Stray Cats - Can I, should I shoot them?


May 1, 2003, 02:40 PM
I live in a fairly rural area of Kentucky that is quite a commute from where I work in Louisville (which is a fairly large city). Anyway, there are alot of stray cats that show up, probably dumped in the area. I have 2 pet cats and a Boxer dog. The stray cats don't bother my dog, in fact she enjoys chasing them. However, they have injured one of my pet cats by biting through his left rear foot.

One of my cat is pretty big and can usually take care of himself. My other cat is small and I don't let her out much. Some of these strays are giants and meaner than snot. One of them bit my big pet cat and we had to take him the vet to get him patched up. This has cost me about $150 so far.

The Veterinarian told my wife and I to go ahead and just shoot the stray cats dead. He said in the county where I live, there are none of the really wierd cruelty to animal laws like you have in some places where a Poodle is worth more than a human life.

I don't have a BB gun and I don't know if it would work anyway. So, the question is, Do I take my Veterinarian's advice and kill these cats with my .22 rifle or should I try to trap them and take them for a drive and dump them in your neighborhood?

If I did this in the PRK where I grew up, I would probably be in San Quentin awaiting execution in the Gas Chamber.

If I decide to kill these strays, where do I shoot them? I've heard cats are somewhat hard to kill. I really don't like the thought of killing the strays but then again, they are hurting my pets and they may have rabies for all I know.

Can some of you from rural areas help me with this?


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May 1, 2003, 02:46 PM
Russ, you sound conflicted, but ethical.

Do not bring them around here. In fact trapping them could be hazardous to your health.

If you got that advice from a local veterinarian, it sounds like it's good.

Use CCI Mini Mags. Head shot is best. Good luck.

May 1, 2003, 02:49 PM
If there are no laws preventing it, and a medical/animal expert recommends it, I'd go ahead and off every one of them that wandered on to my property. If it's on an adjacent lot, I'd ask the neighbor (or get ahold of the land owner if it's a cornfield etc...) before doing so.

I love animals, and I've never shot or otherwise harmed a cat intentionally but if there's any reasonable chance at all that one might harm one of my pets or livestock, id't be as dead as... as... as a dead cat!

By the way, I'd definately use a 22LR or greated, not a BB or pellet gun. I'm sure some of the higher end .22 caliber pellet rifles would do the trick but if you don't already have one, and you do already have a 22LR, then that's what I'd use. And definately try to be humane about it. No long distance target shooting.

May 1, 2003, 02:50 PM
I would. I don't know if you're a rabbit hunter or not, but those cats will decimate the rabbits, and all other small game, very quickly. Believe it or not, even PETA didn't have a problem with taking out ferral cats out in California.

May 1, 2003, 02:52 PM
everything you wanted to know about shooting cats but were afraid to ask (

the military has a manual:


Published and Distributed by
Forest Glen Section
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Washington, DC 20307-5001
January 1996

REASONS FOR FERAL/STRAY (henceforth referred to as feral) CAT CONTROL

1. Feral cats are animals that are no longer under human control, but live and reproduce in the
wild, usually in close association with humans. Humans have neglected these animals, which live
exposed to disease, hunger, weather and attack from dogs, humans or other cats and animals.
Some of these cats may survive for several years before succumbing to starvation, disease, dogs,
other animals or motor vehicles. Failure to prevent or control a feral cat population amounts to
inhumane treatment of animals.

2. Feral cats can harbor and transmit a variety of fatal and non-fatal diseases to domestic cats
and other pets. These diseases include rabies, plague, parasitic worms, external parasites such as
fleas and mites, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline
distemper or panleukopenia, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and various bacterial infections.

3. Feral cats can also harbor and transmit fatal and non-fatal diseases to humans. These include
rabies, plague, ringworm, internal and external parasites, toxoplasmosis, bartonellosis (formerly
known as cat scratch fever), allergies to cat hair, and secondary bacterial infections from cat
scratches and bites.

4. Feral cats living in close association with humans can also damage buildings, contaminate food
supplies, and kill birds and other wildlife. Parasites such as fleas are often a problem in areas
inhabited by feral cats.


5. Shooting.

a. Shooting may be an option when other means are not available, or are ineffective, or in
emergency disease situations (example: rabies outbreak) when human health is at great risk.
However, there is a greater risk of exposure to zoonotic diseases from animal blood or other
bodily fluids splattering on control personnel. Carefully weigh and examine all options before
considering this method. Remember, strict command approval must be obtained in advance
and proper public affairs coordination must be effected.

b. Safety is a major concern when shooting, and small caliber weapons are best in most
situations. Pellet rifles are useful in urban areas; a .22 rifle, shotgun or larger caliber rifle may be
appropriate for rural settings.

c. Animal controllers involved in shooting feral cats must (1) know and practice firearm
safety rules, (2) demonstrate firearm proficiency, and (3) be mature enough to refrain from
shooting a cat if the bullet has a high probability of passing through the cat and then damaging
private or government property, injuring a human or other non-target animal. Only a few well-trained
individuals should be involved in the actual shooting.

d. Use the shooting method only when and where there are no chances of injury to humans.

May 1, 2003, 03:08 PM
I have the same problem with dogs. I live about 3 miles outside city limits, in the middle of cotton and rice fields, which makes it a conveniant place to drop off unwanted animals. I have had to shoot a few of them for tearing up stuff or bulling my somewhat passive lab around. I don't make a habit of it, but if it comes down to it, I do it. I have only been able to not find one of them (I shot him with a .22 in the dark) later he was found by some nieghbors in the middle of a field. All the rest I shot with a 9mm then load them up into a trash can and dump them at the end of a field road next to a large ditch. I guess I should bury them, but I try to get the deed done as quick possible b/c my wife hates the idea, but that is a whole other argument. An old co-worker who lives on the next county road over shoots everything he sees with his .308. He kind of makes a sport of it, so it is very seldom that I even see a dog that causes problems.

May 1, 2003, 03:13 PM
the neighbors cat keeps pooping in the flower beds next to my front door. the landlord is really peeved about it, seeing how she takes great care to make her yard look nice and then some cat comes around and plops a fresh biscuit in there. i kind of like the cat, it always comes over to see if i'll scratch behind its ears and rub its tummy.

dont mean to hijack a thread or nothing, but my supervisor 'snipes' his next door neighbors pitbulls with bb's from his bedroom window, its pretty funny.

May 1, 2003, 03:19 PM
CCI mini mags will definitely do the trick on mean ol feral cats.

Just make sure you either dispose of them or bury them on the spot. Nothing smells worse than a dead cat. :barf: Burying them serves two purposes...

One, it gets rid of a bunch of odor and if the cat is diseased it will help prevent the spread.

Two, it will hide any evidence in case your neighbors child discovers that "mittens" didn't come home anymore. Some farm cats have been known to range pretty good distances. It's almost impossible to tell the difference unless you know your neighbors cat by sight or it is wearing a collar. It's better to not have any bad blood between neighbors.

the landlord is really peeved about it, seeing how she takes great care to make her yard look nice and then some cat comes around and plops a fresh biscuit in there.

That kinda reminded me about when I used to live in Alaska. During the winter months the dog would of course do his business in the snow. Well..our first year there we never bothered to pick the stuff up, just kinda let the next snow cover the stuff up. We learned our lesson when the spring thaw came and we had hundreds of dog turds all over the ground. :D

Good Shooting

May 1, 2003, 03:26 PM
Shoot, Shovel, and Shut up!!!!

May 1, 2003, 03:28 PM
.410 and .22LR (stinger or mini-mag), employed in conjunction.

May 1, 2003, 03:37 PM
In the 80s I was stationed at Ft Polk, LA. I lived in a shack out by an old farm. Had quite a few strays. I went by the animal shelter in Leesville and was told they would not take strays from outside the city. They told me to shoot them. I shot a dog with a 22. It took a lot of shots to kill it. I still feel bad about it after all these years. I would use a 12 gauge 00 buck or .223 soft point and be sure.

May 1, 2003, 03:39 PM
Thanks all. I guess I'm going to have to shoot some cats.

I am somewhat conflicted about killing what is normally a pet. Makes it harder to pull the trigger but these things are getting really nasty and dangerous. The Vet really did say to blast em. That surprised me to say the least. I really didn't want to try to trap them and make them someone else's problem, even if it's the SPCA. These are Farel cats and wouldn't be good pets to any human. That makes it all the more clear that I need to clean up. I appreciate that info. I remember getting ringworm on my face when I was a kid and it was no fun getting rid of.

I'm not a rabbit hunter but there has been quite alot of concern in KY that cats are killing off too many birds. The State bird is the Cardinal. They are bright Red birds that look somewhat like Blue Jays in the PRK. Really pretty things when you see them. Don't see them all that much though.

In rifles I have a .22 a .30 Carbine, a .308 and a 12 GA. Probably try the .22 first.

Does anyone think sub sonic .22 ammo would do the trick?

4v50 Gary
May 1, 2003, 03:43 PM
Stunned a wabbit with subsonic 22 once. Thought it was dead and threw it in the truck. Next thing I know the thing skedaddles away. Use a mini-mag and go for the head. Quick clean kill is humane.

May 1, 2003, 03:50 PM
Don't lose any sleep over it. Dead and buried, these critters will be in a better place. :uhoh:

When I was growing up midst the potato farms on Eastern Long Island, we kids would have the job of killing the packs of feral dogs that resulted from city folks just dropping off their summer "pets." Not fun, but necessary for the survival of domestic pets and farm fowl.

Shoot straight.

TFL Survivor

May 1, 2003, 03:50 PM
You can do it legally and humanely if you got a good Animal Control unit around. In my county, if I got a animal problem including cats, I call Animal Control.

They bring around a special trap and food for bait. When the cat gets trapped, they come around and pick them up and take them to the animal shelter.

I imagine after a period of time, if the owner has not reclaimed the animal or it has not been adopted, it will be humanely dispatched.

In my county, the adoption rate at the animal shelter is close to 70%.

On the flip side, I have seen Animal Control bring animals like raccoons to my neighborhood which abuts on a very large park.

May 1, 2003, 03:57 PM
A feral cat is probably going to be euthanized by any sort of local animal control. If the local vet says go then why not. You are doing the community a service. Burying them is recommended.

Feral cats also reduce the local song bird populations. Look at it as saving birds.

May 1, 2003, 04:13 PM
I also recomend head shots. I had one cat take 4 .22 shells to the body before I dispached it with a head shot. I could not get the darned thing to stay still. In the summer I always get a few racoons that will decide the pet's food belongs to them. They will not run off after awhile and will growl at the kids if they go out on the porch. If it is wild and comes on my property and I can't scare it away its dead. My kids come first.


May 1, 2003, 04:15 PM
if i had the choice of .308 or .22 .....
i'd have to go with a soft point .308...

it's that much less to clean up, plus you can make a longer shot without having to hear it meow all night because you botched the shot...

it usually takes 3-4 shots to kill a rabbit with a .22, at any range.... i only takes one 762x39 fmj....

depending on where you are there probally isn't even an animal control officer around... i know there's one here but i've never seen him, so i just scream out "i got it!!" and BANG!! hey your saving taxpayer money.... :uhoh:

May 1, 2003, 04:24 PM
I think you'd be best served with a shotgun, since as folks have mentioned .22 doesn't always kill quickly.

I suggested both, b/c you'll get to see for yourself what works.

I think 12 gauge is kinda much, but keeping pellet size small, might work out. Reason I would be hesitant to use a 12ga. is that an uncle did it once when the local "cat lady" died and all her cats were infesting their rural neighborhood. He mentioned that there wasn't much left other than blood and fur. :uhoh:

May 1, 2003, 04:42 PM
Hey guys we have a feral cat problem in FL. These things will WIPE OUT native small game animals like quail, squirrels, young rabbits, and the list goes on… Even the environmentalists call feral cats “the number one killer” or something like that.

