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I have read the question How not to kill the mouse in my house? and this got me thinking. Would it be wrong to own a cat that would then kill the mouse? I'm not referring to buying a cat strictly to kill a pest, but rather letting a prevously owned pet cat do as it pleases, and turn a blind eye when the mouse is gone.

Directly, you're not the one harming the creature, and a cat killing a mouse is completely natural.

Indirectly, you've caused the death of the mouse, and have reinforced the killing behavoir in the cat.

Would intervening in the cat's hunting practices be good karma? The cat has plenty to eat, and the mouse only provides accomplisment to the cat.

  • @Miso thanks for the edit. I did not see that! – tuskiomi Nov 30 '16 at 20:36
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You are not responsible since the mouse came into your home upon its own volition. Also, you are not purposefully trying (wishing?) to create conditions in which a being would get killed.

But since you are aware of the situation, about a mouse and a cat roaming free inside your home. You should try to catch the mouse and then release it elsewhere in nature. In the meantime, you could try to prevent the cat from reaching this mouse.

The Buddha said: I declare that the mere arising of an intention of performing good deeds is productive of great benefits. - MN 8

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The Buddha did not actually arise for the purpose of teaching about good & bad kamma. The teaching about good & bad kamma is merely a 'secondary' teaching in Buddhism. These kinds of questions that create worry, flurry & anxiety in the mind about trivial matters are not the purpose of Buddhism. Buddhism exists to set the mind and people free (rather than place people into bondage from making mountains out of molehills).

As an example, recently Hillary Clinton lost the US presidential election. In her previous terms in government, Hillary Clinton voted for every foreign war resolution & is said to be personally responsible for the destruction of the good nation of Libya. Despite her complicity in the deaths, murders & raping of millions of men, women & children, when Hillary Clinton lost the election, scores of fully ordained Western bhikkhus (monks) & bhikkhunis (nuns) were grieving her loss (such as here).

This example shows how individuals in general, including fully ordained monks & nuns, are indirectly supporting evils infinitely more evil than the killing of a mouse by a cat (which is not actually evil since the laws of kamma only apply to people rather than to animals). If the laws of kamma operated in such a indirect manner, these pro-Clinton monks & nuns would probably all end up in the hotttest & most torturous Avīci Hell for eons & eons.

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    I think I might have used a slightly less controversial example, but yes, I agree. – user698 Nov 30 '16 at 22:21
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    This is not an answer, but i think it adds quite a bit to the question and Buddhism concepts in general. To any future reader, please don't vote to delete this. – tuskiomi Nov 30 '16 at 22:32
  • I think it is an answer in the sense that it refutes the premise of the question; I'd also say it does a pretty good job of it. It'd be akin to someone asking "Why is the sky orange?" and someone chiming in with "Actually, the sky is blue." – user698 Dec 2 '16 at 13:32
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    @xxxx well, this is more of a yes or no question. I think it's more akin to a situation where i ask "Should i watch overhead for falling coconuts?" And someone answers "well, it's actually the wildlife that you should be watching out for." – tuskiomi Dec 2 '16 at 14:18
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    Fair enough. It is your question, after all! :-) – user698 Dec 2 '16 at 14:44
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I used to have several pet cats and I remember rescuing many mice & squirrels from the jaws of death. The cat killing animals is not bad Karma for you, but here are some ways you can get bad Karma:

  1. Being happy when you see that the cat has caught the mouse.
  2. Making the cat starve for sometime expecting it to catch pests.
  3. Not making any effort to rescue when you see the cat chasing the mouse. Technically it's possible to practice Uppekkha in this instance, but usually it is our cruelty, wanting for the cat to succeed, disliking towards the pest are the mind states that prevent us from intervening.

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