I lived on an island where there were many feral cats, as well as chickens, in addition to the normal creatures that inhabit tropical islands. An ecologist was hired to examine the ecosystem, and they concluded that the cats must go, as they pose a threat to the native bird population. So the cats were exterminated.
It appears that the cats were the only thing keeping the rat population under control. The rats population exploded, and we discovered that the rats were much more dangerous to the birds than the cats ever were. Plus, the rats got into stored food, ate through wiring in residences, and bit sleeping people.
Ecosystems are complicated things, and tinkering with them can have unexpected and unwelcome effects. It may be that the cats in your neighborhood are just filling a niche that used to be occupied by other predators.
My cat is an indoor cat, she gets supervised access to the outside (which she loves) on a leash. She gets to hunt birds through the window, and is very adept at hunting insects. She has brought us any dead animals, but I feel if one got in to the house she’d have it dead in short shrift.
Wild cat populations Start right w that owner willing to let them be outdoor cats…or letting them out feeling it’s better then it being in the house…but it all Started w ppl…blame cats blame wildlife blame Rats…but look at rats breeding in urban areas gather up those feral cats and set them after rat populations
And the Economy system is a Balance…when foreign animals that don’t belong end up being Devestating to the habit then the food chain breaks down…
Cats rock! Dogs rock too! However, humans fail these domesticated animals again and again. It took forever to make animal abuse a felony and have courtrooms take such matters seriously. I await a national animal abuser registrar. They are not things or property. They rely on humans for their care. We owe them much and yet we fall short. And to hell with the guy who thinks killing feral cats! They are feral cuz some schmuck of a human didn’t care about abandoning their cat.
I, on the other hand believe ‘no-kill’ cat advocates should be defined as bioterrorists, and punished accordingly. They deliberately expose human communities to potentially fatal cat-vectored diseases, proliferate the infectious agents of such diseases in our environment–including our drinking water and food supplies.
I’ve already refuted the “kitties saved us from plague” fallacy in my previous post, and am prepared to post links to scientific studies which disprove it.
Incorrect. Cats did nothing whatsoever to fight bubonic, pneumonic or septicemic plague (Yersinsia pestis). The only role cats played during the 14th century European plague pandemic and its lesser ‘sequels’ (outbreaks) was to catch plague and die from it–after transmitting it to something else.
Cats are particularly susceptible to plague. There have been six cases of cat-vectored plague in Colorado and Wyoming since last July. Transmission to humans was in all recent cases via infectious respiratory droplets because humans allowed close contact with cats.
The primary way humans have shunned responsibility concerning feral cats is by adopting worthless ‘no-kill’ strategies rather than taking aggressive pest-control approaches to reduce and eliminate feral populations. As a direct result of this–particularly the fraudulent practice known as “TNR”–1/3rd of all human rabies exposures are due to feral and free-roaming cats. That’s about 13,000 exposures per year for at least the last 15 years, each requiring painful and expensive PEP (Post Exposure Prophylactic) inoculations at $3,000.00-$26,000.00 per person.
Another consequence of TNR is that the infectious oocysts of the cat-vectored parasite Toxoplasma gondii are now present in our environment at densities of from three to 434 oocysts per square foot, and they persist in the environment and remain infectious for 1.5 to 4.5 years. They contaminate vegetable gardens, row-crop soils, pastures, livestock and game animal browsing areas, improperly-filtered municipal and rural water supplies, inshore marine habitat and the filter-feeding organisms therein, as well as parks, schoolyards and children’s play areas. The oocysts can and do become aerosolized. All it takes is inhaling one oocyst to blind, permanently debilitate or kill a child. Or immuno-compromised adult.
As many as 1/5th of the U.S. population is infected with toxoplasmosis. Most are asymptomatic because healthy immune systems usually suppress the parasite’s deleterious effects. Nonetheless per the CDC 4,500 Americans are hospitalized each year due to toxoplasmosis-induced food-borne illness, and about 325 of them die. Toxoplasmosis causes 400 to 4,000 stillborn, blind, hydrocephalic, microcephalic and severely mentally retarded newborns annually, and no one knows how many chronic miscarriages in childbearing age women. Ocular lesions caused by the parasite blind 70 people–mostly children–annually. The parasite has also been linked to adult-onset schizophrenia.
In addition to ingestion, inhalation and congenital (intrauterine) transmission, the infectious oocysts can be transmitted via breast milk and semen. And no one’s immune system remains healthy forever–they deteriorate with age. Those irresponsible individuals who maintain disease ridden animals at unnaturally high densities by subsidizing them with food, thus attracting them to human-inhabited areas, have essentially decided to risk shortening their neighbors’ life spans by needlessly exposing them to zoonotic disease.
If such people became enamored of rats and wanted to feed and maintain them in colonies via TNR, they would be hauled off and institutionalized as menaces to public health–and rightly so. Cats carry far more potentially-fatal diseases transmissible to humans than do rats.
And these myopic, outdoor TNR cat-hoarders who foster them are modern-day equivalents to Typhoid Mary–they won’t stop because all they care about is preventing cats from being euthanized, no matter the cost to their communities.
Dr. Marra is correct–these invasive, disease-ridden vermin must be removed from the landscape by any means necessary. That means ‘feral’, ‘stray’, ‘community’, ‘barn’, ‘colony’, ‘free-roaming pet’ and “I’m too pathetic and lazy to make a 12 lb. domesticated animal stay in the house” cat.
I couldn’t agree more
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasites in the world and not just transmitted by cat feces.
Dogs are just as much of a rabies vector as cats, maybe even more so. Your research is very biased and you are guilty of extreme confidence bias. Why don’t you just admit to being a hysterical cat hater?
It’s amazing to me how delusional people are. Cats are overpopulating the planet now because they hitched their pony to the wagon of the human species, which is overpopulating the planet… As a matter of fact, cats helped human progress by fighting the plague and supporting larger crops by fighting rodents, etc. The ability of humankind to be delusional and shun responsibility is amazing. Humans should only be thanking cats…
Comments are closed.