Cats and mustelids

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7 years 1 week ago #532472 by Ruth
Cats and mustelids was created by Ruth
How about a celebratory feral cat and mustelid thread?

I keep a lot of "live bait" in my big budgie aviary outside our house. Two nights ago I found a cat climbing the cage, budgies flying in panic. I wasn't fast enough to shoot it. Stephan set a live capture trap last night and this morning it was closed, a nervous black and white face peering out the netted end, not the cat from the other night. I've never seen this cat before, had no idea it was around. It's big, an adult tom and I'm very pleased it now lies dead on the lawn. Trap will be reset tonight to keep trying to get the other one.

It would appear that our road is one where stupid people dump unwanted cats and kittens. Usually the cats we shoot or trap are thin and sometimes sick. Occasionally one has done very well, like this big one, reaching adulthood and then thriving.

We keep the traps set all the time, regularly re-baited and every now and then we get one. You often don't even know they're around. It's usually only if I set up the trail camera, that I discover how many creatures creep around our place after dark.

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7 years 1 week ago #532476 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Cats and mustelids
Our cat, Lucy, began life as a feral. We discovered her making a home for herself under the storage container behind the calf sheds. She is one of the lucky ones - we were having rodent problems at the time and she's done a great job in helping eradicate those.



But the dumping of unwanted cats and kittens by city folks out here in the country is an on-going problem. Like you, Ruth, we've also had to get tough on them.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!
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7 years 1 week ago #532477 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Cats and mustelids
I'm a cat person, I really like domestic cats and our last surviving lovely one came to us having been dumped. But since the three we last had all died of old age or illness (died by injection, of course, when the time came), we decided we would not replace them. Now with a Galah in the living room, it would be hard to go back on that decision and said bird will probably outlive me.

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7 years 1 week ago #532584 by Inger
Replied by Inger on topic Cats and mustelids
We've trapped three over the years and kept the latest (fourth) one, as it was just a kitten and easier to tame. It'll be moving on with us, as this isn't a good place for cats, since there are Kiwi and various other birds (which this cat seems to ignore, preferring rabbits and mice), but people seem to think it's okay to just dump their unwanted cats. The latest lot came from a pregnant cat (which I wasn't able to successfully trap) , which left a female kitten who lives at a neighbour's place now and ours, which has been to visit the vet, so can no longer reproduce.

I do wish that people would drop their excess animals off at the SPCA to have them put down, rather than endangering the native wildlife in our bush. It's bad enough having to deal with possums, rabbits and rats - all of which are expensive to poison/kill, without having to deal with dumped cats as well.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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7 years 5 days ago #532651 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Cats and mustelids

Inger wrote: I do wish that people would drop their excess animals off at the SPCA to have them put down, rather than endangering the native wildlife in our bush. It's bad enough having to deal with possums, rabbits and rats - all of which are expensive to poison/kill, without having to deal with dumped cats as well.


I totally agree, but have also heard stories of our local SPCA refusing to take animals, which is a pretty sad state of affairs. Though this doesn't excuse the dumping in any way.

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.

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7 years 5 days ago #532667 by Inger
Replied by Inger on topic Cats and mustelids
Yes, you're right. When I wanted the SPCA to take a feral kitten that was showing signs of being friendly, they said they had no room for it and complained that I hadn't phoned first, to see if they could take it. I finally had to leave the cage I'd brought the kitten in, with them, so they could hold it until they had more room.

That was the only time I attempted to take a cat there, as the others were all wild and a lot older (one was a tom cat) so they went straight to the vet to be put to sleep.

The latest kitten kept hanging around the house, so I left food out for it, so it wouldn't wander off into the bush. He seems to be much more interested in rabbits and mice, then birds, as he's shown no interest in our chooks. Since we're moving from here, in the not too distant future, I decided that I'd keep this particular cat. He's proving to be quite useful.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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7 years 4 days ago #532691 by neil postie
Replied by neil postie on topic Cats and mustelids
We have 20 Ha of bush in which I catch the odd cat but i wonder if not catching them is better for the bird population. Cats kill rats and mustelids which kill birds so by removing a cat am I doing good or bad. All the cats I have caught have been healthy, wellfeed and very pissed off (thanks Ruth for the cat trap design in an old Lifestyle mag, a slightly modified one is good for magpies as well. Well not good for them but good for me)

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7 years 4 days ago #532706 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Cats and mustelids
Odd thing Neil, I often wonder the same thing when I look at the number of rats and other nasties that turn up outside the back door. The only mustelid I've seen here was a dead one being dragged out of the bush, down the hill, through the fence and deposited with much huffing and puffing on the lawn by one of my white cats. She looked very proud of herself. It must have been a bit of a fight though as she had skin and hair missing.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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7 years 4 days ago #532707 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Cats and mustelids
There is a small coastal town in the north Island that had a dreadful spate of cat murders (peoples pets) and the idea seemed to stem from fear the cats were decimating the bird population. What they found with the loss of cats was that the rats took over and murdered the birds. Has to be a balance.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 3 days ago #532729 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Cats and mustelids
Yes, I'd probably want to have some rat and mustelid traps around if I had any native bush (whether I was catching cats or not). I guess the problem is that the cats can catch both the native stuff and the mammals, and if they do a good job decreasing the predatory mammal population then they'll have to move onto birds, lizards, frogs etc.. (native or otherwise). I also wonder if the presence of cats might change the behaviour of the mammals, possibly pushing them up into the trees (away from cats and into birds nests) more? Who knows, someone has probably done a study at some point.

