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Stray Cats - Can I, should I shoot them?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Russ, May 1, 2003.

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  1. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    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?

  2. Ledbetter

    Ledbetter Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Well-Known Member

    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.

  6. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: May 1, 2003
  7. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

    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.
  8. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    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.

    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
  9. tbotts

    tbotts Well-Known Member

    Shoot, Shovel, and Shut up!!!!
  10. CZ-75

    CZ-75 member

    .410 and .22LR (stinger or mini-mag), employed in conjunction.
  11. mushoot

    mushoot Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    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?
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    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.
  14. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Well-Known Member

    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
  15. moa

    moa Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. PATH

    PATH Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. tech

    tech Well-Known Member

    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.

  18. yesterdaysyouth

    yesterdaysyouth Well-Known Member

    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:
  19. CZ-75

    CZ-75 member

    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:
  20. bigshark14

    bigshark14 Active Member

    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.
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