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Cats and Birds — 16 Comments

  1. Hi Ruth great article I agree totally btw. Its so easy for an eminent scientist to declare that cats decimate the bird population. These types are dangerous because most people look up to them therefore they believe them 🙁 so if said scientist also happens to be a cat hater then they have it all sown up they can say what they want about the poor cats.

    I have to say that we’ve had Honey for about 2 years now and she’s never caught a bird. She’s killed and bought home plenty of Voles and Mice (Voles especially). She leaves their bodies on the patio but usually a Magpie will steal them. We don’t get many Crows but we do get an awful lot of Magpies and Wood Pigeons (did you know that in Scotland they call a Wood Pigeon a Cushy doo?!)

    Honey doesn’t tackle the Magpies but I have seen her sneaking up on the Pigeons a few times. The Magpies also steal the food we put out for the stray cat and make a hell of a mess everywhere.

      • Scientists still sh*t, eat and p*ss and arse around like anyone else and there is the same degree of bias amongst scientists as there is amongst the general population.

  2. Hi Marc

    Felis catus catus was unknown in N America until quite recently so maybe the bird population has not yet developed instincts and methods to defend themselves against small cats as much as say in Cyprus. There have probably been small cats in Cyprus for 9,500 years when the first Anatolian settlers brought that cat fossil which was discovered at a burial site at Shilloroukambos. Other nearby archeolagical digs in the same area uncovered remains of many more cats which suggest that there were enough to on the island at that time to have sutvived to this day. I have never seen my cats catching or bringing back a dead bird. I reckon they gave up thousands of years ago as the birds got smarter than the cats. . Never-the-less birds seem to be holding their own in N America which seem to indicate that bird predation by cats is vastly exaggerated. Cats the size of the Bobcat and Lynx would find it difficult to prey on small fast moving healthy birds, and pet cats prefer to stay neat the food dish, many having a range of few hundred meters that’s all. Large woodlands and forests would never see a small cat.

  3. Great article Ruth,I love the picture although feel sorry for the poor cat,CP volunteers do a marvellous job.
    Marc is SO RIGHT
    “If they REALLY cared about the birds they would REALLY find the root of the issue”
    Of course they would but it suits them to blame cats and try to turn more people against them,it makes me sick.
    Barbara is right too,why don’t those cat haters speak up for the birds killed for fun by PEOPLE?

  4. Another great article Ruth, I’ve seen first hand cats scared of magpies chattering like football rattles and big black crows cawing at them, it’s not all in the cat’s favour by any means. Yes odd times it happens that a cat catches a bird, it’s sad, but it’s nature, it’s part of the great scheme of things, cats don’t catch birds out of badness they just follow their inborn instinct the same as they do catching mice, rats, frogs and rabbits. Some people speak up against cats for catching birds, they go on passionately about songbirds etc., if only these people put their passion into speaking up about well fed men and women going out for a day’s pleasure of shooting birds specially bred to die as gun fodder which are then mostly buried in a mass grave.

  5. Great essay Ruth – perfect and the picture too. Thanks 🙂

    I had a group of black birds attack my Gigi in Canada and they really nipped at her and I got scared for her and ran out to scare them away.

    I will make one admission though – my Gigi in Canada caught birds of all sizes. She did and there’s no denying it.

    However – she is the only cat of about 10 I have known well that ever caught any birds. Red caught a few mice – not a single bird. Same with Pepi and same with Lilly. They spent all day outside and never caught a single bird.

    I agree with the premise that the cat haters promote nonsense and exacerbate an issue in the wrong direction. If they REALLY cared about the birds they would REALLY find the root of the issue.

    • Kudos to Gigi, we must admit to catching quite a few birds when we were younger, not so many now but the mammies understand that we are cats and it’s our job to weed out the weaklings.
      That’s what your Gigi was doing uncle Marc she was only weeding out the weaklings.
      In our annals of history about all the cats who lived with the mammies before us is a bit about one called Bert who never caught a bird in his entire 17 years but one day a robin fell out of the sky at his feet so what could he do but bring it home? He also sat on a mouse one day and when he stood up it ran out from under him and he said ‘Bye bye Mickey’ Thirdly he clubbed a spider to death with his big paw.

  6. On the lawn Charlie looks at the pigeons and the pigeons look at Charlie. Neither is interested in the other 😉

    My cats have never caught a bird. The predation by cats on birds is grossly exaggerated. No one knows how many birds are killed by cats. Not even the scientists.

    We do know that people kill far, far more birds one way and another. And the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says that cats do not decimate bird populations.

    There is an overeagerness by some scientists to be critical of the cat and some scientists loose their objectivity. Some scientists are downright biased when “studying” cats preying on birds.

    • Charlie is very wise.
      The pigeons coming in our garden are almost as big as cats!
      Yes scientists are very biased and they must be cold hearted too, especially the ones who experiment on animals in the ‘name of science’

    • I know what you mean Michael Honey wouldn’t dare tackle the Magpies yet she starts them off every morning without fail then when they line up on the fence and gang up on her they make that noise like a football rattle then there’s this stand off but she’s always the first to leave the scene 🙂

  7. I have 7 adults male cats running around my garden full time plus several females and several others that go for walkabouts quite frequently and my garden is filled with birdsong. I have seen large black crows helping themselves to my cat’s food in the Winter and they just look on disinterested. They have got better things to do than take on a bad tempered crow armed with a dangerous weapon. The numerous small birds have their nests well out of reach. A family of doves successfully raised a brood of youngsters somewhere on the outside my house in the Spring and have flown off to their summer feeding grounds.

    • Harvey your garden sounds like a Paradise for cats and birds.
      I think bird loving cat haters should credit birds with more sense, they know their predators and watch out for them and as you say crows are armed with a dangerous weapon no cat would like to challenge!
      The size of the beak on the one who lives here is massive, I saw him swoop down and grab a dead mouse from our lawn one day, maybe our cats left him it to keep him sweet lol

  8. Great essay, Ruth. I will add this: I have a friend in Scotland (internet) who has two Maine coons. He posted a picture on a photo site (how I know him) of one of the cats sitting high up on the fence, looking at the neighbor’s hen house. He said he was worried that one of the cats might take a fancy to going after them. I told him that I was very sure that the birds could take care of themselves, and if any party was injured, it would be one of his cats. He believed me, and stopped worrying. As it turned out, the cats might occasionally watch “hen house TV”, but they are smart enough not to tangle with them.

    • Thanks Valley Girl, lol ‘Hen house TV’ made me laugh.
      Yes cats and bird can co-exist quite happily, at Kays Hill there are feral cats and unrehomeable cats who live free. During the day the hens and ducks and geese etc are outside and they don’t bother each other at all.

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