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CATS AND DOGS ARE DIFERENT SPECIES WITH DIFFERENT NATURAL BEHAVIOURS AND CANNOT BE LEGISLATED FOR WITH THE SAME SETS OF RULES SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY LIVE IN DOMESTIC HOMES AND SOMETIMES UNDER THE SAME ROOF.

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Leonie

I am NOT anything like a dog and do NOT value obedience.
I value independence and hard work and demand mutual respect leading to the fostering of a good relationship with humans.



I have some questions and answers for you.

Q What is the most important thing to a dog?
A The bond with it's human.
Everything that affects a dog's life from the point of view of the dog, rests on the relationship and co-operation of the dog's human.

Q What is the most important thing to a cat?
A Territory security. Everything that affect's a cat's life from the cat's point of view depends on what happens inside its territory.

Understanding that we are territorial helps humans to understand our cat ecology and the wider effects in the urban community and to look beyond people who phone Council to complain about our behavior, and to look instead to assisting us, the cats. It is also KEY to understanding The Vacuum Effect. Without an understanding of the Vacuum Effect, any decision making that is done in regard to our cat wellbeing is going to be counterproductive.

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Q How does a cat secure territory?

Felisha

My name is Felisha and I will explain.
Here's one way - If I rub my scent glands on an object It becomes mine – it is either my boundary marker or it is within my boundaries and is mine. Let's be clear about it – If it WAS yours, IT NOW BECOMES MINE. No, I'm not sorry. It's how it is.

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Sylvester

I'm Sylvester and I have to put you straight.
You must spray your boundaries. Look I am showing you how to do it. This declaration prevents other cats from crossing the line. I hope you heard that, because I will not allow another cat to cross the line. KEY POINT here you humans. I have just sprayed and other cats must respect that.
These other cats might be neighbour cats or they might be free living urban cats. Whatever they are classed as, they are not coming into my area, the boundaries of which are not your fence (cats can scale fences) but my scent. I and I alone keep our yard free of intruder cats.
Way to go Pumpkin! That will show them!

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Pumpkin

And there it is! My scent all over the boundary. Success!
Say that again – it's not your favourite fragrance? Well, it may not be “Chanel” but “Pumpkin No 5” does the job effectively. Getting me desexed will fix your peculiar aromatic preferences. My butt will be as sweet as any to sniff.

Q What if I were to lock you up and prevent you from getting out into the yard?

Samantha

WHAT did you just ask me? Keep me inside?????
What kind of instinct is that. ANY cat will tell you that I, and all of us need to be out securing our territories.
I thought Sylvester just explained it. It keeps the other cats out. I don’t necessarily want to be outside all the time,
just when I please, those are our unwritten CAT terms of co-existence. Humans even wrote down the terms in “The 5 freedoms.”
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Tabitha

My name is Tabitha and I heard that.
Do you think your territory is mouse free because I snooze on the window sill all day? Foolish human! Do you not see me marking my boundaries?
Do you think the snakes stay away because they simply decided to do so? Foolish Human!
I keep the mice numbers down so that the snakes are not attracted by the mice as a food source. Or do you like snakes? They can even hurt me!!!!

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Susie

I'm Susie and I heard that too.
I really don't mind scratching the furniture but I prefer this tree, it causes much less fuss. Listen to Sylvester, he knows what he's talking about. We keep the other cats out and cat numbers down. Munchkin will explain it some more.

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Munchkin

Munchkin here. Did you know that keeping other cats out has a knock on effect. With neighbouring cats kept out and marking their own territories, this practice goes further afield and reaches areas that border natural free living cat territory such as factory sites, shopping centre dump masters and the fringes of the town that border country areas. All these cats are deterred from infiltrating. This alone minimizes cat numbers in cities.

Cats will only breed up to their ceiling – that is the amount that the territory can support. Clearing a territory by locking cats inside simply creates a free territory, an open space that can support life that other cats (probably undesexed) will move into. In under 12 months this will result in more NOT less cats. This is a natural cat law but it has another name - The Vacuum Effect. This phenomenon is inevitable in nature and we must work in co-operation with our humans to prevent this negative effect which no-one in the community will like.

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Tiger

Let me tell you about people - People talk, talk, talk and carry on about responsible cat ownership whilst parroting some nonsense they have heard about wildlife.
First of all – nobody owns me. I choose to be your companion and if I do not or change my mind I will simply leave.

Rather than talking about wildlife – do something to stop humans murdering them. Did you know that wildlife is wiped out by humans either deliberately for sport (duck shooting, kangaroo shooting) or through logging for development, which consequently means loss of habitat and home for the animals affected. People often refer to the birdlife. Did you know that birds eat other birds -the Kookaburra for example. Give me a mouse any day. It can’t fly away. No wait, I’ll go and get you one as a gift since you have been nice to me.



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Megan

This idea of locking us up, isolates the only group of animals you would do this do. You would not do this to any other animal except a dog which desires this outcome – they are a special companion animal. You would not do this to any other free living animal like me.

We cats have always been a free living animal and it is only in recent times that you have taken us into your homes, particularly through the invention of cat litter. Locking me up is breaking my spirit and the light is going out of my eyes. Locking me up is making me live my life mechanically. This is a great disgrace to the human race to have even thought of the idea. It is nothing less than the idea of putting animals in Zoos – an idea that the community are now wondering how to resolve.

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Smoochie

Thank you for listening to my beautiful cat friends.
The Vacuum Effect always takes place after the removal of cats in any way, for whatever reasons – benevolent or otherwise. It would not matter if they were being culled, trapped and removed, or being locked up, it all leads to the same end.

Culling cats ‘may do more harm than good’
News in Science (ABC Science)


Please show your support and always speak up
against curfews, 24/7 containment and walking leads.

Written and compiled by Lisa Roberts-Daintree
C.A.T.S. Cats Assistance to Sterilise Inc.