View Full Version : what's a good load for cat?

February 26, 2002, 06:14 PM
Stray -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- cats that is. I have horrible memories of my teenage years where I shot a couple stray cats and both times the things went tearing off to suffer and die slowely. Now there's a bunch of stray cats hanging around again.
I won't be able to get close enough for shotgunnery.

February 26, 2002, 07:08 PM
Why do you want to shoot stray cats? Both of my wife's cats are strays and they aren't too bad as far as cats go. Besides, they keep rats, mice, and other such things away.

February 26, 2002, 07:30 PM
wife has already adopted three stray cats. The ones hanging around now are pretty scraggly looking. I don't want her to adopt a project cat. If you want to come and catch them, I'll give you my address.

February 26, 2002, 07:47 PM
Check out the thread going in General Handgun on coyotes. Apparently, they eat a LOT of cats. So, there's your solution.

Art Eatman
February 26, 2002, 08:56 PM
One feral cat = 100 songbirds, per year. (State of Wisconsin study.) Feral cats are probably the most destructive to small wildlife of all animals.

What sort of gun CAN you use? Are you city? Rural?

If noise is a problem, either a head-shot with a .22 rimfire, or use a .410 shotgun. But just shoot once--people forget so easily, bless their hearts.

Crosswise shots into the body are bad; cats are surprisingly tough. Lengthwise with a .243, however, is rather soul-satisfying.

Good hunting!


February 26, 2002, 10:02 PM
check this thread:



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

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.


February 26, 2002, 10:10 PM
Yep strays definitely need thinned out. Its not fluffy the neighbors pet that we're talking about. Strays/feral cats do alot of damage and in many cases aren't healthy. If you leave them be, they just breed and you have more of them to deal with. They don't always wade far enough into the gene pool and can end up with some pretty bad genetic defects/ health problems too. If you take them to a shelter, they'll probably get put down anyway so just put them out of their misery and make it quick. Save yourself the time,hassle, money and tetanus/rabies shot ;)
Head shots are the only real successful way to drop them, and then they will usually flop quite a bit. Body shots are lethal, but slow to stop them, they seem to have hell of a nervous system (sort of like a chicken running around after you cut its head off)
.22RF's work good. CB's for short range stuff, if you have a safe shooting range/backstop use something with more punch, hollow points are good. Between the eyes, or the base of the skull/spinal cord are good points to aim for. Happy hunting
Oh yeah, I've never tried it but I like Art's suggestion of a .243 :D

February 27, 2002, 05:37 AM
Cats are very tough, when I lived in Key West a while back, Shrimpers used to use cats for shark bait, slip a BIG hook thru the scruff of the neck and troll them, they would last a long time before drowning, but mostly sharks would take them first.

February 27, 2002, 10:37 AM
Another possible solution before resorting to shooting stray/feral cats is to call your local SPCA or animal control officer.

You could potentially draw some unwanted attention to yourself if you end up shooting the cats and some diehard cat/animal lover (who just happens to hate gun owners) finds out.

Are any of your neighbors feeding these cats? My dad had a similar problem with a neighbor who thought she was doing "the right thing" feeding homeless cats. He said the urine smell was also a problem. Once the feeding stopped, the cats disappeared.

Another neighbor hated dogs in her yard and would shoot them with a BB gun. This was back before they had leash laws. After getting hit a few times with a BB they learned to stay away. Might work with cats too.

Good luck.

February 27, 2002, 11:18 AM
<<Cats are very tough, when I lived in Key West a while back, Shrimpers used to use cats for shark bait, slip a BIG hook thru the scruff of the neck and troll them, they would last a long time before drowning, but mostly sharks would take them first.>>

Someone who does this is sick. Absolutely sick.

February 27, 2002, 11:20 AM
Shoot cats with a low powered BB gun, and they don't learn to stay away - they just change the timing of their visits.

A powerful air rifle will do the trick for most cats, otherwise you'll have to move up to a .22 rimfire. Use subsonic ammo and keep the muzzle well inside the house, and the sound of the shot won't travel too far, if nearby neighbors are a concern. As always, shot placement is important.

Weigh your chances of being ticketed or worse before taking any action - you need to know what the local laws are. And it should go without saying that you need to be careful that your shot doesn't endanger anything except the cat!

Funny how some "cat lovers" think their %[email protected]! animal needs to be free to roam, and think it has an absolute right to use your yard, flower bed, deck, and kid's sandbox as its' toilet.

