View Full Version : Feral Cats

roy reali
January 31, 2007, 08:30 PM
How many of you shoot feral cats while hunting? I mean housecats.

Many years ago, California Fish and Game would request that hunters dispatch feral cats if they spot them while hunting. Political correctness has stopped that.

January 31, 2007, 08:35 PM
It's been an ongoing arguement here in Wisconsin for several years. Legalization has been supported by the DNR and the Conservation Congress, but gets shot down by the bleeding hearts. The official DNR stand is no tell/no crime. So, I guess, no, I never shoot feral cats..........:D

January 31, 2007, 08:43 PM
Heck no. That would be cruel. When I see a feral cat out in the field (or woods) I tempt it with a can of tuna, catch it in my gamebag and care for it in a loving manner until I can find it a suitable home. Sometimes I even let them cuddle up with me in front of a warm fire.

January 31, 2007, 09:08 PM

You should go read some statistics on how many song birds and game bird chicks cats kill every year. and follow the advice in your signature or what ever that "if it bleeds" in your posts. Or are you making a joke?

I gotta agree with buck460XVR "no tell em".

Charles S
January 31, 2007, 10:02 PM
I could be wrong but I believe rob's post involved a touch of sarcasm.

They truly are detrimental to the game in an area.

January 31, 2007, 10:05 PM
Sorry rem33. Yes, I was totally joking. If I'm out hunting and I can tell a cat is feral (afraid of me, or out away from any domestic setting) I shoot it. This sort of freaked my wife out the first time she experienced it while hunting with me. She's like, "What the hell are you doing!?" Took me a while to explain it to her.

I caught a cat in a have-a-heart trap last summer (in my neighborhood), and when I called the local P.D. to come get it they said it was my cat since I caught it. They refused to come get it. I asked if they were telling me to kill it. They said, "No, we're just not going to get the cat. The city limit is two blocks west of you on the dirt road. Anywhere beyond that it's o.k. to discharge a firearm."

January 31, 2007, 10:18 PM
I kinda thought so but wasn't sure.

Those live traps work great huh?

Hey Roy , you started this one whats your feeling?

January 31, 2007, 10:35 PM
I not only shoot them while hunting, my mom's house is crawling with strays that trickle down from an old car lot a block or so away.

Fat White Boy
January 31, 2007, 10:48 PM
I feel it is my responsibility as a hunter to shoot them on sight...

January 31, 2007, 11:25 PM
They're a plague.

January 31, 2007, 11:34 PM
Heck ya,
I'll KILL every cat I get a chance at....even my neighbors cat;)

February 1, 2007, 12:25 AM
I have yet to see a cat while hunting. But with all the coyote in northern MI I think of it as a kindness.

February 1, 2007, 12:34 AM
Hey guys,

what about dogs?? They can be just as bad. My dad and I shot 5 a couple of years ago on the land we were hunting. They were chasing the h*ll out of the deer and killing turkeys by the dozens.

As for cats, I live in a suburb and there is a collar lease law for cats just like the dogs. From August to October I have caught 40 cats, 3 oppossums, and 2squirrels in my live trap that I had next to my front door behind some fika(?) bushes. Last cat (neighbor's) bit through a pair of leather gloves - ended up taking a series of rabie shots -- they are expensive!! $6,500 - luckily my insurance picked up the bill - neighbor denying its her cat!!:mad: :mad:

February 1, 2007, 03:26 AM
neighbor denying its her cat!!

Then she won't mind when you catch it in your trap again, take it out in the woods, and let it get a 20 yard head start before you open fire.... :eek:

I hate cats.

February 1, 2007, 04:15 AM
How to Hunt Feral Cats in Wisconsin with a 12 pound Coehorn Mortar Cannon (http://www.buckstix.com/CoehornMortarHunt.htm)

February 1, 2007, 05:40 AM
That is hilarious

roy reali
February 1, 2007, 07:57 AM
When I lived in California I saw plenty of feral cats. However, most were in areas that were closed to shooting.

Here in Nevada I have have seen only one feral cat. In fact I was hunting at the time. I was walking down a dirt path and I saw a black creature cross my path about ten yards away. I froze for a second thinking it was a skunk. When I realized it was a cat, it was too late. I had my shotgun, the perfect weapon for that situation.:(

As some of you know, I grew up on a small farm. When a stray dog would enter our property I would pepper it with my pellet gun. Once a dog got stung by a pellet, you never saw that dog again. Cats were different. I could pepper a cat and then see that same cat back after a few hours. In fact the experience doesn't seem to registar with them.