I do feel more guilt owning a cat having moved from suburbia (where all the birds are foreign ones anyway!) to our current place, where we get, and are trying to encourage, more natives. Our cat definitely kills rats & mice and has also brought in a few skinks (which she seems to bring into the house alive, which has facilitated the rescue, by me, of most of them). She is yet to bring a native bird into the house, but that doesn't mean she's not catching them.... Although I think the magpies are doing a good job of scaring them away, so we need to get onto trapping magpies next....

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.

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6 years 11 months ago #533041 by Belle Bosse
Replied by Belle Bosse on topic Cats and mustelids
There is a group in the BOI called Cats in Balance. The gentleman I spoke to told me he has witnessed an adult Kiwi kill a cat,and he believes that the cat is on the native birds side when it comes to controlling rats and other predators. They believe there has to be a balance and the cat is a vital part of the equation.
I contacted the group as I had what looked to be a 3 to 4 month old wild kitten in the Duck Trap live capture cage set to catch possums. I was hoping to find someone to rehabilitate the kitten so it could have a second chance in life. The SPCA told me they would be happy to take and home the cat if I could tame it... my attempt was unsuccessful. I fed the cat twice a day for 8 weeks and it grew and turned into a bolder fierce lion that struck the food and water bowls out of my hand and strike at me when I went to feed it. It had no desire to be social and would hide if I went near it. Pretty cat, but fierce!
In the end I had to surrender the fierce lion to husband on the condition I did not want to know or see or hear anything. Wild cats are not wanted in the bushland here. The capture, neuter, release idea puts the cat back into the environment where it is then blamed for catching bird life... makes no sense?

I have two lovely pet cats who know they are NOT to chase or catch birds. One is content with bird watching and frequently is dive-bombed by birds. Her catches are usually released unhurt. The other loves his chickens and is their self appointed guardian after the rooster taught him to respect the hens... or answer to him! He finds little birds very tempting.

The cats catch tally so far this year is 1 uninjured live bird released, 1 dead bird buried. 1 rabbit, 4 rats and over 6 mice that I know of.
The caravan windows in one week claimed 4 bird strikes with 3 dead... more dangerous than two cats!

A study has been done on cats and their effect on bird numbers and it was discovered that the birds did better when the cats were present than when the cats were removed. There was a noticeable difference in rat and mice numbers which affected the birds.

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6 years 11 months ago - 6 years 11 months ago #533160 by Spirit.2000
Replied by Spirit.2000 on topic Cats and mustelids
Hummmmm try living down the road from a Frigging Cat hoarder, who lets the cats breed and go feral and they come over eating my ducklings and chickens. . Gurrrrrrrr You want to see her place, absolutely disgusting, cat litter trays full of crap and spilling over and she is never there to feed them or care for them, gunky eyes and shit wet living conditions some of them were locked in an old wet aviary, poor things, so cruel.!

Is also how we ended up with another cat we did not want, dogs found a litter and killed most but we saved a wee kitten, turned out to be a female (could not find it a home, so had to get it spade etc and keep it) was a wild little b*&^H hissing and spitting - she is a nice cat now but not one we really wanted, although now we do love her to bits.!!

One day another neighbor counted more than 19 cats & dogs that all ran out to meet the school bus one afternoon when dropping kids off at stop, and one dog was dangerous.! This woman is a menace and an animal hoarder, got 3 acres and about 10 Alpaca, a few sheep, 3 goats, 3 Kuni Pigs that are always on the road or up some neighbors driveways. . She just drives on past and leaves them there or on the road and even in other peoples paddocks etc. .
She had a staving full size horse, when the cover came off it looked like a skeleton.! I could not believe it. . Thanks god someone called the SPCA and that is now gone poor creature.! They also took two of the goats that were all tangled up along the road side over the road on other neighbours side, they had been tangled up for 3 days according to another neighbour. Many have & do stop and untangled them as this woman just left them like that, she would of seen them and just driven off, Lazy B*&$H. . Why does someone like that get so many animals and then not even care for them or feed them? Half the time she is never there, as she works full time!
Sorry guys, rant over!
Last edit: 6 years 11 months ago by Spirit.2000. Reason: Typo

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6 years 3 months ago #537742 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Cats and mustelids
Yes! Just got a poor little female I've seen a couple of times recently - or maybe for even longer, since I don't think we caught the one from last year we saw near the hens. Skinny as, sick-looking, presumably dumped at some stage.

The neighbour yesterday rang to say her rooster had killed and stashed three stoats and a rat in their hen house! Good going. Might have to rent that rooster.

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #537743 by Furball
Replied by Furball on topic Cats and mustelids
I caught 4 cats last year in a live capture trap. Three were clearly ferals so got a lead injection on the spot, the fourth was so relaxed in the trap it was plainly someone's pet at some point. Asked the neighbours - didn't belong to anyone. Took it to the vet, and apparently vets will no longer pass on cats to the SPCA. Phoned SPCA from the vet's and they wouldn't take it anyway, even if I had gone to one of their (miles away) branches. Eventually the vet said they would pass it on to Franklin Cat Rescue as a personal favour.

That cat was pretty lucky. It's so difficult now to give a cat a second chance, and I strongly disapprove of the SPCA's "Trap Neuter Release" policy, so from now on I think any cat that gets caught will just get shot.
Last edit: 6 years 3 months ago by Furball.

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6 years 3 months ago #537746 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Cats and mustelids
I agree entirely with your view of the SPCA's "Trap Neuter Release". It's a heinous misuse of resources.

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