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#224944 - 06/02/11 01:08 AM Well-trained cats as survival aids
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Blame Sue for the idea; blame me for being the one who started a thread I am pretty sure belongs nowhere but "around the campfire." Have fun.

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#224948 - 06/02/11 01:21 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
"Trained" and "cats". 1 of these things is not like the other. 1 of these things just doesn't belong.

Even when we think they're "trained", I think they are just toying with us.
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#224967 - 06/02/11 03:02 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: southern Cal
What do they say - Dogs treat you like family; cats treat you like staff....
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#224969 - 06/02/11 03:16 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Eric Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Growing up I saw an old, declawed female siamese cat attack two adult german shepherd dogs and chase them out of her territory. Those poor dogs had no idea what was chasing them but they were terrified! So yeah a well trained cat (is than an oxymoron?) could be a good survival aid.

-Eric
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#224977 - 06/02/11 04:34 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
When I was a kid there used to be a huge orange tom that got into he habit of terrorizing the neighborhood dogs. The dogs were all large breeds and it would jump on top of their shoulders, where the dog really can't do much about it, and dig with its claws like mad. The dogs would fight and thrash but couldn't get the cat off them. Once they were defeated and on the run the cat would ride them a bit and then jump off at its leisure. The dogs were terrorized and would run at the sight of the cat.

Then a family moved in with a small terrier which was not much bigger than the cat. The cat confronted the dog, bowed up, hissed, went to jump on the dog, and the dog twisted around, jumped, caught the cat in mid air and took to shaking it. That was the end of the orange tom.

Funny thing is the terrier was a friendly dog that got along well with other dogs and cats. Terriers were bred as rat and fox killers with quickness, aggressiveness, powerful jaws and quick reflexes.

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#224978 - 06/02/11 05:54 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
juhirvon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 36
hand warmer, companionship and pest control.

They are also pretty self sufficient, unless conditioned not to be by being pampered.

I would assume that apart from morale boosters and possible extra warmth, cats would be of much greater good at some type of long term homesteading-kind of survival.

If you have a long(ish)-haired cat, they tend to shed enough hair for you to be able to handspun enough yarn annually for a set of wool hats and mittens if not a full size wool shirt. The yarn is really warm but really hard to get even and quite weak if not mixed with other fibres as the hairs are slippery.

And if you comb the hair off of them they won't even decorate your carpets with furballs of their own.

-jh

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#224982 - 06/02/11 06:19 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
I have heard of cats deterring rodents from eating food stores, but I do not recall if such deterrence was ever 100% effective. And if the cats were 100% effective they would be depriving themselves of a food source, hmmm ....

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#224985 - 06/02/11 06:26 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
juhirvon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 36
It's not 100% unless you have too many cats.

They keep the pests under control, and hopefully outside.

-jh

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#224987 - 06/02/11 06:56 AM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
As much as I love cats, I don't see them as highly trainable. They are better at training us, than we are at training them.

I would consider their highest value as what they do naturally: rodent control.

But the best mousers are allowed to stay with their mothers until they are three or four months old, so momcat can teach them to hunt properly.

The way that rats and mice multiply, I don't see how even the best rat cats could ever completely eliminate the population. Sites on the web say that one pair of rats and their offspring (50-70 per year) can produce a million rats in 18 months. I don't know if that is true, but I'm sure that they can produce a LOT.

And mice are probably pretty good at their multiplication tables, too. "The average lifespan of a mouse is 12 months. The young are born about 19 days after breeding and mature rapidly. A single female may have as many as eight litters per year, averaging five to six young each. By three months the young are independent and capable of reproduction."

And even if they did eliminate every mouse and rat, more would move in from the surrounding area. They're opportunistic, just like coyotes, raccoons, opossums, wolves, dogs and... cats.

But think of your food supply in a hardcore, long-term survival situation WITHOUT cats.

Sue

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#225006 - 06/02/11 01:33 PM Re: Well-trained cats as survival aids [Re: dweste]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Don't we see on the news, from time to time, some old lady living w/ 80 cats as a coping mechanism? So maybe it's a quantity of cats not quality of them.
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