Facebook Google Menu Linkedin lock Pinterest Search Twitter

Advertisement

Environment

May 24, 2013

The trans-Tasman cat fight: why Fluffy has to go

Wandering cats are a menace to native birds and wildlife, but the cat "right to life" lobby is preventing them being euthanased. Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons of NZ's Morgan Foundation want a cat crackdown.

User login status :

Share

Angry cat

New Zealanders are proud of their “clean and green” image, and yet half of all Kiwi households harbour one or more natural-born killers of our native wildlife: cats. Incredibly, New Zealand has the highest rate of cat ownership per capita in the world.

In January, New Zealand’s Morgan Foundation launched a campaign (known as “Cats to Go“) to rid the country of wandering cats. Only cats that are free to wander or kill are a problem; indoor or confined cats, as are common in parts of the US and Australia, are no issue.

But wandering cats are devastating. NZ, like Australia, has unique wildlife that evolved without mammalian predators like stoats, cats and rats. The wildlife thus has no natural defences against these creatures, and as a result cats have easily become apex predators. In areas where cats are kept in high numbers — towns and cities — our native birds and lizards suffer local extinctions.

Getting rid of wandering cats would not unleash a plague of vermin across the landscape, as some claim. Most cities have far more cats than we need to control rodents — five times as man. In addition, it is the availability of food that really controls rat numbers, not cats.

Cats in NZ are above the law. Shoot a native bird, and you would be prosecuted. But if your cat kills a bird every week, it is ignored. If a dog strays, the dog is captured and the owner is fined (or if there is no owner, destroyed). Yet the only way a property owner can keep wandering cats off his or her land is to put up a cat-proof fence, or sit in the garden all day with a hose.

“Cats in NZ are above the law … people need to give up the notion that cats are an ‘easy pet’ and start taking them seriously.”

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals handles wandering cats, as councils shy away from euthanasing people’s pets by mistake. The SPCA also dislikes euthanasing cats, so the focus was put on re-homing them. Yet no matter how much was spent there were always more cats than homes — a sure sign that we weren’t dealing with the root of the problem. As the staff in our SPCAs grew tired of euthanasing cats and SPCA coffers swelled with donations from crazy cat ladies who valued the cat’s right to life over all others, the NZ SPCA parted ways from its Australian cousin (RSPCA) and adopted the sick practice of trap, neuter, return (TNR).

TNR is a sure sign that the cat “right to life” lobby has taken over. Stray cats are neutered and returned to their semi-wild colonies, where they are fed. The idea is that over time the colony will die off, but it rarely happens in practice. In the meantime, the cats (like all wandering cats, including the well-fed ones) keep on killing.

TNR will not control the wandering cat population. The only answer is to deal with the problem at its root cause. City councils must take back responsibility for managing cats as they have for dogs. Any cat turned over to the pound should be checked for a microchip (a sign of ownership) or be humanely dispatched. The only way to reduce the amount of cats that are euthanased is to neuter all cats and stop them being dumped. People need to give up the notion that cats are an “easy pet” and start taking them seriously.

Some areas in Australia are ahead of NZ — they do exactly what we have set out above. However, many areas still do not. Even if they have a pound and mandatory registration and chipping of cats, the success in controlling cats comes down to the amount of effort put into trapping and euthanasing stray cats, not simply re-homing them.

Just like NZ, many parts of Australia display huge double standards — they invest in restoration of our natural species and then stand by while those animals are plundered by wandering cats. Many organisations that care for our native wildlife have to get by on volunteer labour. Meanwhile we all invest donations and public money into funding programmes for cats to be rehomed so they can carry on killing. Local luminaries flock to be on the SPCA board as it is seen as a sure-fire way to be seen to “do some good”. This culture of hypocrisy needs to change if we are to take saving our wildlife seriously.

Get a free trial to post comments
More from Crikey

Advertisement

We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola

31 comments

Leave a comment

31 thoughts on “The trans-Tasman cat fight: why Fluffy has to go

  1. Nature Advocate

    drovers cat,

    I agree, I don’t blame the cats. I blame low-life cat-licking scum like yourself who are to blame by perpetuating the practice of having and irresponsibly trying to contain these devastating invasive species vermin predators for pets. This is why I had to shoot and bury HUNDREDS of them on my lands to stop them from annihilating every last native animal on my lands. From smallest of prey that was gutted alive and skinned alive and left to rot (often I would be drawn to their screeches of torment, to then have to stomp those poor suffering animals to death to hush their suffering caused by cats), right up to the top predators on my lands that were starved-to-death because cats senselessly used all their ONLY foods for their daily and hourly tortured play-toys. ALL thanks to you and people just like you.

