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Thread: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Invasive species are a problem - they crowd out native species and alter the dynamics of the ecosystem, sometimes even leading to the extinction of native flora & fauna.

    When it is a plant, or a little, non-cute animal, like carp, lamprey, zebra mussels,kudzu, etc., there's no problem. KILL THE THING! WIPE IT FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH!

    But what if it is a beloved pet species, like kitties?

    Washington, D.C. Has been dealing with its feral cat population through a policy of "capture, cure, neuter, release," the idea being that the cat population can be kept in check this way.

    They are now switching to a controversial policy of "capture, kill" to reduce the population.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b0b7a9633c4ebb

    What do you think? "Capture, cure, neuter, release," OR "capture, kill"? Maybe there is another option?

    And... Why do you feel that way?

    P.S. The little calico pictured at the bottom of the article looks just like beloved family pet Ittybittykitty.
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    Sr. Member October's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    I dunno, it's a tough call. We capture and neuter the strays in our neighbourhood, but we live in a fairly rural city (I know that sounds weird, but it's a weird town). A big city like DC, I would imagine would have far fewer options. I guess it depends on the individual feelings or the person who captures the cat.

    But then, of course, you'll have the issue of someone accidentally catching and killing someone's pet. Which doesn't bear thinking about. *hugs nearest fur baby*

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Couple of things..Feral cats are NOT your sweet kitty that has always lived in your house,and may in fact carry some nasty stuff. I know I am going to get some blow back from people on this,I would prefer catch,snip,inoculate,and release if that takes care of over population. One large problem is if the feral cats become the alpha predator,it may very much upset the local balance. Here they do an annual bear hunt to cull down the bear population. Problem is over building,and pushing the bears into smaller areas and with less food,they tend to come into towns. This is also becoming a problem with deer..Cats are a smaller animal,but can if over populated become problematic. In a larger environment they could fold into the system,but as they get squeezed into smaller spaces,it becomes a matter of too many to be able to survive.
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Kill.

    Feral and stray cats and outdoor/farm cats are terrible for local ecosystems. They are a conservation nightmare.

    We are never going to find a home for all the cats that need to be given a new home, much less the cats that aren't adoptable--since we have cats now, the sheer number of people wanting to know if we would take another is insane (honestly, I'm beginning to develop a really bad attitude about cat owners...when I had dogs, this was never an issue). Feral cats need to be killed...it sucks, its harsh, but its the only thing that has a chance to control their numbers. TNR programs don't work. I could spend hours listing studies and sources of info on the problem, but I'm visiting the hubby in GA .

    Further more, cat owners should be required to keep their cats indoors, unless they are in an enclosure or on a leash. And all pet owners should be required to get their pets fixed. And people that dump pets and get caught should be charged a ridiculous amount of money.
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Farm cats may be bad for the local ecosystem (so is farming. Plowing a field or grazing cattle changes a lot of the local ecology), but, to a farmer, they serve the same purpose they served for the Egytians - they keep the critters out of the grain, so it isn't eaten or contaminated & made unusable by mouse/rat poop.

    Do ecosystems need to be pristine? It isn't actually possible...
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    Supporter Hawkfeathers's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Where I now live: kill. There are no shelters or groups to do TNR or anything else. They climb my fence and stalk my bird feeders. People dump cats who reproduce, and it just gets worse. The cats themselves don't have healthy or long lives, and for me, bird watching is sometimes the only bright spot in the day. My neighbor stopped feeding birds altogether. I'm not giving up. It's illegal to kill the cats, though. Ugh.

    In more civilized areas, I guess it depends on the volume.

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    Farm cats may be bad for the local ecosystem (so is farming. Plowing a field or grazing cattle changes a lot of the local ecology), but, to a farmer, they serve the same purpose they served for the Egytians - they keep the critters out of the grain, so it isn't eaten or contaminated & made unusable by mouse/rat poop.

    Do ecosystems need to be pristine? It isn't actually possible...
    The problem with farm cats is that farmers tend to let them breed on their own and then their offspring tend to hunt elsewhere off the farm.

    And when it comes to contamination, outdoor cats=toxoplasmosis.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  8. #8
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkfeathers View Post
    Where I now live: kill. There are no shelters or groups to do TNR or anything else. They climb my fence and stalk my bird feeders. People dump cats who reproduce, and it just gets worse. The cats themselves don't have healthy or long lives, and for me, bird watching is sometimes the only bright spot in the day. My neighbor stopped feeding birds altogether. I'm not giving up. It's illegal to kill the cats, though. Ugh.

    In more civilized areas, I guess it depends on the volume.
    I don't know if you read the article, but it was a bird conservation group that was behind the change.
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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    I know that here the local animal group tried to stop the yearly bear culling..Now I imagine some people would find bears all cuddly and cute,but you might want to talk to the guy who got mauled by a cute 600 pound black bear. Their weight can range from 150 pounds to over 600 pounds. yeh here yah big cuddly black bear... all a matter of size and temperament..Even a 15 pound cat if it is angry could cut you up some.
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    Member NeoPlatonic's Avatar
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    Re: Feral cats. Neuter or kill?

    Captured and neutered. Nature then runs it's course, within years the cat population is reduced.

    Is that not happening? Then that means two things: 1. Humans are releasing more cats into the wild (which cancels out depopulation efforts, no matter of policy). 2. Not enough efforts are being made to control cat population (which means that regardless of control methods all will end in failure to contain the population).

    Neutering (and application of vaccines) is simply the more humane solution. If anyone wants to adopt those cats it can happen albeit not all animals will be as lucky. In my family we have always adopted stray/feral cats and dogs - we have never purchased a single animal. Other people however have purchased animals, not bothered to neuter them, and then threw them away as trash. That applies to all pets as well, not just cats. When you have people who considers animals as disposeable objects you are going to get disposeable objects in your town - no matter how much effort you place in eliminating them (by the way, as a side point, the whole "kill them all" thing screams of "disposeable trash" to me and helps foster the throwaway culture, in fact I have seen a group of men who did not want a dog and threw it in a garbage truck).

    Some animals are also adapted to the environment they live in quite well. Pigeons are considered a plague in many places, but to others they are simply ignored completely. Case in point, pigeons are extremely effective at adapting to urban environments. If we want to reduce pigeon populations, rather than killing the first pigeon in sight you should look at the causes and eliminate those... Pigeons would then be unable to adapt and then their population will drop naturally. Otherwise they will evade certain locations but will continue to adapt and propagate.
    Last edited by NeoPlatonic; 06 Sep 2015 at 18:12.

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