February 27, 2002, 11:53 AM
Crosswise shots into the body are bad; cats are surprisingly tough. Lengthwise with a .243, however, is rather soul-satisfying.

Art, I have a lot of respect for your opinions on rifles and hunting, but this comment bothers me. I understand the possible need to put down a cat if it is reeking havoc on your yard or belongings. If I had to do it, the shot would have to provide a quick and humane death. But for me, it would be a distasteful chore, and I'd probably defer to animal control if I were in a city and if they would actually handle it.

Revelling in the task or finding it "soul satisfying" strikes me as not too far from the level of feral cats that hunt songbirds for sport. As a human with the capacity for reason, I have a greater appreciation of the sanctity of life, and I am not an advocate of killing solely for sport. I do hunt (turkey, deer, upland birds), but I have problems with killing anything that I'm not planning to eat. Basically, the animal has to be a threat, or it has to wind up on my dinner table. I know that not all hunters share in my ethics, but I also know that I'm not alone here.

I agree with Mighty Quinn that tying a live cat onto a hook is disgusting. Perhaps this is because I see cats as a higher order than fish, and because I have a respect for them as predators. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that cats are pretty intelligent and can be good domesticated companions, whereas a mullet is not exactly the best choice.

I know that stray populations cause very real problems, and I understand that sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. But some folks here just seem to get a kick out of killing, and that's what disturbs me.

February 27, 2002, 12:44 PM
MS, I will gladly handle this problem for you. The 10/22 with solids should be able to handle it. This weekend after the gunshow seems appropriate. We'll just have to make sure it's before dark.

February 27, 2002, 12:47 PM
Didn't mean to upset anyones sensiblities with my "cat" fishing tail, just relating something I heard of in my times in the Keys. There are some pretty salty good ole boys down there who make thier living from a cruel and unrelenting sea,and this was just something they were brought up on. Some of their other activities was speeding along in a Boston Whaler with a high flying bridge to spot sharks in the shallow "flats" and then shooting them with a Garand, sharks has to be less than a foot below the surface to be effective, I won't go into what they used to do to allygators down there.

February 27, 2002, 04:48 PM
I think its safe to say that no one who posted in this so far is lusting for blood or enjoys killing. Its a matter of conservation. Some people really like cats, and its harder for them to justify it. I for one don't particularly like cats, and while I don't get a kick out of killing them, I put it on the same level as varmint hunting. And even joke around about it from time to time, like comments about using a .243 . In the end, while it may sound distasteful, a really destructive load like that will be the most humane. The cat will never know what hit it.
I don't think anyone here hunts because they enjoy killing. They enjoy the sport and the skill required to get the kill, and only do so when theres a reason ( for food, the animal is dangerous or destructive, populaiton control etc. )

Art Eatman
February 27, 2002, 04:48 PM
Guyon, always remember that I tend to smart off a lot in my phrasing.

Anyway, I guess why I hate feral cats so much--aside from their destructiveness on quail and songbirds--is my impotence as regards the people who won't take an unwanted pet to the pound, or behave responsibly as far as spaying, etc. They're no different from vandals, sign-shooters or trash-throwers.

I guess the "soul-satisfying" part comes from relieving frustration. I know that there's gonna be more feral cats showing up and there's nothing I can do to prevent it. That's darned well frustrating.

My shot on a feral cat is indeed a shot fired in anger. A feral house cat gets around me? Shame on his sorry butt. "He's just doing his thing." just doesn't cut it, 'cause "his thing" is destructive. These are not native to the ecosystem--they're like the rabbits in Australia.

And, hey, any really good shot on a fairly small target is soul-satisfying.


February 27, 2002, 05:39 PM
Perhaps I misread some of the comments in terms of their intended tone. Understand that my consternation comes from my upbringing, for I was raised to believe that life is precious and rare in all its forms and that the killing of any animal carries with it a significance.

And I'll admit that some of my reaction comes from liking cats. I like their independent natures and admire their hunting skills. I have an indoor cat and recently started feeding an abandoned outdoor cat, who has now taken up residence at my house. This was no feral cat, mind you. This cat is people-friendly and clearly abandoned. Here Art, I share with you an intolerance for folks who don't take care of their animals. This cat has since been fixed, tested for disease, and given his shots.

Feral cats are another problem entirely. The animal control department in my town recently had a big cat "roundup" in one particular neighborhood where the feral population had gotten out of control. Seems that when it rained and then the sun came out, the whole neighborhood smelled like cat urine. Yes, many of the rounded-up cats were euthanized. And shooting the cats, if carried out humanely, is really no different I suppose.

