on cats and birds

To: Russell <>
Subject: on cats and birds
From: Penny Drake-Brockman <>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 14:06:33 +1100
Dear birding-aussers

Re: cats and Vicki PS, Andrew Stafford and others on the subject, I have
had cats for many years - was brought up with them in England, and have
always been torn between my love of birds and appreciation of the beautiy,
independence and retention of wild instincts that most cats display. Also
they are not dependent slobbery creatures like dogs - wait for the howls
from the dog loving brigade!

However, what i have found is that a well fed cat (raw meat is possibly a
help) tends after 4 years of age or so, to get lazy, particularly neutered
toms, and if kept in at night, belled, etc., is less likely to catch birds.
But if you live in an area with lots of bush and lots of native birds (I
live in the centre of Sydney where I wish my cat would catch Common Mynas
as well as the occasional rat which he deposits on my back doorstep)
perhaps keeping a cat and liking birds just does not go together.  When
(if) I am able to move to a bush habitat, I will not have another cat -
present one is 12.5 yrs old and getting lazier and lazier - he does have
the advantage of keeping my neighbour's cats out of my backyard and
frightening the Currawongs - with no hope of catching the canny b......ds.

As Vicki says, there is little likelihood that cat keeping will be outlawed
so we have to find ways of mitigating the damage they do - and education
owners is one of the better ways. And we should never resort to cruelty.

Penny Drake-Brockman, Examination Recitals Co-ordinator, Sydney
Conservatorium of Music.
Tel: 02 9351 1254.

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