Trap, Neuter, Return Or Trap and Shoot?

A recently released report from the University of Nebraska Extension, called "Feral Cats and Their Management," (for a PDF of the document click here)  actually endorses catching feral cats in barbaric traps, and also whipping out a gun to shoot unwanted cats.

cat in padded jaw foothold trap.jpg

Do you really want to see this in your community, moreover do you want your kids to see this? Besides, is this really necessary? It's not necessary, and it's not humane.

I concede that feral cats are problem, and this is an issue I've written a great deal about this past year. We don't know how many feral cats are out there, but we do know cats are America's No. 1 pet, with nearly 90 million pet cats (according to American Pet Products Association). It's estimated there may be up to 1 ½ times that number of un-owned cats, including both feral cats and strays.

TNR.jpg

Many cats are un-owned, and moving forward keeping cats indoors will prevent the problem, not to mention being indoors is far better for cats. Though going outside on a leash, or within cat fencing in a yard is great, it's wonderful enrichment.

These cats typically live in colonies in urban alleys, or roam from farm to farm. They live on empty urban properties, on grassy areas of college campuses and in city parks -- pretty much everywhere.

This isn't a new problem, or an issue unique to America. Many nations have been dealing with feral cats for centuries. (if you don't see the entire story here, click continue reading for more)

It is a problem for people because feral cats can carry diseases we
might potentially get, including toxoplasmosis and rabies.

cas and birds.jpg

Listen, cats do kill songbirds. I don't deny that. But are these numbers sometimes over-stated? Well, cats are fast - but they also don't fly.

And it's a
problem for the environment because the cats do kill songbirds (often
endangered species) and other wildlife. And feral cats can be annoying,
leaving their "calling cards" in our gardens or yowling at all hours.

Going back centuries, when feral cats became too much of a problem, they
might have been poisoned, shot at, or animal control officials would be
asked to catch and kill them.

If this approach worked, we wouldn't still have a problem today. The
University of Nebraska wouldn't have written that paper, and I wouldn't
be offering comments.

stray cats, TNR.jpg

Given half a chance, and community support, we know TNR can work to eliminate feral cat colony numbers

Relatively recently, the idea of managed care for feral cat colonies,
called trap, neuter, return (TNR), was popularized as a solution. Feral
cats are individually trapped and ear-notched to identify them as colony
members. The cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies (and in
some instances microchipped for further identification), then
re-released. Kittens are given to shelters to adopt out, and very sick
cats are humanely euthanized. Volunteer caretakers watch over the
colonies, processing any new arrivals and supplementing the colony's
food. While cats will still instinctively kill some birds, with a full
tummy they're not as driven. Unable to reproduce, colony members dwindle
to zero.

Well, that's the theory. TNR can take time and requires dedicated
volunteers, effort and resources. But given half a chance, it does work.

What's more, the methods supported by the University of Nebraska paper
only duplicates obsolete approaches which have been tried for
generations and have failed.

cat, Sarah Cloud.jpg

Free roaming cats may annoy neighbors, but being indoors or supervised when outside is best for cats as well; they live generally healthier and longer lives that way.

The paper suggests that its recommendations are within the guidelines of
the American Veterinary Medical Association; however, I believe they
took the AVMA specific guidelines on the humane euthanization of animals
using a gun out of context. (As of press time, the AVMA had been unable
to weigh in.)

The American Animal Hospital Association offers this statement: "As a
veterinary association dedicated to the health and welfare of companion
animals, it is shocking that a university publication would advocate
shooting and the use of leg-hold traps as acceptable methods to
control/exterminate free-roaming cats. These methods are indiscriminate,
inhumane and are unacceptable for the purpose of cat population
management."

 songbird, Prothornotary Warbler .jpg

Here's a rare Prothornotary Warbler - I don't want to see anything bad happen to this stunning species, or any other. This is why 'bird people' and 'cat people' need to work together. In the long-run cooperation is what we will need to help birds, but also political muscle and leverage to save the environment and lessen pollution which are truly more imminent threats.

Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association,
chimes in: "It's absolutely unconscionable to advocate shooting cats as
humane. How does the person pulling the trigger know if the cat is feral
or not? And advocating shooting at cats is potentially very dangerous
for the community. What if just one child is injured? We know there's a
better way for the community and the cats, and it's called trap, neuter,
return." Ganzert isn't alone. Many other organizations have issued
statements in opposition to the University of Nebraska report.

