National Geographic Daily News
Volunteers hold feral kittens waiting to be spayed and neutered.

Volunteers hold feral kittens waiting to be spayed and neutered in the Florida Keys.

Photograph by Melissa Farlow, National Geographic

Christine Dell'Amore

National Geographic News

Published March 20, 2013

A writer's call to euthanize feral domestic cats has caused new fur to fly in the ongoing debate over how to handle free-roaming felines.

In a March 14 opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel, Ted Williams, then editor-at-large for Audubon Magazine, advocated for trapping and euthanizing feral cats due to their rampant hunting of birds and their reputation for carrying diseases like toxoplasmosis.

The magazine, published by one of the nation's leading bird groups, has since suspended its contract with Williams and removed him as editor-at-large from its masthead.

Over 80 million pet cats reside in U.S. homes and as many as 80 million more free-roaming cats survive outside. (Watch a video about the secret lives of cats.)

A study published earlier this year in Nature Communications estimated that cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 billion to 20.7 billion mammals in the continental U.S. each year.

Tylenol Poisoning Controversial

In a portion of the Sentinel article that has since been removed, Williams said that use of the pain reliever Tylenol as a poison to euthanize feral cats has been prevented by feral-cat advocates. Tylenol is especially toxic to cats, according to the website PetMD.

According to a version of the op-ed posted on the Best Friends blog, run by the Best Friends Animal Society, Williams had originally written: "There are two effective, humane alternatives to the cat hell of TNR"—which stands for trap-neuter-return, a method of feral cat control promoted by feral cat advocates.

"One is Tylenol," Williams continued, according to the blog, " ... a completely selective feral-cat poison. The other is trap and euthanize."

The Tylenol reference sparked wide condemnation from animal-rights groups, including Alley Cat Allies, which bills itself as "cats' leading advocate." The organization pushes for humane methods of caring for feral cats, including trap-neuter-return, in which cats are trapped, neutered, and then returned to the wild so they can't reproduce.

Alley Cat Allies asked its supporters online to urge Audubon to dismiss Williams as editor-at-large.

The cat group said on its website that poisoning "isn't just cruel and irresponsible, but also illegal"—similar to language Williams had used to describe the practice of TNR. (Watch a video from the perspective of a house cat.)

Poisoning cats would violate anti-cruelty laws in all 50 states, Alley Cat Allies president and co-founder Becky Robinson told National Geographic. "Whatever someone's belief, the answer is never cruelty," she said.

But posting in the comments section of his Sentinel story, someone identifying as Williams said: "If Alley Cat Allies bothered to read, they would note that I did not 'call on the public to kill millions of cats by poisoning them with Tylenol' as they claim in their screed.

"I merely reported the easily verified fact that 'the TNR lobby has blocked its [Tylenol's] registration' as a feral-cat poison," continued the commenter, who decried what he called "the fiction spun by the feral-cat mafia."

But on March 16, Audubon magazine suspended its contract with Williams and removed him as editor-at-large from the masthead pending further review, the Audubon Society said in a Facebook statement.

"Ted Williams is a freelance writer who published a personal opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel. We regret any misimpression that Mr. Williams was speaking for us in any way: He wasn't," the statement said.

Searching for Feral-Cat Solutions

Even so, Audubon said that it does "fully understand the gravity of the issue of the threats cats present to birds. Cats—particularly feral cats—are a leading cause of bird deaths."

To David Ringer, director of media relations for the Audubon Society, the dust-up shows "that we all need to work together on effective strategies that will address the very serious harm cats inflict on birds and other wildlife and that are also truly humane toward cats," he told National Geographic by email.

"Cats do a great deal of damage to birds and other wildlife, and it needs to be addressed, but Audubon absolutely rejects the idea of individuals harming or poisoning cats."

Instead, the Audubon Society has long urged pet owners to "keep their cats indoors for the safety of both their pets and birds," according to the Facebook statement. The organization also supports the American Bird Conservancy's Cat Indoors campaign. (See Audubon Society's tips on reducing threats from cats.)

According the to American Humane Society, outdoor cats live an average of 3 years while indoor cats typically reach an average age of 15 years.

But Robinson pointed out that promoting indoor cats "doesn't address the cats whose home is [already] the outdoors." And she said that her group's trap-neuter-release model has succeeded in eliminating some feral cat colonies.

"We're a nation of animal lovers," she said.

Tell us: How do you think feral cats should be handled?

751 comments
J. Carlton
J. Carlton

If there is a species whose out-of-control behaviors and over-breeding needs to be reigned in and managed, whose irresponsible actions are detrimental and irreversible to other animal species and to the planet, it is HUMANS.  Let's take care of our own house before we start thinking that we should play Mother Nature to the rest of the world... 


As humans, we have tried so hard in the past to play "Mother Nature", and fix what we (mistakenly) deem is wrong with nature's balance.  In doing so, humans have screwed up those so called "problems" even more so with the "fix" we put in place (a fix that always favors our species, but not for the rest of the Earth's inhabitants).  These idiots never realize that humans are the problem, not the animals, who are here living and behaving exactly and perfectly how Nature designed and intended them to be.

J. Carlton
J. Carlton

If there is a species whose out-of-control behaviors and over-breeding needs to be reigned in and managed, whose irresponsible actions are detrimental and irreversible to other animal species and to the planet, it is HUMANS.  Let's take care of our own house before we start thinking that we should play Mother Nature to the rest of the world... 


