The Thing About Feral Cats…

New Recipes  will be added to the food sections today … 

OK now that is  out  of  the way I want to talk a little about feral cats, and cats in general.

All of the cats in the photo section are ex- ferals, all now live  a happy life, indoors, lounging around on beds with there  dog buddy’s Roth and Bear. They  are all fully clawed, fully toothed, spay/neutered, and happy to be here

Out of all the ferals I have brought in, tamed, and rehomed, or in some cases kept only 2 out of all of them remain unhandlable, One is Angel face evil kitty, ang.jpg  who will allow me to touch her  when  she is eating or around the other cats only. She is a rip your arm off kinda gal who has no bite inhibition, She spends her days out and  about  in the house with her 3 sons, all of whom are wonderful affectionate cats, Jasper jasper.jpg, Masky,masky.jpg  and Tabster (mommy’s boy)

So you see  to say feral cats  are unreachable  is  untrue.

In a rash of  stray/feral cat problems arising  it  would seem  that those in authority  would like nothing better than to just “Kill Em All”  (Trailer park in WV, Randolph Iowa to name  but  2)Read more about feral cats at  http://www.beachcatrescue.com

TNR for ferals is the way to go, This  has be  proven  to  work time  and time again.

8 FACTS ABOUT FERALS

Fact1: They are homeless domestic animals who have no choice but to survive “in the wild.

Fact2: Cats fall subject to illness and death just as we do, even when cared for in loving homes. The solution is not to kill any living being who might suffer and die, but to treat any sentient individual with kindness and respect.

Fact3: Rabies is not commonly found in feral cat colonies. Where humans are concerned, the danger of rabies is relatively slight.

Fact4: TNR was created to solve a problem. A properly managed feral cat colony provides the cats with daily food, water, shelter, and medical care when needed. Therefore, the very people — feral cat colony caretakers — that some groups oppose are actively working toward minimizing the struggle. Granted, the “struggle” is not completely eradicated, but TNR is working toward that by spay/neutering all feral cats, thus phasing out feral cat colonies.Certain Animal Rights Groups state “TNR programs are acceptable only when the cats are isolated from roads, people, and other animals who could harm them; constantly attended to by people who not only feed them, but care for their medical needs; located in an area where they do not have contact with wildlife; and located in an area where the weather is temperate.”


Fact5: There are virtually no feral cat colonies that fulfill all of these conditions. Although TNR caregivers provide food and necessary veterinary care, colonies are often located in urban areas where people dump animals, and any animal who spends time outside is at risk of harm from roads, people, or other animals, including wildlife. Do not accept any group’s insistence on these impossible conditions when they claim that they do not oppose the practice but rather want it to be done only under utopian conditions. There are no utopian conditions. Support for the work of feral cats and their caretakers means opposing TNR bans.

Fact6: Feral cats are not “wild animals.” A bobcat is a wild cat; a feral cat is a homeless domestic cat who is afraid of humans.

Fact7: We acknowledge that outdoor cats do occasionally kill birds and other wildlife, the main cause of decline is habitat loss, which is caused by humans, not cats.
National Geographic News reports that the declining bird populations reflect growing threats to many bird species resulting from habitat loss and fragmentation caused by development and other human activities. Conservation groups and government biologists estimate that communications towers (cell phone, television) kill from 4 to 50 million birds a year — and at least 50 species are threatened or endangered. The construction of new towers creates a potentially significant impact on migratory birds.
Furthermore, two French researchers Moller & Eritzoe examined birds killed by cats vs. those that met accidental deaths by crashing into windows. They examined the birds for various factors, the most significant of which was the health of the bird. They found that while windows were non-discriminating and killed healthy and sickly birds equally, the birds cats killed were significantly sicklier than those who crashed into windows.
A 2005 study predicts that reducing cat populations would actually cause more harm to birds due to a resulting increase in rat populations.
A Columbia University study found that “reducing cats’effect on the ecosystem may actually have a negative impact upon some native species due to the possibility of ‘mesopredator release effect’. The study also recommended that we confront the cat population problem with a combination of methods: “enlist the “trap-neuter-return” style of feral management and combine it with incentives for owners to sterilize their pet cats.”
Wildlife biologist Roger Tabor, who is considered by his peers to be one of the world’s leading experts on cats and has studied feral cats for over 30 years, is quoted as saying, “The clear leading animal that’s really putting wildlife at risk is the human population. We just don’t like to acknowledge that it is our fault. It’s not a case of the cat being the worst offender. It isn’t even remotely the worst offender. It’s us.”
Most important of all: Even where cats might be observed hunting, killing the cats fails to address this issue because trap and kill does not set its sights on the long-term goal — ending the homeless cat crisis.