Aside from their inhumane recommendations, the report also further
accelerates the battle between "bird people" and "cat people." This is
not productive to help songbirds, or to reduce feral cat numbers.

According to a story in the Washington Post, an American Bird
Conservancy
official calls the University of Nebraska report "a must
read" for communities with a feral cat problem. Parrot poop! The truth
is, cat lovers don't want to see birds further endangered, either. And
blaming all problems facing songbirds on cats is plain wrong.

cat3.jpg

Like living with dogs is good for us, living with cats is too. Though we need to learn more, it appears petting a purring cat is better than taking a tranquilizing pill.

Experts
concur that habitat destruction, and both light and air pollution are
also immediate threats to birds.

If we all want to see feral cats decline significantly, and if we all
want to protect birds, why can't we find a solution by working together?

If the best "experts" in academia who helped write the University of
Nebraska paper can suggest is to set inhumane traps, and to shoot feral
cats, I think we need a new set of experts to review the problem.

(c) 2010 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC., Steve Dale

Comments

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  • Other than TNR, the only humane way to trap, neuter, kill is to use a cage trap (a humane live trap like Havaheart) and use euthasia via lethal injection. This way the animal can also be scanned for a microchip before euthanasia. Some cats are just fearful and not feral and I'll be the average person not trained, can't tell the difference. The leg hold trap, and shooting in the head is not humane. This is a step backwards. They should be ashamed for publishing such crap!

  • In reply to janowin:

    EXCELLENT point - I know the ASPCA is now researching this very question...How can you determine if a cat is fearful or feral because there is a difference. Only disagree on one point - it's not ONE step backwards, it's like 100 steps backwards, and a University support this no less....They should be ashamed is right. I didn't say it in the story - but note one author is a pest control dude. Is that what this is - in part - about? Driving business??

  • In reply to janowin:

    Good point about the Pest control thing - yeah maybe they are trying to drive business. But having worked in Animal control, I can't tell you how many times we had a cat come in that was completely nutso and we tranquilized it to check for a chip and found that it was neutered and front declawed! It happens more often than you think! And yes it is 100 steps backwards!!

  • In reply to janowin:

    Thank you for the comments!

  • In reply to janowin:

    Folks need to recognize that saving feral cats is a death sentence for wildlife. Plain and simple. The average feral cat kills 6 birds a year plus all kinds of other wildlife. These wildlife have not developed defenses against cats, which clearly are an invasive species. The Phoenix, Arizona area alone has 350,000 feral cats. The math is simple -- they kill about 2,000,000 birds a year. In a desert environment, I suspect the bird population there does not have long to live. Fact: feral cats are responsible for the extinction of 33 bird species around the world. Placing the protection of cats above all other wildlife they kill, is unacceptable and completely ignores the damage they are doing to our environment and other wildlife. Unless folks get their heads out of the sand on this, the price that we will pay environmentally will be staggering. And that is not even addressing the very scary health impacts of feral cats who have replaced dogs as the number one rabies carrier in the U.S. Studies further show that in order for TNR to work, it has to capture and neuter at least 70 percent of a cat colony. That's impossible. That's why it doesn't work. And the above article should have interviewed the Humane Society of the U.S.. They don't support TNR. It is not a humane proposal and it does not work. Feral cats are a clear and present threat to our natural environment and a growing human health threat as well. Beaches in Florida have been contaminated with hookworm from all the feral cats using the beach as a litterbox. There have been several incidents of rabib cats attacking people -- in one case, a rabid cat entered a home and attacked the owner. Do a google search and read the news stories for yourself.

  • In reply to BobJohns:

    Well, LDR, it's obvious you hate cats and your are as misinformed about the HSUS as you are mean spirited. I direct your attention to the following from the HSUS's own website about TNR http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/feral_cats/
    Here's a thought, why not do some REAL research before you start telling those of us who DO TNR the "facts" as you know then, not as they actually are. Oh, and TNR DOES work and more song birds and animals are killed by humans destroying their natural habitat than by cats.

