Can I shoot all these cats?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Jody, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Jody

    Jody Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    I'm in New Hampshire and the law says I can legally shoot dogs, but I can't find anything about cats.

    466:28 Killing Dogs Legalized.

    Any person may kill a dog that suddenly assaults the person while such person is peaceably walking or riding without the enclosure of its owner or keeper; and any person may kill a dog that is found out of the enclosure or immediate care of its owner or keeper worrying, wounding, or killing sheep, lambs, fowl, or other domestic animals.

    Yesterday, there was a pack of cats hiding in the bush laying low as my pullets were free ranging.. My wife chased them away. Tonight, I head a noise, so went outside and found a few cats sneaking around the coops and pens. I feel as if they're going to become a nuisance and a threat to my ducklings, pullets and hens. My rooster free ranges 24/7 within the fenced area where the coops and pens are and even he could be attacked while asleep in his little house.. He's free to come in and out as he pleases as there is no door on his home. Anyway, I'd like to get rid of these cats before they do something.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Sounds like they are feral.

    Trap or eliminate.

    I had an alley cat kill 5 of my month old chicks last month.
  3. Jody

    Jody Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    Quote:One of them I do know is my neighbors cat.. The same neighbor whose dog used to always escape and end up on my property until one day I advised the neighbor what will happen to the dog under certain circumstances. I do think some of them are feral though as last summer a litter of kittens was born underneath my house and I do not know what happened to them as I could not get under there to retrieve them and I think their mother took them elsewhere.. The one I did manage to catch died while enroute to the spca.

    My wife said there were at least 10 of them. Tonight I only saw 3

    One of them looks like a mangy and wild Siamese
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  4. TK421

    TK421 Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Central TX

    domestic pets and what you can and can't do with unleashed animals is usually dictated by your local municipality, and not your state. A few things to consider. Most cities (and counties) have leash laws requiring pet owners to keep their owned animals on a leash. This begs the distinction (at least where I live):

    owned cats: domestic pet, fed and cared for by someone
    free-roaming cat/stray cat: a cat, owned or feral that is not under control of a collar
    feral cat: a free-roaming cat that was born in the wild

    the rules depend on your situation and location, but be very wary of dispatching an animal you know to be someone's pet/property, especially if the animal has a collar. They can file on you for loss of property. Granted, they can be cited for violating leash laws, but who looks worse in the "court of public opinion?"

    In rural areas, if a neighbor's pet/animal kills livestock/poultry, they can sometimes be held liable for the financial loss. Figuring in cost of ownership and future production, a layer may be valued at $40-50
  5. TK421

    TK421 Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Central TX
    And another thing... there are also often rules in cities and some counties about maintaining a cat colony. If someone is dumping AND feeding stray cats, that's a colony, and it could violate local ordinances and/or health codes. I would encourage you to talk to any potential owner and give them a couple of chances, and then take action if you so choose.
  6. Jaguaress

    Jaguaress Chicken Addict Wanna-be

    May 27, 2010
    Piedmont, NC
    If you don't have any dogs and cats of your own, there are plenty of "Cat Away!" and "Pet Away!" types of products out there that can cover quite a range. Many are sprinkles that you have to redo after rain, and some are sprays. You could sprinkle/spray a perimeter, and especially that bush, if so.

    Electrifying your fence will work, too, as cats learn quickly about what they don't like. That won't help during free range, but it might make them think twice about going after your birds.

    Can't help you about shooting cats, as that's something I'm not prepared to do. Trapping them and taking them to the local Animal Control, sure, if ever they were a nuisance to me. Good luck.
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Of course you can.
    I never stopped to ask if it was "legal" coz nobody is gonna say anything about a missing stray or outdoor cat. If it gets caught in the live trap I shoot it after dark and no one is any wiser. It had no business sniffin around my chicks. Period. End of story.

    For all they know it got ran over.

    If it is truly a pet, or a cat that you don't want to kill, that's the beauty of the live trap you CAN choose to let it go --- and in my experience cats are smart enough not to get trapped twice.
  8. Quote:Two problems with things like that is that 1) you're just making it your neighbor's problem, passing the buck and forcing them to deal with the decision because you refuse to... and 2) you'll have to keep using the stuff, an expense you shouldn't have to pay to protect your flock from other people's choices.

    I'd try for trapping and relocating (SPCA, pound, etc) if possible, but if not then you have to protect you and yours. A pack of Feral ANYTHING is not pretty thing to wade into when trying to protect your pet, your child, etc. And, they're just going to keep breeding, making the situation worse. Best to deal with it and be done with it.

    Says the one who's never had to cull a single pet OR feral... *passes salt cellar*
  9. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    the safety of your animals in your property trumps the right of any wandering pests... we shoot all dogs and cats that came hunting into our block, all the neighbours know the rule, unless their animals are birds safe, they're gone.
  10. Whitewater

    Whitewater Songster

    Jan 18, 2010
    Check with your city/county animal control on that one. Here, the ONLY thing we are legally allowed to do is catch the cat in a humane trap and turn it over to Animal Control -- and only IF the cat (it goes for dogs too) isn't wearing a license and/or some sort of id.

    It makes it difficult when there's many of them, I agree. I used to live in an apartment complex not far from where our house is now and there was a colony of totally wild feral cats, who used to raise a litter of kittens every year. When I moved in, it wasn't that bad, only about 3 cats. 5 years later, it was a totally different story. Turned out, people were *feeding* the cats!!!

    The landlord quickly put a stop to it when they discovered the feeding part. I myself caught as many of the kittens as I could when they were naturally being weaned from their mothers, and I would turn them over to a no-kill shelter, after successfully taming them down (which usually took somewhere between 2-4 weeks).

    After two years of this, by the time I left that apartment complex, it was back to the original 3 or 4 cats, if that. When their kittens kept getting stolen and they weren't getting any food, they went elsewhere.

    I have never been in a situation where there were more than about a dozen, all told, though.

    Whitewater (who still thinks about one kitten in particular . . . )

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