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My uncle said he saw somewhere that because of cats killing so many birds,due to a lot of cats they are going to start "exterminating"(killing) stray cats?? I feel like it wouldn't happen but has anyone else heard about it in there area??? I know if someone came to kill my cat I would through a fit. Also what if it is someones pet cat they find? I just see it being too much of a problem.
 

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Yes Ive read it. It has gone viral all over the internet and news media. I read thru it and its nothing short of junk science. It makes me think of ignorant people during the Dark Ages which villainized cats which resulted in the Black Plague epidemic.

Im so tired of "birders" who point fingers at cats to demonize them rather than point the finger at themselves creating the decline of species of all kinds. They want to find something to blame, rather than asses the biggest contributing factors and find proactive solutions. Birders are going to take this article and beat TNR and cats rather than realize the numbers are bizarrely faulty.

Im on my phone so unable to post links to intellegent responses as from Vox Felina, Alley Cat Allies and others.
 

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The study even cited research from Nico Dauphine. Here is the response from Alley Cat Allies.
It's a nicely worded response, but I really wish they hadn't focused so much on this idea:

The study conveniently sidestepped the primary culprit of decline of wildlife populations which, of course, is human activity including habitat destruction.
Because this turns it into a sort of either/or we'd never accept as logical in any other area of life.

For example, by far more humans are killed in car crashes than airline disasters. That said, when we get on an airplane, we would not accept that there's no need for quality standards because the auto industry is the real killer. We would instead insist on being kept as safe as possible no matter what mode of transport we choose.

Yes, humans are the biggest destroyer of birds, but cats are hard on bird populations too. We have to remember that 1.) addressing different causes at the same time are not mutually exclusive, and 2.) the introduction of non-native wildlife is part of the habitat destruction humans cause, not a separate issue.

So yeah, I honestly find that part of the response a bit of a sidestep too.

Now mind you, I don't think that killing the cats is the answer!

However, if we simply deny that there's a problem, we're not giving much credence to there being a need for alternate solutions to it, so the general public is going to think that killing cats is the only viable solution.

I think TNR works. In most places, it needs more funding; everyone would benefit from it because the environment would benefit from it.

I also think that in cases where the issue is cat colonies overlapping with bird habitats, we can think more in terms of trap-neuter-relocate. Rather than killing them, the cats can be moved to an area where they would be less harmful or (in an area with a vermin problem) even beneficial.

I think we need more cat sanctuaries, where cats who aren't socialized enough to be pets can live out their days in an enclosed, protected area where they don't have access to endangered wildlife and humans with cruel intentions have no access to them either.

I think we as a general public need to remember that "feral" is a state of socialization, not a hereditary condition, and work on getting people to accept the kittens of feral mothers as pets and separating socialized strays from feral colonies.

There's a lot that can be done - and a whole lot that people are already doing - that helps feral cats and the environment at the same time. It seems to me that minimizing the harm that feral cats can cause to the ecosystem actually reduces the willingness of governments and the public to fund those efforts, though, because cat supporters are in a sense arguing against our own needs.
 

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There has been research done here (some years ago so please don't ask for specific quotes) that looked at various causes and cats (and dogs during courting / nesting times) were well down the list after other (mainly human induced) environmental factors). In my own area, opencast (Mountain top removal) mining and building had resulted in a loss of major habitat for skylarks.
 

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Because this turns it into a sort of either/or we'd never accept as logical in any other area of life.

For example, by far more humans are killed in car crashes than airline disasters. That said, when we get on an airplane, we would not accept that there's no need for quality standards because the auto industry is the real killer. We would instead insist on being kept as safe as possible no matter what mode of transport we choose.

Yes, humans are the biggest destroyer of birds, but cats are hard on bird populations too. We have to remember that 1.) addressing different causes at the same time are not mutually exclusive, and 2.) the introduction of non-native wildlife is part of the habitat destruction humans cause, not a separate issue.
My sentiments exactly! Why does anyone think that "Yes, cats kill millions of birds, but if office towers didn't also kill millions of birds there wouldn't be a problem," is a legitimate argument? Feral cats are simply behaving naturally, the blame for any negative impact cats have on prey species populations lies entirely with people. It's easy to forget that both issues, the depletion of native species, and huge numbers of feral cats are both a direct result of people's negligent, apathetic attitude towards animals.

