      Rabies in the U.S.

      In the U.S., rabies represents a serious threat to the health of
      people and animals. Every year, it is estimated that 40,000 persons
      receive a rabies prevention treatment called post-exposure prophylaxis
      (PEP) due to a potential exposure to rabies.

      More than 90% of all rabid animals reported to CDC each year occur in
      wildlife. The main animals that get rabies include raccoons, skunks,
      foxes and bats. However, most people are exposed to rabies due to close
      contact with domestic animals, such as cats or dogs.

      Rabies in Cats on the Rise

      While dogs have historically been associated with rabies transmission
      to humans, cats are more likely to be reported rabid in the U.S. Cats
      are often in close contact with both humans and wild animals, including
      those that primarily transmit rabies. This creates a situation in which
      rabies may be more easily transmitted from to humans from cats.

      In 2009, rabies cases among cats increased for the second
      consecutive year. Three times more rabid cats were reported than rabid
      dogs. In addition, cat owners might not be as likely to visit a
      veterinarian’s office, where they can receive shots that can keep their
      cat safe from rabies. Data from the American Veterinary Medical
      Association (AVMA) indicates that more than 36 percent of U.S.
      cat-owning households did not visit a veterinarian in 2006. This is more
      than double the percentage of dog-owning households that did not visit a
      veterinarian.
       The link for this is Center for disease control

      http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsrabies/

    • Woodsman001

      Read my post starting with the sentence, “Over two years ago I had to shoot and bury HUNDREDS of these invasive-species predators.”

      You are WRONG on almost every count. Larger predators will usually run from any cat they see, explained in that post.

      Think carefully now … what is the most common animal to carry rabies?

      Bats.

      And just what do you think might be the PERFECT play-toy for ANY outdoor cat? How about a disoriented and flapping bat dying on the ground. And just because a cat is vaccinated against rabies, doesn’t mean it can’t bring in a mouthful or claws-full of fresh rabies virus to you, your other pets, other animals, your family members, or other cats it might attack or be attacked by.

      Small rabid mammals, disoriented and dying on the ground from rabies, that cats use for their daily play-toys are the largest rabies vector to cats. The rabid animals don’t even have to seek out a cat, the cat will find it and gleefully contract rabies as it rips their rabid play-toy to shreds — then come home and lick your face.

      And just how are these wild-harvested cats “screened for infectious diseases” like rabies when there is no reliable test for rabies while the animal is still alive? This is why ALL wild-harvested animals in the world intended for the pet industry must undergo quarantine confinement for up to 6 months before transfer or sale of those animals just to prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases, many of which have NO VACCINES available for them. Rabies can have a gestation period for up to 9 months (in some cases
      even longer), the animal showing NO SYMPTOMS until then. Wild harvested
      animals, this includes cats, MUST be quarantined for at least up to 6
      months to try to lessen the risk of that cat having rabies. If you have neither the space nor funding available to quarantine ANY cat, collared or not, to which you do not know its vaccination history nor contact with other animals, then IT MUST BE DESTROYED.

      • Mikej21

        Good morning woodsman001

        Just one thing you and I seem to differ on is large predators will run from a cat. I am going to retire this Aug  from the animal control field, and my brother who works for another town and also is Full time state has seen many a cat that the now ever present  coyote is finding good hunting for in the cat lovers idea of letting them roam . Coyote have and will go after cats and small dogs and in areas were they are getting bolder I have used one of my dogs to decoy in a few coyote that were killing sheep on a farm, PLEASE NO OH THE POOR DOG!!!! SHE IS TRAINED AND NOT JUST TIED OUT AS BAIT SHE CAN HOLD HER OWN WITH BEAR,MOOSE AND COYOTE  and I am quite attached to her so she knows what she is doing and I do my part when she does hers and more than  few coyote have been removed from the problem areas. look up decoy coyote dogs they are trained for it.
         
