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Help! My cat is a serial killer

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Dusty has taken to the sport of bird hunting. We've had her for about 18 months, and all last year I've never seen her catch a thing. This spring she caught 2 mice. Now she's progressed to birds. Last night I went outside to bring her in and caught her EATING her latest catch. I'm going to put a bell on her collar, if it doesn't drive me nuts.

Will eating the bird cause her any problems? I know cats have eaten birds for years, but I worry about the bones and such. She is an indoor/outdoor cat, and I bring her in at night.
post #2 of 25
I would be more worried about any deceases she might be able to catch. Hope she is up to date on all shots, etc.
post #3 of 25
I'd also be afraid she might get the bird flu.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes, she just got all her shots in April. I'm worried about disease too.
post #5 of 25
she can get any number of illnesses and diseases by eating her catch, or drinking contaminated water. It would be wise to keep her in at all times.
post #6 of 25
Bell and a collar will not work. Birds don't know bells and collars are dangerous for cats that are outside. Eating wild prey leads to parasite problems and flea infestation. Best to keep the cat inside and distract it with interactive toys.
post #7 of 25
Collars are not dangerous for cats, provided they're breakaway collars (which most collars sold today are).
post #8 of 25
In all probability the bird will not harm her - most cats eat their prey carefully and do not touch the stomach or intestines, which contain the parasites. And raw bones are fine for them - it is the cooked ones we give them like chicken that cause splinters. That does not mean it is a good thing to catch and eat birds - for the cat or for the bird. There are some new sonic devices that go on collars that are supposed to frighten birds away, but I have only seen them in Pets-at-home in the UK - like Petsmart. It is impossible to stop a cat from hunting - it is their nature and once they learn that they can do it they don't stop, even when they know there is good food at home.
post #9 of 25
There is no bird flu found in the US yet, so it isn't an issue here. Collars should be on any and every cat, especially ones that go outside, but yes, they should certainly be the breakaway kind. I can't imagine a bell helping much, if you notice birds send out the warning call very quickly once they see a cat.

There are MANY good reasons to keep your cat inside, it is easy to do, and is better for your cat. Most people on these boards from the US, like you, would recommend keeping them inside. Here is a very good thread with a very lengthy post I did concerning this topic: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...=indoor+inside

Hunting is a very primal instinct, but cats can be just as happy hunting a feather boa or a catnip mouse.
post #10 of 25
I would be concerned for the bell as far as getting stuck on something, otherwise I don't see a problem with it but it is def. the classic case of cat chase bird, cat eats bird lol I hope you find a solution, and for the birds I hope they can survive until winter, ooh wait...that is unless you live in the southern states, then they don't have a prayer lol
post #11 of 25
Bells do not work. They did some studies last year or so and proved it. Doesn't anybody care about the birds? Just keep your cat inside and suffer through the transition til he gets used to it.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke
Bells do not work. They did some studies last year or so and proved it. Doesn't anybody care about the birds? Just keep your cat inside and suffer through the transition til he gets used to it.
hear hear!!
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke
Bells do not work. They did some studies last year or so and proved it. Doesn't anybody care about the birds? Just keep your cat inside and suffer through the transition til he gets used to it.
Probably some people do.

I can't expect my cat not to behave like a cat though.
post #14 of 25
This is a really tough question to deal with. Cats are cats, and there are studies that indicate bells do not work. If you are going to give it a try, do use a break-away collar. If she's never worn one, she'll probably hate it. Anytime we've every tried to put anything on our cats (we were going to use harnesses to take them outside), they act like they've been wounded and can't stand up. We decided it just wasn't worth it.

I always encourage people to make their cats indoor cats because of the many dangers outside. Some people think it's cruel. If you provide enough stimulation and spend time playing interactively with them, it isn't cruel.

Others compromise by creating outside enclosures for their kitties. This way they get the benefit of outdoors without as many risks (though fleas and ticks are still a problem).

Even though we live on a dead-end road in a really rural area, we do not allow our cats outdoors. There are far too many Deer and too much lyme disease around here for us to want to risk our cats' health.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
There is no bird flu found in the US yet, so it isn't an issue here.
Actually, the USA has had 3 outbreaks of the Avian Flu. One in 1983, 1984 and one as recently as 2004 in Delaware. Indiana has recently started testing birds and encouraging people to report dead birds in an attempt to early detect birds infected with the virus.

The fact that none have been reported "recently" doesn't mean that the Avian Flu isn't already there.

The most recent strain of this virus jumps species... birds to people, birds to animal, animal to people, people to people.