  • In reply to catlady27:

    LT is right on. My first thought was that LDR was way off the mark. I disagree with HSUS on many issues, since they are an animal rights, not animal welfare group, but they finally came around on this issue. I live in a rural area. Two years ago, I had so many foot and leg injuries among the feral colony I maintain (all neutered, spayed, ear-tipped) that I became rightfully suspicious that someone was setting leg traps. Two cats simply disappeared. I made up a flyer that stated that leg traps are illegal, asked for information leading to the culprit, and stated that I would prosecute if I found out who was setting the traps. The flyer included my name and phone number. I distributed this flyer to all the neighbors in my vicinity. The injuries stopped.
    These cats do occasionally catch a bird- usually a bluejay or a tufted titmouse, infrequently a young cardinal. I have a lot of bird feeders. I make sure they're high enough and well away from outdoor furniture, so it's not easy for a cat to capture a bird. When they do leap to a feeder, their lead time for the leap always gives the bird time to escape. Have you ever watched a cat hunt? They stalk their prey for several minutes. Unless the prey is deaf, dumb and blind, they nearly always know the cat is on the prowl. The cats rarely catch an adult bird unless it is old and slow. Even the youngsters are too fast for the cats. The bluejays divebomb the cats when they're eating, to try to grab their kibble. Clearly the jays are playing 'chicken' with the cats. It's not surprising that sometimes they lose.
    This is nature. Both cats and birds are 'doing a-what comes natcherally,' and it's a balance only people can- and do- disrupt. You can't blame the cats. You can blame people for interfering with the environment. My philosophy includes providing plenty of natural, convenient habitat for the birds and feeding the cats so well that their hunt is a half-hearted game, rather than a necessity. If more people did both of these things both the cats and the birds would be safer. We should be working with, not against, nature.

  • In reply to JoanBernstein:

    Joan, nice and reasoned post. I don't agree about this is nature, only to the extent that an argument can be made that the cats don't belong there. No matter, your points are fair and well thought out. Thank you!

  • In reply to JoanBernstein:

    A cat killed a dove at my feeder today....so they don't always escape. And many many birds are killed that you don't see. Also you can't chock up a cat's behavior to "nature" because cats are NOT a native species to North America--they are an invasive species. Birds have not evolved enough adaptive instincts to survive against cats. Check out PETAs page on feral cats for logical commentary.

  • In reply to catlady27:

    RDJ - far be it form me to figure out the HSUS. You are right, they were once against TNR, today they are for TNR. And LT is correct, they once (and may still) sponsor symposiums on TNR, telling communities how to do it right. This is a good thing. But the HSUS seems to be sometimes confusing to me; they are sometimes (some argue often) still for mandatory spay/neuter of all cats (yes, they should be spay/neuter - it's the government mandate that bothers me, for starters), which is something all TNR groups I know are actually opposed. I won't comment here further about the HSUS and their inconsistencies relating to animal welfare.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I should have inconsistencies relating to animal rights.

    But the discussion is not about the HSUS here....

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Steve,

    I

  • In reply to pedrolobo:

    You are right, no one knows the number of feral and formerly owned cats...the numbers I use are a guess, but not out of my head - generally accepted by Alley Cat Allies, and others.

    You are right about toxoplasmosis - your counter tops, or your garden are more likely transmitters, according to the CDC. Having said that, it does happen....and same with rabies. And rabies is something we should not take likely...that is why TNR is also so important...Vaccinating ferals for rabies. Of course, I agree with you and appreciate your post. I will check out your link with the detailed critique, thanks for posting that.

  • In reply to pedrolobo:

    I have been doing trap/neuter/return for over 9 years in the Raleigh,NC area. I have seen first hand how colonies can be managed correctly and cats can live a long, wonderful life. One of the photos in this article IS one of my feral cats. The top cat photo (long haired dark gray cat in humane trap) is Battleship Gray. He was TNRed on Feb 1, 2002 in Raleigh,NC. He was a full grown adult cat and lived 5 more years in a junkyard before being hit by a vehicle. He would never had handled living inside. He was happy lounging on demolished cars. He had a very good quality of life outdoors. Thank you for using his photo, as he is an ambassador for TNR. I just wanted to give some background on the photo, as I took it one morning right before his release back into his surroundings.

  • In reply to Tricia316:

    You're thanking me - I should be thanking you! And everyone else who does TNR, who the University of Nebraska suggests can't pull it off...You and others do it daily.

  • In reply to Tricia316:

    Thanks for proposing the idea of cat lovers and bird lovers - often the same people - working TOGETHER on a reasonable and humane solution. There probably isn't an absolutely perfect solution (there seldom is in our complicated world), but the UNL paper's "solution" is one of the most ill-conceived, irresponsible and barbaric I've seen. The "academics" responsible for it should be called on the carpet by their bosses for their total lack of professionalism, and by Nebraska taxpayers whose dollars support the university.