I would hope that folks here would be sure of two things before they pull the trigger though.

First, make sure it is a feral cat and not someone's pet or an abandoned animal. If the cat will approach you, it may have been deserted by its original owners. I think the better option here would be a humane association or pound. At least the animal would have a chance at a life.

Second, make sure the shot is instantly lethal. If you're going to kill an animal, I think there should be some honor about the act. A quick and painless death is something any of us, human or beast, deserves. Use enough gun and be sure of your target.

I have heard my fair share of cat-shooting comments at gun shows--particular with regard to the Colibri .22 rounds (some call them "cat rounds"). In some of these voices, I've detected a jubilation at the prospect of inflicting injury on random cats. There is a glint of meanness and an uncaring tone that disturbs me there, and perhaps I was projecting these voices onto the above posts.

I know I took this thread way off topic, but I felt like the ethics of shooting a cat needed some attention. In response to the original question, I think that .22 FMJ could be a cruel round. Look for a round that offers quicker expansion and therefore a greater chance of a humane kill. There are lots of good hollow point rounds in .22 caliber, but still, shot placement is critical.

Art Eatman
February 27, 2002, 07:17 PM
Guyon, concur 100%.

Ethics may be off-thread, but it's never off-topic. :)

I've always been a cat lover, since I was a little-bitty. I travel too much for it to be fair to the animal to have a dog or cat.

Again, my killing is limited to feral cats. I wouldn't shoot a cat I thought might be somebody's pet. But, some of these feral tomcats I've seen could stand flat-footed and whip a Rottweiler!


February 28, 2002, 02:46 AM
The stats concerning the toll feral cats take on other wildlife is blown out of porportion.

Quail have a Natural motrtality rate of @ 80% per year.

Some people get there kicks and giggles shooting and killing cats, then cloak thier desires in some study done or quote a statistic to justify thier actions.

Really quite pathetic.


February 28, 2002, 03:48 AM
Those stats may very well be blown out of proportion, but I know this-feral cats and dogs and a whole lot of animals used to like raiding my chicken coop, and thats something I will not stand for, nor will I put up with possible/probable rabies infected abandoned animals around mine unless I know without a doubt they are safe. Anyone who lives in a rural area is aware of a lot of dumped animals, and animal control is not equipped to take care of the issue.

February 28, 2002, 04:16 AM
David, People that dump animals out in rural areas are the one that should be shot...;)


February 28, 2002, 06:40 AM

Slightly off-topic, but: can you tell me where you heard that the natural mortality rate among quail was 80%? It seems that, in the 40 years since I was a teen, all game and song birds have become much more sparse. I'm wondering what their rates were then and now and where you got this information.


February 28, 2002, 06:43 AM
12-34hom-I'm with you all the way on that!

February 28, 2002, 07:16 AM
Jimmy, while attending college for a degree in horticulture, i took some parks and rec classes.

The teacher was a retired conservation officer for the state of Iowa. I got that stat from one of his classes, along with the mortality rates for other types of game animals.


February 28, 2002, 08:01 AM
If the people that had owned the cats had taken responsibility for them and had them fix'ed then there would not be so many strays.

Kirk Keller
February 28, 2002, 10:36 AM
Long garden hose, sprinkler, hand on faucet, stealthy patience. A quick twist of the wrist is all it takes. Cats scatter, homeowner gets a video to send to America's Funniest Home Videos". It may take a few soakings, but cats hate water more than anything in the world.

My wife has 4 cats and I couldn't bring myself to shoot them.

Art Eatman
February 28, 2002, 11:38 AM
JimmyDee, I heard/read of the 80% quail mortality figure from Texas Parks & Wildlife biologists...

A Wisconsin study, done some maybeso ten years back, used grad students in wildlife biology and folks from their Game Dept. The published conclusion was that a feral housecat will kill about 100 songbirds a year. They estimated the feral cat population of Wisconsin at around one million. The resulting problem is left as an exercise for the student. :)

Now, this last number sounds high. However, the "dog pound" folks of Thomasville, Georgia, responded to complaints from neighbors of my wife (rural area) and did a live-trap program. Within less than two miles of her house, some 70 feral cats were trapped.

I can tell you that they did not get all of them. :) Conservatively, then, it's not unreasonable to guesstimate some 30 feral cats per square mile in rural areas. (I imagine it would be much lower in the low-rainfall states; sparser populations of prey.)


