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  1. #1
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    Jul. 19, 2008
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    Default At Wit's End with the Cats...

    My two cats are killing everything - last night they mauled a baby bunny, which is now sitting in my bathroom and for which I have to buy formula. Last week I had a field mouse in the bathroom for two days, and managed to release a chipmunk a few days before that.

    I like bunnies. I like our songbirds. I like our snakes, even. My cats, on the other hand, scratch my kids, pee where they shouldn't, and are constantly dragging some poor soul in either dead, mostly dead or missing parts. I adopted them before I had children and lived in the country - and before they learned to kill. I cut their nails and they wear bells, but still manage to catch prey.

    I'm seriously thinking of euthanizing them. Before you flame, consider that they've already had good lives, have killed more animals between them than is correct, pee everywhere if I lock them in the house (and the kids let them out), and if I adopt them out to someone else, cannot guarantee that they will have as good a life as they have had here. In all honesty, I'm at the point where I'm willing to show them only as much mercy as they show their prey, which is none. I feel I've fulfilled the obligation I made when I adopted them.

    The humane society here, like most, is full of cats, so their prospects of being adopted from there are slim, and they're not kittens, so they'll be a tough sell anywhere else (like craigslist). I also think it would be worse for them to go in a cage for who knows how long, than be put down.

    Has anyone else been in this situation? Anyone have any advice?



  2. #2
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    Nov. 26, 2000
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    Default

    You can't be mad at them for acting like cats. They are just following their natural predatory instinct. I bet their skills would be greatly appreciated in a barn somwhere. Check around with local farms for somewhere that isn't overpopulation with cats. My area has an organization that will rehome ferals in barns, so tame cats that can kill may ne easier. Check out Animal Allies in NH, they may be able to network you with someone in VT.



  3. #3
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    Jan. 5, 2009
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    Central, FL
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    Make them solely outside cats, the whole no one will take as good of care of them as me is a lame excuse.
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  4. #4
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    Mar. 25, 2011
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    Pennsylvania
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    You're condemning them for being cats. That's not fair.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  5. #5
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    Feb. 26, 2008
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    Michigan
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    the cats love you. to them, they are bringing you "gifts" tokens of affection, belonging and love. they are "cats" this is what they do, like breathing. I know people who would LOVE the good varmit killers. its good for them to do this stuff, nutritionally, emotionally. you need to look away and let them do their jobs.

    it makes me kind of mad that you would feel this way toward them. geez! there is something wrong with your thinking here



  6. #6
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Default

    Cats are carnivores and had to have hunting instinct to survive. While there might be a few cats out there who will leave a baby bunny alone, I don't think that there are too many. Shoot, I know someone whose lab just killed several baby bunnies in the suburbs.
    If it bothers you this much, never get a cat ever again because cats hunt. I don't know what to tell you about the inappropriate urination, but I can't imagine worrying about the hunting - and I am a sensitive type! But cats aren't vegans, don't want to be, aren't going to be.



  7. #7
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy's Girl View Post
    In all honesty, I'm at the point where I'm willing to show them only as much mercy as they show their prey, which is none. I feel I've fulfilled the obligation I made when I adopted them.
    You'll do something regrettable if you think your *cats* are engaged in some moral social contract with you. Holy crap! They didn't write it, they don't get it, they don't know they are being judged by these standards.... unless you have given them a some well-timed and fair ass-kickings about the peeing and killing.

    Also, it sounds like your cats are at *their* wits' end with you, too. Many cats pee where they aren't supposed to in order to make a point. They're pissed in both senses of the word. They hunt because that is what God and Darwin intended, but they also do that out of strange kitty "generosity"/entertainment value as other posters have mentioned.

    You haven't fulfilled your adoption obligation if you created a frustrating life for a cat. Though I should say, I don't know quite what you meant. I assume you meant you'd at least save them from death and give them good quality of life.

    So your life has changed. No problem. These cats might do great in a barn or just as "outdoor only" at your place. Why not give the second, easy-peasy option a shot?

