Travelling With Cats

Submitted: Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 11:08
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Since having to have our old lady cat put down several months ago we have noticed a gap in our lives as we have begun our travels and have been thinking about how we might fill this gap. After quite a bit of research and reading we have come to the conclusion that we could add two Burmese kittens to the travelling family.

Based on our research two kittens would be good company for each other and would certainly be good company for we adults. Also by starting with kittens we should be able o train them to walk on harnesses and at the same time adjust to the travelling environment including the 4WD, 21’ caravan as well as a collapsible enclosure which would connect to the van allowing the kittens free reign to roam between the van and the external enclosure.

Part of the research we have done has included reading various forums for grey nomad and other traveller groups. The majority of these forum entries were from some time ago and we are now looking for some more current feedback from those of us who are travelling, or thinking of travelling, with cats or for that matter, other types of pets.

We would be particularly interested in hearing about the reaction of caravan parks, camp sites, fellow travellers and so on and so on.

Thank you all in anticipation.

Rod and Patricia
Anamcara Travelling
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Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 11:35

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 11:35
Personally I think cats and the Australian outback do not mix, the last animals that should be taken on the road are cats, apart from the fact that you would be so restricted as to were you can go, I would hate to think what would happen if they escaped into the wild.

I have seen wild (feral ) cats the size of medium size dogs, I have seen autopsies on feral cats and it isn't pretty for the Australian wild life.

I know you probably think it wont happen to you because you are responsible cat owners, but the very thought of you taking 2 cats on the road shows me that may not be the case.

That is as polite as I can get on the subject of cats or cats on the road.

Phil
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 11:49

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 11:49
A very restrained response AT.

I better say no more, being a fair bit anti cat myself.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:24

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:24
Why aren't dogs exactly the same worry. Why single cats out as the last animals. I could say exactly the same for dogs. Don't be so biased and anti cats Phil.

Yes ferral, ALL animals are a big problem. I fully 100% agree. Totally.

But be fair about it and don't apologise for being so one sided and knock the stuffing out of them before they even get a chance to read something constructive.

The OP was just trying to see if there is a way that they can do it responsibly.

Phill
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:28

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:28
He didn't ask about dogs, therefore I didn't post about dogs.
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:38

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:38
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:51

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:51
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 16:15

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 16:15
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:26

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:26
Phil,
Take it easy big fella, you'll give yourself a nervous breakdown.

Anyway I'm not bigoted, biased, intolerant, predjudiced, ingrained, dogmatic, (catmatic maybe (;=)) ) fanatical, racist or chauvinistic.

I just hate mongrel moggies and hold the opinion that the only good cat is a dead cat.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:42

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:42
I was talking to the other bloke Pop.

What I asked you was that if you have a good reason why you thought his classifying cats as the "Last thing" was correct then I would love to hear it. I have noticed even on our club trips how people will lash out at cats but no one lashes out at dogs. But get people aside and they change their minds. Why can't people be honest and fair about it up front. We who have cats love our mates just as much as those who have dogs. Yet we have to bite our lip. It bugs me and YES I do go overboard sometimes.

I will not be silenced. Now who said that one.

Nah POP Just wanted to hear you out.

You will never hear me put either dogs or cats as mans favourite friend. Even the bloke down the road with homing pigeons would say that they are his mates. There was always one of the cats on the bottom of the bed during the whole five weeks crook in bed one. Just like a dog hey!

Cheers mate. Blood pressure is still 100 (proof???) over 68.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:44

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:44
Stuffed that sentence: -- "You will never hear me put either dogs or cats as mans favourite friend".

They are all "mans best friend".

Phil
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:45

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:45
Jeez pjr, I've never seen a dog climb a tree and kill birds, what sort of boots/shoes do they wear for that?
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:49

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:49
Ask the farmers down the road what they think of the packs of wild dogs that kill their sheep. And dont even eat then. Its a game.

The pendulum goes both ways mate.

I never said that ferral cats were not a problem

Phil
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:51

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:51
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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:37

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:37
Can we please keep it to the topic in question and not hijack the post. This behaviour provides no value to the forum or the OP. If you have nothing constructive to provide, perhaps it's best not to say anything.



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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:47

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:47
Happy to oblige mod squad.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 11:36

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 11:36
Hi Rod and Patricia

We have met a number of travellers with cats, and in one caravan park our immediate neighbours on either side had cats. They must be confined of course, or on a leash. Most travellers we have seen had have their cats happy to walk on a leash or remain tethered if outside. Collapsible cat runs are also an option chosen by some travellers.