          While many predators will run from cats even small noisy dogs.  They will attack for food and an animal like racoons who people lure onto their porches by leaving Fluffy’s food and water dish out on them (Also As I have witnessed and mentioned in one of my earlier post ) will set up a perfect situation for their poor fluffy to be attacked and killed by them.

        I AGREE  100% that bats are the number 1 carrier of rabies and that you hit the gestation period for rabies right on and the animal may not be showing the advanced stages of the  disease when you find them. Also again you are most right when you say THERE IS NO WAY TO TEST FOR RABIES WITH OUT THE ANIMAL BEING DEAD. Any animal we get a call on that is acting out of normal and appears sickly when we kill it we make sure never to hit it in the head.  The  Animal is taken to Concord NH and a sample of the brain is taken and rabies is then determined or not.  If your dog or cat or even yourself gets bitten by a stray cat , skunk, bat, raccoon, fox even a stray dog that has no tags or identification and you can not provide the animal you are going to be in for a set of painful shots . If an Animal control officer,police officer or some one who can dispatch the animal can kill it with out damaging the head it can be tested and then may save you from the preventive treatment. 

         In Short You know your stuff and can prove it glad you are on my side :-)
          And cat people plain and simple do not be so blind that you can not accept the fact CATS ARE A PREDATOR and  just ask the Audubon Society what they think of roaming cats and the precious song birds

        Audubon is a partner in a national campaign called “Cats Indoors!” led
        by the American Bird Conservancy. Below is a link below to their website
        that will provide you with facts, materials, and suggestions for
        leading a public awareness campaign in your community. http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/index.html

        • Woodsman001

          Thanks for clarifying what you said, and know. I see nothing wrong with anything you stated, and believe you.

          But … I think you will find that if you go back into those areas where native predators are taking cats, you’ll find a preponderance of bold-patterned cats that are being left alone (not being preyed on), and in turn being the ones to continue to breed and passing on their variable bold-patterned coats to their offspring, which will also not be preyed-upon.

          This is a natural instinct in ALL animals, from reef-life, to insects, to birds, to mammals. Bold bright pattern means TOXIC, STAY AWAY. This is why some animals, such as the Viceroy Butterfly successfully mimics the Monarch’s bold black and rust markings, The Viceroy survives by pretending to be just as toxic as the Monarch.

          When I saw this happening on my own land, I was left scratching my head. Why were these fox, raccoons, and other assorted animals that are KNOWN to take out cats, NOT DOING THEIR JOB!!! It wasn’t until I got that opossum family to eat that all gray cat (shot dead), did it finally ALL make sense. You won’t find this written down in any books, concerning cats and native predators.  This is my own unique finding. I have made hundreds of original discoveries in life. Many of them are now rewriting 200 years of misinformation in textbooks in schools and colleges.

          Please consider what I have said about this. You’ll find I’m right.

          • Mikej21

            You make an interesting theory.
                 A black and white cat could confuse a coyote or other predator that has had unpleasant dealings with a skunk .  Or a large black cat with heavy fur may resemble a porky pine which predators learn to avoid. but as with all nature there are those that will prey on them. A fisher cat for example is an expert on dealing with porky pines and skunks as well as it’s favorite snowshoe rabbit.   ( Having had to deal with a few that found chicken and lambs a treat )  they are quiet strong and very dangerous to handle when live trapped (If  lucky to get them) . 
                SO there is a food chain out there  that covers just about them all. We now have Bald Eagles coming back around me and fish and game has located and marked nesting sights. I have pictures of a pair the fed off a dead deer carcass for two weeks and made the news paper. Their nest is on the river 1 mile from my area in NH.  so now my chicken and Quail will be learning a new predator  soon enough. I already sit with my neighbor and watch the smaller male circle our favorite fishing hole and catch some fish that I never new got that big (   Fisherman’s jealousy )    .
                 Any way the whole point in an nut shell I guess is CATS ARE AND NEVER WERE PART OF THE NATURAL WILD LIFE AND ARE FAST BREEDERS AND DESTRUCTIVE HUNTERS WHO IF ANY CAT OWNER WOULD ACTUALLY TAKE THE TIME TO RESEARCH  THEY HUNT AND KILL FOR KILLING AND NOT!!!!!! JUST FOR FOOD THEY ARE A PURE AND SIMPLE MAN INDUCED PREDATOR WITH NO PLACE IN THE WILD. 
                  SO I too also thin out the ones that start to get out of control and as you said any cat I do not know and catch in a live trap gets treated as a Feral cat and dealt with as I find the situation calls for. I  Lost my last good Barn cat to a fox and do have my eye out for a possible replacement but then it would be brought in, Spayed or neutered and vaccinated as needed.
                  Then have food put out in a cat box I have built so that it will learn it has a warm place and food and water to crawl into ( MINI DOG HOUSE  EVEN INSULATED :-) ”  located on a shelf in the barn with a ramp. and then my feed bins would benefit from it’s daily and nightly patrols. only thing is annual upkeep as it is basically wild, catching it for vet trips and then the poor vet having to deal with a cantankerous cat who does not like the fact it is in a cat box and dealing with people  make a one time a year check up interesting.