Fact8: A study conducted by Stanford University’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) found virtually no risk to humans from feral cats and diseases associated with cats. EHS also concluded, after consultation with the Santa Clara County Health Department and Stanford’s Department of Comparative Medicine, that there was a general consensus that feral cats pose virtually no health and safety risk to individuals.  
Referernces:
See “Group deals with feral cat problem,” Trenton Times, July 6, 2003.
For an example of such erroneous thinking, see “Feral Cats: Trapping is the Kindest Solution,” peta-online.org, claiming: “Because of the huge number of feral cats and the severe shortage of good homes, the difficulty of socialization, and the dangers lurking where most feral cats live, it may be necessary and the most compassionate choice to euthanize feral cats. You can ask your veterinarian to do this or, if your local shelter uses an injection of sodium pentobarbital, take the cats there. Please do not allow the prospect of euthanasia to deter you from trapping cats. If you leave them where they are, they will almost certainly die a painful death.” The other myths addressed here are taken from e-mail correspondence, “PETA position on feral cats” (September 26, 2003, Bobbi Short, BobbiS@peta.org, PETA Correspondent).
“Rabies Control And Feral Cats In The US,” Alley Cat Allies.
Available at http://www.alleycat.org/pdf/rabies.pdf.
Accessed September 29, 2003.

“Public Veterinary Medicine: Public Health – Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2001,” John W. Krebs, MS; Heather R. Noll, MPH; Charles E. Rupprecht, VMD, PhD; James E. Childs, ScD.
Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/Professional/publications/ 
Accessed September 29, 2003.

Statement from Dr. Julie Levy, read at the hearing of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) on the proposed policy to eradicate feral cats in Florida. May 30, 2003.
Available at http://www.bestfriends.org/nmhp/ferals26-02.htm.
Accessed November 23, 2003.

Many feral cat advocates, including Alley Cat Allies, erroneously refer to feral cats as “wild animals.”
“Quarter of U.S. Birds in Decline, Says Audubon,” National Geographic News, November 5, 2002
“Towering Troubles: Bird Collisions With Communications Towers.” Journey North, 2002
No More Homeless Pets Forum, September 8-12, 2003, Guest: Nathan Winograd, Topic: Ferals, ferals everywhere, and not sure what to do?.
Available at http://www.bestfriends.org/nmhp/forumarchive/qa908to912nw2.html#five.
Accessed October 23, 2003.
Fan M, et al, Bull Math Biol, 2005
“Introduced Species Summary Project: Domestic Cat” Danielle LaBruna, Columbia University, January 29, 2001.
 Available at
 http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/Felis_catus.html.
http://www.theanimalspirit.com/
“Living in the Gray Zone,” Estelle Munro. October 2003.
Available at http://www.bestfriends.org/features/ferals2_101203/grayzone.htm. Accessed November 5, 2003.
“Feral Cats and Public Safety,” Animal Care Services, 2013 Second Street, Berkeley, CA 94710.
 Available at http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/animalservices/feralpubsafety.html. Accessed February 3, 2005.
PETA
 
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5 thoughts on “The Thing About Feral Cats…

  1. great post, i’ve blogged about the same issues. there are a lot of misconceptions about feral cats. the bottom line is that humans are the biggest problem with regards to the feral cat issue.

  2. This is a hodgepodge of rationalization, wishful thinking and misstatement of fact. Feral and free-ranging cats have a devastating effect on small wildlife. And it’s not only birds that are of concern, though defenders of TNR programs customarily refer ONLY to birds and then misleadingly. Cats also decimate rodents such as chipmunks, squirrels and flying squirrels and other small animal such as rabbits, lizards and amphibians. Some lizards and salamanders are quite beautiful and are useful in controlling insect pests.