Out in the country I have heard that the new .17HMR is a good round for feral cats if you can achieve a head shot. I also think that .22MAG might work out well for the job. Just a maybe a little flatter and a little more range than the .22LR. But the .22LR is by all means a great cartridge as well if that is what you have on hand. I would try to avoid .223/.308 if possible because there might be a little too much range there with those cartridges. You want to keep the neighbors safe. (Just my humble opinion, please don’t flame me)

If the cats truly are wild then shoot them without any hesitation. All small game hunters in your area will be indebted to you for your vigilance.

May 1, 2003, 04:52 PM
They're nocturnal and sneaky as all get out. I have 2 house cats, and they're both like that.


If you've got a powerful spot light that you can focus into a beam that may get them to stop and gawk long enough for a good clean shot at night. You can just look for the reflection of their eyes and then focus the beam in on them.

Night hunts may make retrieving the animal hard though. Especially if you screw up and don't drop them in one shot. An injured angry cat is not a fun thing.

If you plan on burying them, dig the holes first. Shoveling loose dirt back in doesn't take long.

May 1, 2003, 04:55 PM
Sounds like a great excuse for a new rifle with night vision scope :D

May 1, 2003, 04:58 PM
I would think the .30 cal. Carbine would be enough bullet. A 110 grain bullet at about 2000 feet-per-second at the muzzle should be more than enough for killing a cat.

May 1, 2003, 05:00 PM
Cat Skeleton (

Cat Muscles (

Matt G
May 1, 2003, 05:01 PM
Feral cats are really sad.

They look cute but they're beleagered wild animals that must kill to live. Often they will simply eat food from pets' bowls, putting them in close proximity to a home-owner's pet, which will often naturally fight to protect its territory, exposing the pet to danger of injury, infection, or disease.

Male feral cats are notorious for "spraying", or projecting a pungient mix of urine, semen, and hormones, around their area. :scrutiny: (where's that barfy symbol?)

Feral cats are a bain to song birds, and will utterly destroy quail coveys. A single feral tom cat can hunt down a good sized covey to extinction in very little time.

The United States has far more feral cats than it ever has. No one is checking the population. When the Houston Animal Shelter sought to best express how many feral animals it was having to euthanize and dispose of, it finally settled on weight. 40,000 cats and dogs may not seem tangible, but 100 TONS does. They've had to buy industrial sized incinerators to deal with the problem of disposal. That's just what they caught, in one city area.

Shooting a cat and putting it down is not cruel; leaving it to starve on the street or putting it in the concentration camp of an animal shelter for 2 weeks before being put to death is cruel.

When putting a cat down, use a heavier .22 to the ear or the spine at the base of the skull. Do NOT expect a .22 to put a cat down with a body shot. Cats are remarkably resilient. Beware of the "Kevlar Cat" syndrome: take careful aim, squeeze off a shot, find the cat is gone without a trace. Do NOT depend on CB caps or even shorts to put a cat down unless you've got someone else covering the cat with a more appropriately-loaded gun backing up your shot. 12 ga. loaded with high-brass #4 bird shot or larger will do the job handily within 25 yards, if you center the animal in the pattern. NO pellet guns are reliable cat killers.

Don't wound a cat. It's inestimably cruel to do carelessly. It then leaves the cat to run off to either die slowly, or to die in an inapproriate place. (like someone's attic or crawl space; stinky! Or in front of some little girl's front door.) It could cause the cat to become that much more desperate, forcing it to take measures to survive it didn't yet have to. (like attacking pets to drive them from their food bowls because it couldn't hunt at all anymore.)

The only ethical way to put down a cat is instantly, painlessly. Don't shoot one unless you can do so.

May 1, 2003, 05:10 PM
12 ga. loaded with high-brass #4 bird shot or larger will do the job handily within 25 yards, if you center the animal in the pattern.

Might rethink doing it at 3 yards or less. ;)

May 1, 2003, 05:30 PM
Cats can be little tough suckers to put down. This past summer I had to put down a cat that was dying (either got snake-bit or ate something posionious). I was using a 10/22 and I shot it right in the back of the head, the cat took off in all directions, it took the rest of the magazine to finish it off, and that is including 4 more head shots. I think the ammo was the Remington 500 pack if I'm not mistaken. Thats why I recommend using something a little more than .22lr, espcially knowing a cat could be diseased with rabies.

May 1, 2003, 05:45 PM
.22 Ratdog - 50 grain Speer TNT moving at around 3600 fps. You might find some pieces.

Matt G
May 1, 2003, 05:45 PM
Excellent point I forgot to make. If you believe the animal is rabid, USE ENOUGH GUN. Preferable is a shotgun at close range. If your neighbors complain, explain that it was a shotgun with birdshot, posing minimal danger to them of overpenetration, and that there was a neighborhood emergency, which threatened their family.

(When someone calls the P.D. that I work for and describes an obviously rabid animal in their front yard, we explain that an officer is en route, and ask if they've got a shotgun in the house that they know how to use safely. If they answer in the affirmative, we ask if they'd mind shooting it, but QUICK! Time is an issue.)

When you put down a possibly rabid animal, bury it DEEP. If this is not possible, burn it. If this is still not possible, triple-bag it with sealed bags (drop in garbage bag, spin 7 times, bend a gooseneck, tie off gooseneck. Repeat.), and put in a dumpster, preferably in a hard container that other animals can't get into. Obviously, you don't want to touch the animal; the corpse can transmit disease long after it's dead. Do NOT just pitch the corpse over the back fence. This does not solve any problem, and actually creates new dangers akin to leaving a landmine out.

May 1, 2003, 06:21 PM
Dealing with strays and feral animals is a touchy subject, even in rural areas. It never ceases to amaze me how people can say they love their animals, then allow them to run wild where they are often hit by automobiles or otherwise become injured and die.

I live in a rural area and for the past twenty or so years we bred, raised, and exhibited purebred dachshunds and whippets. We complied with all the animal control regulations, built a kennel, kept the kennel licensed, and submitted to annual inspections of the kennel and our dogs by county animal control officers. Our dogs were never allowed out except in a fenced yard or on a leash.

My neighbor on the other hand, takes in every stray dog that gets dumped in her front yard. They are not licensed. By the number of dogs she feeds she should have a kennel license, but she doesn't. I can't remember the number of times her "pets" have been hit by automobiles and trucks. There has been at least one complaint by other neighbors that her darlings bit a bicyclist. When animal control responds to the complaints, she gives up the offending dog, and then takes in more.

I'm not in the kennel business anymore, and only have two whippets. I had three back in January, but after the neighbor's strays kept coming to the yard and starting fence fights, I lost my favorite twelve year old whippet. She was a victim of fighting rage that turned inward and one of the other whippets inflicted mortal wounds. The neighbor's dog was still at the fence as I scooped her up for a mad dash to the veterinarian's for emergency surgery.

I called my neighbor and asked her to keep her dogs at home. My neighbor said the offending dogs weren't hers. I told her then that I would "take care" of any strays that come into my yard. She said that would be fine.

Three days later her dogs came to my yard again and started another fence fight. I called her and again asked her to keep her dogs at home. She said they weren't her dogs. Again she said it would be ok if I "took care" of the stray dogs.

The next day one of her dogs came through the yard. I shot it dead. She called the sheriff. She conveniently forgot my warnings. She conveniently forgot she said she didn't have any problems if I dealt with the problem.

The deputy who came out tried to play tough guy with me. He demanded to know why I shot the dog. It was interesting that my neighbor was able to positively identify me from 300 yards away and positively identify the dog was hers from the same distance. To the best of my knowledge - it was dark - the deputy didn't even examine the dog or have the neighbor identify the carcass.

The deputy would have been funny if he weren't so pathetically ignorant about the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. He demanded I answer his questions even though they were designed to elicit an incriminating response. He said he could arrest me in my own home without a warrant because what I did was a felony. When he couldn't get me to tremble and beg forgiveness, he said I had better go apologize to my neighbor. I asked him if that was an order. He told me it was a strong suggestion. The implied threat was obvious in his tone of voice.

The visits from the neighbor's dogs continued. I called animal control. The animal control officer who came out took my complaint and pictures of my neighbor's dogs running loose. One dog was even on my front porch. The officer suggested that the next time I shoot just say that the dog attacked me.

The animal control officer went and had a word with the neighbor. Now I'm the jerk because I called animal control. Just the action the deputy sheriff said I had better follow.

When the neighbor sees that my car is gone she will turn her dogs loose. While I was away for a week I had my granddaughter stay with my whippets. My granddaughter told me the neighbor turned her dogs loose. They even came up on the front porch and got my whippets all excited. Granddaughter's mother called animal control and they didn't respond. They told mother that by the time they get here the dogs will probably be gone.

I have a wounded rabbit call. The neighbor's dogs seem interested.


May 1, 2003, 06:33 PM
Destroying a feral animal is ethical, particularly if it is hurting your stock or pets. Even if the feral cats were not directly injuring your pets via fighting, they carry many communicable diseases that can seriously dibilitate or kill your cats. They are also hell on beneficial small mammals and birds.

I've found the best shot to take on any feral animal is a head shot, followed by a heart/lung shot.

It's distateful, but necessarry.

May 1, 2003, 06:35 PM
My 2 cents worth:

1) The military field manual is right on the money as to reasons to reduce the feral cat population. However it does not discuss the problem of how much these animals devastate the nesting bird population. Anyone who cares about songbirds, especially semi-endangered ones like the bluebird needs to add the deaths of 200 to 500 birds per cat per year into the equation.

2) In the liberal infested cloaca of the Gulf Coast the best method I have found is a coon-sized live catch trap. If any liberal friends ask what I'm going to do with the cat I tell them I'm taking it to the pound unless they want to take it home with them. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.

3) I don't have anything to do with 'cat rescue' ever since a sweet little old lady gave a caged ferel cat to my wife a few years ago. It nearly chewed me and one of my children to hamburger then escaped. Also see number 1.

4) Outside city limits on my own property in a state where the practice is legal I am a great fan of the .17 HMR Varmint Express. ( This little bugger will give good stopping power with any reasonably placed shot at any reasonable range. Adequate backstops are important even thought the bullets just tend to splatter. For back of a better term call this euthanasia.

5. Feral cat blood is why God caused the creation of black plastic garbage bags. He also created vultures, which need all the help they can get.

May 1, 2003, 06:44 PM
He said he could arrest me in my own home without a warrant because what I did was a felony.


If it was a felony, I wouldn't think this clown would have any discretion in arresting you.

However, since you're in **********, it probably was - negative infringment on the collective aura, or some such. Karmic justice coming your way.

I do so love the Gestapo techniques they employ out there to subjugate the populace.

May 1, 2003, 06:53 PM
feral cat-absolutely. I'd use the shotgun or .223 with fragmenting bullets.:D For close range maybe mini-mags. Stingers if you can get them to shoot straight but they don't out of my gun.

Pet cat-Don't kill peoples pets. If someone killed this one cat of mine I would be very angry. :(
He won't wear a collar. But I doubt he roams the mile to the neibors'.

May 1, 2003, 06:54 PM
2 dead cats...


Ol' Badger
May 1, 2003, 07:00 PM
This is how you deal with them man!

May 1, 2003, 07:09 PM
If it was a felony, I wouldn't think this clown would have any discretion in arresting you.

California Penal Code says that animal cruelty can be charged as a felony. However, for it to be successfully prosecuted there has to be some demonstration of wanton cruelty. The guy who threw the Bichon into the traffic at San Francisco Airport a couple of years ago rose to that level of cruelty. The people who run overcrowded puppy mills where dogs wallow in their feces rise to that level.

Whether it is a felony or not, or whether it will be successfully prosecuted or not, arresting someone in their home without a warrant absent consent or exigent (emergency) circumstances is a loser. That was established in People v. Ramey (Cal. Supreme Court, 1976) and Payton v. New York (U.S. Supreme Court, 1980) It is a violation of one's civil rights. Any evidence gained as a result of such a warrantless entry is inadmissible in court.

I have participated in two felony arrests where the suspect was cited and released on his promise to appear. It can be done.


