Finally I’ve found something that does eat cats

The other week I posted a photo on Facebook of a cat that I ironed out with a .22-250. That little 40gr Hordany varmint round had torn its head right off.

People were outraged…some defriended me, one person threatened to punch my face in.

We left the cat lying in a paddock and nothing touched it. The hawks ate the hare and the rabbit we shot but nothing touched the cat. I’ve never seen anything eat a cat until today.

Cat owners have been warned of the dangers their feline companions face when venturing outdoors after video emerged of bald eagles feasting on the body of a dead cat near Pittsburgh.

Footage from a live web camera mounted at the Hays bald eagle nest, located a few miles from the center of Pittsburgh, showed the eagles serving up the cat to hungry eaglets. Concerned cat owners bombarded the local Audubon Society about why the eagles had preyed upon the cat.

“After reviewing the footage, we believe that the cat was dead when brought to the nest,” the Audubon Society of western Pennsylvania in a statement. “While many may cringe at this, the eagles bring squirrels, rabbits, fish (and other animals) into the nest to eat multiple times each day.”

“To people, the cat represents a pet but to the eagles and to other raptors, the cat is a way to sustain the eaglets and help them to grow. While seeing a cat in the nest was difficult for many, we’re hopeful that people will understand that this is a part of nature, and nature isn’t always kind or pretty.”

Eagles aren’t the only threat facing cats. Coyotes are considered one of the most common predators of felines. Coyotes have expanded their range in parts of the US, causing occasional clashes with cats and dogs. In 2009, residents of a Denver suburb decided to scare off problem coyotes using paintball guns.

Other threats to cats include snakes, raccoons and porcupines. Katie Lisnik, director of cat protection and policy at the Humane Society, said eagles and owls are the biggest threats to cats.

“I live in New England and the fisher [a small carnivorous mammal] can take a cat too,” she told the Guardian. “When cats are outside, they are part of the natural world. The animals that prey upon them don’t think ‘that’s a pet, it’s different’.”

In New Zealand there aren’t any coyotes, foxes, eagles or anything much that is a threat to them.

That’s why when I see a feral cat on a farm it dies.

But it’s worth noting that cats are more often predators than prey. The Audubon Society has urged people to keep cats indoors because the felines kill and eat “many, many songbirds”.

Cats kill an estimated 1.3 billion to four billion birds and an incredible 6.3 billion to 22.3 billion mammals, such as rodents, each year in the US. While the majority of these deaths are caused be free-ranging “feral” cats, rather than pets, separate studies suggest that around a third of all domesticated cats engage in hunting.

In Australia, where huge numbers of native animals are threatened by feral cats, several jurisdictions have considered making owners place bells around cats’ necks, in order to warn unsuspecting birds. The Australian government has authorized a mass cull of feral cats, to the dismay of celebrities including French actor Brigitte Bardot and British singer Morrissey, but no such intervention is planned in the US.

The Humane Society said that more needs to be done to reduce the number of feral cats, although primarily through trapping and neutering untamed felines.

“There should be an overall goal of fewer unowned cats,” Lisnik said. “Cats being harmed isn’t a good thing and nor is killing large numbers of birds and other wildlife.”

Feral cats are pests, they deserve to die. Frosty (I named him because there was a frost the night I shot him) met his end from a .22-250. He wasn’t a pet, he was a feral menace the farmer thanked me profusely for killing it…and the three others we nailed.

frosty the cat


– Guardian


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  • Wayne Hodge

    Maybe Gareth Morgan could start breeding bald eagles in NZ and freeing them to prey on cats, possums and self-satisfied tossers who write books about everything and ride motorbikes.

  • cows4me

    Just further evidence of how disconnected many have become on how the natural world works. I despair for the billions that now inhabit our mega cities should society break down, they would simply be lambs to the slaughter and wouldn’t stand a chance if they were forced to fend for themselves.

  • zotaccore

    um, the cat obsession is becoming an annoyance. Someone really needs to see a doctor!

  • Uncle Bully

    I’ve got a few on my farm at present as it appears to have been a good kitten season. The poor kingfishers are taking a hammering, and I’ve also found pigeon remains near cat lairs.

    There’s an excellent NZ made cat trap available that works really well (they make good magpie traps as well), or if the dog trees one, I use a .22 LR or 12ga BB.

    And similarly, the local hawks won’t touch them despite gobbling up any bunnies or possum carcasses I lay out for them.