You will still be up against the same number of 'not pets' caravan parks as dog owners, but may be better received than those with large dogs at parks which specify small dogs only.

The same restriction apply to National Parks as they do with dogs.

One difference with a cats compared to dogs is that they do not bark when left unattended in the caravan.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 12:32

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 12:32
Reality comment.

Having seen the evidence of Feral cats having killed Eagles and also seen one attack an Eagle which landed to eat road kill, I agree Cats and the outback don't mix.
A ring of Golden feathers is a giveaway to the demise of the once proud Eagle.
Cats prefer chicken to roadkill.
Have you noticed in the outback you don't see anywhere near as many Eagles as in previous times?

Two Burmese are very active and lithe type cats and so if not forever restrained will kill native species easily.

Environmental people got 1 platoon of Australian army soldiers to walk 5 km down the Diamantina River a few years back, spread out each side of the river and walking the distance they shot 360 cats.

I think we already have a problem.

Flat cats as a rug are a perfect travelling companion..
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Follow Up By: Member Bushy 04(VIC) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:30

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:30
Ross as an expert on everything you would know all this?
If its not constructive why post it.
Bushy.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:30

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:30
Bushy,

Maybe not relevant in your humble opinion and maybe not generally but it sure did my heart good to hear about the demise of a couple of hundred cats.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 19:39

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 19:39
There is a lot less Butcher birds and Kookaburras as a result of things wot climb trees at night and kill them.
And they aren't native things either!!

You can care for one and condone the other.

I don't believe the earth is flat, but I do believe in flat cats.
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Follow Up By: Geoff H18 - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:47

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:47
Good on the original post for being responsible.We get absolute pleasure travelling with our dog,if people don't want us there we take our money elsewhere.I would imagine that RESPONSIBLE cat owners get the same joy..
As for disappearing species don't forget the developers that love knocking down trees and clearing forests and destroying habitats so they can make a quick dollar
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 16:43

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 16:43
I think more eagles are killed by people driving too fast & not giving the eagles time to gain altitude with a belly full of road kill!

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:23

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:23
Farmers have killed far more Wedgies than any Burmese cat ever will. That was in the old days when they apparently knew no better. I'll refrain from saying what I think of that excuse as an adult. As a kid I can recall seeing them strung up along fence lines in the country, presumably as a "warning" to others to stay away.

Can't really help with your query Rod, but as long as you're aware of the limitations and responsibilities life is too short to worry about what ifs. You also have to consider whether you're being fair to the animals. For example are you going to lock them in a hot van or leave them tethered but unprotected outside when you go for a walk or swim etc? Good luck!
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Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 12:55

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 12:55
Hi Rod and Pat,

Well this brought out the naysayers.

Let me ask this. Did you travel with your previous cat or was it a home cat? Was it a house cat? Did you let it roam outside? If your answer was yes to the travelling and outside roaming perhaps you do need to think how to address this and whether you are prepared to restrict your cats. I think you would have to be particularly vigilant that your cats don't escape. Trauma for you, them and the wild life.

We travel frequently with a small dog, an Australian Silky Terrier, and it does limit what you can do. She travelled with us for 3 months last year because she was so young and it did limit what we could do. Now that she is a year old we will travel for short trips (time) with her but for longer ones she will stay home with friends or a house sitter.

Travelling with any pet means constant alertness as well as going everywhere with little plastic bags in your pockets. Make a list of the pros and cons and use that to help make your decision.

Di
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 13:48

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 13:48
Hi Rod and Patricia,

I can well understand that you are missing your "old lady cat", and naturally you are finding a gap in your lives. We have a "getting-on-a-bit lady dog" and we will miss her greatly when she is no longer with us. But she does not travel with us, she stays at home with housesitters.

That said, you seem to suggest that you are just beginning to travel. If I am correct in my understanding of your post, could you consider giving a bit more time to see whether travel can fill the current gap. There is so much to see and do, and travelling with pets can be quite restrictive. Maybe take time to do a trip without a pet, go to places where you could not take any pet (eg National Parks) and see how you go after that.

I have to say that I do concur with other posters about feral cats, and they are not just restricted to "outback" areas.

HTH,

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 14:01

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 14:01
Ever heard the expression...'like hearding cats".

The point is that cat behaviour is nearly imposible to manage.

No matter what it is, cats please themselves...they come when they are called..only if it suits them.

