U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Cats
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 02-15-2015, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Seattle
7,452 posts, read 7,506,205 times
Reputation: 10468

Advertisements

I couldn't find out when this documentary came out but it had to have been in the early 90s. It's an interesting documentary to say the least though I'm so happy we've appeared to have developed as a human species in our relationships with cats. My favorite part of the documentary is the lady who gives the cats human food served on a dish at the dining table. Specifically when she dumps out an entire bag of cat treats on the side of the tub for the (two) cats to eat. While she's in the bath tub. . Not saying stuff like that doesn't still happen, but hopefully it isn't glamorized to the same extent.

Anyway, I thought the documentary raised a few issues that unfortunately still plague cats and humans and other animals to this day. Particularly the dumping of cats in public places which contributes to the feral/stray population.

One thing that left me unsettled was the part where they showed all of the "cat victims". Hundreds of rodents, rabbits, and birds brought to wildlife veterinarians, either killed or severely wounded by cats. Some of these were endangered species back then. I wonder how many are now extinct?

I had a big "debate" with my brother about whether to keep cats indoors the last time we visited together. His and his girlfriend's cats are indoor/outdoor. Mine are strictly indoor. I don't judge their decision to let their cats out, but for me I don't want to risk my cats getting diseases/injury by other cats/predation by dogs or coyotes/hit by a car. The essence of his argument is that cats are meant to be outdoors and keeping them inside reduces their quality of life.

I obviously disagree. I mean, in a perfect world yes, I would let my cats out, but I do care quite a bit about their safety and for me there are too many risks involved. I play with my cats every day and they are able to express their hunter/predator sides. And they are happy and healthy. And I think this documentary raises some additional issues I hadn't considered. Issues that would have buttressed my argument further - by keeping my cats indoors, I know not only that they are safe, but that the creatures naturally occurring in the ecosystem are also kept safe. I don't have to feel guilty that my cats are contributing to the degradation of nature.

One thing I found interesting is that nobody in the documentary questioned the decision of pet owners to let their pets outside. Even the wildlife veterinarians. I think a remake of this documentary today would raise that issue and I think that it's a good thing. Anyway, check it out if you have the time and feel free to discuss it and/or any of the points I raised.

I will warn you that there is some graphic material in this documentary.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkWuLoHdF2s
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-15-2015, 05:41 AM
 
10,135 posts, read 24,730,613 times
Reputation: 8331
The film was 1999, Argo Films for National Geographic, a thinly disguised propaganda film blaming cats for reduced wildlife populations. Another attempt by anti-evolutionists at picking the winners and losers in the animal world. ("Let's capture and kill wolves to save the deer population" - that sort of thing).

But, notwithstanding the poor motives, keeping cats indoors is better for the cats. They live longer, stay healthier and are there to be more bonded companions to their humans.

I think the BBC remake is far more satisfying:

https://vimeo.com/108062526

Last edited by Wilson513; 02-15-2015 at 06:10 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2015, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Seattle
7,452 posts, read 7,506,205 times
Reputation: 10468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
The film was 1999, Argo Films for National Geographic, a thinly disguised propaganda film blaming cats for reduced wildlife populations. Another attempt by anti-evolutionists at picking the winners and losers in the animal world. ("Let's capture and kill wolves to save the deer population" - that sort of thing).

But, notwithstanding the poor motives, keeping cats indoors is better for the cats. They live longer, stay healthier and are there to be more bonded companions to their humans.

