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Shooting Feral Cats

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May 26, 2010
Shooting Feral Cats - 27

In many rural areas shooting feral cats is pretty standard procedure—though if you mention this to gentile suburbanites or hip urban-dwellers don’t be surprised when one of them drops their chocolate martini* and faints from shock.

For people who pay attention to nature, the devastation feral cats cause among birds and other wildlife is no secret and the only reasonable way to control their numbers is by removing them from the population. (Should you decide to get serious about this work, I suggest you go out right now and get yourself a .220 Swift.) Not that other methods haven’t been tried or advocated.

Freida Pinto:

Many anti-hunters pray for the day animal contraception can be employed on a wide scale to keep exploding deer numbers and the like in check without the need for legions of rednecks in blaze orange to march forth with rifles. In a similar vein of wishful thinking, I pray for the day that Freida Pinto ( pictured right ) is overcome with an uncontrollable attraction to Outdoor Life’s Shooting Editor.

But don’t take my word that this crazy notion is a pipe dream (the animal contraception, I mean). The April 2010 issue of the Journal of Mammology reports on a study of feral cats on California’s Sanata Catalina Island where widespread sterilization was employed to control their numbers:

“From 2002 to 2004, researchers tracked the movements of 14 sterilized and 13 reproductively intact cats with radiocollars in the Middle Canyon and Cottonwood Canyon watersheds on the eastern half of Catalina to determine their home-range and long-range areas. Contrary to expectations, the study showed that sterilization did not keep the cats “close to home,” defending their territory against the influx of more cats. Both sterilized and intact cats roamed over long distances, traveling between the island’s developed areas and wildland interior….
 
“Even with a high rate of sterilization, it could take more than a decade for a colony of cats to become extinct. Rather than trap–neuter–release, the authors of this article recommend that, on Catalina, cats trapped in the island’s interior should be removed and delivered to a shelter where they would be adopted or euthanized.”

You can download the full study here. In the meantime, be on the lookout for cats.

* Technically, of course, there is no such thing as a chocolate martini. A martini is made with ice-cold gin, a touch of vermouth and an olive. If it doesn’t have these ingredients it isn’t a martini.

Comments (27)

Top Rated
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from 6phunter wrote 3 years 44 weeks ago

I keep a cat around the place to control rodent populations,so i'm not going to shoot my own cat if i see him in the nearby woods.would i shoot youre's? you betcha,do i expect you to let mine go? nope . I can always get another cat,the classsifieds always have free cats to give away.lifes a struggle even for the proverbial cat w/ 9 lives .

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

John,I understand the concept, but I live in an area where that kind of noise will bring these black and white cars that have loud sirens and flashing red and blue lights. The gentlemen that occupy those are not usually know for their sense of humor where large bore weapons are concerned. If I lived twenty minutes to the east of where I do, there would be no problem, but for now, my .22 LR subsonics will have to suffice. They also work on raccoons, possums, and Armadillos (Which can tear up a yard bad in just one night).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

Madmax, I like the cut of your jib. A .45-70 is an inspired choice. For the shooter who can't get enough frontal surface area on his bullets in relation to target size it would be just the thing for feral felines.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from madmax wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

'Round here, most feral cats become repurposed as coyote poo sooner or later. Coyotes also consume a fair amount of carrion. I've heard the suggestion from knowledgeable sources that a significant measure of efficiency can be introduced into that system, but not necessarily with just a 220 Swift. Lest the other denizens of the gun safe become envious and stage a riot, all should have access to an opportunity at assisting in this process. A .45-70 Contender is happiest and healthiest when exercised properly and given a reasonable serving of meat on occasion. Or, so I've heard.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

It was former President Jimmy Carter who shot his neighbors cat with a shotgun only to scare it but killed it instead. You gotta love that guy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MARINESNIPER44 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

A shotgun with 6's works the best for road hunting cats.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Guys, I recommend head shots, If you soak the cat in a salt water solution for an hour or so, you can experiment with the right spices and seasonings. You just might come up with a reasonable recipes. You don't have to tell the kids or your guests that this wonderful stew is feral cat until after they tell you how good it is.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I know this is way off topic but is any one following the NBA playoff's the game last night was great.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

crabwearer, I'm 6'5 250 but I tell evreyone I'm 6'3 because in a basketball pick up game it's hard for people to let someone our size to run the point guard position! :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Hickory wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Feral cats are targets of opportunity.