    Cats for pets should be made illegal — WORLDWIDE. Especially after the devastation we’ve seen them to do every continent on which they are found today. Even run-off from the land, carrying cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasites is now destroying rare and endangered marine-mammals on all coastlines. Cats are equivalent to continent sized oil-spills.

    Plus, it seems to be only criminally-irresponsible and criminally-negligent people that choose them for pets. What would be the harm if we removed their tool of ecological devastation from their hands — permanently. They’d probably only find another animal to use to destroy all the native wildlife on earth and the lives of all their neighbors.

  2. Nature Advocate

    Here’s how these delusional, self-serving, and uneducated TNR-advocates are destroying all life on the planet.

    The TNR CON-GAME

    FACT: Trap & Kill failed because cats cannot be trapped faster than they exponentially breed out of control.

    FACT: Trap, Neuter, & Re-Abandon (TNR) is an even bigger abject failure because these man-made ecological disasters cannot be trapped faster than they exponentially breed out of control, and they also continue to cruelly annihilate all native wildlife (from the smallest of prey up to the top predators that are starved to death), and the cats continue to spread many deadly diseases that they carry today — FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO VACCINES AGAINST THEM. Many of which are even listed as bioterrorism agents. (Such as Tularemia and The Plague — Yes, people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA. No fleas nor rats even required. The cats themselves carry and transmit the plague all on their own.)

    FACT: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY _NOTHING_ HUMANE ABOUT TNR. Nearly every last TNR’ed cat dies an inhumane death by road-kill, from cat and animal attacks, environmental poisons, starvation, dehydration, freezing to death, infections, parasites, etc. And if very very lucky humanely shot to death or re-trapped and drowned (the two most common methods employed on all farms and ranches to protect their gestating livestock’s offspring and valuable native wildlife dying from cats’ Toxoplasmosis parasites). This doesn’t begin to count the thousands of defenseless native animals that cats skin alive and disembowel alive for their daily and hourly play-toys. The only difference in destroying cats immediately and humanely instead of trapping, sterilizing, then releasing them to an inhumane death; is that money isn’t going into an HSUS or SPCA board-member’s pocket, veterinarian’s pocket, cat-food company CEO’s pocket, or a drug-company CEO’s pocket. And that’s the ONLY difference!

    FACT: Cats are a man-made (through selective breeding) invasive species. And as such, are no less of a man-made environmental disaster than any other caused by man. Cats are even worse than an oil-spill of continent-sized proportions. They not only kill off rare and endangered marine-mammals along all coastlines from run-off carrying cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasites, they destroy the complete food-chain in every ecosystem where cats are found. From smallest of prey gutted and skinned alive for cats’ tortured play-toys, up to the top predators that are starved to death from cats destroying their ONLY food sources. (Precisely what cats caused on my own lands not long ago.)

    FACT: Hunted To Extinction (or in this case, extirpation of all outdoor cats) is the ONLY method that is faster than a species like cats can exponentially out-breed and out-adapt to. Especially a man-made invasive species like these cats that can breed 2X-4X’s faster than any naturally occurring cat-species.

    FACT: In _FOURTEEN_YEARS_ Alley Cat ALL-LIES of NYC have only reduced feral cats in their own city by 0.08% to 0.024% (as the months go on that percentage becomes more insignificant), allowing more than 99.92% to 99.976% to exponentially breed out of control. Here’s how Alley-Cat-ALL-LIES’ deceptive math works: If you TNR 4 cats and 3 get flattened by cars this translates to 75% fewer feral-cats everywhere. Alley Cat ALL-LIES can’t even reduce cats in their own city, yet they promote it as a worldwide solution. Then even bigger fools fall for it and promote it.

    FACT: When researching over 100 of the most “successful” TNR programs worldwide, JUST ONE trapped more than 0.4%. Oregon’s 50,000 TNR’ed cats (the highest rate I found) is 4.9% of all ferals in their state. Yet, by applying population growth calculus on the unsterilized 95.1% they will have trapped only 0.35% of all cats in their state sometime this year. Less than 0.4% is a far cry from the required 75%-85% to be the least bit effective.

    FACT: Their mythical “vacuum effect” is a 100% LIE. A study done by the Texas A&M University proved that any perceived “vacuum” is just the simple case that CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of them all and there’s no cats there to attract more. I proved this myself by shooting and burying hundreds of them on my own lands. ZERO cats replaced them FOR OVER 3 YEARS NOW. If you want more cats, keep even one of them around, more will find you. That university study also found that sterilized cats very poorly defend any territory. Non-sterilized cats, being more aggressive, take over the sterilized cats’ resources (shelter & food if any). If there is any kind of “vacuum effect” at all, it is that sterilizing cats cause non-sterilized cats to restore the reproductive void.