So I changed my aiming technique.:D

February 1, 2007, 08:41 AM
Any "pet" I see in the woods not accompanied by its owner provides me with a few seconds of sight alignment entertainment and then a trigger squeeze. Nothing more is said.

Since I hunt my own posted/private land. If the aforementioned animal is accompanied by its owner the owner gets a visit from an old friend of mine, the county sheriff, who explains the trespass laws.

February 1, 2007, 10:08 AM
Yep, I kill them. And any stray dogs that wander into my sights too.

February 1, 2007, 11:31 AM
Well, we've been missing some domestic cats that people let run free around here. I'm on a golf course, and, I think I found out why the cats are missing:


That's why our cat stays inside. SO lost a cat to a coyote in Los Angeles...


February 1, 2007, 12:40 PM
Cats are awesome. How people can hate them (or any domesticated animal) is something I just don't understand. Maybe it's some kind of thing where people think that by being ruthless to "cute" animals they make themselves feel/appear more macho? Well, I disagree. Killing a defenseless animal doesn't make anyone more manly. Getting any enjoyment out of the pain of others, whether animals or people, is not a good sign. That goes especially for mammals like cats and dogs, which are intelligent and capable of emotion.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not a member of PETA and have nothing against responsible hunting or varmint control. But shooting animals for the sheer enjoyment of it, without any purpose beyond that, seems a little unbalanced to me.

Just my opinion, feel free to flame away if need be...

Art Eatman
February 1, 2007, 12:44 PM
I don't know if it's still on the boojks, but Wisconsin law once called on hunters to kill any feral cat they saw.

I think it was Sports Afield magazine that had an article about this. The Wisconsin wildlife folks did a study, some dozen years back. The conclusions: 1. A feral cat will kill about 100 songbirds a year. 2. There are as many as one million feral cats in Wisconsin.

Even at 50 birds per year and a half-milliion cats, that's too many dead songbirds killed by non-native ferals.

It would have to be a really good buck for me to pass up shooting a feral cat, if I saw both at once.


February 1, 2007, 12:56 PM
If the cat is in good condition, how can you tell whether the cat is feral?

February 1, 2007, 12:58 PM
Have always liked cats and wouldn't kill one for the heck of it but we bag trash in plastic bags for hauling to a not near dumpster, we are or have been in a burn ban. They tore the bags and scattered trash all over. The two I have killed were strays or ferals and made a mess of trash bags. Weapon= Winchester Mod. 1892, .45 Long Colt caliber. Range less than 100 yds. All 9 lives erased in a millisecond.

February 1, 2007, 01:00 PM
Steel Core, in the situations discussed in this thread, feral cats do, indeed fall under the 'varmint' cat-egory. :p

February 1, 2007, 01:08 PM
Steelcore, shooting a cat while hunting isn't about being cruel to the animal or because you hate them and wish to eradicate the species, nor is it about machismo. When you shoot a feral animal you are doing the ecosystem a favor by removing an animal it was not intended to support. Feral cats are a very bad species to go unchecked because they are voracious hunters, they are very good at what they do. The wild population of non-native cats is man's fault because man introduced them to this country. It is our responsibility to remove these animals that we have been careless enough to let get out of hand. This goes for ANY introduced species, dogs, cats, pigs, etc.

I am an animal lover and would never be cruel to any living thing, and anyone being cruel to an animal in my presence will have a big problem. But being an animal lover is no reason to let a non-native animal destroy the populations of animals that are supposed to be here. In some parts of the US the feral cat is getting to be as big a problem as it is in Australia. If it is not on or near a dwelling and does not have a collar on, it is feral and needs to be removed. It is a shame that alot of times it is political correctness about killing a "cute" animal that is preventing the problem from being dealt with.

February 1, 2007, 01:13 PM
I love cats they taste just like chicken!!

Here in Wyoming I have talked to several game wardens that suggest that feral cats are to be shot. Birds of all kinds have a hard enuff time with the natural predators let alone cats. Cats are one of the few predators besides man that will kill just for the fun of it. I dont feel macho for killing cats in the field, a "house cat" is just that, a cat that should be in or around the owners house. I live in a rural area and live trap 25 or 30 cats a year and hall them to the animal shelter and let them deal with them. I have no wild rabbits, or pheasants around any more I blame the cats and the folks that turn them lose.

Keep your powder dry

February 1, 2007, 01:27 PM
Heck no. That would be cruel. When I see a feral cat out in the field (or woods) I tempt it with a can of tuna, catch it in my gamebag and care for it in a loving manner until I can find it a suitable home. Sometimes I even let them cuddle up with me in front of a warm fire.