Better to air on the side of caution and stop kitty from killing and eating birds. Either get a collar and bell for the cat so that birds get warning of something approaching, or keep kitty indoors, which actually will prolong his life in the end because indoor cats have been proven to live longer.
post #16 of 25
My parents two cats are indoor outdoor cats, their last one lived to be 18 yrs old, their current two are 14 and 8 yrs old. They never leave the property, they do have breakway collars on, and the 8 yr old is an avid hunter so she does have a bell on her collar. A small bell didn't work, now she wears a bell the size of a golf ball and it does seem to help. It doesn't seem to bother the cat one bit, she is happy, health, affectionate, and kills fewer birds now. LOL
post #17 of 25
I was speaking of H5N1, which is not in the US. There are numerous other diseases that an outdoor cat could actually reasonably get from being outside and hunting birds. Saying it'll get Avian flu is like being worried about getting the bubonic plague, which many predators in Arizona and New Mexico are carriers of.

H5N1 is the most recent version of the avian flu, and there is not a single documented case of it spreading from person to person. It spreads from birds who are infected to another species who comes closely in contact with it, cats humans, etc. Not from cat to cat, not from person to person. There is a single instance where it maybe possibly spread from one family member to another, and they're looking for it in Alaska. The ones you mention are not the same virus. There are lots of "bird flus" just like there are lots of cold and flu viruses in humans.
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3422839.stm
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=4949542

Hijack over.

I care about the birds, which is why Zissou goes out on her leash with me. But honestly, she seems scared of some of the birds here, especially Bluejays, which the other day she was under one of their nests and they were all yelling at her after a squirrel set off the warning call, and she froze in her tracks and wouldn't move with her tail all puffed out. I had to pick her up and move her away! She would chase a smaller bird to be sure, but I make sure she doesn't.
post #18 of 25
Don't put a bell on your cat. I knew a cat that went crazy because his owners' put a bell around his neck.

My parents' cat is a serious killer! he brings home birds and mice, almost every day and when my parents take the preys from him, he always finds them again and plays wiyth them until they're dead. It's brutal and disgusting and it drives my mother crazy, but it's in his nature and ten wild horses couldn't keep him indoor. So my parents have chosen to live with it. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you've chosen to let your cat go outside, you're gonna have to accept the fact that he brings in birds and other things.
post #19 of 25
I've had an indoor/outdoor cat. She always wore a breakaway collar (easy and inexpensive to buy). And it would break away if she snagged it which was very rare. And she always wore her tags - rabies and id, which would jingle when she would walk. Then to top that off, in case she learned to walk without jingling the tags, she wore a bell. We always knew where she was. She was a great ratter and mouser. But we lost very few birds. Not sure why. I am an avid bird watcher and I keep bird feeders in both front and back yards. The birds knew when a cat was out and fuss and create all sorts of noise. It could be that the ones the cat has caught were extremely young, or ill or older.

She's passed on now. And in her place are 2 indoor cats, who also always wear collars, tags and bells. Each bell has a slightly different sound so I know which cat is racing by me. And you do get to where the noise doesn't bother you. It's like keeping up with a small child, if you don't hear them you know they are getting in to trouble. I never gave mine the option of complaining. I just told them they would be properly identified if they wanted to live with me and so far no complaints.

I feel better knowing that in an emergency evacuation all the pets have tags and ids. And I like to hear them jingling around.

Good luck with it.
post #20 of 25
To everyone who keeps talking about cats' natures, etc., think of this - it's in a little child's nature to eat candy (or anything he can get his sticky hands on, including what's under the sink), and to chase butterflies across major roadways, etc., but does that mean you just allow them to go and do those things? It sounds more to me like you can't be bothered dealing with the transition of their becoming indoor cats, rather than caring about them very much. And I still can't understand the lack of feeling about the birds.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke
To everyone who keeps talking about cats' natures, etc., think of this - it's in a little child's nature to eat candy (or anything he can get his sticky hands on, including what's under the sink), and to chase butterflies across major roadways, etc., but does that mean you just allow them to go and do those things? It sounds more to me like you can't be bothered dealing with the transition of their becoming indoor cats, rather than caring about them very much. And I still can't understand the lack of feeling about the birds.

