- Pets and Animals
5 Ways Your Cat Will Be Useful In an Apocalypse
In the unlikely event of a catastrophic world-altering event, man’s best friend has already solidified his usefulness. Dogs are great retrievers, rescuers, and protectors (although I would like to point out that one of my many cats growls whenever he hears the front gate open, take that Fido!). There are many great reasons for keeping them around in such a situation. But what about man’s second best friend (or as they prefer to be referred to as, Man’s Overlord), the cat? Should you kick your cat out at the first sign of trouble, or should you keep her?
I am a big advocate of keeping and caring for your cat, and not just because I am a crazy cat lady who thinks of my cats as children. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t abandon your cat if the shit literally hits the fan (figuratively speaking, of course).
Now before all of you PETA freaks and animal rights activists freak out, I am not advocating for people to eat their cats. That is just sick. You should be ashamed for even thinking that. What I am saying is that cats are natural predators. Cats have been known to showcase these hunting skills by leaving “gifts” of dead animals (or worse, parts of dead animals) on their owner’s pillows and in other horrifying locations. When you can go to the grocery store and buy whatever you would like for dinner, this is a disgusting and somewhat disturbing inconvenience of cat ownership.
In a shit hits the fan situation, you can't just go to the grocery store to buy food. According to survivalist James Wesely Rawes, most grocery stores only keep a small amount of provisions in stock. In our perfect world this system works quite well, patrons get to buy fresh food and stores don't have unidentifiable species of mold propagating in their stock rooms. However, according to Rawes, this system will quickly fall apart if there is a disruption in the supply chain. He predicts that in the event of an unexpected catastrophe, stores will be stripped bare by panicked customers in approximately 24 hours. After that initial 24 hours, there will be no grocery store.
Hopefully, you are a normal person who goes grocery shopping once a week, so you can get by for a few days at least. But the grocery store is not coming back. After about a week, all you will have left is a 3 lb bag of flour and some corn starch. After a few days of eating nothing but fried flour balls you will be eternally grateful to your cat for his gifts of pigeon wings and dead mice, even if you found them in your shoe.
In an end of the world type of situation, electricity will be gone. Heaters will not function. If you live anywhere that can get less than 50 degrees, you are screwed. It will be balls cold in the winter. Luckily, if you have a cat, you have a tiny portable space heater that doesn’t run on electricity. A cat’s normal body temperature can range from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees, which make them an ideal temperature for keeping you warm. They are also soft and furry, which is always a plus.
Cats also generate copious amounts of fur. I have never seen a cat that isn’t shedding. While in normal life this excessive hair is annoying and destroys vacuum cleaners, it can be gold in an apocalyptic situation. You can harvest the fur and stuff pillows or blankets with it.
If you want to be super creative, you can also spin cat fur for use in hats and mittens (yes, people really do this!). According to a Member of the Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinner’s Guild, Even just 1-2 ounces of cat fur can be blended with wool to make a pair of mittens or a hat. A sandwich bag stuffed full of fur weighs about half an ounce. A grocery bag of fur weighs about 8 ounces.
In addition to keeping yourself warm, you could use any extra items for barter. According to Backdoor Survival, whatever you have in excess capacity could be used for barter. Blankets are even on the list of the 41 items to barter. You can harvest your cat’s fur and become an apocalyptic entrepreneur. You could be the Bill Gates of the post-apocalyptic world.
3. Vermin Control
If you are going to survive in this crazy unknown post-apocalyptic world, at some point you are going to need to either grow or store a large quantity of your own food. These endeavors will often attract vermin who want to steal your bounty. Luckily for you, just the smell of a cat can often be enough to keep mice away. According to BBC news, scientists in the US discovered that when mice detect specific proteins found in cat saliva they react with fear.
If the smell isn’t enough to keep the mice away, your cat will be ready to strike. They are hard core predators that kill millions of birds and small mammals every year (where did you think that “gift” she brought you came from?). Cat’s tendency to kill rodent-pests was probably the trait that led to their domestication in the first place. Or maybe they are Gods…either way.
Since the world as we know it is over, you can’t go to work anymore. That’s fine, you can just sit around and watch cat videos on YouTube. Face it, we all know that is just what you were going to do at work anyway. Cat videos are one of the most popular phenomena on the internet. According to Buzzfeed, the average feline story gets almost 9000 viral views, and since 2011, cats get almost four times as many viral views as dogs do.
Wait…the internet is down? You can’t watch cat videos??? What will you do with your free time? How will you procrastinate?
Luckily, if you have a cat, you can create your own live action cat video! Yeah, I know it isn’t the same, because it is your boring old cat and not a new interesting cat, but you can still get some entertainment value out of it. You don’t even need any props (although props do help, do you have a laser pointer?). Try sneaking up on your cat while he is sleeping. That alone could provide hours of entertainment.
This in only acceptable in the worst worst case scenario of a shit hits the fan type of situation. You are minding your own business creating your own live action cat video, when some jackass decides to break into your house intent on taking everything you have. You don’t have a gun. You don’t have a knife. You have no way to defend yourself. But you do have a cat. Cat scratches and bites can be extremely serious. Cats are responsible for the second highest number of emergency room visits caused by pets each year.
You can throw your cat at the assailant. I know it isn’t the most humane way to use a cat, which is why I only advocate using this strategy if you have no other options. On the plus side, the cat probably won’t be hurt. It will be completely unexpected. Most people don’t have the reaction time to be able to shoot either you or the cat. The jackass will most likely just try to duck as five pounds of claws and fury come hurling at him (or more, if you have an obese cat), buying you time to either escape or fight back and steal his gun. I recommend stealing his gun.
- How to make clothes out of pet hair - TLC How Stuff Works
Look. If you own a pet, there is a good chance that your clothes are covered in your pet's hair. You could use one of those sticky anti-cat hair rollers to deal with the problem.
- 40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World - Backdoor Survival
Tips to get you started in bartering for goods and services in a post-collapse world after SHTF.
- Cats account for the second highest number of pet related emergency room visits
- Cats Kill Billions of Animals a Year | LiveScience
Feral and indoor-outdoor cats are stone-cold killers responsible for billions of bird and mammal deaths every year in the United States.
- BBC News - Why mice fear the smell of cats
Scientists have discovered that a chemical signal in cat saliva elicits a fearful reaction in mice.
- What is a Cats Normal Body Temperature - Chicago Tribune
- Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild