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 Cats and hunting Madge - Sat, 10 Dec 05:57
Cats and hunting Judy - Tue, 27 Dec 04:35

Cats and hunting Date: Sat, 10 Dec 05:57
Author: Custom IconMadge Location: Hertfordshire Profile
Cats and hunting

I was recently watching the BBC Horizon programme on the Secret Life of Cats wherein concern was expressed about the amount of hunting, especially of birds, that cats do. I have kept cats for over 70 years, usually in pairs and not one of them has been a hunter. I put this down to two things, firstly I say a firm NO to them every time I hear them making hunting noises - chattering at a bird through a window, for instance, as they do from their first weeks of life or crouching down in the garden, ready to pounce. Secondly I do not let my cats out at night in the belief that a lot of hunting is done then and that they get into the company of feral cats who are more likely to have illnesses, fleas ticks etc. As a result of this 'discipline' my cats have not hunted, have not had fleas, ticks etc and have lived to great ages, my last one dying of kidney failure at the age of 23! I close their cat door at dusk, provide a large, clean, covered litter tray and open the door again at dawn. In addition to the litter tray I keep a patch of garden away from the house frequently dug over and near to a catmint plant. This discourages my cats from soiling my flowerbeds and trains them to use the area I designate.

The makers of the Horizon programme believe that cats are adapting to their domesticated environment as a result of our demands upon them. An interesting finding was how many cats steal food from the homes of other cats, perhaps another form of hunting. I believe that my restrictions have thoroughly domesticated my cats and that my behaviour has made them contented, non-hunting 'homebodies'.

Cats and hunting Date: Tue, 27 Dec 04:35
Author: Default User IconJudy Location: Australia Profile
Like you Madge, I've been a cat owner for over 70 years; for the past 20 odd I've had Burmese, but have never had any trouble with them & birds; I always have two or more at a time; at the moment, Honeybelle,a 14 year old lady & Misty, an 18 month old chocolate 'tomboy' girl. I saw the same programme as you did & it seemed to apply to some of the un-owned tomcats around the place - coming in to steal 'the girls' food; they drive me mad. My two are not locked in at night, but never leave the house anyway! Nice to read your inputs!

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