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thoughts on introducing feral cats

 
              
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HI everyone.

currently, i have a gopher problem. and i've been extremely good at trapping them (26 kills in a month), and the place is mostly gopher-free for the moment, but all around me, is an endless gopher breeding ground, and i'm wondering how long my efforts will last.

there is a group that is adopting feral cats that are already fixed, and i'm thinking of offering these cats a home. any thoughts and the good, bad, and shift of ecology if i were to put them in?

toan
 
Ken Peavey
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Location: FL
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A sterile cat colony would work for small rodents. I'm not sure the cats, even hungry cats, would go after something as big as gophers.
What about natural predators? I'm thinking owl/hawk/osprey. Perhaps nesting sites would be all you need to attract raptors. It's not a quick fix, but you would only need a few birds to knock down the gopher population.


 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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NZ started off without mammals, bar a couple of bats. We also don't have snakes, so I'm taking a bit of a punt here Snakes are supposed to be great rodent hunters...
Are there low-key local snakes that can deal to gophers?
 
brett watson
Posts: 100
Location: Northern California Zone 8b
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I agree with Ken that cats might not really get after the gopher's and I would be incredibly afraid of other potential environmental impacts from the cats, namely birds.
Snakes and raptors would be a good long term help and a terrier or two would really go down after them.
Good luck.
 
Kota Dubois
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We are in the forest and have many endangered song birds that use the area very productively. Ovenbirds and juncos nest on the ground (a pair of juncos will raise 3 or 4 nests in a season). This year we noticed that a beautiful pure black feral cat has taken up residence in the area (looks like a miniature puma which we called Shadowcat). The result? I didn't hear an ovenbird all summer, and only saw a junco once. Be very very weary.
 
Carina Robicheaux
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Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
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I've had gopher problems and feral cats....the cats seem to catch everything BUT the gophers (maybe because they are so rarely above ground). A castor oil/soap soil drench seemed to help for a little while. Snakes might be the most effective predators.
 
              
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Guys, thank you all for the comments, I appreciate them! Generally speaking, it seems the problems of introducing cats out-weigh their benefits (and i tend to agree with this). Besides, i've done an incredibly effective job and killing them, so much so, that i am thinking of making a you tube on how to trap them.
 
Carina Robicheaux
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Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
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Please share your video on this thread if you post to youtube. I like to try to live in balance with the critters, but it's pretty demoralizing when 80% of my cabbage crop goes to feed gophers.
 
Cj Sloane
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Kota McCoy wrote:We are in the forest and have many endangered song birds that use the area very productively. Ovenbirds and juncos nest on the ground (a pair of juncos will raise 3 or 4 nests in a season). This year we noticed that a beautiful pure black feral cat has taken up residence in the area (looks like a miniature puma which we called Shadowcat). The result? I didn't hear an ovenbird all summer, and only saw a junco once. Be very very weary.


I've heard this kind of comment a lot but it hasn't been my experience at all. I have 2 cats. Mostly they eat mice, once they teamed up to catch a baby rabbit. We always have lots of birds.

I think you'd be better off with a dog like maybe a terrier who was bred to go after burrowing animals.
 
Gerard Bonneau
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Location: Cheyenne Wyoming
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Cj,

I can confirm that small terriers are just the ticket for gophers. My cairn has more confirmed kills than I do, and I'm armed with a pellet gun. Last summer, I finally gave up on shooting them and just started flooding holes with water while the dog waited for them to pop out. He made short work of every one of them. Good exercise for him, more efficient for me.
 
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