I love my cat Bucky. I have always had a cat, throughout my life, but I will not have another. Bucky is a wonderful cat. He has always let my granddaughter drag him around upside down and likes to hang out with the dog. He sleeps indoors for hours but loves to prowl around outside. He keeps his fluffy fur immaculately clean. And every now and then he kills a bird. I am tired of finding dead birds.At his age, it would be a major effort to keep him indoors. An option is to build a catio (cage) outside.

Studies have shown domestic cats are responsible for major damage to other species worldwide. In the U.S., it is estimated that domestic cats kill 1.3-4 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually. Unowned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause most of this mortality. Neutering and releasing feral cats reduce the rate of reproduction, but not the number of kills. I suspect some feral cats starve to death as well. It would be kinder to euthanize them.

And where do they come from? Owners who did not care enough to neuter them, and either dump them or ignore them. Vaccinations are expensive. Kittens are cute, but if you are not going to love and protect your cat, don’t have one.

For more info, check out Texasinvasives.org or “Unnatural Texas,” by Robin W. Doughty and Matt Warnock Turner. 

Katy Kappel, Kerrville 

 

(2) comments

Mary Lou Shelton

Interesting article in yesterdays Iowa City Press Citizen regarding this. While your letter is compelling, it seems that there is a great deal of disagreement with your position. Gene

Mary Lou Shelton

and another article in the June 30 edition of the worshester MA. News Telegram reporting a study from Tufts Univ. The reality is that there continues to be a great deal of controversy regarding this topic. one reason is that no experimental study has been made, perhaps due to the complexity. you would have to somehow measure the wildlife population and find two matched areas. then you would kill all the ferals in one area and trap and release in the other. ideally you would have a 3rd situation where you did nothing to the cat population. you would then go in a year later and remeasure the wildlife population and compare. and this is basically an impossible task. there is some evidence that tnr. works quite well in urban populations as the number of vermin killed far outweighs bird predation. there is maybe evidence that in rural areas, better to eliminate the cats, but that did not work in foreign countries that began widespread elimination of feral cat and dog populations. as predicted, others just moved in and it truly became survival of the fittest. and I will add that feral dogs kill people from time to time. irrespective of this however, the problem lies clearly with the owners. over the last 20 years, I have probably trapped, had neutered, and released 30 cats in my neighborhood that belonged to people who were letting them roam and breed at will. I often wonder if any of their owners noticed something missing when their cat returned home. gene

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