May 1, 2003, 07:11 PM
"dont mean to hijack a thread or nothing, but my supervisor 'snipes' his next door neighbors pitbulls with bb's from his bedroom window, its pretty funny. "

I don't know what kind of sick humor you have to find that funny. Beleive me, If I EVER found out someone was sickly entertaining them selves by "sniping" my dog with a BB on MY PROPERTY. I'd tell my wife to immediately contact my lawyer and I'd take that BB gun and break it up his freakin' rectum. :fire: Shooting MY dog is JUST as bad as shooting one of my kids or loved one's. I pray KARMA finds this guy quickly. That is absolutely terrible. What a punk.

May 1, 2003, 07:12 PM
As a city boy born and bred I had a little trouble wrapping my brain around the concept of some one shooting cats.

But I read all the posts and can completely agree with the need/duty to put down feral cats- and having two of the little monsters myself I'd like to think I had the intestinal fortitude to put them down if they were suffering.

I just hope I never have to. Now I'm going to go home and give them a little cat nip, get the favorite laser toy out and repeat after me 'you are house cats- you stay in the house'.

May 1, 2003, 07:30 PM
Hmm... having only read about half the thread, my thoughts-

if you love your pet, keep it indoors, on on your property, they are destructive and will be delt with accordingly

good rnds- umm... 7MM is handy, 22-250 works, 12 ga close with OObuck. i wouldn't use a .22, wound the dang thing and its going to die real slow or crawl back to the careless owner who will be real pissed about fluffys untimely accident.

May 1, 2003, 08:21 PM
However, since you're in **********, it probably was - negative infringment on the collective aura, or some such. Karmic justice coming your way.

Thats the funniest thing I've heard all week!:D


May 1, 2003, 08:34 PM
1. Have-a-Heart trap
2. tuna fish or dog food
3. .22 rifle
4. CB cap (edited to add between the running lights (painless))
5. Plastic garbage bag
6. Dumpster
7. Rebait trap

Let them scratch up the paint on your vehicles and fight all night in your front yard if you want, but I'm tired of it.

May 1, 2003, 08:45 PM
when the neighbors litle fluffball went into heat last year it atracted all the toms from the neighboring forest preserve and the where howling and fighting on the back porches of the condos trying to get at princess , I dispatched 2 of them with a 158 grain .357 from the back window of the condo . none of the bedwetters called the PD , 2 days later one of the BW's actually said to me what The H*** took you so long... :scrutiny:

May 1, 2003, 09:03 PM
antifreeze is VERY effective as well.....and it works in the city limits

May 1, 2003, 09:11 PM
I've had three cats -- all gone now and two to replace them. All have always been house cats. If you love your cats, do the right thing and keep them indoors. I've also had four stray cats that frequented our home and we loved them all. Never had problems like this so I don't have the heart to say kill them. I can't even kill the skunk and I hate that animal. I don't have it in me to hurt an animal but if you're at risk, please be humane. Personally, I'd trap them and send them to a shelter or another area.

Art Eatman
May 1, 2003, 09:29 PM
A credible effort in Wisconsin to determine the feral cat problem yielded these two conclusions: 1. One feral cat will kill up to 100 songbirds a year. 2. The feral cat population of Wisconsin could be as many as one million.

If you think that's excessive as to the number of cats, consider this: The local animal shelter folks did an extensive live-trap effort, all within at most two miles from my wife's rural home in south Georgia. All the traps were fairly close to county roads, not "way back in the boonies". They trapped 72 cats. They did not--repeat, did not!--get all the feral cats.

:), Art

May 1, 2003, 09:39 PM
I have shot and killed hundreds of cats through the years. I just don't like them. Remington 521t, 6X Weaver, and CB Caps. Good for 40 yards or so.

May 1, 2003, 11:28 PM
I'm sorry Art, your bird kill numbers are lowball to the extreme. How will less than one bird per three days keep body and soul together even for the skinniest, rangiest cat? A cat has to eat significantly more to survive.

You have to figure in the number of nestlings and immature birds into the equation, where one can easily see 200-500 being killed by a single cat. Five hundred is still less than 2 per day, barely enough to keep a cat from starving. When I was an ornithology student 30+ years ago I saw evidence of a single cat capable of eating as many as a dozen nestlings in a single summer day.

Of course the difference might be that the bird killing season in Wisconsin is so short but cats can kill birds in the South 12 months out of the year?

antifreeze is VERY effective as well One needs to be very very careful with antifreeze and make sure it is presented in such a way that birds, kids and family pets don't get into it.

May 1, 2003, 11:42 PM
We have the problem in our area as well. Problem in our area is 2-fold. People let their cats out at night, rather than be bothered by them,:rolleyes: and even though they are bound by the same exact laws as dogs, the police will do nothing about it. That leaves us with very few options. If I sound like a cat/animal hater, forget it. I personally have 2 beautiful Tonkinese cats, which never go outside, and have a wonderful home. Take it from me: A 5mm, .177 cal, or .22 cal pneumatic pellet rifle works wonders, and saves on worry, scratched up screens, unwanted outside animal entry, your own pets going nuts, torn open trash strewn over the yard, etc. Head shots.

Oh and BTW, in case any of you are thinking about mistakenly shooting someone's beloved pet that just happened to get out once in it's lifetime, forget that too. It's pretty easy to tell a cat that's well cared for and may simply need guidance home from the battle-scarred strays and street fighters.

Art Eatman
May 2, 2003, 12:04 AM
Meek&Mild, you'll have to argue with the Wisconsin wildlife agency folks, not me.

Gotta remember, though, that mice, squirrels, and rabbits will be part of the diet, not just birds.

I know a feral cat will kill an entire covey of quail, and only eat one of them...That's why my grandfather, and now I, cut a mesquite or catclaw branch partway through and let it be live but on the ground. The thorns slow down the cats, if not fully stop the predation.


May 2, 2003, 12:37 AM
dont mean to hijack a thread or nothing, but my supervisor 'snipes' his next door neighbors pitbulls with bb's from his bedroom window, its pretty funny.
That's animal cruelty. There's some lines that even I don't cross. Explain how exactly this is "pretty funny" to you. :rolleyes: :banghead: :cuss: :fire:

Gordy Wesen
May 2, 2003, 12:58 AM
If you can get away with it my choice is 22 mag with Remington Premier (Ballistic Tips). Awesome. I gave up on the 22lr after needing multiple hits for ground squirrels.
With a Volquartzen and a 3 - 9 Leupold, I am good to 150 yards for cats, dogs and coyotes.

May 2, 2003, 01:00 AM
Really ticks me off because I LOVE cats, but I like quail and cottontails too and the feril kitties have nearly wiped them out of my ridge. I use a scoped .22 bolt gun and wait till I can make one shot count - The neighbors can't get a 'fix' on one shot.:neener:
Use HP's - the last one was with a CCI Quick Shock HP = "Overkill"

Lately I haven't had a problem - the local mamma Mountain Lion likes teaching her cubs to hunt with 'easy' prey - swings through each of the last 3 Winters and pretty much wipes them out, along with the occasional poodle and Peacock = I LIKE that Cat:evil: :D

May 2, 2003, 01:52 AM
One way to tell if they are pets. Just call t hem. "here Kitty-kitty" If they look then either come or move off they are pets. If they SCAT odds are they are not.
I only shoot them if they injure the cats that live around my house/shed. If one wants to join the clan that is fine. I have had one here for over 3 months and I have never got within 20'. Far as I know it behaves. It starts hurting the other three and it is dead.
Their main use is to keep mice and rats away.

charlie d
May 2, 2003, 03:00 AM
I vote for using your 12ga. I'd use No 4 lead shot for happy medium of distance and pattern.
Cats are fast and tough. Furthermore, depending on how far in the sticks you are, you might have to give up some shots with the rifle due to what's behind the cat and possible ricochets.

May 2, 2003, 07:24 AM
I had a little new kitten that I had rescued from the woods as a drop-off, and I decided to make her my "shop" cat. A big yellow feral tom decided that she was ripe for the plucking and hurt her pretty bad. I treated him the same as I would have anyone or anything else that harmed a member of my family in such a manner. Having extensive experience on squirells with .22 short hollow points, I used one on the cat. He came back for "seconds" and was even brazen enough to crouch and hiss at me. Big mistake on his part. Buried him.

May 2, 2003, 08:00 AM
Just be sure to check and double check the laws!! A buddy of mine got charged with "killing,mutilation,or torture of a vertabrate animal" after DNR told him there where no season on coyotes,and (they where killing the pheasants he raises)go ahead and off 'em. Some soccer mom called the cops. He's still fighting this after 2 years.

Art Eatman
May 2, 2003, 09:01 AM
ari, Yohan, I got the impression that the pitbulls were in the "sniper's" yard, not in their own. Using a BB gun is a pretty gentle way of spooking them away, and it's quite often successful at reducing or ending further visits to that area. (Messing with dogs when they're in their own yard is plumb stoopid.)


May 2, 2003, 09:22 AM
I will double check the laws before I do anything. Just because the Vet said to off them, doesn't mean he knows all the laws. He sounded pretty convincing but I will make sure first.

As far as Animal Control, I don't think they have any or if they do, it's a pretty small staff. I have seen deers, dogs, cats and all sorts of beasts get him on the Interstate and they just let them lie there until they are just stains on the asphalt.

May 2, 2003, 09:36 AM
Whatever you do, don't pull the rodent fornicator trick of putting anti-freeze out for the strays to find. We had a cat problem in my parents' area, and someone did that. Killed off all the cats, including mine.

May 2, 2003, 10:24 AM
Anti freeze works, but the animals die hard. Use a .22, probably a solid for penetration, and go for the head.
As a kid, I preferred to snipe feral cats in the rear with a low powerd bb gun. I usually wouldn't see them around our property after they shot up in the air a foot or two and took off.

May 2, 2003, 10:53 AM
Avoid any legal or closet-PETA harrassment issues. Go for the shot that will dispatch these critters as effectively as possible.

Don't waste your time with anything other than a 308 or 12g. Don't worry about a wounded mittens stumbling up to someone's house after being shot by a vicious bambi-killer. Have your burial plans in place before shooting.

It's a cat-shoot-cat world out there....

May 2, 2003, 12:01 PM
' Went on a youth hunt last year at an upland game preserve near Santa Anna. Around the campfire the night before the hunt, the host/guide explained to the kids, beginning with "We shoot cats here." For safety reasons (primarily his dogs), he explained that he might suddenly want to borrow a kid's shotgun and do the deed.

As others have suggested, #4 shot is good.

May 2, 2003, 12:10 PM
antifreeze is VERY effective as well.....and it works in the city limits

Also VERY non-selective. It isn't kosher to kill , say, a half-dozen animals just to get the one that was a pest

May 2, 2003, 12:59 PM
I never cared for their music, but I don't think I would go as far as shooting them! :D

May 2, 2003, 01:14 PM
Sorry Art,
I don't get that impression at all. He said he snipes his "next door neighbor's" dog. Meaning, he KNOWS it's his next door neighbors dog. If they were just some dogs he didn't recognize any where from his neighborhood, then MAYBE, but even then I would much prefer contacting animal control. There are other ways, if in fact they are coming into his yard. Like, TALKING to his neighbor maybe? And I don't think it's too "gentle" to use a BB gun, what if it hits it in the eye? Then what? Poor dog is suffering in his back yard until his owner finds his wound? Then having to cough up that cash to take him to the vet? Oh, I know, he's "real" accurate with it and will make sure he doesn't rite? This is the type of bad rap us gun owners get, even if it's just a BB gun. When some idiot thinks the best and only way to deal with anything is to pull a trigger. :fire: :banghead: Again, I still don't buy it. I paid $1200 dollars a pup for my Rotts, and love them like my children. They would die standing up for me in a heart beat, and I can honestly say that I would do the same.

May 2, 2003, 01:46 PM
I'm not saying its appropriate for everything, esspecialy in the city due to the fact it kills everything. i live in the sticks, so i'm not all that worried about it, when its out i just put the dogs in the barn and the cat is already in the house WHERE IT BELONGS. it just works well when you arent up for loosing sleep over some late night tomcat thats serenading your own kitty.

