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Criminal Minds and Ecological Disasters
  • September 11th, 2009 12:24 am ET

Cats kept indoors can never be "an ecological disaster"

I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds yesterday and Dr. Spencer Reid stated to a police chief, "Did you know that a domestic cat loose in a normal neighborhood is the equivalent of a small scale ecological disaster? They'll kill anything they can: Bugs, rodents, birds, other cats, small dogs if possible--anything."

Now, the fact that I find Dr. Spencer Reid a total hottie is irrelevant to the fact that I hang onto his every word in the TV show. After all, the actor who plays that character (Mathew Gray Gubler) didn't write those words, the writers of the show did. In any event, they gave me pause and made me think about the words.

A small ecological disaster.

The quote is both right and wrong. In my book,

House Cat, How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane & Sound

(Howell Book House) I discuss all the ways a cat allowed to roam free can be quite a nuisance to people, animals, etc. I never termed it "a small ecological disaster" but that's an interesting way of putting it. Cats are natural born hunters. In a neighborhood, a free roaming cat can cause a lot of trouble for neighbors. Do you want your cat destroying someone's garden? Or killing the birds you put out food for? As the quote stated, cats will kill things... but I have yet to find a domestic cat that will kill a small dog, even if possible. The only exception to this would be if the cat was fighting for its life and happen to win. Ditto with other cats, except male cats, particularly those unneutered, will fight and even kill other cats for territory and mates. A cat, if hungry enough, will eat insects, and of course cats will naturally attack rodents and birds.

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