  • In reply to bmdehut:

    Thank you Bernie and YES to all you said.

  • In reply to Tricia316:

    So being killed by a vehicle is a humane death?

  • In reply to catlady27:

    Comparing the number of deaths to birds by humans vs. cats is like comparing apples to oranges. The logic doesn't work....just because human encroachment damages wildlife too, then that makes it LESS destructive for cats to kill wildlife? OR we should let cats destroy bird species because humans are MORE evil and kill more of them? See what I mean? Not a sound argument. People think TNR works because the humans doing it are dealing with tiny pockets of cats in one location. They don't see the big picture and how little impact it actually makes.

  • In reply to BobJohns:

    Everything you say FACT - well no, everything is not fact here.

    It is your opinion - which is fine - you have a right to that, but it is not fact.

    I assume - because I don't know otherwise - feral cats have participated in the explanation for the disappearance of some bird species, maybe that number is 33. I find that hard to believe. But I do know feral cats are an introduced species, in that they don't really belong there. In some places in the world introduced on islands where the damage is significant. So, I suspect most or all the bird species imperiled by feral cats have been on islands.

    Yes, rabies does exist - I'm not sure if those rabid cats were owned or feral. I don't believe you know either. Owned cats are often not vaccinated for rabies, but they should be. Maybe we should license cats if people are not going to keep them indoors, I'm not sure. And you are right about transmission of hookworm in Florida and other places, the cats aren't the only species contributing, however.

    Shorebirds sometimes have no place to go and their nests are particularly as risks...There are instances where I favor moving feral cats. Or maybe capturing and euthanizing.

    However with support from people like you, and help, then TNR would work...it does work. And there is science to back that statement up, and there are many examples now where population levels and colonies no longer are there. Thing is, it does not work overnight. And does not work well, if people dump more cats into colonies.

    Even avian experts agree - light and air pollution particularly a loss of habitat are killing the birds in the U.S. I can't comment on islands elsewhere, or other nations.

    I don't ignore the damage cats do to birds - while it seems many like to overstate numbers, birds do kill cats. See, I said it.

    We have to stop making up stuff...and being angry, but instead work together to reach a humane and viable solution (the solution suggested in the report never worked before and won't now - and shooting is prone with other issues, nevermind the humane questions) that benefits birds, and YES eliminates feral cats.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Once again the argument is being made that humans do more damage to birds in other ways and using that as SUPPORT that cats should be left alone. They are unrelated other than the common denominator that humans are responsible for loosing cats on the continent. We need to stop encroaching and try to control building strikes too...but saying that more birds die from those activities does not weaken the argument that cats are a significant threat to birds. Why is the life of ONE cat deemed so much more precious than the life of hundreds of birds that it kills over its lifetime? Because people are imposing their emotional attachment to cats here and not truly measuring the worth of one life against another. Dead is dead....the bird's death should be more an outrage than humanely euthanizing a cat which does not entail suffering. A cat's form of killing is horribly cruel.

  • In reply to BobJohns:

    RDJ - to your point on ferral cats presenting a threat to our "natural environment" - I ask you to reveal where this "natural environment" even exists anymore. Man (humans) have warped Mother Nature and all her splendor. It is our responsibility to humanely try to correct part of our problems. TNR means that NO MORE FERRAL CATS can be born! The colony will NATURALLY die off. Government needs to get involved with helping to have our pets spayed/neutered as well. Many low income families want/deserve the joy of living with a dog or cat; however it is expensive to do the right thing. When they can't, their pregnant dog/cat becomes society's problem with unwanted offspring - thus "ferral" cats happen.
    To your point of the rabid cat entering a home etc. - it seems your solution is to kill all ferral cats because one rabid (sick) animal is your example. Was there proof that this cat was indeed ferral, or merely an inside/outside cat of someone who did not vaccinate? Humans were given dominance over all the lesser beings of this world; regardless of your beliefs (or not) in higher powers can you agree that this dominance comes with a responsibility? I would hope that responsibility includes compassion.

  • In reply to mrl9lives:

    Feral is the correct spelling....and Government can't even manage vital services correctly; the state of IL is about to go bankrupt..the last thing we need is more taxes given to the government and then expect them to spay and neuter pets. And what do you mean "humans are given dominance over 'lesser' beings....what an archaic comment! Humans are simply advanced primates struggling to scratch out an existence in the same world that cats and birds are trying to survive in. Your arguments are really disorganized and not supportive of your position.

  • In reply to BobJohns:

    PETA is the organization that does not support TNR....not the Humane Society. You can view its stance at http://www.peta.org/issues/Companion-Animals/feral-cats-trapping-is-the-kindest-solution.aspx

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, RDJ...TNR is simply not effective on a level that is high enough to save endangered bird species. The TNR programs across the country are barely dealing with a drop in the bucket. I would venture to say that a feral cat kills way more than 6 birds a year. One that has been hanging around my house this winter has killed two in the past week. I think your estimate is exceedingly low... I don't hate cats so don't accuse me of that. I think they live rough, dangerous lives out there in "nature" and euthanasia is simply the most humane solution for them. They are invasive species and just like th burmese pythons invading S. Florida, they need to be controlled for the sake of native animals and birds. They die far worse deaths from natural causes of disease, injury, dehydration or death by coyote.

  • In reply to betcsbirds:

    Elizabeth, I'm not sure I understand your line of reasoning...

    If trap-and-kill (please don't call it "euthansia") is "simply the most humane solution" for feral cats, then what about all the other creatures

  • In reply to pedrolobo:

    Why can't the word euthanasia be used? Because you want to elicit an emotional response here? Of course all wild animals can suffer and die in the wild...the argument I was addressing is the theory by TNR supporters that it's MORE humane to release these cats (to avoid a (HUMANE) death by injection) and destine them to then die a death involving suffering. People supporting TNR claim the cats have great lives out there when they don't. I'm not saying there's any way to prevent any other organism from dying in the wild by a painful means. Nature and the struggle for survival ensure suffering for all. What I am saying is that we can prevent cats from suffering bad deaths by providing a painless death once they are trapped. And help birds and other wildlife in by removing an non-native threat to them.

  • In reply to janowin:

    "Other than TNR, the only humane way to trap, neuter, kill..."

    Are you really saying that TNR is a means to kill a feral cat????

  • In reply to janowin:

    I love birds but I am getting really fed up with bird people blaming feral cats for their destruction. Did feral cats cause the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon? No - it was humans, and humans are the biggest killer of bird species through pesticides, destruction of habitat, etc. Humans are also responsible for the proliferation of feral cats.

    I find it interesting that cats are always the culprits - not snakes or birds of prey, both of which I have seen kill birds.

    And I very much disagree with feral cats/rabies issue. The incidence of rabid cats is very low compared to foxes, raccoons and other wildlife. I live in NC and have been doing TNR since 1999. I figure I have done over 500 cats by now and I have yet to come across a rabid cat or hear of any other feral cat caretaker who has either.

  • In reply to missjanenc:

    Doing TNR - first thanks, and second - you're a solution to the rabies issue, or preventing an issue by vaccinating. You are speaking from personal experience. 500 cats, no rabies...fine...but if a rabid cat bit you - not so fine. It may be one in a million, I don't know, no one knows....but rabies is nothing too around with. And there have been reports of rabid cats, which are uncommon - but true. Again, you are the solution, by doing TNR!!!!

    As for cats being blamed....c'mon - isn't it the fault of feral cats that the Cubs haven't won a World Series, or that Conan O'Brien lost his late night spot or that the little Italian restaurant we liked is now closed. You are right about that, cats do seem to take the blame for much that they have little to do with.

  • In reply to missjanenc:

    I want to mention that right now, I have a "formerly" ferral cat lounging in front of a window, "watching" it snow outside instead of being "in" it - and he has shown NO desire to return to his former life. On the other hand, outside is our other TNR - she wanted NO part of the indoor life. We tried to socialize her, but after 3 weeks it was obvious she was meant to live out her life the way it began. However, she does get 3 squares a day from us, and a shelter we keep fresh straw in for the winter. She does not molest our bird feeders. We TNR'd two other ferrals, who disappeared after a year or two, and we experienced sadness, true. But we'll continue as the need continues, and we are able.

  • In reply to mrl9lives:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/steve-dale-pet-world/2010/12/the-audubon-society-really-seems.html

    Link to most recent blog, and the Audubon Society response

  • In reply to missjanenc:

    OK Jane....Hawks do not kill nearly the number of songbirds that feral and pet cats do. In fact, cats indirectly threaten hawks because they are more successful predators and are competing with hawks for food. Snakes and Birds of prey do kill birds, but they are PART OF THE ECOSYSTEM and are evolved to balance the number of prey animals without wiping it out; hawks only succeed in catching a bird 1 out of 10 attempts. They eat only what they need to survive and feed their nestlings. Cats kill for food if they have none, but also for sport and fun and often do not even eat their prey. There is so much evidence through years and years of research and observation that it is a proven fact that this domestic, invasive species (cats) has caused the extinction of many bird species...in Australia the population of domestic cats has driven 39 bird species into extinction. If you just do a little research you can find all this information from reliable "non-cat-hating" scientists, governmental agencies and other sources besides the Audubon Society. The emotional attachment to cats causes serious reality denial.

  • In reply to missjanenc:

    Don't, for even one moment, fall for the song and dance about cat-lovers being animal-lovers, they are anything but that. They don't give one damn about any other animals nor even other humans. Cat-lovers are just like cats, the only thing they care about are themselves. Nobody else and nothing else matters to them.

    Their TNR (trap, neuter, release) programs are a dismal failure too. A smokescreen and time & money waster. Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Do a search online for the truth about all TNR failures.

    Those invasive-species cats that are released will still be decimating the native food-chain for all wildlife. In most areas any larger native predators that could destroy these non-native cats have also been destroyed by man. And if you feed a TNR cat colony they kill even more wildlife. A well-fed cat kills more animals than a starving one. They don't stop killing other animals just because they're no longer hungry. The healthier they are the more they kill. It's what they do, it's what they are. Lousy little killing machines, nothing more.

    The problem is just not the loss of bird populations either. Feral cats and neighboring farmers that let theirs roam free have decimated the natural food-chain in my woods. The resident foxes, owls, and other predatory animals no longer had a food source, the feral cats destroyed all the smaller animals that all the larger ones depended on. The native species all starved to death. That's what cats do to ALL native animals.

    I found out that where I live it is perfectly legal to defend your own property and animals from destruction by others' animals. I lost count after dispatching the first 20 piece-of-s*** vermin with a good .22, outfitted with a laser-sight and good zoom rifle-scope. I didn't have to waste even one bullet, making this solution highly economical as well. Just think of how many dollars and hours of your lives that you have spent trapping, transporting, calling, complaining, restoring damaged property, et.al. ... and still all the problems that these useless cat-lovers have caused remains. If your aim is good this is even a far more humane method than what animal-humane societies use. Instead of dying an agonizingly slow death by animal-shelter methods, they don't even know they've been shot. This is why it is the preferred method for disposing of feral cats in many states.

    It's time to give cats and cat-lovers the same consideration and respect that they have for all other humans and all other wildlife--that means NONE. Don't bother wasting your time arguing with disrespectful, inconsiderate, and ignorant cat-lovers either, as I stupidly tried to do too many times in the past. Just do what needs to be done and there'll be nothing to argue about.

    This year owls and foxes have returned to my woods. Through a large effort of my own, including raising and releasing native mice and voles to help repopulate the species that their piece-of-s*** cats destroyed. Their lousy cats are finally gone. But I'll shoot again on first-sight the first chance I get (and anyone who tries to stop me from doing what needs to be done). The rewards for ridding one's land of ALL cats and restoring the native wildlife population are far too great.

    And if you don't live in an area where a firearm can be discharged legally then I offer another valuable and humane method to counter the myriad problems that all disrespectful and inconsiderate cat-lovers cause for everyone and all wildlife.

    Google for: pot mod laser. You get these pot-moddable blue or green lasers for about 5$-$10 off of ebay from Hong Kong and China suppliers. You can easily increase their output to 100mw or more. I find that filing a small hole in the side of the barrel makes it easier to reach the potentiometer than disassembly and risking ruining it. I also found that the blue lasers are more powerful and effective than the green ones when pot-modded, lighting a match much more quickly.

    Anytime you see a cat off of an owner's property, use a pot-modded laser on it. If you blind a cat in one eye they'll lose their depth perception and won't be able to hunt as effectively. If you blind them in both eyes they'll stay home near their food dish. This is instant and painless. It's even far more humane than declawing. It is also anonymous. In daytime nobody will even know it happened or who did it -- for those of you who don't want to deal with or confront the ignorant and inconsiderate cat-lovers.