As humans, we have tried so hard in the past to play "Mother Nature", and fix what we (mistakenly) deem is wrong with nature's balance.  In doing so, humans have screwed up those so called "problems" even more so with the "fix" we put in place (a fix that always favors our species, but not for the rest of the Earth's inhabitants).  These idiots never realize that humans are the problem, not the animals, who are here living and behaving exactly and perfectly how Nature designed and intended them to be.

Diego Murguia
Diego Murguia

I'm just tired of this capture and neuter method, it's taking us no where. The cats will continue hunting, diseased and, most likely, will not be adopted. Current cat shelters are full, they will most likely put down the -surplus-. Killing a cat now, stops the spread of diseases, saves native wild life and stops one from reproduction without wasting so many resources. Is this not a practical solution?

I have been to parks where they forbid the bird feeding due to fear of making them gather in one area and spread diseases, same applies for cats. Just feeding them is very irresposible considering the ramifications, nurturing a whole colony of feral cats.

They should share some of the regulations that apply to dogs, too many irresponsible dog owners to add the irresponsible cat owners.

MarySusan Amick
MarySusan Amick

After reading the article and comments my thought is... Humans have been invading and decimating other living things for thousands of years.  


Thomas Poulson
Thomas Poulson

FERAL CATS:Fact, Myth, and Management

Tom Poulson, Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolution

I have read all 740 comments in the National Geographic Forum and researched the pros and cons of most of the arguments.  In balance I favor trapping and euthanizing feral cats and outlawing cat mills.  And cats should be kept inside or walked on leash; dogs aren’t allowed to roam free.

1.Cats are not a native species!  Australians are trying to exterminate all feral alien species that devastate thieir native species and ecosystems.

2.Except for neutered restaurant cats and farm cats, most neutered feral cats lead a short and precarious life and are mostly diseased and parasite-ridden.

3.Trap, neuter, and release does not solve the huge problem of feral cats killing native animals.  In the United States feral cats annually kill 1.4 – 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 – 20.7 billion small mammals not to mention lizards, frogs, and insects.  For perspective, other bird killers include tall buildings and windows (20 B), wind turbines (40 -50 M), cell towers (40 – 50 M), cars (60 – 80 M), power-lines (130 – 170 M), and pesticides (70 M).  These deaths are declining with better design and siting but not so for deaths by feral cats.

4. The solution is to adopt feral cats and keep your cat pets inside.  In our experience bells on our cats did not seem to decrease the number of bird and mice our cats proudly brought home to show us when we used to let them go outside.  Unfortunately they rarely killed resident non-native pigeons, house sparrows, and starlings but wreaked havoc on migrants such as warblers and thrushes.

5.Our outside cats continued to kill even though they were well-fed.  Data show that well-fed feral cats also continue to kill.  Our indoor cats continue to kill insects, lizards, and frogs that find their ways on to our screened porch.

6.Native predators do a good job, along with natural disease and competition, of keeping native mammals in check.  If we keep some natural habitat then we will have plenty of hawks, owls, shrikes, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, shrews, and snakes to maintain the balance of nature.  Perhaps feral cats in cities help control non-native rats and mice but cities still spend huge amounts of money controlling these vermin, mostly using poison baits.

L M.
L M.

you people are nuts if you think that euthanizing feral cats is a good thing.  i'll keep mine and you can have houses overrun with mice and rodents.  judging by the amount of mice i see on my street, we'd have more than a few in the houses if not for the indoor/outdoor cats that live amongst us.  yes, there is sometimes a dead bird or two but the dead mice far outnumber the dead birds.  and 3 young fox were scared away last summer by my 3 outdoor cats (one is mine, one is a foster and one i found a good home for via our town shelter).  there is an island where they did just that, killed all the cats because they were going after the birds.  guess what?  they are over run with bunnies and mice that are equally destructive but the numbers were kept at bay by the cats.  so now they are trying to kill the bunnies (in a very cruel and inhumane way) and the other mice and rodents.  they should just reintroduce the cats and nature would be balanced.  so cats kill birds.  well, let's see, what other animals kill other animals?  why don't we get rid of all the animals and we won't have that issue anymore.  so the only ones killing animals will be the humans.  for food.  and in the most inhumane way ever, might i add.  

Nina Vrnish
Nina Vrnish

While I don't endorse the use of poison, I do agree with Williams that trapping and humanly euthanizing feral cats is a better alternative than TNR. In the past, I've owned cats, indoor and out. The outside cats almost all started as feral cats that showed up at my home in the country and refused to become inside-only cats. While they enjoyed long healthy lives, I know the situation was not the same for the birds and other small wildlife on my property.  For that reason, I've chosen over the last 10 years not to keep cats.

Debra Hagen
Debra Hagen

I have a feral cat as a pet.  He insisted on staying around our property, and eating the other cat's food outside.  We trapped him having the intent of taking him to the shelter.  Once I saw him in the trap, I felt bad for him.  I put an ad on Craigslist to try to find him a home.  I got many e-mails with suggestions of what I could do.  One of the suggestions was to take him to the Feral Cat Project in a town near us.  They neutered him, and gave him proper vaccinations.  I believed that after that kind of torture (For a feral cat anyway), that he would leave.  Three years later, he is still an outdoor pet.  Occasionally he allows my husband to pet him. 