And yes, our beloved .17 HMR rifles are great cat terminators.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HawkEye wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

seadog-- word of warning if you decide to trap them. Cats have absolutely no problem biting through a thick welding glove. They will protect you from the claws but not the teeth. I learned this after a few bloody fingers from just my first trapped cat. lol After which I broke out my .22.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HawkEye wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I watched a show on the best hunters in the animal kingdom. While I was guessing what it would be I was suprised to find out that the common cat was number 1 with the highest sucessful rate. My vote has to go for the .22. I might have to try that bottle nipple trick.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

why not just poision them and save the ammo for big game.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Salts wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Road Runners are hell on a Turkey population too!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Salts wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Two critters are the best way to wipe out a Quail Population, Road Runners and Feral Cats! Eliminate the two and watch the population explode!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Excellent point, Mr. Snow, but wouldn't the excess power of the venerable .220 make the construction of a feral cat-skin hat rather difficult?

Times have changed since Daniel Boone, but we have to make do with what we have...

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

The only down side to the .220 Swift is availability of ammo. Otherwise it has better stats than the 22-250.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Dukkillr, the reason I suggest the .220 Swift is obvious--everyone should have one and if this provides the excuse to go get the granddaddy (and still reining king) of varmint cartridges, all the better.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crabwearer wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I'm a big guy (6'3", 240lbs) so rest assured that axe handle was quick DJH. :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

so thats what happened to my cat :-)

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from crabwearer wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I make a bet my little .17HMR will do the trick on a cat. Now I just need a baby bottle nipple. Or, axe handles don't make any noise so that's an option too.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Mr. Snow,

Currently cat season is open year around, 24/7. It requires no license, no tags, there are no limits and any method of harvest is acceptable. A cat is deemed "ferel" the second it leaves it's yard. Nothing good can come of a public forum which brags of the beauty of this little known game animal. I suggest you keep this under your hat or soon we'll see limits, seasons or even tags for cats.

Regards,

Ishi

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

You know, some years ago, I discovered that by using subsonic .22 loads, along with putting a baby bottle nipple that had been scored with an X, pull it over the muzzle of .22 rifle, it would alter the sound just enough to not be a beacon screaming "GUN SHOT" in a residential neighborhood. It is a good way to manage feral cats. Where I live now it is not a problem. I am on the outskirts of town and on a clear night, every now an then I can hear the coyotes...I guess there is a purpose for them after all...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Unfortunatly, the use of lead for population control is severely frowned upon in my overcivilized neighborhood--something about laws & jail time or some blah blah blah crap--I stopped paying attention after the cute kitty crap. But the feral cat population is thriving--I'm surrounded, but my 4-legged partner, Roxy, keeps my back yard feral cat free. I may resort to covert ops. But if I decide to trap 'em, I promise I won't take them out and drop 'em off in Charlie Elk's yard.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Why a .220 Swift? Seems to be a bit of overkill for feral cats - inexpensive .223 rounds oughta do the job just as well.

Idle curiosity.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from cgull wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Way too many get tired of taking care of cats and rather than put the family pet up for adoption they figure the cat can make it on its own and dump them. Feral cats are devestating to quail, other birds and rabbits. I see nothing wrong with removing feral cats by any means, yes lead works great!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Irresponsible city folk drive out to my country place and dump their unwanted cats. Guess they figure we will care for em. Well those cats do get permanently sterilized. Lead is very effective at stopping additional kitty births.
later,
charlie

+5 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from charlie elk wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Irresponsible city folk drive out to my country place and dump their unwanted cats. Guess they figure we will care for em. Well those cats do get permanently sterilized. Lead is very effective at stopping additional kitty births.
later,
charlie

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

so thats what happened to my cat :-)

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from cgull wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Way too many get tired of taking care of cats and rather than put the family pet up for adoption they figure the cat can make it on its own and dump them. Feral cats are devestating to quail, other birds and rabbits. I see nothing wrong with removing feral cats by any means, yes lead works great!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Why a .220 Swift? Seems to be a bit of overkill for feral cats - inexpensive .223 rounds oughta do the job just as well.

Idle curiosity.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Unfortunatly, the use of lead for population control is severely frowned upon in my overcivilized neighborhood--something about laws & jail time or some blah blah blah crap--I stopped paying attention after the cute kitty crap. But the feral cat population is thriving--I'm surrounded, but my 4-legged partner, Roxy, keeps my back yard feral cat free. I may resort to covert ops. But if I decide to trap 'em, I promise I won't take them out and drop 'em off in Charlie Elk's yard.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Excellent point, Mr. Snow, but wouldn't the excess power of the venerable .220 make the construction of a feral cat-skin hat rather difficult?