I almost busted a gut laughing at that one!

roy reali
February 1, 2007, 02:08 PM
I recently read that feral cats are responsible for killing hundreds of millions of birds. Many of these birds eat insects. These insects carry some nasty diseases.

The cruel folks are not the ones that advocate the killing of feral cats, they are the ones that advocate the killing of birds.

February 1, 2007, 02:22 PM
How people can hate them (or any domesticated animal) is something I just don't understand.I don't hate cats. I HAVE a cat. It's a pet and I don't want it to catch diseases, be injured by other animals, hit by a car, etc. so it stays indoors where it is safe and where it can't kill native fauna.

Liking cats has nothing to do with recognizing that feral cats are a plague and should be dealt with decisively (and humanely) whenever possible.I recently read that feral cats are responsible for killing hundreds of millions of birds.Not only birds, but small lizards, frogs, geckos--pretty much anything that moves that's in the right size range. Furthermore, misguided people put out food for cats which allows the cats to continue to kill after the prey population has dropped below the point that it will support the cats. That means that the cats can virtually eradicate small animal populations in an area.

In the normal situation, a predator population in an area drops when the prey population in that area becomes depleted (nothing more to eat). That allows the prey population to rebound. When people feed feral cats (or cats that are allowed to roam) they disrupt that balance and allow the predator to completely destroy the prey population.

February 1, 2007, 04:54 PM
I recently read that feral cats are responsible for killing hundreds of millions of birds. Many of these birds eat insects. These insects carry some nasty diseases

"There are no facts. There is no truth. Only data that can be manipulated. How much is it worth to you? I can get you any results you'd like."

From a Don Henley (Eagles) song...

john in jax
February 1, 2007, 05:11 PM
Kill Cats? In a residential area - - not me. In a WMA - - where they do NOT belong - - yes.

Kill Dogs? Not in a residential or even rural environment. But if I see a pack of dogs in the still hunt ONLY areas (i.e. no dogs allowed), where I'm likely to be sitting in my stand, I'd put one down - - it wouldn't be fun, I wouldn't enjoy it, but I'd do it.

And in both cases I'd be cussing the negligent owners, hoping and praying that something truly bad might happen to them.

roy reali
February 1, 2007, 05:31 PM
What do you suppose feral cats feed on? Do they order take-out pizza? Do they have KFC delivered? Do they fashion some sort of crude fishing gear and hit the local streams and ponds?

I spent most of my life living in a major city in California. That city has a river that runs right through the middle of it. This river area has some cool trails to explore.

Years ago I rarely saw any upland birds. I did see many feral cats. Then in the last few years the number of coyotes in that area increased. Then I saw fewer feral cats. I also saw many more birds.

Of course, this is my data. I probably manipulated it to make my point.:D

February 1, 2007, 06:11 PM
again, here in Wisconsin, shooting feral cats is a no tell/no crime. Shoot a dog without the owners permission unless you are in fear for your or your loved ones life, you are committing a crime. Even if they are running loose and chasing deer. Not my opinion, the DNR's. Now if you contact a warden and tell him the situation and/or it is wild dogs, he MAY give you permission to shoot them.

February 1, 2007, 06:29 PM
"There are no facts. There is no truth. Only data that can be manipulated. How much is it worth to you? I can get you any results you'd like."

From a Don Henley (Eagles) song...There are facts, there is truth and it can be discovered through research and experimentation.

From scientists everywhere. ;)

Not to be too harsh, but there are better ways to define your views of the world than by taking them from popular songs.

There was a study done some years ago to determine the effect of roaming cats on the local fauna. The results are widely available on the web. A search using the words "cats" and "songbirds" together will net some useful information.

One other thought on the impact of roaming cats. The native predators that would normally live on the things that cats kill will also be negatively impacted by their presence.

Charles S
February 1, 2007, 06:32 PM
"There are no facts. There is no truth. Only data that can be manipulated. How much is it worth to you? I can get you any results you'd like."

You and I obviously live in two very different worlds.

I certainly don't base my beliefs on the lyrics of a song, particularly a song who's lyrics are wrong.

February 1, 2007, 06:48 PM
Feral cats are a tremendous problem with the populations of small birds and wild life. We should all help to rid the countryside of them every Chance we get, and to Quote a famous singer, song writer " get over it" Don Henley again.

Some of our dollars spent on hunting licenses and gear plus some tax on firearms go to wards animals we don't hunt that feral cats are eradicating. I feel it is my responsibility to help rid the areas I hunt of such vermin.