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

Native Predators vs. Cats -- Which one wins?


I can tell you right now, from personal experience with my own cat-eradication experiments by trying to employ native predators for this task, and also reading about the failures that other countries have had in this regard -- THE CAT WILL WIN.

Australia recently found this out too when their experiment to increase Dingo populations did nothing to curb cats' breeding rates. If only I had known what they were attempting, I could have told them about something I discovered over a decade ago on my very own lands, and saved them the loss of further valuable willdlife.

In short, this perfectly natural anomaly is caused by the variable and bold patterns that humans have bred into cats' coat patterns. Bold patterns on any unknown animal are perceived by any wildlife as that animal being deadly, toxic, or having other hidden defense measures -- to approach or avoid with all caution. This is a universal animal communication method that is used throughout the natural world. Across all phyla. Native predators are not going to be able to override millennia of natural instinct and a well-understood and useful communication method between them all.

This is why you will find reports online about how many a coyote or other predator was "chased" from someone's yard by their "big brave" cat. The cat's imagined bravado had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was the cat's coat-coloring pattern alone that scared that larger and more capable predator away. Native predators may take a cat or two (and then die in the process from some disease in that cat), but eventually you'll just end up with bold-patterned cats annihilating your lands and lives.

Here's my best Reader's Digest version post on how it all works, and how I discovered this "native predator vs. cat" anomaly.

neighbors.denverpost.com/viewtopic.php?source=phpbb_art_viewall&t=22154584#p2781776

But I bet NG doesn't allow links. So instead Google for (include quotes): denverpost "NATURE IS NOT GOING TO SAVE YOU FROM THIS HUMAN-MADE, INVASIVE-SPECIES, ECOLOGICAL DISASTER."

Bea Pitassi
Bea Pitassi

I have worked with outside cats for a few years now.  When they are neutered and spayed they become much more calm.  If they are fed at regular times each day they are less prone to attack birds, although it probably happens.  Actually, birds kill many many kittens.   Just this year, one cat that I could not catch had kittens.  Each of them were killed by the hawks. Hawks are notorious for killing small mammals, and other birds.  


In my backyard, the main killer of the birds are the hawks who seem to be lurking overhead almost every day.  I see the feathers scattered, which is a typical sign of their kill.


Those of us who feed our colony are always on the lookout for illnesses in the cats.  We catch them and take them to the vet at our own cost.  I have been able to adopt a few of the tamer ones out.  At least a few of them will have a good life.

It's always a worry, esp. when the weather turns frigid.  We have outfitted a few donated doghouses with insulation and straw so that they can stay warm.  It seems to work, at least so far.  Of course, every winter a few disappear.  It's not the total answer, but I think it's the humane one, esp. if everyone that sees a group of ferals would intercede and catch them to be neutered.  It is overwhelming at times.  Again, if more people would help out, it wouldn't be so hard on those of us who do.

Memy Selfandi
Memy Selfandi

99.99% of all commenters here agree on one thing:

compassion.

The debate is how best to achieve that goal given current conditions.  

Memy Selfandi
Memy Selfandi

699 comments later this comment posted over a week ago is still the most balanced and thankfully the most popular:

by Kat Hentsch  

As a veterinary professional with a degree in wildlife management with an ornithology emphasis, I believe I can weigh in factually on this subject.  It is fact that cats allowed outdoors have significant increase in threat to their welfare from predation, vehicular encounters, disease, and detrimental human contact (refer tohttps://www.avma.org/News/Journals/Collections/Documents/javma_225_9_1354.pdf).  Cats that have no indoor option, as is the case with ferals, face a very difficult life of survival against the odds.  Many are born with lifespan-limiting diseases like feline leukemia(FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).  FeLV is spread via prolonged exposure to body fluids including saliva, and FIV is spread similarly to HIV - via sexual contact or transfer of blood or saliva, usually from fighting; both viruses can be passed from mother to kitten in utero.  Those that are not exposed at birth may be exposed by turf wars, communal feeding areas, and breeding.  Parasitism is another major issue - ectoparasites can cause fatal anemia, carry diseases like Lyme, mycoplasma, and heartworm; internal parasites are easily spread, can lay dormant for years in the environment, and many are zoonotic (transferable between species, particularly to humans).  Feral felines, particularly in a communal setting, increase the prevalence of disease not only among themselves, but also among owned indoor-outdoor cats and local human populations.

TNR (trap-neuter-return) has become a popular option in many communities to attempt to allow altered ferals to live out their lives without the capability to expand/perpetuate their population.  The AVMA's stance on TNR can be found here:https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Free-roaming-Abandoned-and-Feral-Cats.aspx  As the AVMA suggests, keeping TNR colonies confined in some way not only reduces their mortality but also reduces predation upon wildlife, the topic of this article.  TNR, in a managed, confined colony, is a viable option; but for unmanaged feral populations it does nothing to improve their quality of life or address the issue of wildlife predation.  In these cases, adoption of socialized healthy animals and euthanasia of those remaining seems the most logical, humane option.

