Like...I will never accept people responding to me saying “different places are different” with “no, every place is the Americas” and then when I say it’s not “No, every place is Australia”.
It’s just blatantly wrong on the face of it to say that. “Different places are different” shouldn’t even be a statement you oppose. But because apparently people do here are the studies for the UK and the Republic of Ireland re: declining wildlife populations. Proper studies, not surveys. Abbreviated reports included if you don’t wanna wade through the studies.
The studies from the Irish Parks and Wildlife Service
And, as promised a more condensed report given to Dáil Éireann
Then of course there’s the UK, a favourite coz literally no one ever thinks of Ireland. Here’s the study
And as promised, the quick summary if you don’t want to trudge through it
The short answer is no. Cat predation is not impacting on wildlife population in Ireland or the UK. Pretty much, 100% industrialised agricultural and fisheries methods. Which makes perfect sense when you remember cats have been on those islands for c.2,000yrs but industrialised agriculture only arrived <100yrs ago.
I’d provide sources for mainland Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa but I’m monolingual.
And here’s the post where I explain why I don’t accept the argument re: indoor cats having longer lifespans for my cat coz again; not impacting on the ecosystem.
And lastly, coz I always have to. The reason why it’d be terrrrible to remove apex predators where they’ve been present for millennia instead of a few centuries with the Yanks, Canucks, Kiwis and Ozzies.
And lastly lastly, despite the fact I’m always the one painted as being absolutist, I’m a huge fan of people keeping indoor cats for an abundance of reasons, one of the big ones being living in a late colonial country where ye brought them in en masse in a short timeframe relatively recently.
Different places are different. Different ecosystems are different. Animals have existed in them for different periods of time. If you’re saying otherwise you don’t know what you’re talking about and are letting your emotions guide you.
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I can't seem to get a clear enough answer, and there are a lot of contradictions between and inside the sites I've been visiting. What's wrong with outdoor cats?
Multiple reasons. Long post below. TW for animal death mention because anyone who talks about outdoor cats but doesn’t talk about the cats themselves dying or them killing other animals is lying to you.
A) it's harmful to the cats
Cats are no longer wild, they have been domesticated for thousands of years now. They rely on humans. They are not meant to be out on their own.
Outdoor cats get parasites from just walking around in the grass or trees they get fleas, and ticks, which can give them more parasites if they ingest to them while grooming themselves, they can get more parasites from eating prey that they kill, they can get diseases from prey that they kill, They will receive injuries, either from pray that fought back, other animals, are there cats, or predators. And God forbid you live somewhere that has venomous snakes.
They can get hit by cars. My sister and I just got home from what was supposed to be a quick shopping trip, but there's no such thing as a quick shopping trip when you don't have a car. And as we were going along, I kept thinking to myself, this is where we found that dead kitten. This is where that dead cat was. This is where that other dead kitten was...
In the grand scheme of things, cats are small animals, and things can and will hunt them and eat them. It doesn't matter where you live, there are things that can and will attack your cat, even if they don't plan to eat them.
It doesn't even have to be a wild animal. Dogs running loose, or even dogs in their owners yard because your cat doesn't care about or understand the concept of private property.
They also have to deal with the elements, blistering heat and freezing cold, rain for days, flash floods, storms, drought.
And like I said, they are domesticated they are meant to be living inside our homes with us. They are an invasive species, not only is that bad for the environment, it means that the cat is not suited to the environment. It won't be able to deal with extreme temperatures away a native animal would. Animals who live in cold places have evolved adaptations to help them deal with cold. The random breed of house cat that someone buys and then tosses outside will not have those defenses.
Cats freeze to death. They get frostbite. They get dehydrated. They starve to death.
And if they're unlucky enough to be allergic to fleas, they will, like the poor cat that I saw a few years ago, literally scratch every inch of their skin bloody. This is not an exaggeration. The only un-scarred fur that was on that cat was on its forehead where it couldn't reach with its claws.
Outdoor and feral cats have half the lifespan of a cat who is kept indoors.
The average lifespan for an outdoor or feral cat is 2-5 years.
The average lifespan for an indoor cat is 10-15. You do the math.
And know. The deaths that outdoor and feral cats have to look forward to? Are not quick and painless. They will die slowly and horribly.
B) it's harmful to the environment
Cats are domesticated. They have been domesticated for thousands of years. They are no longer a wild animal. You cannot just take a domestic animal and put it back in the wild and call it wild. That’s not how it works. You can’t undomesticate an domestic animal.
