Birds and Cats do not mix

A comment by a reader last month got me to thinking – always a dangerous thing. The comment was in response to a post I wrote called “Why do baby birds disappear?” In this article I explained that cats are responsible for far too many bird casualties. One reader responded in this way:

I’m a responsible cat owner (I have a cattery attached to my house, and my three are all desexed, etc) and I agree with you.

There’s no reason a cat can’t be completely happy in a cat run, while giving the native fauna a fighting chance. If you’re going to have pets, the very LEAST you can do is make sure they are properly looked after.

Cats and wildlife can live in peace, if owners take a few responsible steps.

Well said.

Here is part of what I said in my original article:

It would certainly help if all cat owners were responsible and made a run for their animals. This would eliminate some deaths in our fauna, but a far greater problem is the feral cats. There is no control of these and all are very big, strong and cunning. I think compulsory desexing of cats is the way to go, but it would only be a start. Catching all the feral cats is probably not feasible. Making sure no more are added to their ranks will be a good start though.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not anti-cat. I think that they can be a wonderful pet but only if kept in a responsible manner. The harsh reality is that, in a land like Australia, cats alone have accounted for the extinction of many species of birds and reptiles over the last two centuries. They do not have a good reputation.

What do you think on this issue?

Leave your comments in the comments section. Comments are moderated so debate the issues in a responsible manner, be nice and not abusive.


8 Responses to “Birds and Cats do not mix”

  1. Wolf says:

    Hi Trevor! Long time no see! I haven’t been here for quite some time – you see, I had lots of work and hardly any time for reading blogs, or posting on my own blog, as well. But I’m back now and I must say I like the new “image” of your blog. Nice job! I’m not sure if you’ve been on my blog recently, but I got a new camera during the summer and I started posting photos and videos of my birds and nature in our part of the world on my blog. Come and check it out! I hope you like it!
    Till next time

  2. John Tongue says:

    We have a cat, which we got desexed as soon as she was old enough. Definitely the only way to go! We don’t have a run for her, but she is pretty old and slow, now. She has caught the occasional bird during her lifetime, but thankfully mostly sparrows and other ferals. We’d prefer she didn’t catch any, but as we don’t live in our own home, can’t really build an extensive run. We are thankful she is not really a roamer – sticking well and truly to home. However, she has also cost us a fortune throughout her life in vets bills – often being bashed up by feral cats! It would be great for the native fauna if feral cats could be eliminated, but I do not think that will be feasible. I have certainly shot many in my time.

  3. Trevor says:

    Welcome back Wolf.

    Thanks for the kind words about my blog. come back soon – and often.

  4. Trevor says:

    Thanks for stopping by again John.

    I agree with you – it would be great for all feral cats to be eliminated but it is probably too late for that. What we could do with perhaps is a feline version of the calicivirus which eliminated millions of rabbits here on the mainland. (Unfortunately they too are making a comeback ever so slowly but surely.)

  5. John Tongue says:

    Hi Trevor,
    We are meant to have calicivirus here in Tassie, too, but we still seem to have lots of bunnies around!

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