    ETA-- and by the way, if you kicked your cats out of the house for a while, you might be helping them out. They might have a life-transforming journey of personal growth while they are out there. They will have a good time on their Wanderjahre, but then perhaps realize what they had in being part of civilized society. It works for frat boys who party more than they study; it works for cats.... who are essentially similar.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  8. #8
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    Mar. 25, 2011
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    This is one of my pet peeves - anthropomorphizing animals so that we put unreasonable expectations on them and then punish them (often with loss of home or life) when they can't meet those expectations.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  9. #9
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    Apr. 1, 2008
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    why do you have cats? Cats are efficient predators.

    Besides which, unless they are barn cats (in which case see above) why are they even outside?

    My cat doesn't get to go out for a lot of reasons.

    1. I don't want her to play in traffic

    2. neighbors have lots of bird feeders which = dead birds if I were to let her out

    3. she's a training marvel when it comes to learning new things and I love to work with her.



  10. #10
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    A little bit off topic, but I have huge problem with the thinking that a 'rescue' animal is somehow simply lucky to be alive and is not as worthy of time and resources as a pet that has been purchased or purposefully bred.

    A client at the clinic I work at had 2 dogs, one lab they had since a puppy and an Aussie they had found as a stray. The lab had a myriad of health problems and they spent a small fortune keeping him alive past his natural expiration rate. The Aussie became a chronic vomiter, like daily to multiple times per day. That dog got screamed at by the husband and punished for 'doing it on purpose'. The poor was clearly sick, felt like crap all the time and looked so unhappy I wanted to cry. That dog got 2 vet visits and when a different food and a fill pills didn't fix it he was euthanized. He was "just a rescue" after all.

    BTW I don't think this is the OP's situation exactly and I can understand you not wanting peeing, child scratching cats around now. But I think you may be surprised how many cat people out there will take on much.more quirky creatures than this. I really bet a merry cattle farm would be happy to have them killing rats, especially since they are already neutered and vacinated.



  11. #11
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    Jan. 1, 2008
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    Outdoor cats killing things. Imagine that.

    The only way I know of to stop cats from killing things is to keep them indoors. Or, let them get so fat that they can't chase anything down. I vote for keeping them indoors.



  12. #12
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    Oct. 22, 2003
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    Before they learned to kill? Cats are programmed with natural instincts to hunt and kill. Even without a mama to teach them to hunt they still have all the natural urges. Expecting your cat not to hunt is like telling your husband you expect him to never desire you sexually ever again: it isn't going to happen!

    Going point by point:

    1) Cats hunt. They are predators. Your cat bringing its kill back to the family is actually a gesture of affection and love.

    2) Cats peeing on things suggests several possible issues. One is a litterbox situation. One is anxiety/nerves. One is a physical issue. Given your kitties are bringing you treats AND peeing on things, I think it's anxiety.

    3) Scratching children. Not acceptable. However, do your children know how to play gentle? Sounds like maybe your kids are really young. Are you 100% sure your children have never given the cats any cause for worry? If your kids act poorly towards the cats (and they WILL learn from you how to treat kitty, so if you are angry/sullen/impatient with kitty, THEY will be too!) and get scratched... I'm in the camp of "well, guess you learned not to torment the cat, eh?"

    That last part only applies to kids who are old enough to understand "Don't pick the cat up by the tail". I wouldn't expect a 2 year old to grasp that. A 4+ yes. And it only assumes the cat is defensive, not at all aggressive, and if handled properly responds properly.

    I can accept you saying "These cats are older, not adoptable, have bad potty habits and scratch my children. Instead of an uncertain future in a rescue, I will put them down. It saddens me to have to do so, but I think it's best."

    I do not condone you saying "These cats are f***** murderers who pee on everything, scratch my kids, show no mercy to small cut little animals they KNOW I should like, so they get the needle."
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings



  13. #13
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    Jan. 28, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy's Girl View Post
    I feel I've fulfilled the obligation I made when I adopted them.
    OMG, is this post actually for real? Seriously, you think you have fulfilled your obligations? What, did the adoption contract say to give them a loving home, and then to put them down when you're no longer happy with them? Honestly, it sounds like the cats are no longer happy with YOU!!!