May 2, 2003, 03:56 PM

It isn't just cats and dogs that like polyethylene glycol. You probably get the strays, but also get squirrels, racoons, etc.

I'm for selective killing of identifiable targets, hence, by shooting.

Really seems like a piss-poor method, no matter what the precautions.

Art Eatman
May 2, 2003, 03:56 PM
While I follow your point, ari, I was in too many BB gun wars when I was a kid to buy your argument. With a Daisy Red Ryder at anything much beyond 20 to 30 feet, it stung a bit, was all. Heck, paint ball hits are worse, from what people describe.

:), Art

May 2, 2003, 04:11 PM
I had a pure bread black lab that was shot half an inch from his eye, the BB not only penetrated but left a scar that stayed until the he died (from old age, not the wound). Constant torture like that can cause dogs to become mean and aggressive. If I was your supervisor's neighbor he'd be getting a visit from the cops and quite possibly a not so pleasant visit from me if it continued...

May 2, 2003, 04:24 PM
I like cats, normally have a pair, and they're normally free citizens, coming and going as they please. This is the first pair who've been "fixed", and my I'm not really clear about what I think about that. You get married....

Now, I can understand, a bit at least, about the ferals. Wildlife is, after all, they gotta kill to live, and, so, I guess, it goes.

Around here, dirt road an all, I doubt that they last the winter.

In any case, I agree with the "Please don't litter" bumper sticker.

Now, will the rest of you do the same for your offspring???

ALL of us get tired of paying for the excesses of others...

May 2, 2003, 04:30 PM
I too did that when I was a kid, but how do you know what kind of bb gun he was using? Or even what kind of bb's? Or even from what distance? Tell that to a friend of mine that has a glass eye because of a harmless BB. A gun is a gun, last time I checked. I have never heard anyone getting a lesser charge of murder because he used a lesser caliber. Either case, there IS a better way of doing it. Even if he was just throwing tennis balls at the dogs it's still cruel. My ex-girlfriends dog lost use of its left eye from a mere rubber band.

May 2, 2003, 05:32 PM
Cats are hard to kill.
They are kind of like snakes in that their nervous system will stay alive for a little while after they die.
I saw one with half of its head blown off and still kicking.
The best chance is to plant one in its brain and then wait a little while until it dies.

As for ethics, I can't make that call for you.
There were alot of feral cats in the area that I lived in a while back.
They were not even strays, they were actually wild house cats.
There were no chipmunks, small birds in the area, and I found baby rabbits ripped to shreds more than once.
They were also wild enough to attack my dog.
She was a Shepard, so they were no match for her, but I was still concerned that they may have diseases that they could spread to her, since I had seen several of them with runny noses that were acting strangely.
In one summer, over 30 of them were eliminated, and none were anyone's pets. Even the people who had cats supported the actions that were taken to eliminate the problem.
Bear in mind that I am not supporting the harming of anyone's pet. I love animals, even cats, useless as they are.

But it sounds like you are dealing with a situation like we found ourselves in, so do what needs to be done.
Just be sure to use enough gun. A .22LR will do just fine, but make your hits solid. There is no need to cause more suffering than necessecary. DO NOT use a BB gun. That is just pure idiocy.
Act as you would when you are hunting.
The animal deserves more respect than to die in agony from an infection that your BB to the eye gave it.

I would advise against the use of any kind of poison as well.
That is just wrong, and you have animals of your own to consider as well.

May 2, 2003, 06:43 PM
we have no rabbits now, which i can only contribute to the cats in my area. there is a farmer about 400yrds from my house who has aprox 30!!! semi wild 'farm' cats. Now this is totally excessive I have shot 2 so far because they were eating my bird bait, and let 2 live that i saw in the fields because I wasn't sure if they belonged to someone else down the road as they looked domesticated and in good condition.

My question is, even if you know they are domesticated but know they are killing small game should you kill them anyway?

also if u shoot them in the head & they flop around loads are they alive or is it just muscle spasims?


May 2, 2003, 07:20 PM
Meek&Mild, you'll have to argue with the Wisconsin wildlife agency folks, not me. Maybe for icebound Wisconsin that is true. But as for the deep south, we have birds coming in 12 months of the year. I'll stick by my numbers and wish they weren't true. Sorry about the quails.

Stevie, I know if you came to my house, a total stranger, my cat would march right up to you and demand to be scratched and fed. A Feral cat takes one look at a stranger and heads for the hills.

Don't waste your time with anything other than a 308 or 12g. ACK! Talk about overpenetration! Even the .17 rimfire will pass right through a cat, but at least it will probably break up before it goes another mile, expecially in aiming toward the ground. And the SOUND! Nothing like a 12 ga or 308 to tell every PETAphile within a five mile circle, "This dude is killing cats". :D

sasnofear, I have heard stories from 'usually reliable sources' that there is now a breeding population of American lions in Ireland and another in Wales, both as the result of escaped zoo animals from the 19th century.

Art Eatman
May 2, 2003, 08:16 PM
In the article about feral cats in Wisconsin, it was mentioned that state law required that feral cats be killed. Unenforced, nowadays--if ever.

On my ranch near Austintatious, I passed the shot on more than one fat doe or smaller buck I'd been watching, to kill a feral cat. Same attitude at my other places...

Feral cats are like feral people: They'll kill for the fun of it.


May 2, 2003, 11:25 PM
there is now a breeding population of American lions in Ireland and another in Wales, both as the result of escaped zoo animals from the 19th century.

They keep the attack squirrel population in check in areas w/o pellet gun wielding grandfathers.

May 3, 2003, 01:21 AM
i wouldn't use a .22, wound the dang thing and its going to die real slow or crawl back to the careless owner who will be real pissed about fluffys untimely accident.

Trust me, a .22 works.
It is the best choice.
With a .22, you have to get close.
You could easily kill a cat with your 7mm from 200+ yards.
But if you do that, how are you gonna know whether it really was wild, or if it is just a lost pet?
Things like that are best found out before you pull the trigger.

Art Eatman
May 3, 2003, 10:17 AM
" are you gonna know whether it really was wild, or if it is just a lost pet?"

goon, if I see a housecat-type cat out in my pasture, I define it as feral. It's hunting; it will kill quail and other birds as well as rabbits and such. End of story.

I'll generally give a bobcat a free pass. He belongs there.


May 3, 2003, 11:28 AM
If its not in the house, its not a housecat, end of story. reffer to my original post, that if you love your pet, keep it indoors where it belongs.

May 3, 2003, 01:10 PM
If its not in the house, its not a housecat, end of story. reffer to my original post, that if you love your pet, keep it indoors where it belongs.

Wild animals don't live in the house. Antifreeze kills them too.

May 3, 2003, 02:39 PM
Poisoning is a bad choice. Not enough discretion with what you kill and what you don't.

A .22LR fits the bill just fine. Feral/stray cats don't seem to be very wary of people. You can easily get within range of a .22LR. In the ear or just above and between the eyes anchors them reliably, back of the head works too. They will flop around, thats just how it is. Racoons and other critters do the same thing.

If your outside and range/noise isn't an issue than use a good HP, mini mag, golden bullet, stinger, yellowjacket. They all do the job fine. Close range, shorts or subsonic/target loads are fine. Shot placement is the most important thing.

Thats all you need. Blowing them to bits is just fine too if you've got hankerin to use your 12 gauge or varmint rifle :D Clean up is even less enjoyable though.

Don't feel bad about killing fluffy either. Fluffy is now a wild animal that would gladly give you a reason to get an update on your tetanus shot as well as a chance to experience some new vaccines too. They're just pest animals, and are destructive.

May 3, 2003, 03:44 PM
Be careful with anti-freeze (and other poisons), even if you only get the wanted animal, there is a great possibilty that the cat will crawl into some hole and die there. That hole might be under the boards in your kitchen floor, and that is not a ideal place to have a dead cat.

A few years ago my neighbor had rats in his house, he first tried guns and traps and got a few but never all of them. he then tried rat poison, it killed all the rats but a few of them crawled up inside the walls of his house and died there.....:barf:

May 3, 2003, 05:08 PM
For everybody after me about the antifreeze thing, i never said it was selective, just effective, and that was without thought to wild critters and such, sorry!

May 3, 2003, 05:22 PM
It has its place, and your right it is effective. I just don't think this is the proper time to use it, not trying to jump on you or anything. I've seen it put to good use inside barns on racoons. The barn is closed up and the only stuff getting poisoned is stuff that isn't supposed to be in there.

May 3, 2003, 05:25 PM
goon, if I see a housecat-type cat out in my pasture, I define it as feral. It's hunting; it will kill quail and other birds as well as rabbits and such. End of story.

That is a different story.

I live in small community in a rural area.
The woods commence 30 yards from my house, and so do the neighbors.
So I have to be careful about what I eliminate. The truth is that after the little feline uprising in the '90's, there haven't been very many feral cats. A few "outside" cats here and there, but since they don't cause any trouble or kill just for the hell of it, I let them alone.

I guess cat hunting is just like any other hunting. It differs with the area you live in.

May 3, 2003, 05:25 PM

May 3, 2003, 05:51 PM
Hmmm...I like cats, too...keep mine inside, though.

If you want outside cats to keep down rats and mice, fine, but kindly spay them. If you have ferals, and can't shoot them due to neighbors, I would be inclined to take up archery. Use broadheads - based on shooting jackrabbits field points don't have enough killing power, and I expect cats would be the same.

May 3, 2003, 05:54 PM
"If its not in the house, its not a housecat, end of story. reffer to my original post, that if you love your pet, keep it indoors where it belongs."


My favorite cat in the world (the only one I like actually) is an outdoor cat, is declawed, and if you kill my cat trust me, I will find you. :fire:

Art Eatman
May 3, 2003, 06:34 PM
goon, I fully agree that location is a major determinant.

One thing I noticed with our own housecats: Generally, if they're neutered, they hang around the immediate area of the house. You keep them fat enough, they're generally too lazy to climb for bird nests.

And, it seems to me to be a bit of common courtesy to have a fair idea of the appearance of neighbors' cats and dogs. Pets will indeed wander, upon occasion. I've never shot a cat or dog that I had any reasonable idea "belonged" in the general area, that maybe looked like one I'd seen at a neighbor's house.

:), Art

May 3, 2003, 06:48 PM
Is it incredible ironic, that last night, I found the bottom torso of a rabbit, or squirrel, under my dining room table from my cat and last night he ripped his collar off?

Maybe I should get him a new collar before one of you guys shoots him.:)

May 3, 2003, 07:09 PM
I wouldn't go out of my way just to shoot YOUR cat, but by letting it roam you show a complete lack of respect for my land and wildlife there. dogs are another story, i've only shot one and it was my own (old yeller scenario, poor fella just got old and sick), but dogs arent the problem

edited because i didn't like how it was worded

May 3, 2003, 09:00 PM
I've never shot a cat or dog that I had any reasonable idea "belonged" in the general area, that maybe looked like one I'd seen at a neighbor's house.

I generally catch them and take them home.
One winter, my one neighbor's Lab got loose and had one hell of a run. He was an inside dog, and wasn't used to the cold.
Get this; his feet got cold and he couldn't walk.
I had to pick that 100 pound dog up and carry his big dumb a$$ home.
Have you ever carried a big dog a long distance through 8" of snow?
I don't recommend it.

I don't like my current neighbors because the neglect their dogs. They have three, but rarely pay any attention to them. When their dogs get loose, I usually just pet them, give them a little snack, and let them have their fun.
Their German Shepard is very fond of fish-sticks. :D
I sometimes sneak them food anyhow, so I am well liked.
When I pet the Shepard, he will try to "grab" me to keep me from leaving.

The only one that I would shoot is my other neighbor's Tcao. That damn thing is just straight up mean. He gets loose pretty often, and has already been agressive toward members of my family. If he gives me any trouble, he will never give anyone else any.

