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Wild Cat vs Feral Cat

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Good Ol' Boy, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    We live rural and we have a fence around our back property. Recently my pit bull cornered a cat type animal in our back property. Now we have known feral cats nearby but this looked bigger than your normal house cat. It also scaled a tree quicker than a coon. I've never seen a feral cat do that but I dont know.

    I was tempted at first to grab my .22 revolver loaded with rat shot just to scare it off but I ended up just going out with my light and grabbing my dog.

    But for the future I'd like to know the differences between a small wild cat verses ferals. If we do indeed have small wild cats around I will dispatch them accordingly as to not possibly incur any damage to my dog.

    I know there are folks more experienced in identifying wild cats than I here so I wait for your input.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    we had a big orange cat when i was a kid, he would get up the tree so quick he would catch the squirrels. i think he was like 15 pounds. i don't like shooting cat, would not wan't to kill someones pet.
     
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  3. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    To me a fine line with feral cats. We have barn cats that roam into the neighbors woods. To me, when they leave our property, I would consider them feral. If the neighbor shoots them as feral no harm, no foul to me.

    I once accidentally caught a jumbo size house cat in a leg hold trap on my trap line. I did the right thing and released it although it did turn my hands and forearms into hamburger during this process. I would consider this a "wild" feral cat. We once had a cat pooping on our hay on our hay loft. Horses won't eat hay with cat poop on it and hay isn't cheap. I trapped it with a Havahart trap. This thing was a Tasmanian Devil in the box trap. I would consider it a "wild" feral cat. Took the trap to the local animal shelter and they said it was the wildest thing they had ever seen.

    I am neither pro cat or anti cat. Cat's do have their place. But not on my neighbor's property.
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  6. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I haven't updated my profile but we are not in Hanover anymore, we have been in Dinwiddie for a year and a half.

    I dont know what it says about wild cats but dogs are pretty much an at large situation. No leash or tie out or fenced scenario is required, thus we have a lot of dogs just roaming free. So glad I have fenced property.

    The laws regarding shooting of any kind are pretty lax in our county so I'm not too worried about that. And I've shot feral cats in the past when they became a inbreeding nuisance on another family plot counties away, but I dont neccesarily want to shoot a neighbors cat from down the road aways. Although I feel pretty sure these cats aren't pets.
     
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  7. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    If it looks like a house cat, i.e. Is not lynx-like or a bobcat, it's a feral cat, or some kind of invasive exotic. There are no native "wild" cats that could be confused with a house cat.
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    There are 13 subspecies of Bobcats that are all over Canada, America and Mexico.

    The main feature that have is the stubby tail that they are named after.

    952A72F9-2511-4C6E-BE13-84FA34D783E7.jpeg

    Feral animals are wild-living domesticated animals. Not someone’s pet but an animal that avoids human contact.

    It only takes a generation or two for them to go from pets to feral.

    I am not a “cat person” but I am also not a snake and rodent person either, I don’t kill cats (pets or feral) or bobcats because they help me kill other stuff I don’t like.
     
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  9. Dinosaur1

    Dinosaur1 Member

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    When I was a kid every barn in the neighborhood had cats around it. They were ok at the barn but if anyone found them out in the woods or fields they were toast. They consume a lot of small game and birds in addition to mice and voles. They can be a real problem for low nesting song birds and fledglings. I have no problem taking a feral cat out of the system. I don't harm it if it's wearing a collar of any sort. Might be some kids pet. BUT, if you do dispose of one DO NOT mention it to anyone including family. It's a felony to shoot or trap them in many areas. In a populated area I would be very careful.
     
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  10. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I guess if it looks big enough that you're worried about your dog then take care of it. A wildcat that small enough to look like a large feral cat wouldn't have me worried about a decent sized dog. Chickens, maybe, but in my experience Bobcats and such don't often antagonize dogs. Usually it's the other way around from what I've seen.
     
  11. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    I'm in Maryland about 3 hours North of you, and I ran into an actual bobcat over the winter. Funny thing about wild animals they don't pay attention to what we as human list as "range of habitat" on the internet. :D;)

    It might be a Savannah cat which is a cross with an African Serval, that somebody kept as a pet and it got loose or they ditched it because it became "too wild". A neighbor of mine has a Savannah, and they are big but they look like a house cat on steroids, not the stubby, muscular shape of a bobcat, and they don't have the fur around the face giving the "jowls" look that the bobcat has, either.

