Mammal Felis silvestris catus (Feral cat)

Dusty Miller

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Scientific Name: Felis silvestris catus (or Felis catus)

Common Name: Feral Cat

Other Names: Cat, Housecat

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Subfamily: Felinae

Distribution: Found all over Australia, has a wider dirstribution than the introduced fox.

Habitat: All over Australia.

Field Notes: One of or the most serious environmental threats to most species of small mammals, lizards and birds (up to the size of a cockatoo) in Australia. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/publications/pubs/cat.pdf
 
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gelandangan

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Now thats something I will always shoot if I see them in the bush!
The damages they do to wildlife is too great.
 

Hairyman

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An examination of the stomach contents of above cat;
Weight 133gm.
Two distinct meals.
1. A fair bit of rat hair and bones with some short sections of rat dia haired tail.
It was probably eaten a day or so ago as there was no muscle associated with the bones and hair.
2. A larger amount of small feathers and small birds head, 2 leggs swallowed whole. a bird gizzard.
Probably consumed shortly before death as the muscle attached didnt show much signs of digestion.
From the shape of the feet, head and feather colour probably a brown quail.
No signs of any reptiles.

IMG_1669.jpgIMG_1671.jpg
 
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swampy99

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It doesnt help when people just dump kittens becuase they cant find a home for them or bother to get the cats de sexed.
I have 2 kittens that were found under a bush just dumped. They are now the most spoilt cats in town and are very happy to live with me. I will be getting them de sexed in the next month as Im not even allowed to have 2 pets in the house but the landlord doesnt know. There sister was killed by a car which is a shame as I would of had all 3.
 

Dusty

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We picked up three which we witnessed being dumped at the tip before our eyes. Eyes were still blue. They are 2 years old now and even though the girls are domesticated auscraft still insists calling them ferals. :_sii:
 

Dusty

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Hairy excellent work on the autopsy and forensic analysis. This may be a new career for you
 
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Hairyman

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Lol.. only till the family return from up north and want my specimens out of the fridge.
 

Arron The Archer

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Recent studies show that house cats kill billions of small animals and birds every year.

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/29/170588511/killer-kitties-cats-kill-billions-every-year

Keep your cat inside at night.

couldn't agree with you more on this i had a female possum coming to my house for 8 years i called her "honey" because that's what she was after bread with honey (i had a local baker bake special bread just for her with NO! additives) she would turn up with her babys too knock on my door after a thump on the deck an i'd open the door an she'd come inside that's how much she trusted UNTILL 3 months ago when i found her dead at my back door killed by a damn cat needless to say i'm mad as hell an miss that little possum


so a note to any cat owners NO excuses keep your cats inside if you want to let them out then GET A CAT RUN CAGE!!
 

Bernoulli

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Cut and paste from the Guardian
********************************

Should domestic cats be eradicated?