    FACT: During all this investigation I have discovered something that is unfaltering without fail. Something that you can bet your very life on and win every last time. That being — IF A TNR CAT-HOARDER IS TALKING THEN THEY ARE LYING. 100% guaranteed!

  3. Nature Advocate

    The ONLY veterinarians and groups supporting the COMPLETELY INHUMANE practice of TNR are those that financially benefit from all the hundreds of thousands of dollars that petfood companies hand-out as “seed money” cash-grants and pleas for donations by exploiting suffering animals. The more suffering cat-mouths that they can all keep alive to torture to death by “attrition” and torture all wildlife to death with their cats, the more they all benefit financially. This is ONLY about the money being made by letting cats and animals suffer to death.

    THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HUMANE NOR ECOLOGICALLY CORRECT ABOUT TNR.

    ALL respectable veterinarians and others with the least bit of credible education and morality speak out strongly against TNR. Educate yourselves as well about this morally reprehensible TNR “business”.

    You can start the process by Googling for these postings (include the quotes for each full search-string):

    “The TNR Con-Game”
    (Lists and dispels some of the most prevalent lies told by TNR cat-hoarders.)

    “Be cautious about using any cats taken from outdoors for adoption”
    (Why rabid cats are now being adopted right from shelters. Is YOUR liability insurance up to date and will cover this? I didn’t think so.)

    “Here’s another fun aspect of TNR that TNR LIARS never bother to tell anyone”
    (TNR con-artist liars are now clipping cats ears only without sterilizing nor vaccines to save money and protect any stray cat from being trapped and euthanized, proof is included in that post.)

    and

    “Licensing and laws do nothing to curb the problem.” AND “I don’t see anyone dumping cats where I live anymore.” AND “irreversible consequences”
    (This posting contains the ONLY method that actually works 100%, is affordable by anyone or any size of community, and is a PERMANENT fix in less than a year!)

    Bonus Info: Now you’ll know the underlying reason why cat-lickers do this in the first place. Even they aren’t aware of why they are more than happy to throw their cats under the wheels of moving cars and still claim they love cats, and why they can’t stop themselves from doing so. Google for (include quotes):

    Cats “Human Territorial Behavior By Expendable Proxy”

  4. Nature Advocate

    Keith, at the risk of (FURTHER) flooding this forum with the full post (I didn’t think those other long posts of mine would ever get approved), here it is:

    Licensing and laws do nothing to curb the problem. If cats are required to be licensed then cat-lovers just stop putting collars on their cats, as they did by me. And they won’t even bother getting them micro-chipped, especially not that They want absolutely nothing that can hold them legally responsible, liable, and accountable for the actions of their cats. It’s why many of them even keep cats in the first place. We’re not talking about the topmost responsible citizens of the world, you know. They don’t want that responsibility of what their cat has done coming back on them. If they had even one iota of a sense of responsibility and respect for all other lives on this planet we wouldn’t even be having these discussions.

    On the other hand, I found something that DOES work, and works well, and works fast (well, relative to the years it takes trying to reason with deceitful and lying cat-lovers that accomplishes ABSOLUTELY NOTHING). Where I live cat-lovers have learned that _ALL_ cats, stray and feral, collared or not, ear-tipped or not (because TNR con-artist liars now just clip cats’ ears only, WITHOUT sterilizing or vaccinating them, to protect their hoarded cats from being trapped and euthanized), _ALL_ their cats are humanely shot on sight and buried whenever found away from supervised confinement.

    The ONLY thing that works is destroying any of their cats found outdoors off their property. They either learn to stop getting more cats that die under the wheels of cars or from animal attacks, or they finally learn how to be a responsible pet owner, respectful neighbor, and learn to keep their invasive species animal under confined supervision, as it should be. Win win win all around. You can either destroy their cat for them humanely, or let their lack of concern for their cat cause it to die inhumanely. By destroying their cat for them humanely you are showing them that you care more about their cat than even they do. A bullet is by far the most humane death that any free-roaming cat will ever meet. Anything else is all inhumanely downhill from there. Their only other options are being hit by cars, environmental poisons, cat & animal attacks, disease and parasites, freezing, etc., etc.

    You can’t train a cat to stay home but I found that, in time, you CAN train a cat-owner into being a responsible pet-owner and a respectable neighbor. Most of them are so phenomenally stupid, disrespectful, and criminally irresponsible though that you have to make at least 12-15 of their cats permanently disappear before they even start to figure out what they’ve been doing wrong all during their sorry, useless, and pathetic lives. (Though the ones by me who were adopting “barn cats” from “barn-cat programs” were uniquely cretinized and lobotomized. I had to shoot and bury many hundreds of their cats before they started to learn.)