Ok wait a second here... What are we really talking about here? You are trying to domesticate your cat, and delete his natural instincts to hunt. How can you say that letting them outside is somewhere near the realm of not caring about them very much? And as far as the birds go, there is a natural cycle that kind of takes care of these things you know. I had a few cats that were indoor / outdoor cats when I lived outside of town. Ticks and fleas can be controlled with little effort, unless your just lazy and don't want to deal with it. The one cat I had, Buster, would go outside and within 10 minuites he had his present for me by the front door, and how can I say that I dont care about him, when he is showing me how much he cares for me? Dosen't sound like a case of neglect to me at all... And yea he was always smart enough to leave the stomach behind on anything he caught, and how do wild animals survive if there are tons of diseases he can catch? There's a lotta stuff on the toilet seats I can catch too, but I have no bird flu, or teberculiosis, or AIDS, and my fiance is an RN, so I should be semi-highrisk for that kinda stuff. A cold here or there just gives your immune system practice, you build an antibody and move on.. never to catch that cold again. Why would it be different with a cat?

All in all in reality, I think its fine to let them outside to 'do their thing', the ones I've had were old as dirt when they died, nothing funny got to them, but additionally I had him trained to come inside every night due to coyotes and such.. and as far as that goes, all of this is somewhat dependant on where you live, and your neighbors dog situation obviously.. I have a six foot fence all the way around my backyard, my 2 cats get a mouse or something every now and then, and love watching the birds baking in the sun, its kinda what a cat wants to do ya know? Not to mention the catnip bushes I've planted... I treat my lawn with a bug spray similar to the type you put in your garden, and I've never had a problem with ear mites, fleas, ticks, gorillas, or cougars...

My mother has many cats .. i'm talkin 20's maybe 30, and has 4 acres , and about one acre is inside a fence itself.. its a chain link fence but it had an electric wire ran across the bottom. I think each of them found it once, and no more after that. They have a pet door to the garage which is their room now, (no cars in there), and another into the house. They dont bother trying to climb out or anything. It's all how much you want to spend to keep your cat truly happy, instead of trying to make excueses as to why you dont want to spend the time, or money to make him / her really happy.

Thats just my $0.02
post #22 of 25
Most cats are better off indoors in most situations. Sometimes a formerly feral adult cat will tear the windows and doors apart trying to get outside and will never stop doing so. However, if the cat was always in a home, there is really no reason not to keep him in. Some people have the luxury of living in an area with no roads and no neighbors within miles, no predators, and no other cats. Letting your cat out in these conditions is less risky. For pretty much all other cats, they're better off inside, or with an enclosure or on a leash. Free-roaming leaves them open to being hit by a car, fighting and getting diseases, being tortured by kids, and on and on. For some examples of the bad things that can happen, read through the Crossing the Bridge forum and look at petabuse.com. It's heartbreaking, but every day here there's a new serious problem that would never happen to an indoor cat. Some people say it's a trade-off, but I say it's our responsibility to keep them safe and happy. And since indoor cats are no less happy necessarily, but much safer, and outdoor cats might be happy but certainly much less safe, the best way to keep most cats happy and safe is to keep them in. We're not just worried about fleas and ticks, because they can get those inside too. We're worried about FIV, FeLV, injury, accident, poisoning, being trapped, being purposefully hurt, being attacked by other animals, hit by a car, lost.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke
To everyone who keeps talking about cats' natures, etc., think of this - it's in a little child's nature to eat candy (or anything he can get his sticky hands on, including what's under the sink), and to chase butterflies across major roadways, etc., but does that mean you just allow them to go and do those things? It sounds more to me like you can't be bothered dealing with the transition of their becoming indoor cats, rather than caring about them very much. And I still can't understand the lack of feeling about the birds.
Posts like this are hardly constructive and are better off kept to IMO.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
Collars should be on any and every cat, especially ones that go outside, but yes, they should certainly be the breakaway kind.
You have to be extremely careful, even with the breakaway type collars. From previous experiences with Dori, I have made the decision that she is much safer without her collar than with.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke
To everyone who keeps talking about cats' natures, etc., think of this - it's in a little child's nature to eat candy (or anything he can get his sticky hands on, including what's under the sink), and to chase butterflies across major roadways, etc., but does that mean you just allow them to go and do those things? It sounds more to me like you can't be bothered dealing with the transition of their becoming indoor cats, rather than caring about them very much. And I still can't understand the lack of feeling about the birds.
I agree completely. People wouldn't let a child or a dog run free, yet people think it's ok for a cat. If we adopt a cat it's our responsibility to look out for its safety. And as a bird lover who has bird feeders placed all over her yard and who plants bushes with birds in mind , I want my cat to enjoy them without ending their lives. I would hate to see a sweet little chickadee in my bird's mouth.
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