U Can’t Has Kittehs in New Zealand

Over in New Zealand, a call has been made to eliminate the entire domestic cat population, led by Dr. Gareth Morgan, an economist who has created an anti-I Can Has Cheezburger website called Cats to Go.  At Cats to Go, you won’t see any cute photos of cats with their heads stuck in Kleenex tissue boxes.  Nor will you see any videos like this

Instead, you’ll be treated to a series of dubious disturbing statistics that will have you grabbing a pitchfork and going after all the Fluffies and Garfields within a three mile radius of your neighborhood (if you live in New Zealand).

  • Cats have contributed to the extinction of 9 native bird species 
  • Cats impact on 33 endangered native bird species 
  • One feral cat killed 102 endangered native short tail bats in a week
  • Cats kill native birds. In our cities domestic cats kill native birds faster than they can possibly breed
  • Around 40% of New Zealand’s native land-birds are already extinct, and of the ones remaining 37% are endangered

Best Friend?

The problem with Morgan’s campaign against felis catus is that New Zealand has the largest per capita concentration of domestic pets in the world (the table and chart freaks can read more about that here).  One out of every five New Zealand homes has two or more (two or more!) cats, which takes New Zealanders out of the realm of pet ownerdom and places them firmly into Crazy Cat Lady Territory, according to my math and this post, The Absolute Last Post I Will Make About Being Freshly Pressed.


Or homicidal maniac?

So I don’t think Dr. Morgan is going to get a lot of cooperation from his fellow countrymen and women on this issue. He does, however, have the firm support of the two guinea pigs and three hamsters who inhabit our home alongside our cat, Noodles.  In fact, the rodents are so firmly behind Cats to Go that they wish to make a donation to the cause, and would like to know if there is a need for a mouthful of damp  (they were only in Nibbles’ cheek pouches briefly) sunflower seeds or excess alfalfa pellets.

On second thought, Lulubelle has a feeling she may get hungry later, so those pellets aren’t excess after all, therefore, she will just remain in her cage and chant, “Sí se puede!” every so often.

Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG.


19 thoughts on “U Can’t Has Kittehs in New Zealand

  1. Dave says:

    What an, ahem, catastrophe. Well, if humans hadn’t arrived in New Zealand there would certainly be less extinct and endangered species as well. Maybe the people should just leave.


    • Karen says:

      Oh, that was a cataclysmically bad pun. 😉

      But, yes, there are lots and lots of New Zealanders who are making that point about the damage humans have caused to the native species of the island. I predict Dr. Morgan will have as much success with this campaign as he would have attempting to ban kiwi fruit. Or sex. Or sex with kiwi fruit.


    • Karen says:

      LOL, yes!

      I guess dogs don’t hunt things the way cats do? (I’m a cat person, don’t know much about dogs). Because New Zealanders have lots and lots of pet dogs, too, not just cats. But I guess the dogs don’t threaten the native wildlife the way cats do? Don’t dogs hunt? Or has that instinct been completely bred out of them?

      As you can see, I have lots of questions . . .


      • slepsnor says:

        I’m more of a dog person than a cat, but my wife is allergic to everything. Cats and I have an agreement that I let them decide on if we’re going to interact or not. Dogs are always desperate for attention.

        I think it probably has more to do with what the cats are hunting. They go after birds, rodents, and bats (they probably think they’re birds?), which this guy seems to like. Most cats tend to retain their natural hunting instincts even when domesticated. Pet dogs are very docile, but they can return to their instincts if they become strays. Many times, they will become a pack like wolves, but they tend to hunt for garbage and bigger prey. It could be that they don’t have a big stray dog problem in New Zealand.


  2. The Green Study says:

    I think people who are pissed about domestic pet populations are missing the point. WE are responsible for these unmitigated populations. If we didn’t have so many Mr. Fluffies and Ms. Kerfuffles in our homes that are not spayed, this wouldn’t be an issue. Every time we screw up nature for our own purposes, the animals or land gets targeted as the problem. It’s a bit obtuse of us. Dr. Morgan Jerkface should be pushing for more neutering and spaying of humans.


    • Karen says:

      To be fair, Dr. Morgan Jerkface is advocating a bunch of things: keeping cats indoors, spaying/neutering, don’t replace cats when they move on to the eternally clean litter box in the sky, and even just put a collar with bells on your cat. The problem in NZ isn’t with feral populations of cats, it’s with little Felix and Felicity romping outdoors for a bit, exterminating any local wildlife they encounter, and then running back indoors and snuggling up in the basket full of clean laundry.

      But as you and Dave both noted, it seems a little silly to go after cats when human beings are the prime culprits in upsetting the ecology.


  3. Karen says:

    Just chiming in to add that I wish I had referenced in the post other organized efforts to get rid of cats, such as the various attempts by medieval Europeans to live cat-free in the teeming filth of their cities. They believed cats to be consorts of Satan and wanted to eradicate them. The result of those attempts? Century upon century of bubonic plague outbreaks. You can read more about the relationship between cats and the black death here.

    I sound like a crazy cat person, don’t I? I’m really not.


    • Karen says:

      I saw that post on your blog 🙂 On behalf of Dr. Jerkface, I thank you for your efforts, but, obviously, he’s disappointed that you haven’t gone farther.


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