Feral cats are not the problem, humans are!

03/05/2017 12:59 pm ET
Community (feral) cat in Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of New Start for Feral Cats
Community (feral) cat in Los Angeles

Humans hate to take responsibility for our actions especially when it comes to the fallout of those actions surrounding domesticated companion animals. In the case of feral cats, this is doubly so. Humans domesticated the cat, humans abandon their cats, and humans fail to spay and neuter their cats. And, when a cat is abandoned and not fixed they populate ..amazing I know but true. Then, humans blame the cats for their predicament. It’s the cat's fault it became domesticated, it’s the cat's fault it got abandoned, and it’s the cat's fault she gets pregnant, cos little Johnny Cat just refused to use that kitty condom. Sound ridiculous? Well, it is about as ridiculous as hating cats because they suddenly find themselves abandoned and alone. Abandoned unfixed cats, breed and for some, soon become a “feral cat problem.” Although, personally I don’t see a “feral cat problem” only a “human problem.”

Every now and again someone reveals their ugly selves online, and this is true of Sam Wood. Wood is a hunter from Wisconsin who is an unapologetic cat killer. He is not a stupid man as he’s now rephrasing his initial abusive vitriol to one of him “helping” the environment because he’s another one of those “conservationist hunters” like, the lion killer Walter Palmer no doubt. Wood is to conservation what Jabba the Hutt was to freedom and democracy.

His interviews, and I do hate to give the man any more air time, and his stance on random killing of not only stray cats but “invasive wildlife” are full of incorrect blitherings.

Let’s take a look at that “invasive species” argument. Who are the invasive species here? Cats or humans? Which species is decimating its environment, wiping out hundreds of animal species, polluting the environment to such an extent that life on this planet may well be impossible in the not too distant future? Cats, sparrows or humans?

As the caretaker of two cats that were “strays” I can tell you that the spider and fly populations suffer the most from my cats. And sure, a lot of lizards have lost their tails to Assata. Do I hear a chorus of outcry about that? No. So, do cats kill wildlife? Sure they do. Are they “decimating” wildlife, um no. The only species that is decimating wildlife is humans. Check yourselves before you blame the innocent.

Kitten rescued off the streets of Los Angeles by New Start for Feral Cats getting cleaned up. Does this kitten deserve to be
Photo courtesy of New Start for Feral Cats
Kitten rescued off the streets of Los Angeles by New Start for Feral Cats getting cleaned up. Does this kitten deserve to be shot ?

And as for a hunter and trapper to complain that cats in his area are killing wildlife well don’t make me laugh. Hunters and trappers are the worst. They kill and wound indiscriminately under some false myth that shooting vulnerable unknowing animals makes them a man. I love hunters…they act like such brave men and women when they have big guns in their hands, but when it comes to a war of words on the internet, they cry foul and whine about being “bullied.”

People who care for and care about stray cats are not just “bunny huggers” – a feeble attempt to dismiss the experience, education and time that many cat specialists have invested in this issue. And, as for us “bunny huggers” wanting cats to be allowed to roam free! Where does this come from? No-one wants any cats to roam free, but unfortunately, there are not enough people willing to give them a home and far too many people dumping their unfixed cats.

David Avihinsa, a community cat specialist from New Start For Feral Cats in LA, said,

“I was saddened and disappointed to see Sam Wood using unsubstantiated arguments to justify his killing of feral cats. When one looks into the affects feral/community cats have on the environment and other wildlife we find a different story. Habitat loss currently impacts 93% of threatened birds; the US lost 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands from 2004 – 2009 alone. Wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000 to 328,000 birds each year in North America, and approximately 988 million birds die from collisions with windows every year. According to the National Wildlife Foundation, climate change is the most serious threat to migratory birds. What do all of these have in common? Humans! Killing cats won’t save birds. If we want a serious discussion on this issue, then the human impact on the environment and the lives of ALL animals has to be first on the agenda. Cats have lived with humans for approx. 12`000 years. A targeted Trap, Neuter, and Return program is by far the kindest and most effective plan for helping both community cats and the local environment. This is something everyone can get involved in.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Kitten rescued from streets of Los Angeles by New Start for Feral Cats being bottle fed.
Photo courtesy of New Start for Feral Cats
Kitten rescued from streets of Los Angeles by New Start for Feral Cats being bottle fed.
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