    It’s true that habitat loss is a greater threat to south-wintering birds, but that only makes the additional losses from feral cats all the more critical. Overall, your statements are one-sided and deceptive. The most effective approach is removal. See study: http://www.pamelajohatley.com/Articles/JAVMA%20study%20report.pdf

  3. John, very interesting comment, however the piece you mention has very few facts, or figures and is based on a mere single study conducted in 2004. It is written by a lawyer no less. Not exactly a person on the ground dealing with this issue daily. Unlike the studies I mentioned in the piece, which were based on many ACTUAL GRASS ROOTS STUDIES. ACTUAL observations, and scientific evidence.

    From my own personal experience I can tell you that TNR does work. When I moved here we had a colony of about 20 cats, we removed and re-homed those that we could, we trapped and altered ALL … Yes ALL… thats is 100% of the remaining cats over the next few years. For the last 4 years we have had NO KITTENS. Out of the original 20, 6 were rehomed, the rest were altered and returned, we are now down to 10 cats. NO new cats have moved in, No new kittens have been born, and the wildlife in the area is on the increase. I have watched foxes, racoons,possums, even chipmunks and squirals raid nests, both on the ground and in trees. I have seen Hawks and owls take, Rabbits, chipmunks, Mice, voles, lizards and snakes. I have also seen them take smaller birds. I have seen ALL the aforementioned animals and birds killed on the road. What I have yet to see is any of my ferals kill any of them. They are well cared for and don’t bother to hunt.

    I informed a friend who also cares for a colony of abandoned cats. This is her response.

    “I get that crap every single day and it is so tiring. Add in that my Feral cats are in constant danger from these human extremeists.

    Yes I see both sides but I see value in all life. I do not wish one life be preserved while another is brutally killed. What people seem to forget is nature. Big fish eat little fish, hawks eat smaller birds…and cat and kittens. Predation is the cycle of life and we will never stop that no matter how liberal we all want to be. Kumbaya will not change a bears mind or a hawk or eagle. ask Darwin.
    Instead of faulting the animals for doing what is natural, trying to eat to survve, perhaps they need to scream at the dumpers and those who refuse to spay/neuter or keep their cats indoors. EVERY cat on the street can be traced back to an irresponsible human. Every singe one. Cats aren’t wild animals

    One day I was feeding thecats and a birder pulled up in a Land Rover complete with his LLBean outfit, hat, goofy shoes, binoculars tripod etc. And proceded to lecture me on how horrible I was to feed the cats and how they were killing the migrating birds.
    I simply smiled and showed him the sky where a bald eagle was flying over with a Ruddy Turnstone in his talons. All I could say was “Your precious birds kill as well. Raptors kill yet you don’t want the Bald Eagle dead do you?”
    He stared at his boots for a bit then I walked away.I cannot tell you how many Bald Eagles, hawks, osprey, owls I have seen with kittens in their talons. It’s nature. You see it all. I had a Red Tailed Hawk in my yard eating a kitten last summer. Horrible sight but he needed to eat and I had to live with it. But none of these idiots want to kill the raptors and they kill everyday.”

    I invite you to come spend a day with my ferals, and while you sitting watching them lay in the sun or play with each other, or just sleep you can count how much wildlife the Red Tail Hawks, the Snakes, the foxes, the crows, etc kill while my feral cats lay around just breathing and enjoying what little peace they get.

  4. John M., you are ABSOULUTELY RIGHT!
    Flip195, you are so wrong. All the real data and facts contradict the cat advocates’ claims. Love your cats INSIDE an enclosure and leave the OUTSIDE world for native species, whom many others (not you) love and don’t want to see slaughtered by irresponsible, selfish, confused people.

  5. KatK

    Where is the proof that feral cats have more affect on native species than man does?
    Show me the studies, (balanced studies)
    You talk of ppl who love native species and the slaughter by irresponsible ppl, yet I rarely see a voice raised in anger when a woodland is cleared and a new car lot built, or a wetland is drained and houses or a shopping mall erected. Do you seriously think that a colony of cats has more affect on wildlife the the destruction of habitat or the building of cell phone towers on flight paths used by birds annually.

    For your information, I am a lover of ALL animals, I don’t pick and choose, I would defend a birds habitat as much as I will defend a feral cats right to live.

    The invitation to John is extended to you.

    You know something… I will tell you a very little known secret, Bird Lovers and Cat lovers WANT THE SAME THING.
    Indoor, Healthy, well cared for cats.
    Imagine what a force we could become to positively affect the feral cat population if we banded together and helped solve the feral cat issue.

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