    LD
     
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  12. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

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    Feral cats are a nuisance, carry diseases, breed voraciously and are very hard on game and song birds. We live in the country on 5 acres my three domestic spayed/neutered cats have bright collars on them, and I know what our neighbors cats look like. But the feral cats have a lot of unused ground near our place that is a haven for food but they come over and beat up on our cats and have respiratory issues from time to time. There are some very large feral cats out there, when they have a significant food supply of quail, dove, pheasant, mice, gophers and are active hunters they get large.

    Like others have said feral cats look like housecats, but are wild and avoid human contact.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    You really only have three possibilities. It surely wasn't a cougar/mountain lion/panther. That leaves bobcats and house/feral cats. I would think a bobcat would also be rather obvious because they were not likely be cornered by a dog, more likely the other way around. They are much larger than housecats and the sounds they make are much more obviously that of something wild. Not just a tomcat prowling for poon. As far as feral cats, check your state laws. I deal with them with extreme prejudice. They kill all sorts of birds, small game animals and they piss on everything.
     
  14. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Call them wild of feral, "house cats" are an invasive and destructive species wherever the are. They serve no positive purpose in the wild other than maybe lunch for a coyote or an occasional "rim-fire challenge".
     
  15. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Feral cats can absolutely decimate a localized wild turkey population in short order.
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    As example of the feral cat problem: The Wisconsin wildlife agency did a wide-ranging, large-scale study of feral cats; hired lots of wildlife biology grad students.

    Conclusions: A feral housecat kills about 100 songbirds a year. The wild population of feral cats in Wisconsin was about a million. The math is left as an exercise for the student. :)
     
  17. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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  18. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    The cat sitting at my feet is a Domestic Long Hair (basically a long haired mutt). He has no fat on him and he weighs right at 19.5 pounds. He can scale a tree fast enough to grab a dozing squirrel.

    Cat's come in different sizes and abilities just like people.
     
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  19. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    And their appearance can vary over the year I have a feral that hangs out winter she looks like a bunny, summer she trims up a lot.
    The orange one looks like a cartoon cat when it's cold and he's fluffy but when it gets warmer he starts looking a little like the Unabomber of the cats.
     
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  20. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    After my wife spending an unnecessary amount of time Googling "Bobcats in VA" I'm still not sure. A couple of the pics she showed me almost looked identical to what I saw the other night. Others not so much.

    Now she's worried about our dog getting scratched up after dark. I now wish I had just taken the appropriate tool with me and dispatched whatever it was at the time. It certainly did not have any collar.


    If I run across it again I'm going to try and get a pic of it. May or may not be alive depending on circumstances.
     
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  21. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    Around here, feral cats don't last long. Traffic, other cats -- and bobcats.

    Bobcats are pretty fearless. This one walked out right in front of me and my dog a couple years ago.

    bobcat00.JPG
     
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  22. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I will just add, the feral cats that we do have in the area are much more house cat sized. They frequently roam the edge of the woods probably 50yds behind our fenced property. Our dog goes nuts. So the cats are aware and stay at a distance.

    We've never had one come into our yard, much less have a standoff with our dog. And what I saw was absolutely much bigger than any housecat.

    Honestly it didn't look a whole lot smaller than our 50lb dog.
     
  23. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    That looks like a mountain lion lol.


    What I saw looked pretty darned close to this..

    https://images.app.goo.gl/bj5ipiFfC76BydZBA


    Now my wife's got me hooked on looking at pictures.

    My dog is pretty fearless as well, and that's not to sound arrogant, we dont want her to get hurt.

    When I went to call her in the other night she had been barking for probably a half hour, which is not uncommon. I walked out on the back porch to call her in and she didn't come, just more barking and growling. So I went back inside and grabbed my 1200 lumen light and lit up the area where the noise was coming from. As soon as I lit up the area my dog got more aggressive. I assume that in the pitch black darkness they were both not sure of what they were seeing.

    I walked out to get my dog and before I got to her she charged the cat and the thing shot up the tree like a squirrel. But they were definitely in a standoff when I lit them up.
     
  24. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    In afg we had major issues at one of the FOBS with rats. Lots and lots of huge rats. Which caused a bigger problem- they were a ready food source for cobras. The solution was to trap some stray male cats, knock them out, neuter them (which prevented them from roaming, breeding with stray females and fighting amongst themselves) and just leave them alone. The afg guards would feed them from time to time, which was sufficient to supplement their rat menu and keep the cats hanging around.
     
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  25. MihiT

    MihiT Member

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    Any cat on my place is fair game. I may hesitate if it has a really big bell around it's neck, but if I see it eying up my birds it's gone.
    If YOU want a "pet" then keep it.
    We have lots of bird species and lizards and no indigenous predators.
    Cats are -the biggest- destroyers of ecosystems (after humans)
     
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