                     And A farm cat stays in it’s own turf so neighbors do not find it visiting their yards as the cat sets up it’s territory like any predator does.
                 I will study your theory and even run it by my brother and a few others it will I am sure start a great long lasting debate up here in the north country.

          • Woodsman001

            I may have been in error by introducing the mimicry example to explain things. It’s not just a matter if a bold black/white cat might be seen as a skunk. Or longer fur might be seen as a porcupine.

            It is the bold pattern ALONE that will cause another predator to avoid that animal. Not that it might mistake it for another it already knows. ALL animal life has this instinct encoded in its very genetics from embryo to adult. A reef fish doesn’t have to previously encounter a Blue-Ringed Octopus beforehand to know it is deadly. (In fact, if it didn’t have this instinct of universal animal communication, the fish would die from contact with the octopus and nothing would be learned anyway.) This is NOT a learned thing. The fish KNOWS that that species of octopus is deadly from its bold pattern alone without having ever seen one before. Even though its shape and behavior looks like any other octopus.

            ANY unknown animal with bold patterns will AUTOMATICALLY be seen as potentially dangerous and toxic — whether it looks like one they already know or not. In fact, if it doesn’t appear to be one they know that is safe to eat and it has bold patterns, that is even MORE reason to avoid it.

            When feeding the few remaining predators on my land to try to bring back their populations (after them having been starved out by cats), I noticed they’d even react to what clothing I would wear when I’d fill their plates all night long. I tended to avoid wearing dark solids because they would see the lighter arms against them as warning-stripes and react hesitantly around me. Bold prints were out of the question. They’d treat me like some stranger and wait in the distance until I went back indoors. I found they liked faded camo clothing best of all. And then were even comfortable enough for me to put my hand in their feeding dishes while they ate, or would even pull my hand toward them to eat out of my hand.

            (Which led me to a further discovery, that we might be able to save human and animal lives (that have to be destroyed) from large predator attacks by just wearing bold patterns when hiking in bear & cougar country. It might even lead to breeding cattle with bold patterns so that ranchers and wolves could co-exist more easily (or cattle pattern spray-paint stations, odd as that might seem). The bold patterned bovines remaining safer from predation. Though I don’t know how this bold-pattern effect plays out on predators that large.)

            I noticed another interesting thing during this wildlife restoration project. Any time a cat would enter the wildlife feeding area, and a new cat would enter the area, they’d all stare at the cat intently for a moment, like caught in headlights, as if they were saying “Now what the hell is THAT one?” Before they all decided, “nope, it has bold patterns, let’s get the hell out of here!” With cats’ constantly variable patterns, no wildlife can lock into if that animal will ever be safe to eat or not. It will always be doubtful. While I don’t like the following analogy, it’s the closest one I can come up with. The randomly variable coat-patterns are like the deflector-shields on Star Trek shows. Where they’d randomly modify its frequency so the Borg couldn’t get through. As long as wildlife will never be able to lock into a safe-pattern cat to eat … there will always be cats breeding out of control in the wild. This is why the ONLY predator that can successfully eradicate this invasive species will be one with a human-brain that can override this eon’s-old animal-instinct and determine if that is the correct species to prey upon.

