Sunday, May 13, 2007

Feral Cats

Feral CatSo what's the deal with feral cats? why is there so much fuss about them and why are they considered to be such a huge burden upon environment and resources worldwide?

A feral creature is referred to as a wild, untamed, savage animal that has gone from a state of domestication to a wild presence. Feral cats are typically kittens of domestic cats that were left, disowned, discarded by their owners. Un-habituated to humans, they live in colonies in urban alleys, malls, garbage disposal areas etc. If they manage to stave off starvation and death from other predators like coyotes, foxes, dogs, they thrive and breed at a prodigious rate - producing over half a million offsprings in their lifespan. A burden on resources, millions are spent annually to control them.

There are two approaches commonly advocated to deal with this problem. One is merciless euthanasia of every captured feral. The other, which is more sensible and what I also advocate, is TNR i.e. Trap, Neuter and Return - this involves capturing the stray cats, neutering them and returning them to the area. This approach, apart from being more humane, is also more successful and cost-effective than repeated attempts at extermination since the area of killed cats is soon taken over by other ferals. During TNR, cats are also frequently immunized and one of their ears nicked to identify them as being inoculated and neutered.

Whilst feral cats have had devastating ecological influences on biodiversity of certain species like the extinction of huitas from the Caribbean and the Guadalupe Storm-petrel from Pacific Mexico, they are also believed to be of use in controlling over growth of populations of certain animal species. An example is their removal from Macquarie Island where the number of rats and rabbits grew exponentially and had harmful influences on local ecology including the native seabirds.

Debate is going to continue on feral cats and how to best deal with them, meanwhile the take home message for pet owners is to neuter their cats - not only to avoid having to deal with a litter of kittens every few months - but also for the health of the cats

Whereas general consensus is that feral cats can't be socialized beyond few weeks of age, I differ in view. Given compassionate care and food alongside a suitable environment, even ferals I believe will learn to love and trust you (as I have learned from personal experience). This is a picture of a feral female that attached closely to me and frequently used to come in my room through an open window, stayed and allowed herself to be petted!


Janet said...

Feral is not too fargone... I adopted a pair of several-month-old female kittens from a feral population. They were both spitting, clawing, biting, hissing, angry, confused little cats. After four months in a small enclosure with only myself and each other for interaction, they became relatively easy to handle. Shortly after being spayed and released to rid the barn of rodents, one of them disappeared, and the other became fiercely attached to me. When she discovered life inside my appartment, she decided this was what she was made for. Now I have a year-and-a-half old son, and she is his constant companion. She sleeps in his crib, sits near him while he plays, allows him to pet her, and tollerates him when he attacks her (by which I mean everything from very tight hugs to pulling her tail and sitting directly on her), and has NEVER retaliated in any way. If he gets too rough, she will simply vocalize her opinion (she is an alarmingly vocal cat) with a loud grumble or in rare cases a hiss, and calmy leave his vicinity, usually only by a couple of yards. Then he may approach her and try again, and the cycle continues. She'll have him trained in no time.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

TNR-Advocates and their programs are making absolute fools out of each and every one of you that they con with their lies and highly deceptive nonsense -- while also violating all invasive-species laws in existence. (Cats being listed in the TOP 100 WORST invasive-species OF THE WORLD in the "Global Invasive-Species Database".)

If you do the research, as I did using data from the most "successful" TNR programs, you'll easily find that no TNR program has EVER trapped more than 0.4% of existing cats in any one area for over a decade now. (Even Oregon's amazing 50,000 TNR'ed cats, at the end of this year will have only trapped 0.35% of them in Oregon.) They simply cannot trap them faster than they breed out of control, no matter what they do. And those cats that learn to evade traps go on to produce offspring that now also know how to evade any trapping method used. So not only are >99.6% still and ALWAYS breeding out of control, and spreading their diseases everywhere, and still destroying ALL wildlife (native prey becomes tortured play-toys, native predators starve to death from cats destroying their ONLY food), but TNR fools are also ensuring that any future generations of these devastating invasive-species won't even be able to be trapped. This is why, due to TNR-Advocates' insistence that they have "the answer", that their feral-cat population has now climbed to an ecologically-deadly 150 MILLION feral-cats across the USA. Soon to turn into 1.5 BILLION cats within the year if you apply cats' breeding rates to previous population numbers. (That's actually a low low estimate. The real number from calculations spit out by their reproduction rates is closer to 2.4 BILLION.)

Find whatever way that you can to destroy all feral and stray cats on-site. If you don't destroy stray-cats as well, the source of all feral-cats, then you'll never be rid of feral-cats either. Avoid using traps if at all possible because trapping is what slowed everything down to where cat populations have now sky-rocketed out of control. TNR advocates are at least right about one thing (and ONE THING ONLY); trap and kill doesn't work either because it is based on the very same flawed method that they use -- slow, random-chance, inefficient, easily outfoxed traps. There's a reason the phrase "hunted to extinction" is so well-known in all cultures across all lands. It is the *ONLY* method that is faster than a species can out-breed and out-adapt to. The following link (of a study done by the University of Nebraska) is some good documentation on the most humane ways to confront a feral-cat problem where you live; including the best firearms, air-rifles, and ammo required. Though avoid using their suggested slow and inefficient trapping methods that got us into the ecological disaster that we have now.

Anonymous said...

On advice of the local sheriff where I live I used a .22 equipped with a good illuminated-reticle scope and a laser-sight for use when they are most active, dusk to dawn; as well as to afford precision aim for a humane kill. I shot every last one of them on my property, hundreds of them, to restore all the native wildlife to proper balance. Mission accomplished! 100% total success! This is even a more humane method than terrorizing trapping and animal-shelter methods; and why it is the preferred feral-cat management policy in so many areas today. One moment the cats are happily stalking defenseless animals to cruelly torture again, the next they are dead and don't even know what happened, they don't even have time to make a sound. Making your land 100% cat-free is something that cat advocates haven't been able to solve nation-wide for 30-40 years. On my land only 1 person in only 2 seasons was able to accomplish what they couldn't attain in decades. Why is that? The cost per cat was also only 0.3 CENT, 3 cats PER PENNY, a ONE-TIME expense (5000 rounds on sale for only $15). All cats gone for the price of a few cups of coffee. And contrary to another famous TNR-Advocate's bald-faced "vacuum effect" LIE ... NO CATS REPLACED THEM. The NATIVE predators and their required NATIVE prey that WAS here and BELONGS here is what replaced their lousy invasive-species cats that had destroyed the entire native food-chain. This year I'm even enjoying birds I've never seen in my life before. Two of the warblers listed in the top 10 songbirds of the world for their song. What an amazing sound to awake to each morning. You have no idea what you're missing if you have cats by you. I now feel sorry for anyone who has cats. Their lives and world are dismally empty and they don't even know it.

May you have as much success as I did, and so quickly and inexpensively too.

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