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v0.31:Catsplosion

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[edit] Catsplosions

Before.
After.

The catsplosion is a mighty force of nature and a serious concern at the Mountainhome. Much like the captain of a popular starship and his Trouble with Tribbles, dwarves fall prey to the fecund habits of the furry, lovable creatures known as cats.

[edit] Conventional Catsplosion

A conventional catsplosion is an uncontrolled overpopulation of cats.

Conventional catsplosions are an insidious poison which operate by using a lethal psychological attack known as "Cuddly Wuddly Syndrome". Dwarves, ordinarily content to manage an overpopulation of cats by employing butchers, tanners, soapers, leatherworkers, and cooks, may suddenly find themselves appropriated by a cat who employs mind control waves in order to take the dwarf hostage. The dwarf, now considering the cat its pet (when in fact the opposite is true), is no longer able to butcher the cat and will absolutely not tolerate anyone butchering his "bewuv'ed cuddlebug". Through this psychological technique, an insurgent is thereby successfully implanted into the fortress.

Over time, the number of insurgents grows so large that the dwarves must respond with open violence to protect their homes and (other) loved ones. Magma, water, and bridges are considered particularly effective countermeasures. Sadly, this results in significant unhappy thoughts and even open tantrums due to dwarves losing their "pets".

[edit] Dealing with Conventional Catsplosions

[edit] Part 1: Keeping "Cuddly Wuddly Syndrome" (CWS) under control

One word : cage

Do not leave stray cats wandering around or they will surely appropriate one of your citizens as a pet. Before your cat population gets out of control, quickly build a cage and assign all stray cats to it. If you do want some cat breeding in the long run, just leave a breeding pair outside and they will sooner or later become "pets". From then on, the moment you get an announcement that says "(SomePetName), Cat (Tame) has given birth to kitten(s)", quickly assign all new kittens to the cage. If they stay in the cage, they cannot mind control your dwarves. If you manage to assign the cats quick enough and even if they manage to adopt someone prior to be put in the cage, they still will be put in it.

[edit] Part 2: Getting rid of the unwanted cats
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The options are as follows:

  • Butchering. This still has a certain risk that the cat will infect a worker dwarf with CWS (although he may still butcher other cats) on the way to the Butcher's shop, so care must be taken to ensure that the distance is short. It is highly recommended that the cage intended for stray cat containment is built right next to a couple of butcher's shops. You can quickly assign any newborn kittens to be slaughtered through the animals section of the (z)status menu.
  • Trading. This is the only 100% safe way to get rid of stray cats in a cage. When a trader approaches your fortress, de-construct the cat cage to move it to the animal stockpile. Then set the cat cage for trading at the depot to move it there. Once at the depot, convert the cats into cash, or even just offer it outright to get rid of it. WARNING: there are confirmed bugs with trading creatures in cages. See the cage article for further details.
  • Execution Traps. A deep drop into magma, water, or a very hard floor will usually do the job.
    Since the introduction of pen/pasture zones a cat owner will happily place their cat in the pen/pasture, pull the adjacent lever and walk away while the soft splat of a kitten's cruel end is lost in a sound of thunder.
  • As cats appear to be attracted to vermin inside a food stockpile, putting a pet impassable door in the entrance of the food stockpile and constructing a upright spike on either side of this door and then connecting a lever to these spikes can kill the already "pet" cats in a relatively safe manner. NOTE: Be sure to check the door for dwarves before pulling the lever or they might be harmed.
  • Modding. Removing the creature token [ADOPTS_OWNER] will, yes, stop cats from adopting owners. If you're feeling vindictive, however, you can instead remove one or more of the cats vital organs, causing them all to cease being alive. Note that this solution will most likely be the start of a tantrum spiral.
[edit] Part 3: Sexism

This solution requires micromanagement every 10 years, but solves it for all time!

  • Cage all cats. Sort the female cats in a walled in room with no access. Release enough male cats to cover pet and vermin-eating needs of dwarves for 10 years or so. Let every dwarf have one without the possibility of breeding!

Once every 10 years or so, breed another batch after insuring all your dwarves have a pet already (if out of male cats, distribute some dogs or something). Cage kittens as they come out.

This is better done as an all-male than an all-female population in case a single wrong-gender cat straying from the plan - only one cat pregnant then in generation 1 instead of potentially most of them.

This means you keep all aspects of cats, except the breeding is confined to once per 10 years!

You could theorically put all pets in walled-in rooms. No pet deaths, no tantrums, no miasma!

P.S.: if you manage to put all the female cats in a walled in room, remember that kittens will appear only there - a good spot for a butcher shop and some kind of item drop chutes for ready food and junk disposal. Cats keeps your butcher shop free of vermin, too!

P.P.S.: Every time you use a cage on a cat the blood god is deprived from killing seven generations of kitten; so for the love of God, remember to sacrifice him some goblins in extra creative ways to compensate! Such as having a pit with all the female cats in the bottom attacking them...

[edit] Thermonuclear Catsplosion

Thanks to the Scamps Conventions of 0.28.181.40d and 0.31.03, the number of Thermonuclear Catsplosions has been drastically reduced, for the ignition keys are now by law hidden in a very Fun place after worldgen. They are, therefore, unavailable to prospective modders elf-fondling terrorists to use after then without causing drastic, system-wide instability to their computer networks.

As a warning, here's the only video footage ever recovered from the horrible aftermath of a thermonuclear catsplosion.

[edit] Birdsplosion

As of version .19, many new domestic animals, such as chickens, ducks and geese, have been added. These use the Nest box to lay eggs. The huge number of eggs they lay means that, if fertilized by a male, they tend to create their own Birdsplosion, in which millions of fuzzy ducklings take over your fort. Although this is not as a concern as the catsplosion, due to not being adopted as pets, there are still FPS concerns. The best known method to prevent a birdsplosion is to run a campaign on the benefits of eggs for your Dwarves. Also? Battery farms. One cage is enough. Don't tell PEETA.

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