Let's get personal: until you've seen a feral cat suffering from multiple diseases and disorders, smelled the rancid flesh resulting from abscessed fight wounds or broken and infected teeth; seen a degloving injury from an encounter with a car, watched a kitten die in your hands from being bled to death by fleas, or attempt to treat a cat poisoned by something like Tylenol without success, you have no business weighing in on how inhumane it is to euthanize these animals.  It is inhumane that they are made to live this way in the first place, and it would be inhumane to let them continue to live in pain and turmoil, dying slowly due to humanity's mistakes.  It is a gift we are able to give them to die painlessly.

Now, wildlife populations are generally not equipped to adapt to the level of predation domestic felines pose due to their sheer numbers.  Advocates of outdoor cats argue that cats help maintain a healthy population by only preying on diseased or injured wildlife.  What they fail to acknowledge is that the number of diseased wildlife within a population is generally significantly less than those killed by domestic cats, and that the ingested diseased animals can then infect their predator.  I refer to Dr. Jessup's article (https://www.avma.org/News/Journals/Collections/Documents/javma_225_9_1377.pdf) that ~30% of all birds presented to a California wildlife rehab center were injured by domestic cats.  He further refers to the introduction of cats to North America being akin to the speculated mass extinctions caused by the initial introduction of primitive humans to the continent; in both cases, native wildlife populations encountered a formerly-unknown predator and therefore had no evolved defense or learned fear.  We continue to adversely affect our environment and endanger wildlife populations with our own ever-expanding one, but as responsible pet owners and ornithological advocates we can keep our pets indoors and manage those cats whose circumstances have left them homeless to help restore the natural food chain present in our region prior to our introduction.  If we do not, history may repeat itself.

Memy Selfandi
Memy Selfandi

There are so many lilies around that if cats or dogs were inclined to eat them I'd think we'd not have cause to comment.  

Certainly can't plant lilies around all the song bird habitats etc. either.

Though lily pollen put in food would do the trick...though likely for many other creatures besides cats.  Again, a community problem (created over generations) will not be solved by individual actions alone nor by focusing on individual offenders exclusively.  Community problem requires community solution.

Egads, just realized I sent lily bulbs to a friend with a cat.  Hoping that without direct intent lilies are harmless.  Usually plants have an offensive taste smell etc to those species for whom they are poisonous.  

Jim Read
Jim Read

The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, lily of the valley, autumn crocus and the common houseplant, giant Dracaena or palm lily, are all deemed dangerous to dogs by the ASPCA. Ingestion of lilies can cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, anorexia and tremors.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

I think I found a solution for those who don't want to take more direct and more effective measures. Anyone who has criminally irresponsible cat lovers in their area need only plant lilies on their properties. Cat-lovers always want neighbors to grow plants around the perimeter of their properties that will repel the cats (from the cat-owners' own negligent behaviors and values). Well now you can brighten up your yard AND repel cats naturally! Permanently.

Google for: lily-toxicity-in-cats-dr-jenna-koenigstein

She mentions a few varieties of lilies that are better for this purpose than others.

It has been reported that a cat even licking a little bit of the pollen from their fur will be fatal in short order.

Everyone happy! You get to have the kinds of plants that you want, they get to have the kind of pets that they want -- if they take care of it like a responsible grown-up would. Or are cat-lovers now going to demand that you can't plant flowers on your own property? That would be their next and usual move, wouldn't it.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Thomas Poulson

A. Any solution that is dependent on trapping methods is a failure from the start, because no trapping program anywhere on earth has been able to catch-up to cats' breeding rates and the rates at which cat-lickers let more cats be born and dumped outdoors. What then is your proposal since trapping cannot be the main solution? (Trapping can help, but the help is truly insignificant. I already did analysis of trapping and population growth rates on over 100 of the most "successful" TNR programs worldwide and using population-growth calculus. No trapping program on earth can get past a magical 0.4% of feral cats in any one region for any length of time. 99.6+% breeding out of control at any one time at exponential rates.)

2. So do farm cats live short and precarious lives. What kinds of cats do you think they were where I had to shoot and bury hundreds of them? Roaming farm cats.

3. It's not even a matter of how many animals they kill. If even ONE native animal or ONE native species is harmed or threatened by an invasive species, that act has sealed the fate of all individuals of that invasive species. If an invasive species has proved harmful to native species in any way, then that invasive species must all be destroyed whenever found away from supervised containment. The only numbers that matter after an invasive species has proved itself a threat to native wildlife; is how far have they spread, how fast do they spread, and are there resources enough to destroy them fast enough in whatever manner is decided upon. Those are the only numbers that matter once an invasive species has proved a detriment or threat to native species. Any other numbers are just red-herring nonsense. Did they count how many trees were destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer and then wait to see how many more it will destroy before they decided to halt that insect in its tracks? (Don't be so silly.)

4. Please go back to school and realize that without at least 6-month quarantine, NO feral or even stray cat can be adopted without violating well-understood health laws and risking spreading rabies to the adoptees. (As has already happened many times when people adopt rabid cats from shelters that harvest the tamer cats and kittens from their own TNR programs, or those who adopt rabid cats direct from vaccinated outdoor colonies.) This makes this a financial impossibility. Most shelters can't even afford to keep them 1 to 3 days, let alone feed, house, and supervise them for 6 months or more. Are you going to pay to feed, house, and quarantine (under supervision) over 90 million stray and feral cats for 6+ months each? The majority of which can never be adopted for being wild animals that can't be kept indoors. And then attempt to do so by trying to trap them, a method which can NEVER catch up to their breeding rates?