    If you live in an area where its not legal to use firearms to destroy any animal that is threatening the health and safety of you, your family, your animals, or property (as it *IS* legal in most every area of the nation — shoot to maim is animal cruelty but shoot to kill is a perfectly legal way to humanely destroy any nuisance animal on your own property); then check into laws regarding air-rifles with ballistics speeds of 700-1200 fps and using pointed vermin-pellets in no-firearms zones. Many of the newer ones even come with their own sound-suppressor designs built-in, being specifically designed for shooting vermin cats in urban areas, the demand is that great. Failing that, then there’s always the SSS and TDSS Cat Management Programs that are exploding in popularity worldwide. Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-Up; or Trap, Drown, Shovel, & Shut-Up. Both methods are legal on every square foot of this earth. No local laws were violated if it never happened.

    (Where cats have already learned to evade all trapping methods, then inexpensive generic 1-adult-strength acetaminophen (overseas a.k.a. paracetamol) pain-relievers are a more species specific vermin poison, available everywhere for pennies. MUCH safer for the environment and all other animals than the antifreeze and rat-poisons that cat-lickers have forced everyone into using. But you really do need to retrieve and dispose of that carcass safely so that native wildlife won’t die from the many diseases cats spread even after their death. I fed a shot-dead cat to some starving opossum once, starving from cats having destroyed all their foods. (2 adults and 3 offspring they had while under my care.) Those opossum then died from some disease in that cat. Leaving ANY cat, alive OR dead, out in nature is no better than intentionally poisoning your native wildlife to death. Cats truly are complete wastes of flesh, they can’t even be used to feed wild animals safely.)

    I don’t see anyone dumping cats where I live anymore. They don’t even adopt more than can be kept under lock & key 24/7. When driving through the area I don’t see even one cat on anyone’s doorsteps anymore. I always keep an eye out to see if there are more free-roaming cats that will have to be shot one day. And if I’ll have to leave fish-oil trails on all the roadsides again, leading right to my IR surveillance system and laser-sighted rifle. (Got more than 70% of the hundreds of them in the area this way. VERY effective if you have criminally irresponsible and criminally negligent cat-licking problem neighbors where you live too. For further methods that I invented, to accomplish an eradication so complete, read my Reader’s Digest compilation of the more-effective ones at americanhunter.org/blogs/arkansas-will-trap-feral-cats )

    I haven’t seen even ONE cat in over THREE YEARS now!

    Leaving ANY of their invasive species cats outside in my area means certain death for that cat, their further existence can be counted in hours. You’d think everyone else could learn from this simple lesson. The quickest way to solve an unwanted animal and irresponsible pet-owner problem is to let everyone know that you will quickly and humanely destroy every last one of their unwanted, uncared-for, or unsupervised animals for them. They either grow up fast or, far more plausible, dump their animals elsewhere to become someone else’s problem.

    You just can’t be an enabler of criminally irresponsible spineless and heartless idiots — or they remain that way. (At least where you live, anyway.)

    IF THERE ARE NOT DIRECT AND IMMEDIATE IRREVERSIBLE CONSEQUENCES TO THEIR CRIMINALLY-NEGLIGENT AND CRIMINALLY-IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIORS AND VALUES THEN THEY LEARN ABSOLUTELY *NOTHING*.

  5. Nature Advocate

    I also found a perfect and 100% natural solution for those who don’t want to take more direct and more effective measures against free-roaming invasive species cats. Anyone who has criminally irresponsible cat-lickers in their area need only plant lilies on their properties. (Must be from the Lilium species, not just with “lily” in the common name, see notes.) Cat-lickers always want their more responsible neighbors to grow plants around the perimeter of their properties that will repel their cats for them (from the cat-owners’ own criminally negligent and criminally irresponsible behaviors and values). Well now you can brighten up your yard AND repel cats naturally! — PERMANENTLY

    (WARNING: If these plants are not native to your region don’t plant these if they cannot be contained, or risk introducing yet another invasive species!)

    Google for: lily toxicity cats

    It has been reported that a cat even licking a little bit of Lily pollen from their fur will be fatal in short order. A cat even drinking some of the water in which a bunch of lilies has been kept is also fatal to them.

    Everyone happy! You get to have the kinds of plants that you want, they get to have the kind of pets that they want — if they take care of it like any responsible grown-up would. Or are cat-lickers now going to demand that you can’t plant flowers on your own property? That would be their next and usual move, wouldn’t it.

