Subject: Re: cats & birds
Date: Apr 20 08:41:22 1995
From: Eugene Hunn - hunn at


I guess I'll have to add my two-bits. My wife has three cats (I blame
them on her) which are free to go in and out. Mostly they are too lazy
to take their dumps anywhere but in the cat box, often waiting
impatiently to be let in so they don't have to do it in the dirt. I have
never seen them take a bird. Those estimates of the impact of domestic
cats on birds seem excessive to me and I wonder if they are based on
unproven (and perhaps quite unfounded) assumptions that ALL domestic cats
kill birds. In my experience bird-killing cats are the exception...
occasionally one gains notoriety in the neighbor for that predilection.
Most seem content to just sit and look.

Gene Hunn.

On Wed, 19 Apr 1995 juenemak at wrote:

> As another cat person and bird person, I have had this same dilemma.
> I also have two friends who have converted their cats from outdoor
> cats to only-indoor cats. It takes a while and is worth the trouble
> in the long run. Once the cat learns that it isn't going outside
> anymore they adapt. I also think it helps to be at least a 2-cat
> household as they can keep one another company and probably do so
> more than if they went outside. You need to have patience during the
> transition.
> I just lost one of my cats after 17 years of love and friendship. In
> her early days in So. California she caught lots of lizards but for
> the last 6 or so years of her life did not go outside, except on the
> patio to sit in the sun. Years ago I also had a Siamese who caught a
> lot of gophers. I experienced only two birds (that I know of). If I
> knew tnem what I know now, I probably wouldn't have let them out as
> much as I did then.
> However, none of my pets has ever been allowed total freedom to go
> outdoors. I only let them out when I was home, i.e, when I was at
> work they were in and they were kept in at night. Now, though, I
> still have a 12-year old male who is deaf and he has never been a
> hunter. I also have a new 3-year rescued female who has never been
> outside.
> I guess what I'm saying is that I love cats, but I also love birds.
> You have to make some compromises somewhere. If you let the cat out
> and especially freedom to go out all the time, they will catch birds.
> If you don't want to totally confine them to the house then supervise
> or minimize their outside visits.
> I can also tell from the messages those who are not pet lovers...some
> of the remarks have been downright mean. I agree we need to do all
> that we can to minimize cats getting birds. That should start with
> education of the owners and a NON-BREEDING POLICY for most pets.
> Too many cats and kittens (and puppies and babies even) are born
> irresponsibly. We all could keep our pets in and be responsible pet
> owners -- but there are so many JERKS out there who don't care. When
> they don't want the animal, they just dump it somewhere,,,,or
> especially in the case of apartment dwellers, they move and leave the
> pet to fend for itself. There are too many feral cats, too many
> abandoned pets, too many uncaring people in the world. Can't we work
> in a positive way to educate people to respect wildlife and to be
> responsible for their pets - this means NEUTER and SPAY your animals.
> I truly believe that when you take an animal as a pet you are
> responsible for it for the rest of it's natural life. The cat, the
> dog, the bird -- they all have a right to life. Their lives are as
> important to them as ours is to us.
> One final opinion -- we talk so much about the "native" species. How
> many of us are native species to this area or to this continent.
> Karen Juenemann at SMTPGATE-ZGI