May 3, 2003, 09:50 PM
My favorite cat in the world (the only one I like actually) is an outdoor cat, is declawed, and if you kill my cat trust me, I will find you By having your cat declawed and then letting him go outside, you have not only shown your lack of respect for other people's property, you have done a fairly cruel thing to the animal. He is now fodder for any of the feral streetfighters that come along. That would be a much more painful death than what we're discussing here. I hope to God you live in a rural area, and your closest neighbor is a mile away.

If you own a cat in the city, or any well populated area, KEEP IT INDOORS!

Art Eatman
May 3, 2003, 11:44 PM
Easy, guys. No need to get grumpy. Think twice, post once.

:), Art

May 4, 2003, 01:56 AM
Spay and Neuter is the real thing to be thinking about.

A few cats running around wouldn't bother me, but the numbers do multiply as Nature takes its course. "Fixed" cats wouldn't be nearly as inclined to congregate or be as interested in the world around them.

As much as I hate to get govt. involved, I really think that folks should have to pay $$ for unaltered domestic animals, provided that money went directly to the nearest shelter, which is where a good number of these unfortunate creatures seem to end up anyway, provided folks don't give'em some "frontier" justice instead.

May 4, 2003, 02:03 AM
In Germany if you are a hunter with a weapon and you see a feral cat or a cat more than 100m from the nearest farm house, you are legally required to kill it. If you do not you can be fined if the local ranger finds out you saw but did not kill the cat. They are very hard on the local song bird population and smaller animals.

May 4, 2003, 02:13 AM
I had a big black dog decided my front yard good place for a dump, BIG DUMP, looked like an elephant had been there. Kept BB gun by front door, saw him doing his job, slid open door and fired one round. Caught him on the privates, dog jumped 5 ft in air and he must have found a new dump ground as he never came back. I guess he decided that what ever bit him lived in the grass of my front lawn. :D

May 4, 2003, 11:03 AM
after the little feline uprising in the '90's, there haven't been very many feral cats.

eh - what was "the little feline uprising"?

May 4, 2003, 12:09 PM
I have a copy of the University of Wisconsin report on feral cats on my desk at work. It can probably be found online - the authors are Stanley Temple, John Coleman, and Scott Craven. They estimate that about 40 million (maybe as low as 8 million or as many as 200 million, depending on which study is used as the basis) songbirds are killed by feral and free-ranging semi-domesticated cats (farm cats) every year in Wisconsin. Birds make up only about 20% of the diet of these cats, about 70% is small mammals, which would come to about 140 million a year in Wisconsin alone. Not many people are as fond of mice and voles as they are songbirds, but rodents are very important for the health of the wildlife community - as food for more "important" wildlife if nothing else. Between this and the habitat fragmentation we're seeing as rural development skyrockets, our small critters are in a world of hurt.

I'd guess that southern states have a much bigger problem than we do - I just don't know of any studies that have quantified it.

As usual, we're the real problem, the cats are only the symptom. Something like 60% of rural households nationwide have cats (550, 000 rural households in WI have about 2 million free-ranging cats), and if you suggest to someone that their farm cats shouldn't be running loose they just look at you like you're insane - that's what farm cats do isn't it?:rolleyes:

I have 2 cats at home, and they live in the house, period. As much as I care for them, I'm happy to shoot feral cats when I can be sure that's what I'm looking at, and I'm sure my cats would cheer if they knew about it - they hate feline intruders in a very emphatic and loud way. .22 mag is very effective with good shot placement and isn't loud at all.

May 4, 2003, 03:44 PM
Not many people are as fond of mice and voles as they are songbirds, but rodents are very important for the health of the wildlife community Mice and voles are a food source for weasels, hawks, shrews, owls, otters, coyotes, bobcats, bears (believe it or not) and snakes. Their populations fluctuate wildly from year to year and impact greatly on whether these predators survive in the wild.

I'm sure my cats would cheer if they knew about it - they hate feline intruders in a very emphatic and loud way They have a right to as do you. Feral cats carry many diseases including feline leukemia.

Your wife would probably cheer too about your removing these menaces from the world if she knew about the toxoplasmosis feral cats carry. This dreaded disease causes birth defects by infecting the brain and eyes of the human fetus.

I wonder if parents of Toxo babies could sue PETA, cat rescue groups and the Humane Society?

May 5, 2003, 02:44 PM
Well, I'm not going to have time to read all of these posts, but for what it's worth...

Killing feral cats is beneficial. Do it.

The Argula .22 with the heavy (I think it's a 55 gr.) bullet works quite well inside of 50 yards. (It might work out further, but I haven't had time to check.)

May 5, 2003, 03:07 PM
Hey - I love cats! (my fiance and I have 3, all fixed, none declawed - and we keep them indoors)

but feral cats aren't pets, any more than wild dogs. If I lived in the country I wouldn't hesitate to take my .22 to one of them.

May 5, 2003, 03:09 PM

I won't read all these posts but cats are over populated and disease ridden they even have a form of HIV.

Believe me you are probably doing the varmint a favor.

If they infect your pets they could in turn infect you and your family.

Also, spay and neuter your pets unless you plan on keeping and caring for all of their offspring.

In reality they pose more of a menace than coyotes or wolves.

Shoot them in the head or neck. quickest easiest kill or chest right behind front leg. If you don't drop them right away you do have a duty to finish the job. I find a .22 is O.K. but if you have really big cats use a bigger gun. I find a 7.62 x 39 works superbly!

Then again I enjoy any opportunity to shoot my SAR 1.
Better to use too much gun than too litlle.

You live in a great state!!!! Hope to move down there someday.

May 5, 2003, 03:28 PM
Feral colonies can definitely be a menace. They kill wildlife and spread disease.

However be very very aware of gun safety rules if you're going to shoot them. Specifically, be sure of your backstop. This is very very important, especially if you are using a weapon with excess reach (.308 for cats?). There are unfortunately many kids injured every year because of people who shoot at varmints, miss, and hit children playing in their back yards.

Carlos Cabeza
May 5, 2003, 03:56 PM
Long ago, when I was just a twig my grandpa and I would go fishing and after cleaning them he would bury the innards in his garden. One day he noticed some of the local catlady's "pets" trying to dig up the remains. Now I'm not an activist tree hugger or a cruel type guy but this woman had HUNDREDS of cats and Ol' Gramps didn't much care for 'em. His brilliant idea was to wait till dusk to fill in the hole. When the cats came to get a free meal.................BAM ! Then I'd go fill in the hole. Papa always did have a VERY lush garden !!!! ;)

As previously mentioned:
Cats are INDOOR pets, keep them there.

May 5, 2003, 05:08 PM
Stray Cats? Kill'em all and let God sort'em out!!!

May 9, 2003, 09:00 PM
Spaceman: A neighbor of mine had a problem with their neighbor's dog droppings in their yard. Called the neighbor, asked him to keep the dog where he belonged. No results. Called again, a month later--still the poop buildup, no results.

So the guy got a bucket and filled it with the dog poop from his yard, walked to the neighbor's, opened their back door, and dumped the whole bucket on their floor.

Dog was on a leash ever after.

May 9, 2003, 10:10 PM
Must be a problem in warmer climates.. not much of a feral cat problem here that I've ever seen..

The cold winters, and primarily the Fishers pretty much keep _ANY_ cat popluation thinned out, feral, domestic, or otherwise..
The fisher population has been on a steady increase in the area since the delcine in trapping.. You rarely see a cat domestic or otherwise that's on the loose for very long before becoming snack food.


April 20, 2004, 12:29 PM
Here are some citations to recent scientific studies backing up the need to control the feral cat populations.


Predation of wildlife by domestic cats Felis catus in Great Britain MICHAEL WOODS, ROBBIE A. MCDONALD, STEPHEN HARRIS Mammal Review Volume 33, Issue 2, Page 174-188, Jun 2003

Here is the abstract from the article. I thought the entire thing was interesting.

1. A questionnaire survey of the numbers of animals brought home by domestic cats Felis catus was conducted between 1 April and 31 August 1997. A total of 14 370 prey items were brought home by 986 cats living in 618 households. Mammals made up 69% of the items, birds 24%, amphibians 4%, reptiles 1%, fish < 1%, invertebrates 1% and unidentified items 1%. A minimum of 44 species of wild bird, 20 species of wild mammal, four species of reptile and three species of amphibian were recorded.

2. Of a sample of 696 individual cats, 634 (91%) brought home at least one item and the back-transformed mean number of items brought home was 11.3 (95% CI 10.4-12.2). The back-transformed means and number of cats retrieving at least one item from each prey group were: 8.1 (7.4-8.9) mammals for 547 (79%) cats, 4.1 (3.8-4.5) birds for 506 (73%) cats, 2.6 (2.2-3.0) herpetofauna for 145 (21%) cats and 2.2 (1.8-2.7) other items for 98 (14%) cats.

3. The number of birds and herpetofauna brought home per cat was significantly lower in households that provided food for birds. The number of bird species brought home was greater in households providing bird food. The number of birds and herpetofauna brought home per cat was negatively related to the age and condition of the cat. The number of mammals brought home per cat was significantly lower when cats were equipped with bells and when they were kept indoors at night. The number of herpetofauna brought home was significantly greater when cats were kept in at night.

4. Based on the proportion of cats bringing home at least one prey item and the back-transformed means, a British population of approximately 9 million cats was estimated to have brought home in the order of 92 (85-100) million prey items in the period of this survey, including 57 (52-63) million mammals, 27 (25-29) million birds and 5 (4-6) million reptiles and amphibians.

5. An experimental approach should be taken to investigate the factors found by this descriptive survey to influence the numbers of prey brought home by cats. In particular, investigation of potential management practices that could reduce the numbers of wild animals killed and brought home by cats will be useful for wildlife conservation, particularly in suburban areas.


A Review of Feral Cat Eradication on Islands MANUEL NOGALES, AURELIO MARTÍN, BERNIE R. TERSHY, C. JOSH DONLAN, DICK VEITCH, NÉSTOR PUERTA, BILL WOOD, JESÚS ALONSO Conservation Biology Volume 18, Issue 2, Page 310-319, Apr 2004

Here is a quote from this article:

"Feral cats are directly responsible for a large percentage of global extinctions..."

They then go one to review methods of eradication.


Cats protecting birds: modelling the mesopredator release effect, Franck Courchamp, Michel Langlais, George Sugihara Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 68, Issue 2, Page 282-292, Mar 1999

Interestly enough this study shows that in areas with a high concentration of rats, cats will actually benefit the birds more by preying upon these rats (which eat eggs and unfledged young) than they hurt them by preying upon the birds. This is corroborated by the previous study that showed that cats ate 3 times more mammals than they did birds.

Again, here is the abstract:

1. Introduced predators account for a large part of the extinction of endemic insular species, which constitutes a major component of the loss of biodiversity among vertebrates. Eradication of alien predators from these ecosystems is often considered the best solution.

2. In some ecosystems, however, it can generate a greater threat for endemic prey through what is called the 'mesopredator release'. This process predicts that, once superpredators are suppressed, a burst of mesopredators may follow which leads their shared prey to extinction.

3. This process is studied through a mathematical model describing a three species system (prey-mesopredator-superpredator). Analysis of the model, with and without control of meso- and superpredators, shows that this process does indeed exist and can drive shared prey to rapid extinction.

4. This work emphasizes that, although counter-intuitive, eradication of introduced superpredators, such as feral domestic cats, is not always the best solution to protect endemic prey when introduced mesopredators, such as rats, are also present.



Helminth Parasites of the House Cat, Felis catus, in Connecticut, U.S.A. Rembiesa, Cheryl, Richardson, Dennis J. 2003: Comparative Parasitology: Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 115–119.

In this study they conclude that controlling feral cat populations will reduce the occurance of parasites being transmitted to humans and domestic cats.


I've run out of time, but you get the idea. I hope this helps your decision.


April 20, 2004, 12:35 PM
There are unfortunately many kids injured every year because of people who shoot at varmints, miss, and hit children playing in their back yards.

Funny, I don't recall of EVER hearing of this happen. I agree that one should shoot safely and know thier backstop, but can you show me that this is happening many times every year? I do recall an article about a kid that was hit by a police officer's bullet when it missed the berm at the target range and went a mile or so. I do not, however, think that children playing in thier back yards are dropping like flies because of errant bullets from varmint shooters.