    I keep one in my pocket for those cats that are too difficult to shoot cleanly with a .22. I don't like to see any animal suffer. If I can't get a clean shot then they get blinded.

    The drastic problems that cat-lovers have created by their blatant disrespect and lack of consideration for their environment, all other humans, and all animals now requires drastic actions by all those who actually care. It takes real strength of heart to do the right thing.

    If nothing else, now that the useless cat-lovers know this will happen to their cats, maybe they'll keep them indoors where they damn well belong, to prove they actually care. Win win all around. Blind a few in your area, see if any of them actually do care about their cats or your property and wildlife. I bet they'll still not really give a damn, not even about their cats.

  • In reply to Woodsman:

    Wow! You have the gall to threaten to shoot humans ("anyone who tries to stop me..."), but you are so cowardly you have to use a pseudonym???? Please either sign in with your real name, or change your display name to Woodscrybaby. And unless you want people to think you may have some insecurities regarding, eh, some, eh, body part, you may want to cut out all your salivating over phallic shaped weapons. Just trying to help, baby shoes.

  • In reply to Woodsman:

    Wussyboy! I know you don't get to leave Walden too often to come into town, so I just wanted to let you know that boom-boxes have not really been around since the last century.

  • In reply to GerdaLobo:

    Funny and so true....I thought the same thing...i still seem them...but not often...

  • In reply to Woodsman:

    You can read a paper which was done by McHenry County here. The fact is, TNR can work because you can get many people to help with a humane approach to addressing feral cats. http://myanimalshelter.info/Members_Site_Home_Page/Organizational_Resources/Library.aspx?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=17

  • In reply to pwegrzy:

    TNR: NOT humane to cats. NOT humane to ALL wildlife. NOT humane to humans. The ONLY reason "SHOOT ON SIGHT" stopped working in the past is that people stopped doing it on the promise of disrespectful and ignorant fools like you who claimed to have a "better way". BS. It's time to put the "shoot on sight" policy back into effect, immediately, in every state and nation of the world. YOU FAILED, EVERYONE. Especially your cats.

  • In reply to pwegrzy:

    thanks - there are many examples in the Chicago area...and all around the country where TNR does work. It doesn't always because of people like Woodsy....who take things in their own hands....or people who continue to dump cats where TNR is. The problem isn't that TNR doesn't work - people are the problem.

  • In reply to pwegrzy:

    So violence is the answer...nevermind that some shots may not be as fail safe as yours...cats are hard to hit...but injuring one and letting one suffer is apparently humane by you. Or interestingly, missing the cat and hitting your spouse or your neighbor in error. Or children learning how to solve problems - aim and shoot. Wonderful example. By the way Woodsy dude, shooting on sight had been the preferred method for decades before TNR, or trapping and then killing in a shelter. If either method worked, we wouldn't be having this discussion would we? Gosh - afraid to think of you'd say about my other blog posts...

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    "Don't bother wasting your time arguing with disrespectful, inconsiderate, and ignorant cat-lovers either, as I stupidly tried to do too many times in the past. Just do what needs to be done and there'll be nothing to argue about." :-) Got 2 more yesterday, and another one today. Seems that someone "adopted" some more feral cats in the area. They never learn. Yes, cat-lovers are just that amazingly stupid. That's okay. My swamp has room for hundreds more. I found that none of the local wildlife will eat the dead cats, except for one 'possum family that gnawed on one once. But they only ate part of one cat's head and that was it. I even tried hacking them into quarters thinking that'd make them more palatable for the resident wildlife, but no good. So in the swamp they go. Too bad. For once they could have actually been of some use in the natural food-chain. Now they have to go further back into the chain--feeding leeches, flies, worms, and bacteria. It's all they're good for.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    The more I thought about it too, the more I realized that if wild animals did finally start to eat them, they'd only get infected by all the heinous diseases that cats carry. The wild animals here probably sense that the cat-meat is infected with something deadly and is why they won't eat them.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Steve, as someone who was taught to shoot (using a .22 rifle) before being taught to ride a bicycle, I may have some credible contribution to make here. Personally I believe that scopes and laser sights are for sissies, but maybe I was just too much influenced by my dad's opinion that the only honorable way to use a gun was to use a single shot gun with no frills, and train to be a good enough shooter to get your target with only one chance. Anyone else should not be ownin' a gun. However, this was in a part of the world where the regulations about owning guns, and the culture about the use of guns are very different from the USA. The welfare state approach to gun ownership in the USA, where anyone can own one, regardless of merit or competence or accountability, makes for a lot of very inept and incompetent shooters. So yeah, shooting cats, even if that were what everybody agreed we should do, would just be fraught with the problems you outline in your post.