("Professor"? Of ecology yet. Really? wow. This just gets sadder and sadder ...)



Jim Read
Jim Read

@Debra HagenHow nice of you.  You have a feral cat that's part of the problem of 3.7 billion birds being killed every year.  That's part of the problem of 20 billion mammals being killed every year.  Cats are vermin that need removed from the food chain because they are not supposed to be part of it.  Your neighbors must love you.  Your cats over there defecating in their flower beds.  Tearing their yards up.  Scratching their cars.  Your cat carries diseases transmittable to humans and pets, including rabies, plague, ringworm, toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever, allergies, feline leukemia, feline distemper and secondary bacterial infections.  Your feral cat is responsible for the elimination of 33 different species of birds.  What a wonderful pet owner you are.  You should be given a medal.

Jim Read
Jim Read

@Bea Pitassi It doesn't seem like the hawks are doing all that good of a job if you have a colony of cats there.  Hawks might be notorious for killing small mammals and birds but the thing about hawks is after they kill something they eat it.  If it's too big to eat in one sitting then they usually protect the carcass until they finish eating it.  Cats on the other hand just kill to kill.  Most of the time they don't eat what they kill.  They just kill then go look for something else to kill.  No matter how well fed your cats are they're still going to hunt.  They're still going to kill.  Feeding them isn't going to stop that.  Unless you feed them so much they can't move anymore.  Neutering just isn't going to work.  It's too expensive as you've stated and it takes too many people to do it and in the end you still aren't going to catch enough of them to stop the growth.  You're probably not even slowing it down enough to make much difference.  The cats just need to be eliminated.  They aren't part of the natural environment and they're doing way too much damage to it.

Jim Read
Jim Read

@Memy Selfandi  Maybe your subconscious was really just trying to protect her from the Devils pet ;)

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Jim Read 

Yes, check the label. The ones I listed need to be checked for their scientific name to be sure they are only harmful to cats. All those plants you mention are not true lilies, those are just common regional names given to them.

Memy Selfandi
Memy Selfandi

@Nature Advocate I looked briefly at the lily-toxicity-in-cats-dr-jenna-koenigstein article and it sounds like a slow and painful death.  Better a bullet or well placed arrow (the later is most ecological choice but few folks these days would have the skill to make it swift and relatively painless).  


Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Nature Advocate

Doing a little research on ASPCA's toxic plants lists (Family: Liliaceae).

Lilies (Lilium species) that are deadly toxic to cats ONLY in even small quantities (even the pollen will do):

Asian Lily (Asiatic Lily) | Scientific Name: Lilium asiatica

Easter Lily | Scientific Name: Lilium longiflorum

Orange Day Lily | Scientific Name: Hemerocallis graminea

Red Lily | Scientific Name: Lilium umbellatum

Rubrum Lily | Scientific Name: Lilium speciosum cultivar

Stargazer Lily | Scientific Name: Lilium orientalis

Tiger Lily | Scientific Name: Lilium tigrinum

Wood Lily | Scientific Name: Lilium umbellatum

(not of the Lilium species)

Orange Day Lily | Scientific Name: Hemerocallis graminea



Lilies (Lilium species) that may be toxic to dogs if the dog ingests enough:

[NONE]


Just be sure they are from the Liliacea Family, has "Lilium" on the plant label or are common N. American Day Lilies. On further investigation I found out that all plant-parts if harvested and dried (for year-round use) they are just as deadly toxic to cats (if not more-so because of the unknown toxin being concentrated), and the drying makes them even more palatable to cats. What a great mulch for gardens!

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

p.s. Does anyone know if the plants or plant parts; if harvested, dried, and powdered; would be just as species-specific and just as toxic? A perfectly natural solution to an invasive species animal that didn't evolve with lilies around. Plus it's a good incentive plan for cat-lovers to finally educate themselves all about ecology, native species, and evolution. :-)

L M.
L M.

@Jim Read @Debra Hagen this is most idiotic post i've read in a while.  you know, i hate it when birds poop on my car.  especially after i've cleaned it.  and i'm sure they are pooping in people's yards.  along with the cats. which at least bury their poop and since a lot of people fertilize with manure, i'm going to say it's not a bad thing.  and you need to read up on what cats can transfer to humans.  i love how you throw a few things in there that cats don't transmit to humans.....  plague, huh?  what kind of plague?  i'm going to say you should never own any pets of any kind.  heaven forbid one of them poop in the wrong place.  off with their head!

L M.
L M.

@Jim Read @Bea Pitassi you need to be eliminated....  people who don't like cats must have been a mouse in another life.  :-)

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Jim Read @Bea Pitassi  

Jim, Google for "The TNR Con-Game", and be sure to read the very last FACT listed, the one you can bet your very life on, and win each and every time. Bea is just proving that fact all the more true.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

I totally agree. Poison should only be used as a very last-resort. Unfortunately for most people, they live where there are firearms laws and they cannot use the method that is the most effective and most humane. I was forced by cat-lovers into killing hundreds of their destructive animals on my own lands with an accurate .22 with a laser-sight and a good illuminated-reticle scope (especially valuable for the times of day when cats are most active, dusk to dawn). Out of the hundreds I didn't waste even one bullet using those rifle accessories. Every last cat expired in under 3 seconds, most often less than 1 second, not even enough time to make a sound. One moment they are happily stalking some innocent animal to torture, the next they are dead and don't even know it happened. They died thinking they were still hunting. That's even more humane than what animal shelters and vets do by tormenting them with their traps and cages for days and weeks and then being paralyzed with drugs, trapped in fear and torment with no way to even fight back. Akin to someone waking up on an operating table and having no way to scream or even let someone know. Shelter and vet methods only make the humans feel better. No wonder so many support TNR.

