A topic of debate among survivalists is whether or not you should take along your cat should SHTF. We would like to present a case as to why your feline friend might just save your life after a catastrophic (no pun intended) event.
Exhibit A: Preventing another Bubonic or Black Plague
Many historians believe that the persecution, skepticism, distrust, fear and misconceptions spawned a massive slaughter and extermination of cats, which contributed to massive human deaths. The Black Plague was a devastating pandemic which killed upwards of 200 million people during the middle ages, mid-1600s and even into the early 1800s. Discrimination against cats all over Europe is thought to have contributed to the rat infestations that spread deadly parasites to humans. Disturbing the balance of natural predators could very well lead to a short-sighted solution to prolong humanity.
Free roaming cats keep rodent populations in check, and without cats it is almost certain that our food supply would diminish and diseases that are spread by rodents would increase exponentially. For those who worry about the bird population as prey to outdoor cats, some bird eggs are food for the greater of the two evils — the filthy, disease ridden rat.
Of course, balance in any ecosystem is key. Therefore, spaying or neutering your cat will be your best recourse for keeping the scales in balance. In an apocalyptic scenario, expect cats to prey on a rising and abundant rodent population over birds, anyway.
Exhibit B: Cats can protect your food sources by preying on rodents who try to get at your food supply.
Also, having cats well taken care of on your homestead will likely keep out the interloper cats you don't want hanging around. Cats are territorial and unwelcoming to strange cats.
Exhibit C: Companionship.
We cannot diminish the value that companion animals have on our mental state and psyche. Do we really want to live in a world that is not even suitable for our furry friends? Further, if and when SHTF, the best way to keep your mind healthy is to normalize your world as much as possible, and hold onto as much of a civilized society as possible. Hopefully, that civilization doesn't include the annihilation of companion animals who could provide a small speck of hope in a world gone mad.
For feline advocates who appreciate the benefits of a good barn cat or house cat, there are ways to minimize and balance the potential threats they may cause to humans or other small animals: feed outdoor cats regularly so they are motivated to hunt for sport and not food, and keep up with flea and tick prevention to keep your family healthy. In fact, stockpile them.