By Emine Saner, The Guardian
Saturday, February 2, 2013 9:48 EST

Campaigner Gareth Morgan claims domestic cats in New Zealand are a menace to wildlife, and should be more strictly controlled. Cat lover Tom Cox fights his feline friends’ corner
Last week Gareth Morgan, an economist and conservation campaigner, called for cats to be confined or eradicated from his native New Zealand to protect the wildlife. Meanwhile, in the US, a study published this week in the journal Nature found cats are killing more birds and mammals than previously thought. Writer Tom Cox, who shares his home with four cats, and Morgan discuss whether it’s time we learned to live without our feline friends. Emine Saner listens in.
Gareth Morgan: In New Zealand, our endemic species are in a spot of bother. Originally there were no predators here, but we now have an enormous number of species that were introduced when the settlers came – weasels, stoats, ferrets, rats, mice and cats and dogs. And increasing numbers of our endemic species are driven to extinction, particularly ground-restricted birds. We’re having to move them to islands. I funded a project on the Antipodes Islands to get rid of all the mice. Next I’m looking at New Zealand’s third largest island, Stewart Island, where the three species causing the bother there are feral cats, possums and rats. In the course of the research, I thought about the role of cats on the mainland. All I’ve done is try to raise awareness of it, and this thing has gone viral.
Tom Cox: It has. I’ve written a couple of cat books, and on my Facebook page I’ve had endless people sending me links to newsclips about you. I suppose I’m talking from the perspective of someone who lives in Britain, and we have very different wildlife here. The thought of keeping my own cats indoors – that feels like I’d be their prison officer. I don’t think I could do that. But it does break my heart when one of my cats gets a bird, which is quite rare – as a preventative measure, I put bells on their collars. It seems like the majority of the cats that are killing birds here are stray, so a less extreme way to control this would be to encourage people to neuter their cats. There are a ridiculous amount of stray and unwanted cats in this country, because people have been unaware of what having a cat involves, or it’s been an ill-thought-out birthday present. My 17-year-old rescue cat was originally dumped on the hard shoulder of the motorway in a plastic bag with several of his brothers and sisters.
Emine Saner: Do you think owning a cat should be made more difficult?
TC: All cats should be chipped. A cat licence could work, definitely.
ES: The study in the US published this week showed stray and feral cats were the bigger problem than domestic cats, although these contributed to the killing of birds and mammals, too. Gareth, are you concerned about domestic cats as well?
GM: For me, it’s all cats. I would love New Zealand to have no predators at all. Well, that’s a bit extreme – what I mean is no non-confined predators. I’m fine with dogs on leashes. I’m happy with cats as long as they’re confined. Our cat population is exploding, and it is ferals and strays who are free to roam.
TC: It’s that question about what nature is. You could say it’s not natural for cats to be here killing so many birds, but that’s part of nature in itself – the fact that, however many thousands of years ago, we realised cats were good at hunting rats and mice, and it’s evolved into this thing where they’re now wonderful companions to people. It’s part of the question of what is natural.
ES: Cats are responsible for the deaths of wildlife all over the world. Do you think other countries should consider getting rid of their cats?
GM: That’s not for me to say. That’s a national conversation. I did this to spark the national conversation in New Zealand – I didn’t expect it to go all around the world.
TC: Since you started this, have you found cat lovers in New Zealand to be very belligerent?
GM: That would be an understatement. I’ve been on television for the last two nights talking about the SPCA [New Zealand's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] – they’ve been doing trap-neuter-release of stray cats. They’re euthanising fewer and fewer cats, and releasing more into the free-to-range environment, and they’re building up the colonies. They say it doesn’t matter because the cats are neutered, and my response is that they are not neutering enough to cap the population growth. I’ve offered them a $5 bounty per cat if they trap wandering cats and, if it is found to have no owner – if they’re not chipped – then I want them to euthanise those cats, not release them into the wild.
TC: That word, euthanise, gives me a shiver. I’m thinking of a cat I had who turned into the most lovely, sunny creature. He had been in a rescue centre that was just about to euthanise him, and they had no justification for this apart from the fact he was feral. Within a few months he had become a loving domestic cat, and it’s so awful to think that would have happened to him.
GM: The problem is that you get swamped with the numbers of cats, that’s the issue. Let me put this another way – we do this with stray dogs, but not with cats. Why the discrimination? I think it comes down to the strength of the cat lobby.
TC: There’s the cliche of the crazy cat lady, and people who don’t like cats say cat-lovers are weirdos. That’s not true – cat lovers are mostly people with a lot of compassion, but there is a minuscule percentage of people who are a little bit over-the-top about cats. I imagine that would be a challenge you might face, Gareth. Have you ever had a cat?
GM: Absolutely. We have cats in the family now – my daughter has one. But it is confined, and that’s the issue, really.
ES: Could you see a point where cats become indoor-only pets?
TC: That’s never the way I’ve lived with cats, apart from a short period when I lived in a flat in London. I didn’t feel they were happy. Sometimes I feel, when I meet some people’s indoor cats, they seem a bit dopey, like they’re not properly having the life they should.
GM: I suppose I’d put it another way: do we wait until all our endemic species are extinct and then wonder what we’ve done? That’s up for the public to decide. There is a trade-off here. I’m asking for them to be confined. We’re at a tipping point in New Zealand. We have the highest rate of cat-ownership in the world – 48% of households have one or more cats. It’s a different situation elsewhere, which is why I’m reluctant to translate the New Zealand experience anywhere else. What I’m advocating, policy-wise, for local councils is to trap [wandering] cats, and if they’re chipped, they go back to the owner. Whether they fine the owner or not – that’s none of my business. I’m not talking about any euthanasia of owned cats.
ES: But you have said that people shouldn’t replace their cats when they die naturally?
GM: There are people who would find it far too hard to confine them, either physically, or they wouldn’t feel right about it. In those instances, I’m saying make this cat your last, because you owe it to the New Zealand fauna not to let your cat roam.
TC: Even as someone who has had cats all his life, I could imagine making that decision, say if I lived in a different country or a different area of Britain where there was so much bird life. But I remember the old lady who lived across the road from me – you could see the companionship she had with her cat, and how much better it made her life. To say someone like that shouldn’t have that companionship for the remaining years of her life, that’s quite harsh.
ES: Do you think cats are being unfairly scapegoated? Isn’t the bigger threat to wildlife human-made habitat destruction, pollution and so on?
TC: I’m sure we’re far more responsible for harm to the world’s wildlife than cats could ever be, even if it’s just in the form of not having our cats neutered, and contributing to the amount of hungry stray cats who will kill wildlife. There is definitely a quite disturbing victimisation of cats in this country among those who hate them, which seems like a superstitious hangover from the days of torturing innocent women and their so-called “familiars” for alleged witchcraft. Maybe it’s just all a manifestation of the worry people have that cats will one day take over the world.
• Gareth Morgan’s website is garethsworld.com/catstogo. Tom Cox is the author of Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man, and Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond (Simon & Schuster)
© Guardian News and Media 2013
 

Bernoulli

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Here is another opinion:
*********************************

On NBC Nightly News on Thursday evening, Brian Williams revealed there's a backlash underway to all the cat-killer headlines of this past week.

Those headlines reported a startling result from a new study in the journal Nature Communications: free-ranging domestic cats in the United States kill many billions of birds and small mammals per year, far more than previously thought. Many cat owners, Williams reported, took umbrage. He featured a photograph of a cat from Rhode Island named Magoo who had sent in to the NBC studios a protest note ("I am not a bird murderer; don't judge me"). Williams commented that the bird community has so far been silent, possibly because of its "decimated" numbers.

In fact, the situation is no laughing matter. Cats are hunters and other creatures do fall prey to them in significant numbers.

And yet there are serious reasons to suspect the reliability of the new, extreme cat-killer statistics.

The study at issue is a meta-analysis, an overarching review that aggregates data from previously published sources. The accuracy of meta-studies in health and medicine raises some concern, and it's easy to see why: for a meta-analysis to be solid, wise choices must be made among the available sources of information, and results that may vary wildly must be weighed fairly.

In the Nature Communications study, authors Scott R. Loss, Tom Will, and Peter P. Marra needed to incorporate into their model the number of "un-owned cats" (such as stray, feral, and barn cats) in the U.S. As they note in an appendix to the article, "no empirically driven estimate of un-owned cat abundance exists for the contiguous U.S." Estimates that are available range from 20-120 million, with 60-100 million being the most commonly cited. In response to this huge uncertainty in the numbers, they performed mathematical calculations using what they feel to be a conservative figure (specifically, they "defined a uniform distribution with minimum and maximum of 30 and 80 million, respectively.")

At this juncture, the authors note that local analyses of cat numbers are "often conducted in areas with above average density." That is an obvious problem, yet when they estimated the proportion of owned cats with access to the outdoors (and thus to hunting), of eight sources of information, "three [were] based on nationwide pet-owner surveys and five based on research in individual study areas." Are the local studies representative of the national situation? For that matter, are the different owner surveys administered in a consistent enough manner to allow them to be aggregated?

Of course, the authors make statistical perturbations designed to increase the reliability of their conclusions, but it seems to me there's an unsettling degree of uncertainty in the study's key numbers.

It seems this way to others also.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, had this to say in response to the study: "It's virtually impossible to determine how many cats live outside, or how many spend some portion of the day outside. Loss, Will, and Marra have thrown out a provocative number for cat predation totals, and their piece has been published in a highly credible publication, but they admit the study has many deficiencies. We don't quarrel with the conclusion that the impact is big, but the numbers are informed guesswork."

If even animal advocates admit "the impact is big," why do the specific numbers matter so much? Because when people start thinking of cats primarily as murderers, it then becomes the cats' lives that may be seriously endangered. Of concern are not only extremists like the man in New Zealand who recently suggested a ban on pet cats; cat advocate organization Alley Cat Allies says that the study is so "biased" that it amounts to an invitation to "ramp up the mass killings of outdoor cats."

As a cat rescuer, I know such threats to outdoor cats are real. I've heard them. And as a cat person, I also care very much about the lives of birds and small mammals, taking steps in my own life to reduce our cats' predation upon them. The truth is that we do need to better understand the relationship between cats and the greater natural world.

Demonizing cats with shaky statistics, however, won't help us build the pillar of understanding required to strike a satisfying balance between the needs of cats and their supporters with the needs of wildlife facing a feline threat.

You can keep up with more of what Barbara is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape
 

Hairyman

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Its certainly an emotional issue as well as an ecological and ethical one.
One thing that can be said for certain , the cats are well and truely 'out of the bag' having the widest disrtibution
of any feral animal in Australia.
 

payney

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I can't say I'm a fan of cats at all and I shoot them when the opportunity arises (ferals) I also hate other peoples cats hanging around my house
relieving themselves in garden beds and the like. Not a problem in the backyard though the dogs make sure of that.
 

Aussiepom

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I also hate other peoples cats hanging around my house
relieving themselves in garden beds and the like.
My experience of this goes one step further: A neighbour's cat used to regularly p--s up our front door. That's bad enough, but when it stops you from utilising the screen door to get fresh air in hot weather - because otherwise the cat would actually be p--sing inside my house - then I really do start to get hacked off.

As far as I'm concerned it would be no loss to the country if we eradicated all of them - feral or otherwise.
 
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