Monday, March 29, 2010
Cats and Groundhogs
I was glad to see there was no “scrapping,” because I didn’t feel like breaking up a groundhog – cat fight first thing in the morning. Groundhogs have sharp teeth and this guy weighed two times as much as any of the cats, so if anything, I would be trying to trap an injured kitty. That groundhog can hold his own.
Although I enjoyed watching this, I am going to suggest to my clients they start feeding the cats up on the table, off of the ground, to prevent future encounters with Mr. Groundhog. Besides feeding birds (and feral cats, which are in their own category), it is not recommended to feed wildlife. Only enough food should be provided to feed the cats, and then all trash should be removed to ensure it does not attract wildlife. It is safer for the cats and for other animal species, if they are not drawn to the same feeding area. It is also safer for the humans who take care of the cats; they should not get too close to wild animals either.
This is a great example of wild animals living side by side in harmony. Yes, cats are predators, but they are rodent specialists and are more scavengers than hunters. When provided regular meals, they hunt less and are healthier. There are countless examples like this one where cats have been observed sharing meals with squirrels, opossums, raccoons, and even birds. Cats are not the cause for the decline in bird populations or any other species, man is.