February 1, 2007, 07:00 PM
My favorite animal to watch, learn about, and admire is the Tiger. I love most large species such as lions, leopards, cheetah, mountain lion or puma...etc. I don't judge people who hunt these large cats, but for me, I wouldn't be able to hunt them. I just admire them too much and could not destroy one for trophy.

Cats remind me of these large species in the way they move, hunt, play...etc. For this reason cats have always held my admiration even though they can be quite annoying.

Ironically I'm horribly allergic to cats.

Anyway, with all that said, when Wisconsin was about to pass a law (either ~2005 or ~2006) to allow a feral cat season (I think with no bag limit), I would have participated in the hunt. Unfortunately, the law never made it through the process. Public opinion... et cetera...

I have never spotted a cat while deer hunting. I'm not so sure that if I did I'd take a shot to get one cat, when it could possibly jeopardize my hunt. I hate to think that a dream buck was headed my way up until I decided to varmint hunt.

But if I were small game hunting or participating in some other activity where blowing my cover wasn't a big concern - I'd probably put down a cat if I were sure it was feral. I know the damage they cause to the bionetwork is real.

February 1, 2007, 08:01 PM
My wife likes cats.Somebody shot hers breaking his front leg which cost me about $1000 in vet bills.I put a $500 reward poster at the local store to find out who shot the cat.Had about a dozen people try to turn themselves in.

February 1, 2007, 08:38 PM
The only cat I *EVER* enjoyed shooting was the tom that bit my daughter. He was a beautiful orange tabby. Somebody dropped him off in the country. Probably to "live out his days in the peaceful country". To the person who dropped him off...Guess what? Your tom cat died confused and lonely. His head was sent to Ohio State University in a cooler. Sleep tight.:mad:

Death from Afar
February 1, 2007, 08:47 PM
I have shot a few wild cats over the years, and funny really, didnt enjoy it a great deal. They are a terrible pest, particully here in New Zealand on native birds and lizards. Oddly, there are such a best no one really minds wild cats getting shot, but I certainly dont have them strapped to my truck.

A mate shot a wild cat a few years back. Well, it wasnt a cat, it was a furry windowless building. It was huge! So big in fact, he had it skinned and the skin now graces his feet when he is sitting on the throne!

February 1, 2007, 10:33 PM
I don't hate cats. I HAVE a cat. It's a pet and I don't want it to catch diseases, be injured by other animals, hit by a car, etc. so it stays indoors where it is safe and where it can't kill native fauna.

Indeed, I have three of the critters myself, but they're NEVER allowed out of the house. There are too many feral cats around here and I don't want mine getting tangled up with them. They've got 2000 sq ft of space, litter boxes, food and water. There's no reason for me to let them out.

As to spotting one out in the wild, I couldn't bring myself to shoot one. You never know if the one you kill might be someone's daughter's pet. When I did have a feral cat living in my shed, I had the animal warden trap it and take it away. I doubt it lived very long after that, but I can't shoot a stray cat, and more than I could shoot a stray dog. That's just me.

February 2, 2007, 12:26 AM
I don't kill cats for a thrill, to get a joy out of an animals pain, or to feel like a "real Huntress"-- feral cats, along with dogs that are left to run or dumped because the owners don't want them anymore can be very damaging to property or children that are out playing. If they growl or hiss - they go. . . I am not willing to take that chance with my children.

Plus, if they are left to run they have a higher chance of getting rabies from infected wildlife that passes it on to them from an encounter.

February 2, 2007, 12:33 AM
I am a bleeding heart animal lover and have a new found fondness for cats, but
feral animals are a menace.
They spread disease and have a very negative impact on the wild animal population.
that coupled with their lack of fear of man make them a dangerous threat to humans, domestic animals, livestock and the environment if left unchecked

Spay or neuter your pets and pick up strays for adoption or humane euthanasia if you have issues with others addressing the problem

February 2, 2007, 12:56 AM
I've done that with my half feral cat. She's a killer, no doubt. Nothing she goes after gets played with, without eventually ending up as dinner. She's never going outside, and here's why:

I'm not up for killing many animals, even if they are pests. Shoot a crow, and find out it mates for life, and makes one heck of a racket when the mates gone.

Threw a boomarang, perfect, at a seagull, scared me to death, but, the gull pulled up, as the boomarang went by...realized I wasn't a hunter, unless they are hunting me...

Always a bit afraid that St. Peter is really an elephant...

Art Eatman
February 2, 2007, 10:37 AM
Fremmer, the way you can tell if a cat is a feral cat is by its location. If it's not within the edge of a town or urban area, or near a house, it's feral. Period. Exclamation point.