    They are killing animals left and right and you're getting upset with them.....uh, hello, they are cats! That's what cats do!! And bringing prey back to the house is a sign of love and devotion to you!

    You say they are scratching your kids...but say you had the cats long before you had kids. It's likely the small children are bothering the cats...which is likely why they scratch the kids. Claws are their only line of defense. Teaching young kids how to properly handle pets is the key.

    They are peeing all over the house. Cats normally only do that when they are stressed or upset...or the litter box isn't being maintained properly (which should be every few days). Sometimes, older cats will do that, as some of them have a tendency to get senile in old age. But normally, suddenly starting to pee in the house is due to stress.

    Honestly, there is no point in nursing the chipmunk, field mouse or bunny back to health as the cats will just go back outside and grab them again. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE CATS! You're only willing to show them as much mercy as they show their prey. Again...hello...they are CATS! Did you think when you adopted them that they'd just sleep all day or go outside and pick flowers?

    Why not just give them away to a barn or to a family who actually likes cats. Man, I'd hate to see what you do to your kids if they colored the wall in crayon or something!

    Honestly, this is one of the weirdest topics ever started on the COTH BB - someone wants to put down their cats because they are being cats!
    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
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  14. #14
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    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy's Girl View Post
    The humane society here, like most, is full of cats, so their prospects of being adopted from there are slim, and they're not kittens, so they'll be a tough sell anywhere else (like craigslist). I also think it would be worse for them to go in a cage for who knows how long, than be put down. Has anyone else been in this situation? Anyone have any advice?
    Well, given the choice between life imprisonment and the death penalty, most people wouldn't go for the needle. I imagine cats likely would have the same reaction. Cats really are killers, more than any other domesticated animal we keep as pets. If you don't want to deal with their killing and can't manage the cats as indoor-only, why not try keeping them in a cattery? It's like a cross between a kennel and an aviary - same idea, keep an animal confined to a particular place while giving it an indoor/outdoor space.



  15. #15
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Seriously...send them to me. I'm overrun with rabbits, my rabbit catching cat went MIA last fall. And you saved a field mouse? Really?

    So you adopted them, they're acting like cats and you want to put them down. Of course, I guess turning them into house cats is not an option, right? Do the feline world a favor and don't adopt anymore cats.

    There's no "head/desk" icon, but I would use it if there was!
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    They might have a life-transforming journey of personal growth while they are out there. They will have a good time on their Wanderjahre, but then perhaps realize what they had in being part of civilized society. It works for frat boys who party more than they study; it works for cats.... who are essentially similar.
    Just snorted margarita through nosethat's HYYY-LARIOUS!!!!!



  17. #17
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    Jun. 18, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy's Girl View Post
    have killed more animals between them than is correct


    Classic anthropomorphism. There is no "correct" about killing from a cat's POV. They are natural predators, as many above have said.

    Please, search for another home for these cats with somebody else who realizes what cats are.



  18. #18
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    Oct. 22, 2009
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    Wow. It's terrifying to know their are uncaring, anthromorphizing idiots like you that own pets. Even worse, your breeding more idiots to carry on the tradition of stupidity and cruelty.
    .



  19. #19
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    Mar. 28, 2002
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    You mean I was WRONG when I praised Da Magpie for making her first kill at the ripe old age of 5 months? Nah, can't be......she keeps the house mouse free. If my cats didn't hunt, I would be overrun with mice and gophers. I praise the cats for getting vermin and they keep on killing. FWIW, cats can be taught to distinguish between songbirds and blackbirds and sparrows...have seen, more than once, my bird happy boy look longingly at a robin then chase blackbirds and get the odd one.
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  20. #20
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Seriously...send them to me. I'm overrun with rabbits, my rabbit catching cat went MIA last fall. And you saved a field mouse? Really?

    So you adopted them, they're acting like cats and you want to put them down. Of course, I guess turning them into house cats is not an option, right? Do the feline world a favor and don't adopt anymore cats.

    There's no "head/desk" icon, but I would use it if there was!
    Seriously, OP why not just Fed Ex 'em to LauraKY.

    There's an owner for these useful cats either in LauraKY or someone closer to you. They are consummate professionals . It would be a shame to waste all of their skill and training.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



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