    A perfectly natural solution to an invasive species animal that didn’t evolve with Lilium species around. Plus it’s a good incentive plan for cat-lickers to finally educate themselves all about ecology, native species, and evolution. 🙂

    Doing a little research on ASPCA’s toxic plants lists (Family: Liliaceae).

    Lilies (Lilium species) that are deadly toxic to cats ONLY, in even small quantities (even the pollen will do):

    Common Name | Scientific Name

    Asian Lily (Asiatic Lily) | Lilium asiatica

    Easter Lily | Lilium longiflorum

    Red Lily | Lilium umbellatum

    Rubrum Lily** | Lilium speciosum cultivar

    Stargazer Lily** | Lilium orientalis

    Tiger Lily** | Lilium tigrinum

    Wood Lily | Lilium umbellatum

    (not of the Lilium species)

    Orange Day Lily | Hemerocallis graminea

    (** see notes below)

    Lilies (Lilium species) that may be toxic to dogs if the dog ingests enough:

    [NONE]

    Be sure they are from the Liliacea Family, has “Lilium” on the plant label or are common N. American Day Lilies. Many plants with “Lily” in the common-name are not of the “Lilium” species, and are in fact toxic to other species of animals besides cats. Double check. On further investigation I also found out that all plant-parts, the blossoms and pollen being the most toxic, if harvested and dried (for year-round use) are just as deadly toxic to cats (if not more-so because of the unknown toxin being concentrated), and the drying makes them even more palatable to cats. What a great mulch for gardens! (Or powdered spice for a special outdoor can of tuna.)

    **There have been some anecdotal reports of some free-roaming cats that have spent many years around some of these particular species of plants and still survived. So it is best to harvest, dry, and grind-up the plants and mix them into any appropriate bait-foods to be most effective.

  6. Nature Advocate

    While it is true that overpopulation of humans is the #1 problem that we and all other species face today (humans are a “weedy” species, but they are NOT an “invasive species”, please educate your sorry selves); this still doesn’t excuse all the responsible, wise, and intelligent people from stopping all the ecological disasters caused by those phenomenally stupid and criminally negligent people who should have never been born in the very first place.

    Cats are a man-made (through selective breeding) invasive species. And as such, cats being a product of man’s intervention, are no less of a man-made environmental disaster than any oil-spill, radiation-fallout, chemical-spill, or other environmental disaster _caused_by_man_. Cats are _not_exempt_ from having to be removed from every natural environment, wherever and whenever they are found away from supervised confinement. Just as you would do all you can to remove Zebra Mussels from any waterway where they don’t belong. Or Burmese Pythons and African Cichlids from every habitat where they exist in N. America today. Burmese Pythons and African Cichlids started out as pets too. Many of our destructive invasive species pests started out as PETS discarded by criminally-irresponsible humans. And guess what happens to all those other non-native pets that became destructive invasive species? They are destroyed on-site by any means possible — no questions asked — none required.

    Cats are even worse than an oil-spill of multi-continent-sized proportions. They not only kill off rare and endangered marine-mammals along all coastlines (just as all oil-spills do) from run-off from the land carrying cats’ Toxoplasma gondii parasites, they also destroy the complete food-chain in every ecosystem where cats are found today. From smallest of prey that is gutted and skinned alive for cats’ tortured play-toys (not even used for food, wasted just for senseless play), up to the top predators that are starved to death from cats destroying their ONLY food sources. (Precisely what cats caused on my own land not long ago.) They don’t destroy just birds. They destroy everything that moves — directly or indirectly. They will even destroy valuable native vegetation by destroying those animals that are required pollinators for those plants or those that act as seed dispersers for those plants (as many smaller rodent and bird species do) or those that act as pest-control for those plants. Cats can and will wipe out whole ecosystems eventually — animal and plant.

    Cats need to be made to disappear from all non-native habitats — PERMANENTLY. And the sooner the better. They are breeding out of control at an exponential rate. The reason for “the sooner the better” is that you can only hope you can halt the problem before it is beyond the reach of any method you eventually choose. Luckily, I caught the problem in time where I live (by humanely shooting and burying every last cat I spotted, collared or not, HUNDREDS of them). It seems nobody else is faring as well — their time is being wasted by cat-lickers trying to stop them from doing the right thing. Asking or listening to any deranged invasive species advocate for advice on how to clean up the ecological disaster that they created and perpetuate is about as useful as asking your local career thieves for advice and help to hide your valuables from their daily motives and activities. Ignore anything they might say and you too will solve the problem where you live.

    It worked 100% where I live!

Leave a comment