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License and Leash Cats - Federation of BC Naturalists


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Given the the swath of death the family cat is cutting through bird and mammal wildlife in North America, it is time to license and leash these serial killers according to some groups.

The Federation of BC Naturalists is calling for the licensing of all cats following a devastating report labelling cats as serial killers of birds and mammals.

BC Nature, an amalgam of 52 naturalist clubs, calls for cat licensing and the leashing of felines unless they’re on their owner’s property.

BC Nature calls on the Union of BC Municipalities “to implement cat licensing,” and urges that “cats must be confined to their owner’s property or physically restrained when off the premises.”

The recommendations are in line with the findings of a provocative new U.S. study that claims the often-beloved domestic felines are responsible for billions of deaths.

“We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually,” reads the report, entitled ‘The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States,’ published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. “Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact.”

B.C. Nature president John Neville, whose group represents legions of birders, said quick action is needed to save endangered species – songbirds have decreased two per cent per year for 40 years, with no end in sight.

“It’s a big problem now, and it’s growing exponentially,” said Neville. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Neville said the problem is simple math – left unchecked, cats breed like rabbits:

“If you take two feral cats, allow them to breed freely, and allow their offspring to breed freely, if they all survive at the end of seven years you’ll have 420,000 cats. We have to neuter these cats.”

Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Regina already have pet-control regulations for cats, and Neville applauds Creston as the first B.C. community he knows of to regulate cats.

The new study, authored by Scott Loss, Tom Will, and Peter Marra, paints a disturbing tale of those lovable kittens turning into wildlife wreckers.

“Free-ranging domestic cats have been introduced globally and have contributed to multiple wildlife extinctions on islands,” write the authors. “ Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought.”

Neville said previous studies vastly under-reported cat kills – estimating that each cat kills just one bird per year.

He knows criticizing kitties won’t win him friends, but hopes reason will prevail.

“I hope that responsible cat owner will encourage other cat owners to be responsible,” said Neville. “We want cats to be looked after, not end up in the woods.”


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We once had a pregnant feral cat move into our (detached) garage. Before we could do anything we ended up with 28 feral cat around the place...

Ultimately we caught and domesticated most of them. With the help of a charity we managed to get all the ones that were semi-domesticated fixed. Then between ourselves and this charity we managed to adopt out all but two of them who we've kept as pets.

Point being, they breed like rabbits and do have a serious footprint. There were dead birds and mice everywhere...

I don't think that the suggestion that they are required to be leashed/licensed is a bad idea at all. In cases where it isn't possible for whatever reason they really need to at least be fixed.

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I'm gonna train my cat to attack idiots instead of birds.

And Yak, like your story...awesome that you handled things as you did. But while you talk about feral cats being problematic, it's domestic cats that would be leashed, so not sure that would eliminate the feral serial killer cats.

It's part of what happens. I'd rather have dead mice than breeding live ones around. And the day we start worrying about and interfering in a natural occurrence (yes, cats kill birds), that's the day the too much time on their hands club should start focusing some of that energy on starving children who are dying or something of that nature. Last time I checked, they didn't have the option or ability to fly away, giving them half the chance the birds do.

But I do like the idea of neutering and spaying feral animals - whether it be cats, dogs, rabbits. And eliminating the sale of animals in pet stores and privately - with overcrowded shelters and hundreds of strays as options, it just isn't necessary.

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"Free ranging domestic cats"..

Opposed to the numerous comatose domestic (spayed/neutered) ones that do nothing but sleep, eat, crap, then find a place in the house to lie all day long blowing up like a balloon?

Cats naturally are free roaming, and they mate a lot.

The people at fault are indeed bad owners, but moreover, western society who thinks domesticating and housing an animal that prefers to jump and roam around and do it's own thing is going to have great results. Yeah, ok.

Eliminating most if not all of the domesticated cats would be a good start, then leaving the rest alone.

But what's going to happen in it's current state is virtually nothing due to excessive political correctness.. just emphasize adoption despite that not being effective enough, and pointless license and leash laws when people can just say their cat died and buried it somewhere when in fact they lost it -- we know the truth about the way western society sees cats, that people tend to like them as kittens, and will keep buying them as kittens, then when they're no longer kittens and reality hits, they rid of them. That's not going to stop any time soon, so it's time to think a little bigger, kill the domesticated strays, and simply outlaw domestication of all cats.

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Noooooo, don't do that!! I like you, crying cat.......just not in my garden....leaving dead birds and squirrels on my deck...... and could you keep your crap outta my garden and store it in your own yard? Please?

Thanks...now don't cry.....soft kitty.....warm kitty.....little ball of fur.......

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....urging that domesticated PET cats are confined to their owner's premises (fat f***in chance) or physically restrained is quite another...and is ridiculous in my opinion. Cats are independent creatures, they go where they damn well please. I do agree with spaying and neutering feral cats and domesticated pet cats however.

You cannot herd cats...this is a fool's errand, and is stupid...in my view.

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Sure...if those BC Naturalists want to come to my farm and gather up the mice and take care of them, I'm all for it.

Until then, my cats are mousers.

Anyone got a problem with that can take it up with my over 100 pound Bouvier-Komondor cross (her favourite game is keeping the coyotes off my property).

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Interestingly enough.......I have friends who have two cats. They (the cats :P) never leave the house unless they are on a leash and when outside, they are on a long run,like a dog run. They have been leash trained since they were kittens and as I said, are never outside unless leashed or attached to the run. They are well-adjusted cats. The idea that cats cannot be kept under control is quite simply untrue. It requires effort, much like the training of dogs to become pets who are not obnoxious. And these same cat owners I mention above? They used to be of the same attitude as the majority of cat owners appear to be - can't tie a cat down - .....and they've done a complete 180 on their previous beliefs.

At one time, people said the same thing about dogs...Once upon a time dogs ran free in packs.......free to roam wherever they wanted. Were independent creatures. Yet look at them now, licensed and for the most part, in urban areas, required to be on leash at all times outside their own property.

All pet owners need to be responsible for their pets and what they do, and that includes cat owners. Why should I have to clean up your cat's leavings in my garden? Or see the birds and squirrels that frequent my back yard massacred by a neighbour's cat which is free to roam anywhere it wants? Such a hullaballo when someone's bull mastiff craps on someone else's lawn yet we non-cat owners are required to put up with the nasty leavings of cats in our own yards?

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