Cats can also be very easily confused or upset....in these situations they predictably run away and hide.

So they need to be positivly restrained 100% of the time.

They are also very fast and agile......have a small lapse in vigilance...and the little buggers are gone.

Combine these with the other points raised.

NO cats are not a reasonable thing to travel with, particularly in the Australian counrty side.

cheers
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 14:53

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 14:53
Gday,
Realistically there are no laws saying you cant take a cat (other than National parks etc) so the choice is yours. If your prepared by what ever means to restrain it and care for it, its your call. A fully enclosed annex for a play area, collars with bells and leads when you take them out and they shouldn't be a problem, if YOUR up to it. No different than taking a dog is it?

Cheers
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:36

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:36
Hi Hairy,
"No different than taking a dog, is it?"

It's quite different
Dogs have masters, Cats have slaves.

End of Story.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:43

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:43
Hahahahaha...........

But
irresponsible pet owners are irresponsible pet owners.

End of story.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:34

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 15:34
Hi Rod and Patricia

It is a delimma. We have cats. Inside cats that can go out through cat doors in a window and into a totally enclosed area in the back yard. The cage is all metal and covered with square (10mm) chicken wire to keep ther snakes out.

We don't take ours with us but the family and a local cattery drop in daily to feed, entertain and play with them for a bit.

They never seem stressed or hassled and in fact when we get home you get a "Where the bloody hell have you been" type of look.

They don't mind. I do but more importantly they don't

They will be fine at home. Cats are quite happy being in their own environment, like at home with smells they know. Unlike dogs who just love to roam and find others territories and smells.

Best of luck finding a suitable way of "travelling with cats".

Phil

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:48

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:48
Phil,

So it turns out your good self is a responsible cat owner and leave the little darlings at home and have someone come and look after them.
Well done.
Sorry, can't agree with the bit about how they love to stay at home while dogs roam.
If your moggies were so well trained why do you need to have metal cages??
Let me guess, to protect them from all those marauding dogs...lol.
Sure, dogs like most animals will get bored and roam if you are not there to entertain them which is why when we had dogs we had them cared for while we traveled.
Little Fido or Puss Puss or your pet anaconda may be just the cutesiest little thing to you but not everyone shares your opinion.

Cheers
Pop

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 19:21

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 19:21
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:18

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:18
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:31

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:31
Beautiful bunch of moggies there Phil.I'm jealous.
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 16:28

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 16:28
Gidday

A few years ago I found myself at the coolgardie caravan park where my neighbour was an eastern states traveller with a big van and a cat. So it can be done.
people talk about the impossibility of herding cats but I have read plenty of stories about cats being trained to a lead. so it can be done.
Plenty of cats adapt to living in a confined space, so called inside cats. My next door neighbour has one. So it can be done.
Obviously you will be limited in some cases where you can go, national parks and the like, but the same rules apply for dogs. So it can be done.
I used to a cat owner so I know what you mean about missing the companionship they provide.
Ignore the naysayers, do some homework and give if a go.

Cheers
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Reply By: get outmore - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 16:55

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 16:55
well another here thats not in the cat fanclub but that wasnt the question

anyway - are you sure you will be fair on the cats? my opinion without alot to base it on is cats dont like travelling
they are territorial and could be stressed - dont forget everytime you pull up your cats will be in another or more cats territory so just letting them roam a bit puts them in danger
they would have to be confined most of the time as if they roam they could get lost (oh yes it definitly happens - dogs too) and wont have the safety of the yard

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:55

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:55
Hi Rod & Patricia,

I don't know if your last cat was a Burmese but as a previous owner of pedigree Burmese, their character is an interesting one in the cat world and one you should be aware of if you intend travelling with them.

While many consider them one of the most "dog like" breeds in the cat world (they can be trained more readily than many other cat breeds), they are roamers and they love to scrap, particularly at night. They can be right terrors in a contained environment like a flat or van. They are supercilious by day, and holy terrors once the sun goes down. Two together will only be company for each other some of the time. They will fight (and fight hard) and woe and betide the sanctity of your night if there is a feral cat in the vicinity of your campsite. They will howl to get out the door at it.

They are a lovely cat and can be great company but they have a split personality you will need to cater for. Personally, I would not chose to travel with them. If you really crave feline company on the road, get a fat, lazy Chinchilla (and please what ever you do decide, please consider having them desexed before going on the road. It will prevent them adding to the feral population should they wander off which is highly likely with a Burmese).