Domestic animals can go feral, but that doesn’t mean they’re wild. Feral animals are still domesticated, and they can be brought back to a normal level of behavior through socialization.
Domestic cats do not occur in nature. They are, for lack of a better term, a man-made animal.
There is nowhere on this planet that they are native to. Nowhere. Not a single place on this planet where domestic cats are native. At all. And this is not an exaggeration.
Domestic cats are an invasive species no matter where you are on this planet.
There is no environment they belong to besides our homes. Native animals fit into the ecosystem, they keep it in balance and they are kept in balance. Domestic cats do not do this. They do not fit into the ecosystem, they destroy it.
Aside from the normal risks like starvation / elemental risks, there is nothing to keep domestic cats in check. They decimate native animal populations, most noticeably native birds and small mammals. Every dead mouse or bird your cat brings to your porch is a native animal that has just been killed by your invasive pet cat.
And they don’t even eat most of what they kill. They hunt for fun. Especially if someone in the neighborhood is feeding them.
If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.
Sixty three species have gone extinct because of domestic cats.
Read that and then read it again.
Sixty three whole species. Extinct. Gone from this planet literally for forever.
This isn’t Jurassic Park. You can’t bring back a species once it’s gone.
Sixty three species are gone from this universe forever because of domestic cats.
I literally. If you look at that number, if you think about that number and what it means, and you’re still undecided, I don’t know what to tell you. I just don’t.
And it doesn’t stop there. Most outdoor / feral cats live to a max of five years old. So you’re probably thinking, “so they’ll only be hunting for five years, what’s the big deal?”
the big deal is, do you know how old a cat has to be before it can breed?
Do you know how old a cat has to be before it can get pregnant?
At six months old a cat is still a kitten and they can and will get pregnant.
And they can give birth from anywhere from 1-12 kittens at once.
They’re pregnant for two months. They can have five litters a year. They can start getting pregnant from the time they’re six months old.
Even if all you have is two cats, their population will expand exponentially. Especially because they are animals. They don’t give a single shit. They will mate with their children and parents and siblings. They don’t care. They don’t know any better. Two cats can create dozens upon dozens. They will start breeding when they’re six months old and then keep breeding until they die.
And all of them will be killing native animals and disrupting the local ecosystem the entire time. All of them will be suffering from parasites, diseases, and injuries the entire time.
C) It’s bad for humans
here’s a personal anecdote.
year before last I weeded, raked, put newspaper down, and then mulched the side of my house so I could use it as a garden bed. It took two days of working almost non-stop in the heat.
The day after I put down the mulch, I came back out to start planting the flowers, only to discovered that the entire bed was covered in cat crap and reeked of cat pee. If there were still sunlight I could literally go out there right now and take a picture and show you all the cat crap that’s there that’s fresh. I do not keep cats outdoors. The cats that are crapping in my garden beds either belong to a neighbor somewhere on the block, or they’re feral. And I even put a fence up around the garden, and they still found a way past it to keep crapping in it.
Literally days of hard work and it’s covered in cat shit from cats that don’t even belong to me.
If you keep outdoor cats, I can GUARENTEE you that they are crapping in your neighbor’s yards, because cats do not know or care about the concept of private property.
And I hope I don’t need to explain how unsanitary and dangerous animal shit is.
And it’s not just them using my garden beds--where I grow food--as toilets. They are a threat to birds and squirrels in my yard, because I can’t keep other people’s cats out, which means I can’t put bird feeders anywhere that a cat could get to, because then I’ll be ringing the freaking dinner bell for the invasive species to come and eat the native animals.
And it’s not just birds and mice they’ll kill. They’ll kill squirrels and even rabbits. And they don’t stop there. A single bite or a scratch from a cat is deadly to most reptiles, because cats carry bacteria they can’t handle. As far as reptiles are concerned, cats are lethally venemous.
So to sum it up:
Outdoor and feral cats suffer and die needlessly.
Ourdoor and feral cats are an INVASIVE SPECIES that destroys whatever local ecosystem they are placed into, and have driven over 63 species extinct. 63 species gone from this gods damned planet forever.
Ourdoor and feral cats are a nuisance to people, and a vector for disease.
Keep your cats inside. Outdoor cat people do not interact. You will be blocked on sight.
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