When you let any cat of whatever sort out of your house, it's instantly hunting. Right then, right there, right in the middle of town. If the opportunity is there, a friendly and tame house cat will kill just as eagerly as will its wild cousins.

One thing that might be surprising: If you kill a feral cat and examine it closely, you'll find that if it's had any sort of successful hunting, the muscles are very, very hard. They're not soft like the typical in-house poo-tat. For a given size, realizing that muscle is heavier than fat, a feral cat seems startlingly heavy.

Anecdote: A neighbor loves cats, and puts out feed for (IMO) her too-many cats. Ferals had found this "smorgasbord". The local humane folks brought out a few HavAHart traps. In a few months, they'd trapped some 72 cas, and the neighbor still has several. One small area. Few squirrels, no songbirds...


February 2, 2007, 10:47 AM
Wives are not very understanding when you break their dishes. As a matter of fact, they're not too keen on Cat Hunting with a Mortar either. Believe me, I speak from experience.

I just about wet my pants when I read that.

February 2, 2007, 01:45 PM
We dont have any cats roaming about the country-side unless they are really tough and really fast...coyotes love kitty-kat.

As for cats in the yard I don't mind em actually i kind of like cats. But by gum when a tom cat gets on my truck and pi$$e$ on the windshield and the smell is in my truck for months kitty catches a hollow point CCI mini-mag.

We actually dont have a single tom-cat on the farm because they all seem to have an affinity for peeing on my truck.

Nine lives...HA... my remington 597 is a ten-shot :cool:

February 2, 2007, 04:15 PM
Art, I'm calling you out on this one,

Fremmer, the way you can tell if a cat is a feral cat is by its location. If it's not within the edge of a town or urban area, or near a house, it's feral. Period. Exclamation point.

I live in a very-much suburban area, and the feral cat decided to deliver her kittens in the flower bed right next to my front door. Later she moved the kittens into the hole in my shed (since gone). She bit me a couple of times when I was trying to feed her and the kittens. Once the kittens got to be about 5-6 weeks old, and adoptable, that's when we captured them. Even the animal warden was afraid of the adult female, and I'm sure she was put down.

Feral cats can appear anywhere.

Art Eatman
February 2, 2007, 04:20 PM
skeeter, no argument with you. But, if you see cats wandering around your yard in town, odds are they might be somebody's beloved pet. That doesn't mean they're not feral, of course.

But I was trying to speak to what appeared to be some puzzlement on Fremmer's part. In the boonies, how could one doubt? :)


February 2, 2007, 04:27 PM
Art answered my question, which was basically how to differentiate between a feral cat vis-a-vis someone's pet cat.

I suppose I could have figured it out myself. Gimme a break, I'm just a city-slicker.....:D

Art Eatman
February 2, 2007, 04:36 PM
No problem. :) I just figure I'm real lucky to have been able to spend so much time in the boonies, or have a residence away from towns. A fair amount of my home county is legitimately called wilderness. It's the size of Delaware, but with less than 10,000 people. Heck, it's 85 miles from my house to the nearest "real" grocery.


February 2, 2007, 06:35 PM
I love cats I have a cat myself. He loves going outside but when he goes outside he is on a leash. He doesn't go 25 feet from the deck. Any cat I see roaming into our yard Is considered a stray to me if I cat get the pellet gun in time I will put one into it. I have absolutely no remorse for any animal that is wandering the streets. I would love to get ahold of the person who put the animal on the street but the one that wanders into the yard is the only one I can get.

Everyone talks about shooting the feral animals but how many people hit the breaks when they see one run across the road? I have no problem pulling the trigger on one but for some reason I cannot bring myself to put it under the rubber.

February 2, 2007, 07:21 PM
You can easily tell a feral cat from a domestic cat by the fact that they fly about 25% further when you put them in your trebuchet.

February 2, 2007, 07:32 PM
while out hunting? I don't see feral cats where I hunt. They would be the prey there. I do shoot them in my back yard though, if the dogs don't kill them first.

February 2, 2007, 07:48 PM
You guys picked a hot topic with this one. I can hear the bunny huggers screaming already! But, of course, I have no pity on the furry little varmints either when I see them out in the wild.

February 2, 2007, 07:48 PM
Good point Hodaka. You do know that if you get them good and wet they will fly farther too. We really do not have a problem with cats around here, but dogs we do have a problem with. Seems like every third year we have problems with packs of "wild dogs". And yes we do have to hunt them. I have no problem with it, just a service that I can give back to Mother Nature. I know my spot on the food chain.