            Now add in the fact that those opossum, one of the most disease-free animals in N. America (due to their cooler body temperatures cannot even contract nor transmit rabies), died from disease in that cat meat. So we’ve got a double-whammy going on with this predator (quadruple if you consider their breeding rates and killing without hunger). Larger predators will avoid bold-patterns. Muted patterned cats that are preyed on will die from some disease in the cat-meat. If predators won’t be destroyed by being starved out, then they’ll die from trying to prey on the very animal that is destroying their food source.

            No matter which way you add it up — this is one helluva biological disaster on our hands. The worst part of all? The very people that are causing this can’t see it, won’t stop it, and are only making it worse and worse. It’s up to the rest of us to now clean up this disaster they created and won’t stop.

  • amyinnh

    I hope the law passed.  I detest cats in my yard.  I’m told to borrow a very fast moving dog.

    • Llida

      amyinnh – the bylaw did not pass. However, in follow-up, the MSPCA has selected Concord as a site for their next Animal Advocacy Training (see http://www.mspca.org/aatschedule)  Hopefully this will at least get people educated on what we are really trying to do here. We are also forming a “multi town group”  for “Responsible Pet Ownership”. Seems like there is enough support and interest in promoting responsible behavior, so we are not throwing in the towel :)

    • Llida

      unfortunately – it did NOT pass….  I am thinking of trying again this year….with better planning

      • amyinnh

         Tracked for 1 year, cats in the UK killed 6 million animals.  For those of us who enjoy the cardinals, bluejays and goldfinchs we try and attract to our yards, seeing the cats hunt and kill is disturbing.  I would expect conservations, wild life and property rights advocates to support the law if the range of issues where iterated.

        I use a water gun on the neighbor’s cat to chase her off but I need a daylong permanent solution.

  • Llida

    I just found out today that the family/neighbors who owned the cats moved away to a neighboring town! But catch this: THEY LEFT THE CATS BEHIND!  (with the new tenants/residents, who happen to be the inlaws!)  Well – that sure defines how much they loved those cats; they decided to leave them with someone who continues to let them out and roam thru the yards!

  • Llida

    Excellent study just came out from ABC with visual evidence:  
    http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/120806.html

  • Woofaloo

    People who let their cats roam freely are so irresponsible. I warned my friend that letting her cats run around is dangerous and that they probably have diseases or could get hit by a car. One of them just died yesterday from liver failure, the vet said it probably drank some antifreeze. I don’t see how so many cat owners are so ignorant. I once asked a cat owner if their neighbor gets tired of their cat shitting in their yard and takes them to the vet or kills the cat if they think it would be their fault. Their response was “No, my cats can shit where they want.” This is just incredibly stupid in my opinion, and there seem to be a lot of cat owners with this attitude that their cat can go around doing whatever it wants and if anyone else takes action they should be punished. People need to grow the fuck up. What really upsets me is when cat owners say that they have to let their cat roam because it’s their instinct and it’s cruel not to let them follow their instinct. Well it’s my dog’s instinct to hunt down and kill your cat, but I can’t let him do that can I? No, as pet owners either be responsible for your pet or don’t expect other people to not take action when your pet messes with their property.

    • Llida

      unfortunately – you are correct on all accounts….. But I am hopeful; there seems to be a growing awareness around this issue, and it just may be the right time for some changes :)

    • CarrieM

       Sadly, this is correct.  I tried arguing with a family member living with us that the cats should be kept inside, as she would continually let them out.  She did not care that when it was time for the baby birds to learn to fly, one of our cats brought back a dead baby fledgling nearly every day.  They were also crapping right under the neighbor’s windows!  I actually caught one of our cats crapping right under the window and went to chase it away, and she asked me why I did that.  She said it was the neighbor’s fault if their yard was an attractive toilet to cats.  I couldn’t believe it.

