Hi cat lovers, cat haters and all inbetween,
I have to agree with Tony, I'm afraid I've little sympathy for feral cats
(its not their fault), and would love to see them eradicated (buckleys).
Having grown up with cats in the UK where they rarely caught or brought in
anything I was soft on cats when I arrived in Australia. Then we made a big
mistake. Found a litter of feral kittens on the farm here and decided we
wanted one. "Charlotte" a small and sleek, black cat grew up (desexed) but
never wanted to be inside(to keep her in would have been impossible on us
and her), didn't like tinned food, and much preferred to live on what she
caught. At first this was mostly mice, but as time went on she became very
adept at catching our feathered friends. Family altercations followed for
some months before I finally convinced mum and the kids to find her a new
home (moving the problem on I know but she was such a nice cat :)
"Charlotte's" bird list was quite extensive I'M ASHAMED TO ADMIT. She even
"recorded" the first and only (so far) Diamond Firetail on the farm here.
One time I saw her jump from the ground into the middle of a large dense
African boxthorn, weave her body through the dense prickly foliage to reach
the top of the bush in a flash, pluck out a Zebra Finch and return
unscathed. Three species of Cuckoo one spring. I could go on!.
In the last few weeks we had her, a Red-capped Robin took up residence in
our garden. I was sure she would get it. Time after time I'd see her
lounging in the sun and the Robin hopping around nearby. For some reason she
never bothered with it...phew.
Anyway, some conclusions I've drawn.... Many people in rural Australia take
on feral cats/kittens that appear.
And I also know of many cases of cat owners neglecting their cats forcing
them to go feral.
I think there is a big difference between cats in their level of desire to
hunt...some aren't bothered, some you can't stop.
I now regularly remove feral cats which appear on the farm, and the birds
etc are flourishing.