Letter: Not domestic cats

23:10, Feb 21 2013

People seem to be getting misinformation as to the cat issue and native birds.

Feral cats are an issue, no argument. Domestic cats are different.

Yes they still have some instinct to hunt, but over the years more and more types of cat food are being produced, and very tasty for our moggies. As the development of new foods progresses the hunting instinct has diminished in the domestic cat.

The average pet cat hunts way less than its forebears just 25 years ago.

Why go out and hunt when the owners are well trained to feed them?

In built-up areas such as Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch there are not many native birds to hunt anyway.

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Heaps of starlings and blackbirds, but they are not native.

A bigger threat to our native birds is magpies, which kill more native birds than cats, feral or domestic.

Then you have the New Zealand falcon (sparrowhawk), which hunts birds including native. Then you have stoats and possums which get the eggs.

Yes we should look at eradicating the feral cat, but leave the poor old homebound domestic cat, which just wants to sleep all day and night and know that its well- trained owner has tasty food waiting for it.

KEVIN HENRY
Waikaia

The Southland Times