Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Feral Cats & Their Management

Because a 140 character tweet isn't enough...

A study was recently published by the University of Nebraska regarding Feral Cats and Their Management.

I agree with the article that feral cats cause damage to local wildlife and promote the spread of disease, how severe it is I don't know. I DO NOT agree with many of the articles proposed solutions.

While it is important to make the public aware of risks of feral cats populations it is also important to present solutions that do not involve instructing a person on shooting cats as "an efficient method to reduce populations." The study itself presents a table on the first page categorizing feral cats as not tame. How would they ever expect a non tame cat to hold still in order to properly "aim shots between the eyes." This is asking for a slow painful death and therefore not a humane death.

Finally, they also say "Body-gripping traps (160 and 220 Conibear®) and snares can be used to quickly kill feral cats." I googled pictures and these traps don't look too humane to me either.

There are a few feral cats in my neighborhood. I have captured some cats in the past and taken them in to my hospital to spay and neuter them and re-release them. While I know that this does not prevent them from hunting local wildlife or spreading disease at least it does prevent them from worsening the feral cat population.

There are many issues to deal with regarding the feral cat population but promoting shooting and trapping as effective types of control is not a solution in my opinion.