I think the BBC remake is far more satisfying:

[vimeo]108062526[/vimeo]
https://vimeo.com/108062526
Yeah, I did notice a bit of that too... but I wouldn't say it's categorically anti-evolutionist. Some of the points they raised are valid. The migratory birds stopping over the Miami park filled with ferals and strays was a good example - dozens of species of birds who are exhausted from flying were/are subject to an extreme degree of predation. While some predation is to be expected, it wouldn't be so extreme were it not for human interference (dumping the cats there, not getting them fixed, etc.). It's not an evolutionary matter. The other good example was Australia, where a number of small marsupials have become extinct due in part to feral cat predation, and the extant population numbers of many remaining species is in a severe decline.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2015, 12:55 PM
 
10,135 posts, read 24,730,613 times
Reputation: 8331
Well, I am a purist when it comes to evolution. Either it is or it isn't If it is, humans dumping ferals is just part of the process.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2015, 12:23 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
1,036 posts, read 679,978 times
Reputation: 1697
The British documentary, "The Secret Life of a Cat," was excellent and non-graphic. There is a lot of good information in it. I highly recommend this documentary. It contains absolutely no propaganda, and the subject matter is heartwarming. I believe this came out in 2012, and is shown periodically on PBS.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,537 posts, read 13,472,695 times
Reputation: 4391
Domestic cats are evolving all the time. Feline are/were naturally solitary animals, but we see them in social groups (feral colonies and multi-cat households) - this is something learned, both from survival necessity (ferals) and habit (households), and it's passed down through generations to become a normal and natural behavior. Language is also learned - cats have fewer body postures and vocalizations than dogs have to communicate, but they learn and use these things because they result in something (food or petting or what-have-you). A cat in the wild rarely ever meows - there's no reason to unless there's a need for a territorial fight or for a desire to kanoodle.

And part of this evolution is living indoors and having all physical and psychological needs met without ever setting foot outside. A hundred years ago this couldn't be said. But generations of cats born indoors and who remain indoors-only do not suffer in any way nor live a nonquality life. If a caretaker provides for physical and psychological needs, then a cat does not miss what it does not know. As well, a cat outdoors experiences more stress and not complete happiness.

But I won't judge.

However, there is a selfish aspect to having outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats. Cats are territorial, and an outdoor cat can smell a house that has indoor cats and more often than not will leave his/her "calling card" around the foundation. These wandering cats cause two problems: the smell of their deposits (not just spraying, but using the dirt around my house and in my gardens as a litter box); and the need for my indoor cats to protect their territory by spraying the baseboards on exterior walls.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2015, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Colorado
15,092 posts, read 9,398,448 times
Reputation: 27908
We are fortunate, I suppose...while we do have a few outdoor neighborhood cats that poop in the grass in my backyard, they don't seem to do much else, and Nimbus just watches them from the windows, he doesn't feel the need to mark his territory, at least not in ways that are bothersome. But then, even having human visitors who smell of cats from their own households doesn't cause Nimbus to do anything problematic. He does scratch and put his paw-scent on everything, often, and he does face-mark stuff, including the belongings of such visitors, rubbing his whiskers on things. No spraying. But then he was fixed at about 2 months old...he didn't have a chance for adult tomcat stuff to really present itself.

As for evolution and outdoor cats...

There is definitely a conflict in the question of how humans handle our custodianship of nature. On the one hand, we could run heedless over the interests of all wild things, pillage the land for what we need, and kill anything that inconvenieces us. Let our domestic and imported animals wreak havoc unchecked in the wild places around us. And any creature that can't develop a defense fast enough will simply die out. They failed to evolve to meet the challenge. Or...we can try to mitigate our effects on the wild in various ways. I, for one, do feel a bit sad when species become extinct due to our actions (direct or indirect) and for the most part I'd like to see us try to strike a balance and preserve what we can of the wild world. Sometimes though, it is too late. The effect we introduced cannot simply be eradicated without greater harm. It would be worse to overcorrect and send the metaphorical car skidding the other way across the ice. So I support things like TNR, and managed colonies where ferals are present. Euthanize the sick and injured, make pets of the babies if possible, and make sure the adults are sterilized. It's a middle ground.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2015, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,537 posts, read 13,472,695 times
Reputation: 4391
Can Nimbus please send a message to my dear kitties to reassure them their territory is safe? :-)

Humans, with good intentions or bad, have muckered things up -- I agree with you.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Cats
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top