When you love animals and respect animals' lives as much as I do, even an invasive species, one bred by humans, you still do everything in your power to make sure an animal does not suffer.

And then there's the problem with cats being able to out-adapt to any trapping methods used. Trapping is useless in those areas where the adults have already taught their offspring to evade traps. No trapping program in the world has been able to catch up to cats' breeding rates and the rates at which criminally-irresponsible cat-lovers let more be born and dumped outdoors.

However, in the case of poisons, then people have to weigh the amount of inhumanity to animals. Is a cat, who is going to suffer to death for weeks and months from parasites eating it from the inside out, being treated more humane than it dying in only a couple days from an effective poison?

And what about all the inhumane suffering of all the animals that cats destroy by gutting them alive and skinning them alive, then keeping that animal alive as long as possible so its screeching, twitching, and writhing to death will entertain the cat the longest. When you ask a cat-lover to go to a pet-store and buy canaries and hamsters to throw at their cats instead, they never answer my question of "Is it because it's just cheaper to use our wildlife for this purpose of yours to entertain your cats for your own selfish reasons?" Given all options, any cat dying from an effective poison is far far more humane than the hundreds and thousands of animals (billions and billions in total yearly, and that's just in the USA) that are tortured to death from the deadly and inhumane poison that people freely and irresponsibly spread on all the lands -- that deadly and completely inhumane poison to all animals commonly known as "1 stray cat".

(Been there, lived it up close and personal for 15 years. Where every other day I was drawn to some innocent animal's screeching or screaming in the woods. To only find a cat running off, so I had to stomp that poor suffering animal to death with my own foot to put it out of the torment and misery caused by cats. My driveways used to be lined with the senseless suffering carnage caused by cats. I don't think I'll ever get the sound out of my mind, of what it sounds like to have a small animal's skull pop under your own foot, just to stop it from screaming and screeching in insufferable torment caused by someone's cat. Maybe they need to hear that sound of a small animal's skull pop every other day for 15 years under their own feet, until they start comprehend just how cruel and heartless they truly are. I now believe that anyone who owns a cat and lets it roam free should be locked-up in prison for life for the hellish torment of animals that they have brought upon this world. Especially because -- THEY DON'T EVEN CARE.)

Jim Read
Jim Read

@Nature Advocate The peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, lily of the valley, autumn crocus and the common houseplant, giant Dracaena or palm lily, are all deemed dangerous to dogs by the ASPCA. Ingestion of lilies can cause gastrointestinal upset, depression, anorexia and tremors.

Jim Read
Jim Read

@L M.  @Jim ReadI love how you're an idiot with a computer.  All you have to do is look up everything I've posted and you'll see it's true.  Instead you don't do any research to see if what I'm saying is true.  Instead you make your stupid comments and make a complete fool of yourself on here.  I at least hope you have help raising your kids so they don't turn out to be as ignorant as you are.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@L M.@Jim Read@Debra Hagen 

I'd say that Jim Read posted one of the most concise and realistic posts yet.

Google for: Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague, for a fun one.

Yes, the plague is alive and well today, and BEING SPREAD BY CATS. People have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA.

Or Google for: Oregon man suffering plague
Or: Taos cat has plague
Or: (hundreds of others).

Totally disproving that oft-spewed LIE cat-lovers tell about having more cats in Europe could have prevented the plague. No rats nor fleas even required if you have cats around. Cats themselves carry and transmit the plague all on their own. Now add in the fact that cats attract rodents right to them if the cats infect the rodents with their Toxoplasma gondii parasite (Google for: Parasite Hijacks the Mind of Its Host), and you'll see a plague the likes of which have never existed before. Especially when you breed super-strains of plague with your overuse and irresponsible use of antibiotics.

Or Google for cats, plus any of these diseases that cats have been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection (which shut down Miami businesses), Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Plague, Rabies (rabid cats now being adopted direct from shelters that support TNR programs or from feral cat attacks, these rabid cats now being trained to approach humans for food by feral and stray cat-feeders), Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus (now a problem in large areas of Orange Cty. CA's stray cats), Tularemia, and Rat-Bite Fever can now also be added to that list.

Cats' most insidious disease of all, their Toxoplasma gondii parasite they spread through their excrement into all other animals. This is how humans get it in their dinner-meats, cats roaming around stockyards and farms. This is why cats are routinely destroyed around gestating livestock or important wildlife by shooting or drowning them. So those animals won't suffer from the same things that can happen to the unborn fetus of any pregnant woman. (Miscarriages, still-births, hydrocephaly, and microcephaly.) It can make you blind or even kill you at any time during your life once you've been infected. It becomes a permanent lifetime parasite in your mind, killing you when your immune system becomes compromised by disease or chemo and immunosuppressive therapies. It can last over a year in any soils or waters and not even washing your hands or garden vegetables in bleach will destroy the oocysts. Contrary to cat-lovers' self-deceptive myths, a cat can become reinfected many times during its life and spread millions of oocysts each time. It's now linked to the cause of autism, schizophrenia, and brain cancers. This parasite is also killing off rare and endangered marine-mammals along all coastlines from cats' T. gondii oocysts in run-off from the land, the oocysts surviving even in saltwater.