      We also had another cat in the neighborhood that would urinate on things left outside.  She chased this cat off whenever she caught it in our yard, and was furious that this cat peed on our stuff and beat up our cat.  Yet she was fine with letting her cat roam wherever it wanted, even though he was likely doing the same exact thing to someone else.

      It’s odd how cat owners expect people to just “put up” with their cat free-roaming and destroying their gardens, urinating/scratching up their property, etc., but they claim they “need” a free-roaming cat to get rid of squirrels, moles, etc.  Why is it that they don’t have to put up with animals they don’t like on their property, but other people have to put up with their cats?  I’ve also noticed a lot of cat owners will call someone “evil” for thinking we should put down feral cats that harm native wildlife, but they’ll state they are happy their pets kill harmless species of snakes, lizards, amphibians and rodents.  So the cat owner is free to wish a slow, painful death to a harmless beneficial creature such as a garter snake, yet no one is allowed to even suggest humanely euthanizing a feral cat.

      I own cats, but I have noticed that most cat owners seem to be incredibly selfish and completely irrational.

  • Willow538

    I have lived in a apt for 9 years now worked for the owner of bldg for 30 years fully landscaped the back yard at my cost only to have a lady move in across the street with 11 cats who use my yard as there potty, I cannot open my wind ofows now cause of the stench. I also cannot feed my birds cause of them killing them. They are ruining every thing, they are let out twice a day to play like she says, people have shot at them with beebees put poison down but she dors not get it there most certainly should be a lrash law the same as dogs!!!!!!!! And pick up the mess they lrave my doorstep is not some section 8 cat ladys personal cat box what is wrong with.I have animals they ate mine and not the problem of anyone else prople

    • Llida

      Willow – if you don’t mind sharing, what town/state is this?

  • amyinnh

    Yesterday, a beheaded squirrel in my yard.  My neighbor knows his cat is a neighborhood nuisance and yet, he still let’s it out.  As a non-cat fan, I will be spending the day burying the squirrel and getting a HaveAHart trap for the cat to “relocate” it.  I’ve not yet decided what “relocate” means yet.  Would have been nice had the owner taken action on his own, as in at the very least, clean up.

    • Llida

      that is a mess amyinnh;  if only the owner would take greater responsibility, all of this would be avoided.  Or if we had the laws in place for better pet management….

    • Llida

      as far as “relocating”: please consider taking it to a shelter that only adopts to owners who agree to keeping the cat indoors and/or within their own yard; many have contracts for that these days.  If you simply “dump it outside somewhere”, you are only contributing to the problem elsewhere….

      • amyinnh

        Yes, dumped elsewhere is not going to accomplish my goal. Who will take this nuisance? My only thought is leave it in the HaveAHart in a public place with a sign, “FREE CAT – needs to be an indoor cat”.

        • Llida

          oh….that’s an invitation to trouble too. Really – there are many shelters that will take it off your hands. I heard PETCO has a program too. 

    • Llida

      also – I am assuming you tried to resolve this with your neighbor already. I was in the same situation, and had numerous conversations with my neighbors over several months trying to come to some agreement. Eventually they moved, leaving the cats behind with the new tenants, and eventually, the new tenants informed me they “placed the cats in a new home”. This all took place over a couple of years. And it has been wonderful since….it is truly amazing, the drop in stress levels, and to be able to enjoy some peace in my own yard again… I empathize with you, and hope you can find the same….

      • amyinnh

         This neighbor gets new cats when his disappear.  I’m assuming the former disappeared is another neighbor who has zero patients with this as he raises small animals.  This cat has been treed by dogs in others’ yards, chased out of my yard many many times, the owners watch, giggle.  I’m not cruel enough to shoot it, but I’m not patient enough to continue pickup up the dead in my yard either.

        • Llida

          really unfortunate…and all they can do is laugh & giggle

  • Claudia G Cotner

    You guys just love to shoot things, don’t you!…Maurice H

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