April 20, 2004, 12:46 PM
" He said in the county where I live, there are none of the really wierd cruelty to animal laws like you have in some places where a Poodle is worth more than a human life."

Most of the Poodles I have known were a lot nicer than most people these days...



Ol' Badger
April 20, 2004, 12:50 PM
Don't Shoot Mr. Wink! He's my bestest bud and He doesn't even kill Chipmunks. He brings them home.
So that I can sqush them

April 20, 2004, 01:38 PM
Re: wounding cats

Ah, but if you wound the cat, it will take two of his buddies will carry him off, removing three cats from the battlefield.

No really, I'm a big softy. I took no pleasure in dispatching the giant rats who where living on my back porch. I would not like to have to pop wild cats either.

April 20, 2004, 01:48 PM
Could this apply to dogs as well? We have more stray dogs around here than cats.....

Of course I realize we are in different states and all that... just curious.

Sean T
April 20, 2004, 02:03 PM
Just remember to yell "It's coming right for us!" right before you shoot.:D

Andrew Rothman
April 20, 2004, 02:12 PM
Although this thread is a year old, I just gotta say...

One of my cat is pretty big and can usually take care of himself. My other cat is small and I don't let her out much.

So you do let the big one out a lot?

Jeez, maybe to your neighbor, she looks like a feral.

And maybe some of those "ferals" are your neighbors' cats?

Best practice for domestic cats is to spay/neuter and to keep them indoors. Ask your vet.

Billy the Kid
April 20, 2004, 02:17 PM
I dont urge killing animals unless your life is literally threatend or if youre going to eat them and use thier body parts constructively.

Why not just shoot them with a paintball gun? they wont return. Its how i keep skunks and racoons out of my yard without having to kill them.

April 20, 2004, 02:37 PM
Naturally your actions will depend on where you live, but I believe that a loose animal should be killed whether it's a pet or not. Just because an animal is someone's pet doesn't mean that it isn't dangerous to wildlife or people. In my younger days I spent a lot of time with my grandparents who lived in a rural area; and the rule was to shoot both dogs and cats on sight.

IMO loose dogs are actually worse than cats because of the potential for attacks (especially in more urban areas). As a regular runner, I mace any pooch that comes close to me without a restraint (such as a fence or secured leash).

cracked butt
April 20, 2004, 03:01 PM
If its truely a stray and not someone's pet, shoot the damn thing. A single feral cat can kill hundreds of songbirds per year. If you're an archer, shoot them with a judo point- its sucks the life right out of them and the arrow won't go skipping into the next county.

If the cat belongs to someone- expalin to the person why you don't want to see it loose, and that it will be shot if it attacks your dog again.

April 20, 2004, 03:26 PM
You seem ethical enough.

Just shoot straight, use enough gun and don't let the kitties suffer.

also BE DAMNED CAREFUL!!! Be sure the cat you're shooting is NOT somebodies pet!!!!

If they're well fed looking and healthy, they're probably someones pet.

April 20, 2004, 03:30 PM
First, my reason for not liking any cats or dogs in my yard:
I have small kids, they play in the yard, I don't want them dealing with animal feces, especially cat or dog crap in the sand box. And I don't want anyone to step in it when they visit, including me when I'm doing yard work. If you don't want a severally chastised or wounded pet, keep them at home... for if you don't care enough about me to keep your pet from crapping in my yard, then I begin having trouble caring enough about you to keep my "pest control" methods from being fatal....

Second, a question:
Is there anything that will make a cat (or dog) sick but not kill it? Maybe a small amount of antifreeze? I don't want to kill your pet, I just want to make it go home and puke and have diahrrea in your house, so that you appreciate your pet as much as I do.

Third, I need a paintball gun -- it sounds like the perfect short term solution.

Finally, another method (which I have not yet tried, but it comes highly recommended):
Catch them in a live-trap, and let them sit there for 2 days (or more). I have heard that cats receiving such treatment seldom revisit the yard where they were caught. When I go to get the paintball gun, I'm going for the live-trap. Hopefully, the live-trap will work.


April 20, 2004, 03:40 PM
i feel your pain. I hate cats! My neighbors across the street breed em. They are out of town alot and cats are everywhere. I got tired of cats walking on the hood of my wife and my vehicals. But she didnt want me to do anything. Yesterday, I was backing out to go to Popeye;s to get some chicken, and there was a cat taking a ???? in my newly cut front yard! I was pissed! So now, my 22 loaded with cb's is behind the front door. I need something quiet since it is illegal to shoot in the city limits. Before I lived here, one of my dads friends lived here. I think he killed about 15 cats with my dad's rws pellet gun. 1 shot 1 kill with that baby!
OTOH, my dad has had probs with em in the country. So dad traps em, shoots em with his 22 pistol, then throws em in the road and runs over em with his truck to the stupid neighbors think they got hit by a car! LMAO!
BTW, these are the same neighbors that called the sherriffs dept and told them that we were shooting and there were bullet raining down on her house when we were shoot my AR into a huge dirt pile 100 yards away from her house! My dad called the sherrif and he said shoot away! Bwahahahaha

April 20, 2004, 04:11 PM
Dern, a few weeks back there were two big piles of feathers out near the bird feeder. You reckon I should of blasted that hawk? He was a big one, too. He looked funny diving into the holly tree after the little birds, but gave up and ate pigeons for a couple of hours. The rest of the birds fled, but the stupid squirrels got within a couple of feet of him and lived. Stupid squirrels, now there's a redundant phrase.

Everyone on my side of the street has cats and even a few dogs and they're so used to the birds they don't even chase them. And they can't catch the squirrels. The squirrels walk to within 5 or 6 feet of the cats and turn their backs on them while they dig up dinner.

I can see shooting dogs on sight though. :) Especially if they're barking or chasing the livestock...but we don't have any livestock to speak of in town so I guess I'll just keep dreaming of shooting all the blankety-blank barking dogs.


April 20, 2004, 04:17 PM
We had a female Siameese cat when I was a little kid. We lived at the end of a dirt road in the country. Our closest neighbor had no pets, and both our cat and dog considered our property and our neighbor's property their territory which was fine with that neighbor.

Our dog, a little Lhasa Apso didn't wander past our closes neighbor's house unless we were with it. It also was completely useless for protecting our property.

The game warden down the road never complained about our cat on his property, but I suspect she went there often enough. Our cat had a bowl of cat food, but didn't eat a lot of it. That cat was an impressive hunter, and actually kind of cruel. She liked to catch chipmunks and take them to a place where she could play with them and bat them against the walls until they died of fright.

While the game warden never seemed bothered by our cat, the two dobermans he owned didn't like her much. I saw them chasing her home a couple times. She'd run back to what she considered her territory, and then she'd turn and lunge at their face with claws extended. THe dogs never managed to get a piece of her, and I don't think she managed to seriously hurt them either.

If one of those dogs got a hold of her while she was on their property, I know my father wouldn't have been upset with their owner. If one of those dogs came on our property and hurt our cat or dog, then they'd be put down.

The dobermans were eventually put down. Not for attacking a pet but for attacking a neighbor's kid. They got a really nice chocolate lab after that who was really friendly. He and our cat ignored each other, and he would come and play with our Lhasa. By playing with our Lhasa I mean he would come and let our dog chase him around while staying just ahead of our dog. When our dog would drop from exaustion he would lay down facing her about a foot away.

If I still lived in a rural area I think my solution to stray cats would be to get a nice mean Siameese. :)

If that didn't work I'd probably try the .410 I inherited, but haven't really found a use for.

April 20, 2004, 04:29 PM
Here is how Texas sees it, straight from my textbook Texas Criminal Law and Motor Vehicles. (

I suppose this would be an appropriate place for this, so here goes.

I was at a local dog park and my dog was attacked. Mya and I were walking back up an incline from the edge of the water, when a dog came running down the trail at a high rate of speed and knocked my dog through the air. Mya was stunned, she is a very shy dog (most whippets are) and was probably very scared. Anyways, at this point I should have picked up my dog and left. I didn't. The mean dog's meaner brother saw this and jumped on my dog, biting it on her hind leg, ripping the flesh cleanly. Right then my dog ran off real fast. The dog's owner had a hold of his dog, which didn't chase mine. I did chase my dog down where we had been playing. I was angry and picked her up quickly to take her to the vet.

Ended up costing ~$300 and weeks of recovery. Two weeks after this, the skin, that was threaded with stainless steel sutures, died. That caused the would to open up, smaller than originally, see this pictures. It was to heal from here. Fortunately it is barely visible now and doesnt bother her at all. The first night she cried and was very uncomfortable. She couldn't be doing better now.

Mya pictures (

edit: Also, I have two fat cats that my sister left when she went to college (in the same town). I have killed two feral cats, using a 10/22 with CCI Stingers. In Goldthwaite, TX.

April 20, 2004, 04:55 PM
I can't believe this thread is still going.

We used to have a big old tom cat that would come around and get our females pregnant. He was the mangiest exscuse for a cat I have ever seen. One eye, half an ear, and only used three of his legs. Eventually we had male cat that the old tom and this young cat didn't get along at all. I finally got sick of all of them fighting and shot the old cat dead. I used my 10/22 and didn't even think twice about it. If an animal is a pest they are just asking to be shot.

ken w.
April 20, 2004, 07:34 PM
stray cat + agulia SSS = one dead cat:D .the agulia super sub sonic 60 grain bullet is one nasty round. Rips a cat almost in half depending on how you shoot it. Woodchucks aren't too fond of it either.

April 20, 2004, 08:12 PM
I'm a huge cat lover, my cats are like kids to me and my wife, if either of them came to harm I'd be really upset. that's why my cats stay indoors and they both have a collar and microchip.

thta said, if you want to get rid of feral cats I'd use something a little stronger than a .22, maybe a .223 or bigger.

April 20, 2004, 08:32 PM
Feral cats are dangerous , disease bearing, and mean as hell. They do no good for themselves or any body else.

However you should be sure that it is a feral cat and that it is trespassing on your property.

My mother also lives in a rural area on about 15 acres. Her neighbor who lives on the next 20 acres over, who also is a miserable old, fart shot her cat on far the edge of his property which borders my mother's. My mother loved that cat as much as he loved his truck which was mysteriously assasinated shortly after. It doesn't pay to piss off the neighbors.

And for the keep your animals at home crowd. Mom's cat used to lay on a fence board at the extreme edge of Jack Cass's property at least 250 to 300 yds from his home he shot the cat off the fence just to show he could Hell of a shot but uncalled for

April 20, 2004, 09:00 PM
Sure, Brian Setzer screwed up with that whole, Brian Setzer's Orchestra-Jump, Jive, and Wail-retro-swing thing, but do you have to kill the rest of his former bandmates too?

I mean, who didn't like Rock This Town and (She's) Sexy & 17 ?

April 20, 2004, 10:45 PM
When I get out of my hell-hole apartment and get some land again, my old policy goes into effect. Any animal on my property that doesn't belong dies. The only exceptions are neighbor's pets or stock that have escaped and are not causing problems.

My brothers were attacked by feral dogs once. My family has had stock and pets killed (through disease, hunting, and fighting) by both feral animals and pets allowed to roam. We've had considerable damage done to property by both ferals and wandering pets. We've also had to deal with numerous potentially diseased piles of droppings.

If you allow your pets to trespass onto and damage other's property, you are neglectful. If you don't want your precious Fluffy or Mittens whacked, keep it off my land.

Edit to add: this is my 1400th post! Yay!!!

April 20, 2004, 11:05 PM
Not too long ago I went to visit Littlest Meek at his college dorm. Comparing the college now versus 30 years ago I nearly wept. Thirty years ago there were bluebirds, cardinals, brown thrashers, mockingbirds, wrens, American Song Sparrows and lots of others. Now all there are is these G. D. cats lurking under every bush on campus. Four hour visit and not a single singing bird in the trees which used to be full of them.

