Neighborhood Losing Cats

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Editor:

In the month of July this year our two beloved cats went missing.

Yesterday our neighbor’s cat also went missing. Down the block, another friend’s cat went missing. These cats were indoor/outdoor cats and we all have had them for years.

I’m beginning to believe we have a problem with coyotes in our neighborhood or that someone is killing them. It is very distressing. If indeed it is coyotes, perhaps some attention needs to be given to this problem.

Of course there are those who will point fingers and say, “that’s what you get for letting your cats be outside at times” but I think of all of us who own animals, including dogs, and just wonder.

Thanks for letting me share my frustration.

Kathy Lovetro

Comments

Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Ms. Lovetro, I think you have hit on the cause. I live in Pine, and a short while back the wife and I saw a pack of 5 coyotes ambling across the lot between our property and our neighbor in the middle of the day. All very healthy, well fed looking. Now we haven't had many rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks around for a long time. Those prey species have been fairly eliminated. Those coyotes are dining on something in the absence of their normal prey to stay that healthy and prolific. I suspect you are correct, and your cats fit the bill.

Coyotes are reluctant to take on large dogs as it is critical for them that they do not get injured. Nature is very unforgiving as regards the sick and lame. Small dogs and cats however, especially when two or more coyotes are involved, are of little threat to them. It's easy pickin's for the coyotes. If you have ever watched a cat sit for hours near a gopher hole waiting for it to show itself, you have witnessed a similar thing that the coyotes do. They know where their potential meal is at and when it might present itself. They patiently wait until you let your cats out, usually around the same time each day. Sorry for your loss.

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don evans 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Our Payson friends would let their cat roam their second story roof via an open window. The wife would sit at a table and watch the cat sun itself. That is until a huge Barn Owl swooped down from nowhere, grabbed the cat hissing and screeching, and flew off with it never to be seen again. FYI

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robbin flowers 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Kathy, I am sorry you lost your cats. I have lots of animals that I love, so I know how that feels. There are lots of coyotes running around (not enough in my opinion.) You should warn your neighbors not to let there cats outside. I personally kill every single cat that comes on my property. I trap them and take them to the human society and they are euthanized. For some reason, in my area, people think it is cool to bread these animal indiscriminately, cats are murderous bastards.

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Jeremy Arp 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Kathy, I'm sorry to hear about your loss of cats in your neighborhood. My family's indoor cats have tags and microchips in case, Heaven forbid, the cats do get out. This helps identify them if found by neighbors or turned into the Humane Society or other authorities. Our cats are also spayed or neutered which decreases the likelihood of roaming behavior. It is distressing to think someone might be personally killing cats as that would be cruelty to animals under Arizona law (A.R.S. 13-2910). There is a great resource online (www.neighborhoodcats.org) with suggestions on how to keep feral cats off of your property.

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robbin flowers 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Jeremy, It is not cruel to kill feral cats. It is cruel to keep the alive. On average they kill 30 animals per day. I have chickens and ducks that I value much more than any feral cat. The human society will not euthanize a cat unless it is feral. This is not animal abuse. Feral cats are the ones that abuse all the other animals. For example, lizards, small birds (which many species of now face extension because of cats,) toads, frogs, and anything else they can get their greedy little claws into.

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Jeremy Arp 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I do not agree with your sentiment remotely. I'm not sure where the 30 animals a day statistic originated or how the number would be extrapolated. Misinformation about feral cats abounds, and I fear that contributed to actions like we saw in Rim Country in 2006 where youths went on a killing spree of cats that happened to be outdoors. Killing cats would be animal cruelty according to state law. Also, the Humane Society does not not perform euthanasia services for the public and they do not accept feral cats from the public because they support the Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program. Payson Friends of Ferals would be a great resource to help Rim Country community members.

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robbin flowers 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Jeremy, If that is what you need to believe to sleep at night. I do not mean to disturb your thoughts but millions of cats get euthanized each year (I do think this is a secret though.) Unless your in Korea, then they just eat them. Indoor / outdoor cat feces is pestilent, they cause disease to pregnant women and infants. Cats are a major house hold allergen, that Is a cause of immune system dysfunction, especially in vulnerable children. They leave a house, go murder a bunch of animals for fun, then bring very dark energy back into a house. Really, I promise you, these are not cool beasts.

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Jeremy Arp 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Euthanasia of animals occurs in many U.S. jurisdictions and locally-controlled authorities take care of this depending on laws and ordinances. How Korea handles cats and dogs is up to Koreans and not my concern. My concern is that you stated you kill every cat that comes on your property. You made no distinction between feral or cats owned by neighbors. I suggest that you consult with the local authorities before taking the law into your own hands.

Second, the condition you are referring to is toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by a parasite. People with already weakened immune systems are vulnerable, and most people have already been exposed. Anyone with a cat usually discusses this with their doctor if they have an immune system problem or are (or trying to become) pregnant. Here are some tips and precautions people can take besides not handling feces or infected meat. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/cats-and-babies Read more information about toxoplasmosis here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/toxoplasmosis

I don't know (or care) if cats kill animals "for fun" or "murder" rather than hunt. I have no idea what "dark energy" you are referring to. Your comment includes elements of folklore.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"The biologists who worked on the new study pored over research culled over the past several years to estimate how many cats live in the US, and what their killing habits might be. They estimate that roughly 84 million owned cats live in the US, and that there are 30-80 million un-owned cats, which include feral cats, barn cats, and cats who are not allowed inside. The researchers "estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually." They emphasize that "un-owned cats" are the culprits here. Though the numbers may be shocking, their discovery isn't particularly startling. Un-owned cats have already been implicated in 33 modern bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions, write the researchers in Nature Communications." http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n1/full/ncomms2380.html

The data is out there. Don't let sentimentality and emotion keep you from acknowledging the reality/facts.

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Jeremy Arp 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't confuse questionable estimates with facts. The study from Nature Communications was widely publicized yet far from uncontroversial, concluding from estimates extrapolated from dissimilar data sets. With ranges like "1.4 - 3.7 billion" and "6.9 - 20.7 billion" in the article's abstract--maybe close enough for government work--I remain skeptical. The fact remains that killing cats as advocated in an earlier comment (feral, or owned by neighbors) is an objectionable and distressing course of action. Rim Country has resources like the Humane Society, Payson Friends of Ferals, and animal control officials to help with feral and lost cats.

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