  • In reply to GerdaLobo:

    Scopes and laser-sights are paramount to hunting this invasive species when they are most active, at night. Try it sometime. See which cat dies faster, one where you shot using a bead sight, or a scope and laser-sight. I prefer a clean instant kill with no suffering, unlike what cats and cat-lovers cause for all wildlife. Cats die an agonizingly slow death using animal-shelter's "humane"-society's methods compared to using the proper rifle for the job.

    But then, judging by the rest of your posts, you're way too stupid to know about any of this.

  • In reply to GerdaLobo:

    Steve, Janipurr, MRL, Elizabeth: from your comments I infer you may be interested in David Theodoropoulus' 2003 book "Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience." Tho there is much to critique about his claims and his tone, I believe his book ultimately to be a thoughtful and necessary contribution. You can also glean an executive summary from his talks and lectures, google for the videos or slides.

  • In reply to Woodsman:

    Woodsman - for starters, you post months later....so I didn't see this at first...then don't know if I want to waste my time dealing with ignorance.

    Enough said.

    Except that because I love cats, dogs and really seek to protect all animals - and humans - from violence, particularly those who can not fend for themselves...We are at very difference places, since your solution is clearly violence.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Steve, I guess by "ignorance" you refer to Wussyboy's comment that cats are nothing more than "lousy little killing machines"? Because as we all know, knife carrying lemurs are the real lousy little killing machines of the animal kingdom.

  • In reply to GerdaLobo:

    Or maybe he was confusing cats with honey badgers, who, according to this wildlife video "don't care a shit."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Cats are an invasive species. Bred by man for man

  • In reply to missjanenc:

    A little insight to help you with your war on cat-lovers and their cats. Maybe if you explain this to them you won't have to use more drastic means.

    I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of cat-lovers and cat-owners that let theirs roam free, and those that defend the rights for feral cats to overtake public property and wildlife areas, are only (cowardly) using cats as a proxy for their own territorial behavior. Not unlike inner-city youth that will disrespectfully and inconsiderately use a boom-box to stake-out a territory for themselves with loud music. As long as they can have one of their possessions defecate in another's yard and the yard-owner not have any recourse to do anything about it, the cat-owner owns that territory. It's time to put a stop to them using their "cute kitty" excuse for usurping and stealing others' property. If they want territory they can damn well buy it just like anyone else. Instead of using their underhanded, disrespectful, and manipulative means, putting (and sacrificing) live animals in the path of their envy and greed. Again proving why they don't care about cats nor anyone else at all. Cat-lovers only really want your lawn, yard, or forest while making all others suffer for what they can't have nor own. Bottom line--they want to control you and your property. That's all that "cat-lovers" are really after. It's why they don't care at all if their cat nor any other animals get harmed on your property.

  • In reply to Woodsman:

    Wow, Woodbaby, it sounds like someone needs to take a .22 to you. The last time humans tried to wipe out the feline species, we were rewarded with the Black Death. Maybe you heard of it--it wiped out half of Europe? Domestic cats have hung around human populations since we invented agriculture--and guess what, birds and other wild animals have all survived the last 12,000+ years. Sounds more like you have a hair up your butt about cats, because it's clear you are full of sh!t. All those "studies" claiming cats have decimated bird species are flawed, unless we are talking about entirely ground nesting or flightless species. Last time I checked, Europe still had birds.

    I also want to know why allowing cats to live out their lives as feral animals is not humane, but it's perfectly humane for wild animals. I have known a number of outdoor only cats--some former ferals, some owned cats--that have lived into their upper teens. All long enough to essentially die of old age. I keep mine inside because I don't want them run over by cars, but that doesn't mean that cats can't have an acceptable outdoor existence. As to the "non-native" question--that's another PeTA trick, to try and murder as many animals as they possibly can. Humans aren't native, either--does that mean we should leave? And rabies incidence in domestic pets is extremely low in any state, and when it does show up, it's usually in a dog, not a cat. Does that mean we should kill all the dogs?

  • In reply to Janipurr:

    In fact, shooting cats is too good for them. They should be made to starve to death like all the predator animals here did, or die a slow death while maimed and mauled, like all the prey animals they destroyed. But I

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