DAMN PETAPHILES!!! May they all be cursed to return in the next life to be four inches tall and born in the middle of a cat sanctuary!

Any gun from a bb gun to a .416 Rigby is OK for feral cats!

At this point I'm almost (but not quite) agreeable with the antifreeze solution.

Ala Dan
April 20, 2004, 11:38 PM
Not To Be Mean Or Critical-

but if I caught you shooting perfectly normal, healthy cats
in my neighborhood without a valid reason; I would place
you under arrest very quickly for a thing called animal
cruelty, which is a Class C Felony here in Alabama.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 21, 2004, 12:01 AM
Ala Dan: not sure who your comment was addressed to, but I'll field it.

1. I didn't know you were a cop.

2. I don't think anyone here has advocated killing cats without a reason. Of course, you might disagree with the reasons presented, but I haven't seen anyone advocating wanton cat slaughter.

Gordy Wesen
April 21, 2004, 12:05 AM
I tolerate the neighbors cats on my acreage because (thanks to them) I don't have a mouse problem.

April 21, 2004, 12:15 AM
Funny thing, we've been having a cat problem lately and my dad's been swearing a blue streak about "shooting g'dahm cats":D

April 21, 2004, 12:44 AM
Any animal on my property that doesn't belong dies. I don't think anyone here has advocated killing cats without a reason.
Nope not at all

April 21, 2004, 02:22 AM
i would agree with a 1 shot 1 kill type thing, not blowing them in half like the groundhogs in those stupid videos i have seen. maybe even trap them then behead them that would be fast and little suffering. maybe you can trap them and take them to be put down by a the county animal control for free.

Iron Mike
April 21, 2004, 03:15 AM
I have a large vegitable garden in my backyard and my neighbor has a large fat old cat which loves to sleep and crap among my crops.I like my neighbor and he's not really a bad cat , he likes to come up on the deck and get petted, so shooting him was out. Well I borowed my nephew's radio controlled dunebuggy.I placed the car near where little fatso likes to fertilize the garden .
So there I was on the deck when he walks into the garden like he owns the place, squats down and procedes to do his buissiness and thats when I hit the throttle. I still laugh when I think of that buggy throwing dirt and lurching forward,charging at that cat.
The cat took off still crapping and lept over the fence,eyes wide with fright.
It wasn't a permanent fix but it worked for a while, just wish I had a video

April 21, 2004, 04:25 AM
jesuscow... those pictures of mya are heartrending. i'm really happy for both of you that recovery was good (the second time around)

my girlfriend loves cats... she has two at home in buffalo - neither of them neutered - and likes to make friends with the three local strays in our neighborhood.

i'm no cat lover (boxer's my breed) - imagine how happy i was when she let one of the strays into the apartment - nay, onto our bed one night during a party.

to the excitement of our guests, i was about 3lbs of pull away from renting one of those upright steam carpet cleaners before intervention occured and the beast was moved outside quickly.

Mr. Mysterious
April 21, 2004, 11:29 AM
I imagine after a period of time, if the owner has not reclaimed the animal or it has not been adopted, it will be humanely dispatched.

You don't adopt a feral cat. That is like tranquilizing a mountain lion and trying to raise it as a pet. It just doesn't work. Cats are domesticated, but they quickly become the carnivores that they once were. While feral cats won't normally attack a human, they have no problem attacking house cats.

Around Indy there is a big feral cat problem, and there is a remotely ethical solution that pleases everyone (I don't care if they are shot personally).

There is a group that baits traps, and then they bring it to a group of voluntary vets that sterilize them and then clip their left ear to show that they are fixed. If this is done the population decreases quite rapidly as feral cats don't live long...but they do breed like crazy.

Here is a story about it...

April 21, 2004, 12:34 PM
Everyone should check their state and local laws about animals. You're sure to find some interesting things; I recently discovered that pit bulls in my area have to be both leashed and muzzled if not inside a home or adequate fencing.

When I was younger I shot a neighbor's rottweiler. My grandfather arrived about an hour later and he called the owners to inform them. Their response was to call the police and much to their surprise they were charged with a misdemeanor for violating "humane restraint" laws. So don't just assume that you know your local laws, they could be much different that you think.

Ala Dan
You might want to prepare for criminal charges as well as a lawsuit before you try to make a citizen's arrest just because someone killed a cat. While Alabama does have felony provision for animal cruelty, it makes an exception for "research, protection of life or property, training, or shooting a dog or cat for urinating or defecating on property." (

Many people have already stated the amount of damage that loose dogs and cats can cause, that's more than enough of a reason to kill them.

April 21, 2004, 12:40 PM
I have no love for the animals, and the way people turn them loose is just stupid. I wouldn't let my dog run wild in the neighborhood so why is it ok for your cat? Feral cats are a problem everywhere, and anyone with a "house" cat they let out is only increasing the problem! I think this is true even if the cat is spayed or neutered, if you want to own a house (pet) cat KEEP IT IN YOUR HOUSE!!!! I have NO use for the critters and trap them in live traps then haul em to the country and dispose of them properly, if I lived out of the city limits I'd simply shoot them, but I don't. I get sick and tired of the neighbors cute kitty using my window wells for a crapper, and the paw prints on my truck don't endear me to these worthless little mongrels either. So if you live in my neighborhood you have an indoor cat or very soon you have no cat. I have a neighbor who feels the same way I do, I found this out when he was pinning tunafish cans to the top of the 4x4 fence posts, filled with tuna laced with anti-freeze. Now even I thought this might be a little cruel way to die, so I gave him some live traps and taught him how to shoot, great situation new shooter and less cats, a classic win - win situation.

Ala Dan
April 21, 2004, 12:49 PM
Att: Cannibal Crowley and Balog-

Yep, I'm a retired LEO veteran with over 20 years
experience of sworn duty.

My comment was addressed primarily to RUSS, the
thread starter; but anyone else is welcome to join!

Admittingly, I didn't take the time to READ every post;
I responded to the topic from the original post. Sorry
if I stepped on some of you folk's toes; but a FELONY
is just that, and I would come out of retirement to
make an arrest on a crime that carries a FELONY
charge. I think that there are many on this forum
that feel the same way. It's kind'a like being a
Navy Seal; once you retire, you never are fully
relieved of obligations and responsibility; and
may be subject to recall.

I hope this explains where I was coming from.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 21, 2004, 02:25 PM
You don't adopt a feral cat. That is like tranquilizing a mountain lion and trying to raise it as a pet. It just doesn't work. Cats are domesticated, but they quickly become the carnivores that they once were. While feral cats won't normally attack a human, they have no problem attacking house cats.

I have four who were truly feral; trapped, fixed, and tamed (took patience). They do not attack me or my wife, or the other cats in our house (most of whom were either found on road alive as kittens, or walked in as dumped pets). One of the formerly wildest (RedFang O'Feral) now sits in my lap every night, and "helps" me clean my AR after the match.

If you trap feral cats, get them fixed and ear-tipped, and re-release them around your place (in a rural setting - not for suburban/urban dwellers) - they will keep the un-fixed ones away, and they will not reproduce or catterwaul since they are fixed. You can get a 20-lb sack of dry catfood at TSC / feedstore for about $10. Your rats and mice will disappear like snow melting off the blacktop when the sun comes out.

Yes, if you have pets, get them fixed and keep them inside. If you like rats and mice, fleas and tics, go ahead and shoot the feral cats. If you do shoot them, use enough gun - a .22 is enough gun if you are a good enough marksman to make headshots.

My neighbor will shoot at any dog or dog-like creature he sees. He calls them "wolves" even though most are coyotes or just strays. He is a lousy shot and just makes a lot of noise (he does not shoot much, just deer season, no competition / recreational shooting). When I see a coyote walk by with a rabbit in his mouth, smiling at me, I have to remember there are still lots and lots of cottontails all around our yard and over by the barn. Predation is as natural an activity as can be.

Anyway, I don't think you can kill off all the feral cats, no matter how many you shoot. You are better off fixing them and turning them into your allies by making your territory their territory, which they will hold against intruders. Just a thought.


April 21, 2004, 10:47 PM
Ala Dan: As I've said, we just seem to differ on what we consider to be a valid reason. Any animal endangering my family, my animals, or my property has given me plenty of reason to off it.

Edit to add: I also consider a citizen with no offical LEO powers attempting to illegally restrain me because of his/her interpretation of the law to be a valid case for the use of lethal force in self-defense. Be careful. I enjoy your contributions to this forum immensely, and I'd hate to see you get hurt.

Ala Dan
April 21, 2004, 11:01 PM
Many thanks Balog my friend. I would
NEVER act officiously; or attempt to do any
thing that wasn't lawful or justified, and
backed by governmental law of some sort.

Good Luck & Best Wishes With Your Marine
Corp Career!

Warmest Regards,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 21, 2004, 11:08 PM
I will not be "arrested/taken into custody" by anyone unless they are CLEARLY an LEO. If they attempt to use a firearm to apprehend me, I will consider it an attack and respond in kind.

Retired LEO = NOT AN LEO.

Imagine a retired congressman trying to cast his vote at the capitol. Imagine a retired fighter pilot trying to get someone to let him fly one of the Air Force's F22s.
Imagine a retired president trying to command the military into a foreign country.
How is that different from a retired LEO trying to arrest his neighbor?

Mr. Mysterious
April 21, 2004, 11:24 PM
Its OT, but don't most retired LEO still retain their sworn LEO duties and responsibilities...that is a reason why most states allow them to still carry AND retain their badge.

Ala Dan
April 21, 2004, 11:34 PM
Thanks Mr. Mysterious my friend, for you are a well
educated man! :D

I got a a quick question for my friend John..............

John with all due respect, in regards to your opinion
of retired LEO's; do you feel the same way about
convicted felons? In other words, do you think that an
ex-con is really not a convicted person at all? Looks
too me like the same reasoning would apply?

Well I'm here to tell ya' friend, I've put my share
behind bar's, and even some I helped get on DR.
But to me, a convict is a convict; and there is no
way of making anything else out of it!

If you think otherwise, I wouldn't want YOU watching
my six! :uhoh: :rolleyes: :(

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, Life Member

April 22, 2004, 07:00 AM
Shoot the bass player and drummer if you must, but save Brian Setzer, he plays a mean guitar!;)

Tommy Gunn
April 22, 2004, 07:16 AM
Feral cats? Get a lever rifle in .32-20 for these critters.

April 22, 2004, 12:59 PM
Ala Dan and other retired LEOs

You're retired and anything you do must be within the bounds of a normal citizen. If you don't like it, go back to being a LEO. If you really want to make a citizen's arrest, at least read the actual laws before attempting to do so.

I am the only person who would question the intelligence of someone who would attempt to make a citizen's arrest of a person who just shot an animal? The person is obviously armed and you're planning on apprehending him? For your sake I hope he's using an airgun.

April 22, 2004, 01:15 PM
Russ-- I used to live in your neighborhood or somewhere nearby (Oldham Co). Feral cats weren't too much of a problem--I think we were too far of a drive from Bardstown Rd.

We did have a problem with feral dogs--mean f$@kers that would run deer to death for kicks, kill sheep and chickens etc. Three of them surrounded my brother once and he had to shoot his way out of the situation. We lost a dog to a pack of wild dogs once as well.

This is my take on feral animals in the rural setting:
You are the custodian of the land and the animals that live on it. You have a responsibility to protect your own animals from disease and attack. For the lack of natural predators, you now wear the hat of "The Great Equalizer." You can either do the job that needs to be done yourself or have someone else do it. But either way, it needs to be done.

FWIW, I now live in a semi-rural part of the SF Bay Area, and I probably kill 2-3 feral cats a year with my .22LR. I try to be "discrete" about it though and generally do my work on my off Friday's when the neighbors are workin.


April 22, 2004, 03:53 PM
I started this thread almost a year ago! I don't know how you guys found it still. Anyway, all advice is appreciated.

I shot at said strays with my 45 pistol. I missed but they never came back so I guess my purpose was accomplished. Maybe it scared them to death!


April 22, 2004, 04:47 PM
If you had used a .50 cal, you wouldn't have had to bury them.