Its strange life cycle is meant to infect rodents. Any rodents infected with it lose their fear of cats and are attracted to cat urine. Cats attract rodents to your home with their whole slew of diseases. If you want rodents in your home keep cats outside of it to attract diseased rodents to your area. I experienced this phenomenon (as have many others), and all rodent problems disappeared after I shot and buried every last cat on my land.

The time has come to destroy them all whenever spotted away from supervised confinement. There's no other solution. We have nobody but cat-lovers to thank for this health and ecological disaster. Stray-cats, the very source of all feral-cats, need to be euthanized too or you'll never be rid of the feral-cat problem.


Jim Read
Jim Read

@L M. @Jim Read @Bea Pitassi You need to be eliminated before you totally ruin those kids.  Cats are the Devils pet.  That must make you the Devils disciple. :)

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@L M.@Jim Read@Bea Pitassi

 Destroying cats is neither hating cats nor a fear of cats.

Why do mentally-unbalanced and psychotic cat-advocates always presume that if someone is removing a highly destructive, deadly disease spreading, human-engineered invasive-species from the native habitat to restore it back into natural balance that they must hate that organism? Does someone who destroys Zebra Mussels, Kudzu, African Cichlids, Burmese Pythons, Brown Tree Snakes, or any of the other myriad destructive invasive-species have some personal problem with that species? (Many of which are escaped PETS that don't even spread any harmful diseases, unlike cats.) Your ignorance and blatant biases are revealed in your declaring that people who destroy cats must somehow hate or fear cats. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is people who let a destructive invasive-species roam free that tortures-to-death all other wildlife, wasted for their cats' play-toys, that have zero respect for ALL life. They don't even care about their cats dying a slow torturous death from exposure, animal attacks, diseases, starvation, dehydration, becoming road-kill, environmental poisons, etc., the way that ALL stray cats suffer to death. They don't even respect their fellow human being. This speaks more than volumes about your disgusting character. People like you should be locked up in prison for life for your cruelty to all animals, cruelty to your own cats as well as all the native wildlife that you let your cats skin alive or disembowel alive. If you let cats roam free you are violating every animal-abandonment, animal-neglect, animal-endangerment, and invasive-species law in existence.

If people do hate cats today, have LEARNED to hate cats today, you have nobody but yourself and everyone just like you to blame. YOU are the reason people are now realizing that all excess cats must be destroyed on-site and on-sight. You've done so much to make people care about cats, haven't you. If you want to do something about it, direct your sadly and sorely misplaced energies at those that are causing the problem, not at those who are actually solving it AND HAVE SOLVED IT 100%.

THIS IS YOUR FAULT and THE FAULT OF EVERYONE JUST LIKE YOU. You have NOBODY but yourselves to blame.

You can take that all the way to the very last shot-dead cat's grave.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Jim Read@Nature Advocate@Bea Pitassi 

Okay, I'll save you from Googling for that list of TNR lies, and just post the last one here :-)

 "FACT: During all this investigation I have discovered something that is unfaltering without fail. Something that you can bet your very life on and win every last time. That being -- IF A TNR CAT-HOARDER IS TALKING THEN THEY ARE LYING. 100% guaranteed!"

The other facts I've listed in that "TNR Con-Game" disprove their mythical "vacuum effect", trapping being a viable option, how Alley-Cat-ALL-LIES have only trapped 0.08-0.024% of cats in their city, etc. Lots of fun lies I found out about and revealed about these manipulative and deceptive cat-lickers. :-)

Memy Selfandi
Memy Selfandi

@Jim Read Well at least you admit what you don't know rather than making a paranoid assumption.   

Jim Read
Jim Read

@Nature Advocate I get hit with that pending tag every once in awhile but they always seem to post it.  Not sure whats up with that.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

Now that's just silly, I posted a perfectly benign solution to that problem, with no swearing involved, and it got hit with the twit-moderator's "pending" tag. Go figger.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Jim Read @Nature Advocate  

Simple answer, just offer to go play paint-ball with them, only be better at it, with a little extra boost in gas-propellant that has a little higher vapor-pressure (refresh your chemistry lessons). Teach them with their own game. :-) Make your own paint-balls that are made of two halves of the chemical mixtures that a skunk uses. :-) (If nothing else, I am creative to finding solutions to any problem I've ever faced or has been presented to me.)

Jim Read
Jim Read

@Nature Advocate @Jim Read It's too bad something like that can't be done for the ones playing paintball in the woods here.  They tear everything up, leave their trash laying on the ground, dig holes everywhere and generally just leave a mess.  Now TNR might be a viable option for them.  At least then they won't be able to breed and continue their ways.  I hope you aren't like they are.   *L*

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Jim Read@Nature Advocate 

Same here, stray dogs get a red paint-ball gun. Stings enough to teach a teachable dog, and leaves a nice signal on their coat to teach the owner what could have really, and legally, happened to their dog. Though if it happens too often .... nobody is learning anything, so it has to end. Sadly. This is why you rarely hear of feral dog packs in rural areas. Everyone knows to do their civic and moral duty. Cats aren't so easily forgiven. From past experience of 15 years of trying to reason with cat-lickers it has been proved to me, beyond any doubt in the universe, that it does absolutely no good whatsoever (read the 700+ comments for similar proof), so out comes the rifle on the first sighting of ANY cat. People who actually care about their animals in rural areas keep them supervised and confined. You can tell who actually loves their pets in rural areas -- their pets are still alive.