Regards

Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 21:08

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 21:08
Yes Mick, I can just see you out in the red desert with a fat fluffy chinchilla, giving it a brush every night!
Agree about Burmese, best looking cat I ever saw belonged to a neighbour but personality wise it was a bit of a psycho.
My best cats have been moggies from the cat home. Like mixed breed dogs they have hybrid vigour, tend not to get sick and love you for giving them a chance.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 22:10

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 22:10
Actually Rocco, I ran into a T/O out east of the Canning one year who described in great detail preparation of feral cat for eating. More numerous than bandicoot and other bush tucker out west these days and they were a regular staple in their diet as a kid with his parents while still living a traditional lifestyle in the 1970's.

I've moved on to canines now but still choose not to travel with animals for reasons best outlined by John and Val above. Far too restrictive to my sort of travelling.

Chinchilla have a habit of making like a furry cushion for 23.5 hours of a day so their sedentary nature makes them a better cat for travelling (and easy to catch). Thankfully I have no need to pack a cat for emergency eating these days. That's what Outback Al Kennedy is for!

;-)

Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 23:03

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 23:03
as i said its not if other cats feral or otherwise are around its how many

i had a lady housmate with a big cat.
first 3 days all it did as fight at nigght

i as pissed off until I realised what was happening

i had between 3 and 6 cats claiming my yard as theres

as i said this cat was big and after 3 days i only had one cat in the yard
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Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 06:24

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 06:24
Great post. As a fellow Burmese owner, all I could think about whilst reading the first 50 irrelevant posts was 'two Burmese in a van? No bloody way!' All this while ours took 20 minutes to howl its way up the stairs soaking wet from a play in the rain just to make sure the rest of the house was up just before sunrise. I guarantee his wet bloody carcass is wrapped around one of the kids in bed now.
I married into cats......
Seriously, 2 pit bulls will make better travelling companions, but weight for weight a Burmese will eat one for breakfast - I haven't seen an animal with more natural ability - hence why they have taken so easily to living in the Aussie bush with its small slow marsupials and birds. To watch a Burmese jump and take a gecko off a 2400mm high ceiling is to witness a majestic killer in action. To lock two of the hair brained bastard things in a van in a van park is to resign yourselves to never having a night's sleep again and to be evicted more than once from van parks due to the ungodly howling they are prone to at night. Seriously, if you don't want to travel with a couple of surly disrespectful teenagers (my best parallel), get a dog. If however, you are willing to sacrifice everything else that is good in your life, I also have no doubt a pair of Burmese will hold a place in your heart like no other.
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Reply By: mikehzz - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 21:24

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 21:24
I think that it's very important that the cats are desexed. You can desex them very early, my wife has bred them for over 30 years and desexes them at 12 weeks for absolutely no side effects. The kittens recover much more quickly from the operation even the girls. I believe that all cats should be restricted in where they can go, firstly to protect wild life, and second to protect them from all those who seem to hate them for no reason. A desexed cat is quieter and cleaner and won't breed if accidently lost. Burmese are very active and some are real escape artists. There are other, quieter more docile breeds to choose from. Semi longhairs like Birmans or Ragdolls are good companions that don't have the endless energy a Burmese has....been there done that. :-)
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 21:28

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 21:28
Gidday 'mike

I think It's pretty important that dogs are desexed too

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 22:09

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 22:09
There you go......some sense does come out of this forum occasionally........DE sexing would definitely be a worthwhile move on behalf of the natives!

Good call.
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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 06:17

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 06:17
We spent 5 months away last year, and nearly every where we went we camped there were cats around. One place "Mays Bend" out of Bourke, if a van door was left open in the evening one if not two cats would get in.

The lack of ground birds was very noticeable. Having a farm outside Canberra, I have only destroyed one feral dog but dozens of cats.

Cats in the bush don't work for me, they are natural hunters.
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Reply By: tazbaz - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 08:11

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 08:11
The best cat is a dead one
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:58

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:58
The only way a cat could be useful is if we could train them to eat cane toads.
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Reply By: landseka - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 17:38

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 17:38
Bear in mind State Legislation. In WA since 1st September 2013 from age 6 months a cat must be registered, microchipped and de-sexed . A collar with registration disc must be worn by the cat.

Any unregistered cat found wandering will be re-homed or destroyed.
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Reply By: Member Ray M (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 22:06

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 22:06
Well Rod & Patricia, quite a few opinions and ideas for you to consider, but where are your replies to these?
Cheers Ray
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