Ala Dan
April 22, 2004, 04:47 PM
Hey Folk's-

I think you guy's missed the whole point of my text? In
the headline of the thread as posted by Russ, I think
(or I took the post) as if to ask if the killing of cats
(dosmetic healthy types) was legal? I simply responded
as to the laws in Alabama; and what one may face
if he/she decides to do so. Also, my reply to charges
being brought ONLY applied if the perpertrator is in the
process of killing my animals, on my property; nothing
else was expressed or implied.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 22, 2004, 06:58 PM
Shoot them. Feral cats kill quail. Reason enough.

April 22, 2004, 07:36 PM
While feral cats won't normally attack a human, they have no problem attacking house cats.

Is this something really appropriate to "The High Road"...sheesh...

If you have to justify stuff like this to yourself, do you really think it's something that deserves this much attention...You're talkin' about 'em like they're mountain lions for _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ...

April 22, 2004, 07:49 PM
Ala Dan: many thanks for the good will my friend.
I missed the point of your first post, apparently. Anyone shooting animals on my property without my permission definitely deserve what they get. On that we can agree %100. Thanks for clearing that up.

Ala Dan
April 22, 2004, 09:22 PM
No Harm/No Foul Balog My Friend-

Stay Safe, Shoot Straight, and May All Your Shot's
Land In The X-Ring! :cool: :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Tommy Gunn
April 23, 2004, 12:22 AM
You know, trapping may be more productive than shooting.

If using the "have-a-heart" live traps, just drop it into a rainbarrel. The critter will drown and then you can bury it.

April 23, 2004, 12:35 AM
Killing anything for the sake of killing, or killing when it is necessary but doing it in a torturous manner is a sign of, poor upbringing and at the very least a sign of possible mental defectiveness.
If any animal is a true threat to you or your's by all means defend your property. But killing just because your neighbors harmless pet happens to be on your property without at least talking to your neighbor about the problem is a socialpathic , psycopathic action that should be dealt with accordingly.

In other words any body that gets their jollies by killing or to prove that they are a superior being is a sick pathetic POS

April 23, 2004, 12:42 AM
Are you asking if a convict retains the privileges and special responsibilities of his profession after he is declared an "ex-con"?

Or, are you asking if declaring a person to be an "ex-con" somehow changes him?

Or, are you implying that the "ex-con" and the "ex-LEO" are both somehow INTRINSICALLY different from the average citizen.

Being an LEO, or being a convict are both choices one makes. There is no INTRINSIC difference between and LEO and the man on the street. There is no INTRINSIC difference between an ex-con and Joe Public. The idea that you could somehow define or identify a criminal or potential criminal by their intrinsic characteristics was abandoned years ago.

LEO's have special responsibilities and privileges as a result of their profession. When they leave that profession, they leave most, if not all of those responsibilities and privileges behind. In some cases, retired LEO's retain some special rights, in that case, the law should provide them with appropriate and unambiguous identification to insure that there are no misunderstandings.

In the absence of such identification, I will not be taken into custody by anyone if I have the means to resist. Are you suggesting that I should immediately allow myself to be taken prisoner to anyone who tells me that they're a retired LEO? Or even if they tell me that they're a current LEO and have no identification to back their claim?

Ala Dan
April 23, 2004, 01:13 AM
JohnKSa My Friend-

I don't think any current or former LEO in their right
state of mind would try to apprehend anyone W/O
proper authority; and yes, this does include identification
as such. When a LEO leaves his/her department in good
standing, this is pretty much automatic. From a personal
standpoint, I don't condone retired LEO's going around
flashing a badge, and declaring himself/herself Mr. or
Mrs. God's Gift To Police. Far from it, as a matter of fact
I only speak of some of my experience's when someone

When I first started, I started as a volunteer; or reserve
deputy with with hometown sheriff's department. No
money, no glory (and I didn't want any); plus I had to
buy my own uniforms and equipment, except for the
star, the hat shield, and the ID card. All I really wanted
was the experience; and hard work payed off. I missed
a large portion of my childs "childhood" cuz I was too
caught up in being a good cop (if you will? We hate
that word, but I will use it here solely for the purpose
of expression). But, it had its dividend's. Shortly, there
after the State Of Alabama opened a maximum security
prison not far from my house. I was one of 36, in the
first class assigned to this prison. Again, I worked this
and used it as a stepping stone to bigger and better
thing's. The last 2-1/2 years there, I spent working on
Death Row. It's an experience I will never forget! I was
an original member of the state's RAT team; which is
The Riot Arrest (Swat) Team. After 5-1/2 years of
continous service, I took a written test and was quite
fortunate to get hired by a "major" upscale police
department in the Birmingham area. I worked there
until my retirement in May of 1997, as a member in
good standing with full benefits!

My feeling's on convict's in general is this. There is
NO SUCH THING as rehabilitation! Too many times I've
overheard these J-birds planning their next move upon
release (or escape) which ever came first. Most wanted
to rape, rob, or kill someone or somebody; and it really
didn't matter who it was. Within my own extended
family, I have to deal with a 30 year old drug addict
whose ambition is to kill a police officer (current or
retired). I have help put this character away many,
many times; but the state keeps releasing him time
after time. I truly expect one day that he is going to
try me; and I'd best be on top of my game!

Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Chuck Jennings
April 23, 2004, 03:46 AM
What about stray cat-burglars??? :)

April 23, 2004, 04:38 AM
Loose animals are dealt with on our land be it by firearms or poison if the problem persist. Many people who move out do not realize the way things are handled outside of city limits.

City People's Guide to Country Living would be a great mailbox gift for your new neighbor who just doesn't get it.

Now if they had a Country People's guide for City Living my neighbors wouldn't look at me so funny.

April 23, 2004, 10:40 AM
Ala Dan My feeling's on convict's in general is this. There is NO SUCH THING as rehabilitation!
There are an awful lot of people who actually studied the subject would disagree with you. But since you believe that rehabilitation doesn't exist, should we just execute anyone convicted of a crime?

If a neighbor's pet is on someone else's property, it's most likely doing some kind of damage (whether it's immediately noticed or not). In addition, the potential for the animal injuring someone is present; as well as spreading disease and producing more strays. And in some areas it may not be possible to inform the owner that their pet will be killed if it comes back onto one's property. I'm not sure about dogs, but it's common for a cat to roam over an area with a one mile radius. Of course, when mating this area is enlarged greatly.

Roaming animals might be someone's pet, but they're a pest for others and a danger to the natural environment. If a person actually cared about his pet, he'd ensure that it stayed on his property.

April 23, 2004, 12:42 PM
Agular (sp?) is a mexican ammo company that makes a ultra high velocity round. Delivers about 200 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle, which is almost twice normal. I've put them through my .22 pistol and it actually has a little recoil! In a .22. Go figure.

If I were looking to put down a large cat with a .22 that is the round I would use.


Ala Dan
April 23, 2004, 01:03 PM
Greeting's Cannibal My Friend-

The punishment ought to fit the crime; or an eye for
an eye, and a tooth for a tooth! If one committs a
violent act* during multiple class A felony's; then he
and/or she should pay for it with their life.

Individual crimes should be dealth with approiately;
a single class A felony should range from twenty to
life; with the minimum being 15 years, and NO good
time! In other words, convicts should get credit day
for day.

*FootNote: resulting in the death of the victim(s)

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 23, 2004, 01:19 PM

I don't know about your experience, but I can tell you without doubt that those cute little chipmunks WILL screw up your house's foundation drainage system and/or your nice concrete slab porch.

This can cost serious money--and in the case of the foundation drains, can have serious side effects.

Once the chipmunk decides my window-well is its new home, he finds himself at the center of my red-dot sight on the .22 pistol--and next he finds himself visiting chipmunk paradise.

It ain't for fun, it ain't for 'superiority.' It's protecting a large investment.

April 23, 2004, 02:01 PM
Matt Payne,

A year later and you are giving me a hard time? What does spaying and neutering my cats have to do with feral cats roaming my property?

My cats are spayed and neutered and they have licenses and collars with name tags. I know all of my neighbors and their animals. They know mine as well. My neighbors were having the same problems. Actually, I spoke to the Sherriff in addition to the Vet and he told me to do the same thing. If you had really bothered to read the YEAR OLD post you may have guessed I was not excited about having to shoot anything. I don't enjoy killing spiders let alone cats.


About Poodles, you obvoiusly don't follow YEAR OLD CURRENT EVENTS. You may recall a year or more ago, a road rage nut confronted a woman who had cut him off and threw her Poodle or other small dog into traffic in San Jose CA. I come from CA so I followed it. It was a comment on that outrage. A larger reward was raised to find that guy than is ever raised to find an abducted child. I like Poodles. I had one for many years and a smarter dog you will not find. You need to read up on current events so as to be able to put certain comments in context.

Moderators, please close this after a year.

Ala Dan
April 23, 2004, 04:09 PM
OK folks, its time to give Russ a break! I came down
pretty hard on him myself; but I was merely trying
to draw thoughts and opinions of others. My friends
Balog and Cannibal Crowley responded;
and we have since settled our differences. I hope
the same is the case with our other bud, JohnKSa ?
No harm, and No foul - we will all live for tommorrow!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

April 23, 2004, 05:37 PM
I give up. If any of you LEO types want to come and arrest me for a Class XXXXX felony come and bite me. Send me and E mail me and I will tell you where to come and get me if you can. To those of you who think I would kill another person's pet, you are severely brain damaged. A feral cat or dog is not a pet. Anyway, never hurt one. Why this thread got resurrected after a freaking year, you got me.

April 23, 2004, 06:28 PM
Let me just chime in with my 81 year old aunt's solution to stray cats in the back yard - a sling shot and a bag of marbles. Quiet and non-lethal on mid-town felines. It's also a hoot to consider this little old lady skulking around to get a good angle on her prey's butt.:p

April 23, 2004, 07:00 PM
If I dont shoot them, then my Scotties get to kill them. Either way, another dead cat is a good thing.

April 23, 2004, 08:38 PM
If a neighbor's pet is on someone else's property, it's most likely doing some kind of damage (whether it's immediately noticed or not). Simplistic attitude that has very little basis in truth

I think you have mw confused with someone that gives a damn about chipmonks. Not that I have any animosity towards chipmunks. It's just that I live in Fla and we don't have them here that I'm aware of.

If any of your comments were directed toward me, please note that I have prefaced all my comments with a comment on unnecessary killing. And that goes for killing anything.
None of my comments were directed toward you, but to those that revel in shooting cats in half, drowning , letting dogs kill them or indescrement poisoning, as if the actions somehow make them more manly.

My family's homestead in a once rural section of Mobile Ala was 200 acres of swamp and woods. Feral animals were a part of everyday lives. If an animal became a nuisance they were dealt with accordingly if they behaved themselves they were welcome. This is from a family that pushed the deer-a-day limit to the max and were taught the value of life at early ages by the matriarch of the clan who also taught us enough about self respect that we did not need to find our pleasure in our ability to inflict pain on lower animals

April 23, 2004, 09:21 PM
No good comes from feral cats. The "Animal Control" option is just asking for government to do what you can more easily do. Feral cats will never be adopted. A .22LR is humane.

I grew up on a farm and the barn cats had feral litters in the fields and woods. They always came back to create mischief around the cantonment area. Every spring it was my job to search and destroy. They are mean little suckers.

When you have them in the cross hairs, think of the a-holes who abandoned them, un-neutered, to roam around your property wreaking havoc on your pets and wildlife.

Hollow points to the head. Follow up shots quickly if it is not a one-shot kill. I have no problem baiting them to get a clean shot. YMMV.

April 23, 2004, 11:03 PM
joab wrote: In other words any body that gets their jollies by a sick pathetic POS

So all the people who post in the "Hunting" section of this board fall under that category? After all, none of them hunt solely because they have to. They kill animals because they enjoy it. I'd hardly consider them sadistic because of it. Although I would agree with that description for people who torture animals.

April 23, 2004, 11:10 PM
Closed on account of more heat than light.

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