Cats and mustelids

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6 years 4 months ago #537762 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Cats and mustelids
Yes agreed on "Trap Neuter Release" - seems to me like a way for them to appease all the cat-lovers out there, but takes not account of native wildlife.

Ruth wrote: 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.


Wow - that's impressive!! I've heard of chickens eating mice before, but I'd have bet on a stoat over a chook any day!

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 4 months ago #537766 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Cats and mustelids
I haven't seen the reported stoats ... would quite like to for confirmation of size, species, etc.

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6 years 4 months ago #537785 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Cats and mustelids
Well I'm a cat lover (2 moggies at home :) ) and I think trap, neuter and release is ridiculous too. Why put a feral cat through all that stress and then release it back to re-establish itself causing more stress! Not to mention starvation and disease. Its inhumane! :angry: They should be trapped and destroyed humanely ) like any other problem animal.
But I do think that cats have a place in town where they can keep pests down. Our last cat was an ace hunter and bought in 1 or 2 huge rats every night. I was a little disturbed to think there were so many rats about that he could maintain this level of hunting! The only birds he caught were mynahs which used to dive bomb him in the garden. I saw him hook one out of the air. After a couple of months the birds stopped coming down so low and he gave up on them.....

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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6 years 4 months ago #537792 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Cats and mustelids
I like cats, but I think someone who traps a cat is then responsible for it, and if they are releasing it, not providing adequate feed and not monitoring its health, they are not acting in the interests of the animal, or the environment.
Cats are not a native animal, and can be a pest in both urban and rural environments, so anyone releasing one should be prosecuted.
Now that would be a good look for the SPCA.Either prosecution for releasing a pest or for releasing and animal they do not intend to care for.

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6 years 4 months ago #537798 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Cats and mustelids

Hawkspur wrote: ...so anyone releasing one should be prosecuted.
Now that would be a good look for the SPCA. Either prosecution for releasing a pest or for releasing and animal they do not intend to care for.

Jolly good point; I wonder how they got around that particular Animal Welfare clause.

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6 years 4 months ago - 6 years 4 months ago #537800 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Cats and mustelids

Anakei wrote: Well I'm a cat lover (2 moggies at home :) ) and I think trap, neuter and release is ridiculous too.

Sorry, I probably used the wrong phrase there, because I am also a cat-lover, and in fact lover of all animals - but I also believe that they should be in their rightful place and feral cats are definitely not in their rightful place. I was using 'cat-lover' as shorthand for 'people that can't cope with the idea of kitty being put to sleep'.

Hawkspur wrote: Cats are not a native animal, and can be a pest in both urban and rural environments, so anyone releasing one should be prosecuted.
Now that would be a good look for the SPCA.Either prosecution for releasing a pest or for releasing and animal they do not intend to care for.

That's actually a really good point - surely it's illegal to release a non-native species...?

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.
Last edit: 6 years 4 months ago by Wren.

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6 years 4 months ago #537853 by Bibby
Replied by Bibby on topic Cats and mustelids
There seem to be heaps of feral cats where we are in the hills behind Christchurch. We've trapped about eight cats in four years, even though the traps are only set occasionally and often only if we've sighted a cat in the area. I did end up keeping one young kitten (now a well loved cat - photo attached), but I figure that her effect on the local birds and lizards is outweighed by the cats that we have trapped and the hundreds of possums that we've also dealt to (that's what I tell myself anyway).

I think cat collars with a bell, or the brightly coloured "clown" collars do make a difference - reducing the number of birds caught while not really affecting their ability to catch rodents. Unfortunately, our cat had an expensive visit to the vet after putting her leg through a stretchy collar and not coming home for six weeks. We then moved to breakaway collars, which worked well to begin with but after about a year she had well and truly worked out how to ditch them and I gave up after about the 10th collar!

Bird life here is excellent, with a pretty decent dawn chorus and lots of bellbirds, grey warblers, cuckoos, and kereru, so things can't be too far out of balance at the moment. Having said that, the next plan is to get some DOC traps so we can start targeting rats and mustelids, which will hopefully improve things even more.

I completely agree with others' sentiments relating to the SPCA's catch, neuter and release programme - it does seem a terrible waste of resources, is tough on the cat and wildlife, and I really do wonder how many people would actually have a problem with feral cats being put down, especially when the SPCA regularly euthanize domestic cats that they can't rehome.
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6 years 4 months ago #537855 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Cats and mustelids
There's an idiot who works across the road from us who traps, neuters and releases cats back here. Some of these cats are really nice but dumped cats, not feral at all, but they get that way after a while "out in the cold". Trouble is they decimate the pukeko population, not that I'm too concerned about that, and the pheasant chicks, which I do like to see around, rats they can have, but what I really don't like is they come near the house, and fight with our cats. For that reason, I like our cats inside before dark. They can carry cat diseases like aids which I'd hate to see my cats go through.

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

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6 years 4 months ago #537856 by greenfingers
Replied by greenfingers 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 phoned the SPCA when we found a family of feral cats had moved into our barn - the woman who I spoke to was exceedingly rude and accused me of letting animals breed on my property and said it was my problem to deal with not theirs. I'd only asked if I could hire a live capture cage from them. I no longer support the SPCA because of this and other similar issues I've had with them. We live next to a rural cemetery and regularly have cats and poultry that have been dumped there wandering on over to our place.

9.5 acres with 300-odd pines and lots of wobbly fences [:D]

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6 years 3 months ago #537884 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Cats and mustelids
I've heard similar things about the SPCA, greenfingers - if I remember right, someone we know left a box of feral cats they had caught on the SPCA counter and walked out, because they were refusing to take them!

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 3 months ago #537901 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Cats and mustelids
Remember, these are harried volunteer animal lovers, who must get tired of murdering cats. Shouldn't we do our own dirty work?

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #537905 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Cats and mustelids
Mudlerk - I could make that argument about any animal that gets taken to SPCA (should the person who found it take the responsibility...?) but, actually, my real argument would be that the SPCA has the skills to both identify any animals suitable for rehoming (and to de-sex them first) and the facilities to humanely put to sleep animals that aren't suitable for that. I'd say there is more of a risk to the welfare of the animal when we do our own dirty work....

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.
Last edit: 6 years 3 months ago by Wren.

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6 years 3 months ago #537907 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Cats and mustelids
Especially when most people don't have the means to instantly render them dead and instead throw them into troughs to drown them! I've met yet another defender of that action in the last month: "but we don't have a gun". Find someone who does then; NEVER DROWN A CAT!

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #537915 by Furball
Replied by Furball on topic Cats and mustelids
Agree with you 100% Ruth.
a) If you don't have a firearms licence, then fine, you don't need one to get an air rifle, and a decent air rifle competently aimed is perfectly capable of humanely killing a cat in a live catch trap.
b) If a person doesn't have a rifle or an air rifle, or don't have an agreement with a neighbour who does, then they should not be setting a live catch trap. Clearly they haven't thought through how they are going to kill an animal they catch. Drowning it is both a horrible way for it to die, and an illegal act under NZ law, so no-one should use it under any circumstances to dispose of any animal.
Last edit: 6 years 3 months ago by Furball.

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #537926 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Cats and mustelids
Anyone who shoves the expense of having a feral cat humanely euthanised onto an increasingly underfunded SPCA is, in my opinion, evading the responsibility incurred by capturing it. My personal system for 'doing my own dirty work' is to take animals to the vet and pay the bill.
Last edit: 6 years 3 months ago by Mudlerk.

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