Times have changed since Daniel Boone, but we have to make do with what we have...

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Mr. Snow,

Currently cat season is open year around, 24/7. It requires no license, no tags, there are no limits and any method of harvest is acceptable. A cat is deemed "ferel" the second it leaves it's yard. Nothing good can come of a public forum which brags of the beauty of this little known game animal. I suggest you keep this under your hat or soon we'll see limits, seasons or even tags for cats.

Regards,

Ishi

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

You know, some years ago, I discovered that by using subsonic .22 loads, along with putting a baby bottle nipple that had been scored with an X, pull it over the muzzle of .22 rifle, it would alter the sound just enough to not be a beacon screaming "GUN SHOT" in a residential neighborhood. It is a good way to manage feral cats. Where I live now it is not a problem. I am on the outskirts of town and on a clear night, every now an then I can hear the coyotes...I guess there is a purpose for them after all...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crabwearer wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I make a bet my little .17HMR will do the trick on a cat. Now I just need a baby bottle nipple. Or, axe handles don't make any noise so that's an option too.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crabwearer wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I'm a big guy (6'3", 240lbs) so rest assured that axe handle was quick DJH. :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Dukkillr, the reason I suggest the .220 Swift is obvious--everyone should have one and if this provides the excuse to go get the granddaddy (and still reining king) of varmint cartridges, all the better.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

The only down side to the .220 Swift is availability of ammo. Otherwise it has better stats than the 22-250.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Hickory wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Feral cats are targets of opportunity.

And yes, our beloved .17 HMR rifles are great cat terminators.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MARINESNIPER44 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

A shotgun with 6's works the best for road hunting cats.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Salts wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Two critters are the best way to wipe out a Quail Population, Road Runners and Feral Cats! Eliminate the two and watch the population explode!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Salts wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Road Runners are hell on a Turkey population too!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HawkEye wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I watched a show on the best hunters in the animal kingdom. While I was guessing what it would be I was suprised to find out that the common cat was number 1 with the highest sucessful rate. My vote has to go for the .22. I might have to try that bottle nipple trick.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HawkEye wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

seadog-- word of warning if you decide to trap them. Cats have absolutely no problem biting through a thick welding glove. They will protect you from the claws but not the teeth. I learned this after a few bloody fingers from just my first trapped cat. lol After which I broke out my .22.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

crabwearer, I'm 6'5 250 but I tell evreyone I'm 6'3 because in a basketball pick up game it's hard for people to let someone our size to run the point guard position! :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I know this is way off topic but is any one following the NBA playoff's the game last night was great.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Guys, I recommend head shots, If you soak the cat in a salt water solution for an hour or so, you can experiment with the right spices and seasonings. You just might come up with a reasonable recipes. You don't have to tell the kids or your guests that this wonderful stew is feral cat until after they tell you how good it is.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

It was former President Jimmy Carter who shot his neighbors cat with a shotgun only to scare it but killed it instead. You gotta love that guy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from madmax wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

'Round here, most feral cats become repurposed as coyote poo sooner or later. Coyotes also consume a fair amount of carrion. I've heard the suggestion from knowledgeable sources that a significant measure of efficiency can be introduced into that system, but not necessarily with just a 220 Swift. Lest the other denizens of the gun safe become envious and stage a riot, all should have access to an opportunity at assisting in this process. A .45-70 Contender is happiest and healthiest when exercised properly and given a reasonable serving of meat on occasion. Or, so I've heard.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

Madmax, I like the cut of your jib. A .45-70 is an inspired choice. For the shooter who can't get enough frontal surface area on his bullets in relation to target size it would be just the thing for feral felines.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

John,I understand the concept, but I live in an area where that kind of noise will bring these black and white cars that have loud sirens and flashing red and blue lights. The gentlemen that occupy those are not usually know for their sense of humor where large bore weapons are concerned. If I lived twenty minutes to the east of where I do, there would be no problem, but for now, my .22 LR subsonics will have to suffice. They also work on raccoons, possums, and Armadillos (Which can tear up a yard bad in just one night).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 3 years 44 weeks ago

I keep a cat around the place to control rodent populations,so i'm not going to shoot my own cat if i see him in the nearby woods.would i shoot youre's? you betcha,do i expect you to let mine go? nope . I can always get another cat,the classsifieds always have free cats to give away.lifes a struggle even for the proverbial cat w/ 9 lives .

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

why not just poision them and save the ammo for big game.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)