March 1, 2002, 02:51 PM
I've caught several stray cats by trapping them using Victor 1 1/2 coilsprings soft catches.They have padded jaws and are actually much more humane than a cage trap.
After I caught the cat I would give it to somebody,since it's against the law to kill a trapped domestic animal in my state.

Mick Mason
March 1, 2002, 05:36 PM
Don't much like feral cats myself, but cruelty is still cruelty. Whatever you decide to do to address the cat problem, do it with the thought that even a stinking feral cat feels pain.

I prefer shooting them myself.


Art Eatman
March 1, 2002, 09:32 PM
Mick, m'lad, I'm in full agreement. That's why I use a .243 or a Swift.

:), Art

March 1, 2002, 09:59 PM
Cats are not tough and this includes bobcats. And bobcats are my favorite wild animal so there is no bias there. Feral cats are a very real problem. I am a cat lover but I have to shoot several a year because I live on a ranch but the ranch is close to town and townpeople dump their cats out here. Plus, many cats simply like the wild life. And they definitely decimate bird populations. Some breeds of cats seem to prefer birds to mice. Anyway, as for dispatching of them quickly and humanely I prefer either a .410 or a .22 Mag.

March 2, 2002, 09:19 AM
....whatever I happen to be carryin' when I seez 'em.

Every strayin' cat I see while I'm on my property gets the same treatment, might be different medicine, but the outcome is usually the same....GYD. Our pheasant and quail populations are hurting enough 'round these parts without the added strain of what feral or stray cats do to them.

Now I do keep a couple cats here on the farm to take care of the mousin' and rat business. And we do get the occasional stray tom who happens by hoping to service the female when she's takin' on customers. But, if I can do my part it's the last thing old tom ever does. And, if I find my own tom starts to strayin'(which usually starts when they're about a year and a half old) he get the same treatment.

Years ago my Grandpappy showed me how to take away some of the roaming urges from tom cats. I won't go into great detail but it involved an old boot, a very sharp knife, and a little medicinal value alcahol(some for the cat and a shot for Gramps when he was done).;) That little out-patient procedure, although a bit painfull I'm sure, usually adds a few years life expectancy to old tom.

FWIW, stray/feral dogs don't fare much better when they step foot on my place. But that's another topic........

March 2, 2002, 10:13 AM
When cooper made his little statement about this being the age of the wimp, he sure wasnt talking about Art! Good attitude Art.

Now, I got nothing against cats speciffically but Instantanious lethality seems humane and proper in this case.

Honey, fetch me my 12 gauge!

Art Eatman
March 2, 2002, 10:42 AM
Well, life is full of necessary chores. Some are not inherently as much fun as others. I've never understood the point of a bunch of hand-wringing over doing what needs doing.

So I'll clean toilet-bowls and windows, or shoot feral cats, or rebuild motors or change flat tires--whatever needs doing.

"Do it, and then talk about it."

:), Art

The Terminator
March 2, 2002, 01:44 PM
I have a 9mm carbine, it seems like it would be good cat medicine out to about 50 yards. For people who grow up in an urban environment, killing seems to be removed from their normal view of the world. Growing up on a farm, where death is an everyday occurance, it doesn't seem to bother me to kill a few cats. Cats are devastating to the local fauna. (No, I am not a bloodthirsty killer;) ). I personally don't think that my investments or wildlife should suffer because of any imaginary rights that marauding cats may have.

I don't have a problem with anyone who is happy to tolerate cats on their own property or whatever. I would also try to refrain from killing my neighbors cats with the thought of being a good neighbor. If they got after my chickens or turkeys or whatever else they might try to destroy, that would be a different story. Best -

March 2, 2002, 09:47 PM
Het Art,
I thought vermin controls motto was:
"Shoot, Shovel, & Shut Up"


Art Eatman
March 2, 2002, 10:25 PM
dZ, that's just for trespassers. :D We don't have any of the USF&WS pets, down here.

Ya gotta remember that Ol' Wiley is sort of a walking DisposAll hisownself. And, the buzzards will be back before too long...

:), Art

March 3, 2002, 06:35 AM
Maybe TFL should have a cat killers club.

Art could be the Grand Poohba & his minions that save thier wildlife from the scourge of the dreaded "feral Cat".

12-34hom. - lol

The Terminator
March 3, 2002, 06:38 AM
Art could be the Grand Poohba & his minions that save thier wildlife from the scourge of the dreaded "feral Cat".

Thanks, it is not often that I find something on a message board to be genuinely funny. -