Jim Read
Jim Read

@Debra Hagen @Memy Selfandi @Nature Advocate  You don't have a clue what a responsible pet owner is.  A responsible pet owner doesn't let their pets roam to others property.  A responsible pet owner keep control of their pets and keeps them on their property or under their control when they are off their property.  FYI there was a study done and contrary to what you may believe your cats roam at least 5 miles.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Debra Hagen @Memy Selfandi @Nature Advocate 

I had a rodent infestation start to appear about the same time that feral cats started to invade my lands. Later I found a simple explanation for this anomaly. Cats' Toxoplasma gondii parasite is meant to infect the minds of the cats' prey rodents. It hijacks the minds of the rodents so they lose all fear of cats and the rodents are actually attracted to where cats urinate and spray. (This is by design so the parasite can speed up its complex 2-stage life-cycle). The cats, after having driven off all the native wildlife, then reach a happy predator/prey balance. Nothing but cats and rodents as far as you can roam. Nothing else. A species desert of cats and rodents. That's it.

Guess what? After I shot and buried all the hundreds of cats on my land the rodent problem completely disappeared. All the native predators moved in (which DON'T attract rodents) to take care of any excess rodents. I now have friendly owls (so friendly one will even land between my feet to capture a vole I might disturb while walking through the yard), fox, hawks, shrikes, beneficial snakes, and other NATIVE animals which are much more suited to the purpose of rodent control. There is ZERO NEED for ANY domesticated cat ANYWHERE on this planet -- except of course in the laps of lonely ladies who can get comfort in life in no other way because nobody will have anything to do with them and their self-serving values in life.

Debra Hagen
Debra Hagen

@Memy Selfandi @Nature Advocate  

Just a thought from someone who IS responsible with all of her pets...We have no mice or rats in or around our home or property.  The cats stay close by, are fed twice daily on our deck, there are plenty of birds all around our property, not to mention one of our cats used to be a feral, but has been neutered and vaccinated.  

We love nature, our animals, and we are very humane people.  It cost $15.00 to pay for rabies and the other feline vaccinations at the Feral Cat Project.  At the time we could not afford a vet visit, but that was cheap enough for us to manage.  His neutering was free of cost.  We believe that he was dumped nearby, he got along with our other cat that was outside a lot, and "adopted" us.  It was the least we could do for him.  Now he has a home.

So, our cats roam.  They are always found close by our home and property.  The neighbors don't complain, and one of our neighbors likes the fact that he doesn't have many moles roaming his yard, or underneath.  

I guess it's a matter of perspective.

Memy Selfandi
Memy Selfandi

@Nature Advocate @Memy Selfandi Not sure what we are talking about lol yes, our comment fest can get hard to follow, for me at lest...but I agree with you entirely here.  Good (dare I say nice) analogy.  Instructive.  Piranhas...now there is a devil's pet for ya.  

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Memy Selfandi @Nature Advocate  

Methinks you misread something I wrote, or I wasn't as clear as I had intended (sh** happens. :-) ) I never once approached any "cats' life imprisonment" theory. Was it in reference to cat-lickers having to go to pet-stores to buy canaries and hamsters to throw at their cats instead? Didn't intend that at all. It means that if they want to entertain their cats that way, then they should have to pay for it using other animals instead of our wildlife for this. NO DOMESTICATED CAT has ANY RIGHT to roam free. NO MATTER ITS NEEDS. Those needs should be provided by the pet's owner. Similarly, should I enjoy raising Black Mambas or Funnel Web spiders or Piranhas -- do I get to allow them to roam free in all non-native habitats and then claim they HAVE TO do that so they live full lives? NO. I MUST, BY LAW, provide them their own required prey for their entertainment and sustenance WHILE THE ANIMAL REMAINS UNDER LEGALLY REQUIRED CONFINED SUPERVISION.

Did that help? :-)

Memy Selfandi
Memy Selfandi

@Nature Advocate You make so much sense and are so compassionate in a true sense and then you go off on the life imprisonment of cat owners who let their cats roam....

I'm guessing you just lost it for a moment there with all those memories of skulls popping due to half arsed 'hunters' the stray and outdoor house cats, cause that lock up thing isn't even economically feasible.

Nature Advocate
Nature Advocate

@Jim Read @Nature Advocate 

That's why I emphasized the plant species names. Check the label, then they are safe for all other animals BUT cats. Every species of plant has many common names around the world, but usually only one scientific name (I have found rare cases where there were regional spelling variants in some cultures, but only spelled slightly differently). I guess I often forget that most people on the net these days don't even have a GED much less graduated from grade-school and would know these things. :-) I knew these things even in grade-school. (This is not a slight to you, thanking you for pointing this out -- "NEVER underestimate the stupidity of humanity." that's on a favorite fridge magnet of mine. :-) )

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