I think we need more cat sanctuaries, where cats who aren't socialized enough to be pets can live out their days in an enclosed, protected area where they don't have access to endangered wildlife and humans with cruel intentions have no access to them either.
I wish! I have a problem currently because of a cat that has recently joined my feral colony and is clearly not a proper feral. I'm sure it could be somebody's pet again with a little bit of rehabilitation, but I honestly can't bring anymore cats home. My options are pretty much limited to TNRing it with all the others and resigning myself to the fact that it will become a feral or somehow finding someone experienced with feral or semi-feral cats who has the capacity to rehabilitate it in their own home.
 

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Just a note here - I think the news that went viral was related to a serious feral cat problem in New Zealand, where many of the island's native birds are flightless and have no defenses against predation by cats...

Fran
 

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About 15 years ago, a bird-loving neighbor 2-doors-down started setting up traps for "feral cats" so that they would stop eating the wild birds. She said cats are not indigenous to the area, whereas the birds were. My family had 4 cats at the time that were all indoor-outdoor cats. Everyone knew which cats were ours, they all had collars. In any case, this woman started putting out the metal traps, and BAITED them with tuna. So of course she caught our 20 year old cat, and kept him outside, in the snow, overnight in the cage.

We had the city put a stop to her. The key was that she baited the traps - the city didn't like that at all.

Definitely put some tension in a very tight-knit community.
 

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How can people love one type of animal over another. Ive never understood that. Its heartless to let a 20 yr old cat outside in the snow all night. She sounds like a piece of work.

Ive heard that line about cats not being indigenous from birders. I ask them what are they doing about Starlings and Sparrows? Never an answer from them. They miss the point. I wish birders esp would work in a proactive way to solve this not a angry hateful fruitless way. I still feel TNR is part of the solution.
 

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I thought others would like to read the response in the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

By Becky Robinson | Guest columnist
February 15, 2013

A recent study by researchers at the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been all over the news recently.
The study claims cats kill birds and mammals with abandon, and that trap-neuter-return — the nationally popular and humane program to stabilize and reduce the population of unsocialized (unadoptable) feral cats — isn't working. The solution, the study's authors imply, is the continued mass killing of cats in our nation's shelters.

There are major problems with this deeply troubling research.
For one — despite all the attention it has received — the study is wildly speculative. It has a margin of error in the billions.

Two, the researchers ignore the fact that since TNR was first established in the U.S. about 20 years ago, its effectiveness at reducing the number of feral-cat colonies has been proved time and again in communities across the country.

Third, and most worrying of all, the study ignores the real threats to wildlife — habitat destruction, climate change and pollution — in favor of scapegoating cats.

This study may have scored a lot of headlines, but don't believe the hype. Catch and kill has been routine policy for cats for a century. Not only does it not save birds and wildlife, it also doesn't work to reduce feral-cat populations. But TNR — which ends the breeding cycle as well as the behaviors associated with mating cats, like yowling and fighting — is quickly becoming the predominant approach to feral-cat management in the United States.

In Florida, TNR is practiced across the state.
Two long-running, low-cost spay/neuter clinics operated by the Animal Coalition of Tampa and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay have neutered more than 95,000 cats — companion, stray and feral — since they were established in 2005. Tampa animal services' intake numbers show a 47-percent decline in cats entering shelters — 9,000 fewer cats each year —since the groups started their work.

In Orange County, a local group called CARE has been working in cooperation with local animal control since 1996 to encourage TNR, providing low-cost or free spay/neuter services for feral cats. Soon after the program began, the founders published a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare reporting that TNR had significantly reduced resident calls to animal control about cats outdoors.
Since the adoption of TNR in Florida and throughout the U.S. starting in the 1990s, entire neutered colonies have eventually disappeared by attrition. Scientific studies — including studies conducted by University of Florida veterinarians examining feral-cat colonies in the state — report that TNR reduces the population over time. The success of trap-neuter-return has been well-documented, and rolling back this progress would be a tragedy.
Although Alley Cat Allies celebrates and protects cats, we love all animals. And while we agree that environmental conservation is critically important, let's not seriously believe for a minute that killing millions more cats is going to make up for the destruction of our natural environment — the true cause of wildlife depletion.

Pitting species against species may sell newspapers, but it won't save birds or any other animals. We sincerely wish the Smithsonian and related groups would stop funding headline-grabbing junk science in favor of finding real solutions. Clearly, more killing is never the right answer.
 
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