With all of the humane efforts being made to help the feral cats who are roaming the streets by the thousands, we haven’t been able to come up with an effective solution to the problem yet. Cat lovers band together in their communities to try to help in whatever capacity that they can. One reader came up with a solution that is outraging cat lovers across the nation. Since the other kinds of attempts have only had limited success, the suggestion for killing all the feral cats to help reduce the population was made. This has sparked a hot debate with supporters on both sides of the issue.
The major debate
The main issue that is fueling the debate over whether this is the right action to take or not is out of humane treatment for these animals. Cat lovers who are pro-life and against it say that it’s cruel to end the lives of healthy cats who have no place to go. Cat lovers in favor of euthanization are faced with the harsh reality that there have been monumental efforts made to curb the population of feral cats, but the problem seems to be growing exponentially despite all of the well-intentioned efforts of pro-feline lifers.
The real concerns
Those who are in favor of euthanization of feral cats have lodged their legitimate concerns over the health and safety risks that feral cats pose. When domestic pets come into contact with them, they risk contracting a variety of different health conditions, some of which can be passed on to humans and other pets. With the numbers rising monthly, the odds of this increase. These cats are also using the parks and streams as their toileting areas. This introduces bacteria into the ground as well as into some water sources.
A third concern is for the well-being of these animals themselves. They are left alone to breed in the wild and have their litters of multiple kittens which will also grow up to be part of the feral cat population. Food is scarce and each of them are vulnerable to common feline diseases let alone a slow and painful death by starvation.
While campaigns have been launched to capture and spay/neuter and vaccinate feral cats before returning them to the streets, they’re still going without food. There aren’t enough volunteer agencies to meet the need of feeding thousands of hungry cats in the larger urban areas where food sources are scarce. If euthanization is not the answer what is it?
One person’s opinion supplies food for thought
There is no easy answer to the problem of feral cats. A beloved breed of animal that is highly regarded as a valuable pet is starting to wreak havoc in local communities. Animal shelters are filled to the brim with cats who have no owners. It’s a problem that is growing unchecked despite our bests efforts. While not a fan of euthanization in healthy animals, it makes me wonder what can be done? How can we deal with the current crisis? The reader suggests that the trap, spay and vaccinate program is madness. While I would counter that it’s an effort made by big-hearted and well-meaning people, I must confess that it has been largely ineffective.
What is the answer?
Adoption programs have helped but only to a small degree. While there are some feral cats out there who can not reproduce there are many more that can. More cats are being turned out into the streets daily by owners who either lose them or don’t want to care for them any longer. It seems that none of the measures that have been taken by animal rights groups have helped the problem. Feral cats are beginning to take on the characteristics of the rat population in New York City that became a terrible dilemma for the residents. A program of extermination helped to cut down on the problem and ease the risks of the spread of disease in that instance. Is it the right answer for the feral cat problem? It’s difficult to make that call, being a cat lover myself, but I find myself wondering if there is any other logical solution to this epidemic issue.