Translated by Richard M.
Proponents of trap-neuter-release TNR and maintenance of cat colonies have been pressing local governments to enact ordinances to permit establishment and registration of cat colonies in local jurisdictions.
But TNR and managing large numbers of cats in colonies does not effectively control cat overpopulation. Additionally, federal and state wildlife laws designed to protect endangered and threatened species conflict with the practice of releasing non-indigenous predators into the wild.
An intense public education campaign, together with licensing incentives, animal control laws that enforce high penalties against violators, and other methods of reducing the flow of non-indigenous species into the wild, are essential components to a long-term solution to pet over-population in general, and particularly to cat over-population and the resulting predation on wildlife.
In the United States Though considered a separate species, Felis catus, the domestic cat, originated from a wild ancestral species, Felis Good thesis statement for animal cruelty, the African wild cat.
In many ways, the domestic cat is an intriguing replica of its wild ancestor. It is similar in appearance, but most interestingly, its hunting behavior and other activity patterns remain essentially unchanged from the ancestral wild cat. A poll by the American Bird Conservancy ABC shows that only about 35 percent of owned cats are kept exclusively indoors, leaving some 47 million owned cats free to prey on wildlife all or part of the time.
First, allowing cats to roam free places the cats themselves in danger of harm. The HSUS explains that free-roaming cats often are hit by cars or fall victim to disease, starvation, poisons, attacks by other animals, and mistreatment by humans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC reports that rabies cases in cats are more than twice as numerous as those in dogs or cattle. Pet shelters attempt to find homes for the animals they deem suitable as human companions, but a far greater number of animals taken to pet shelters end up with the death sentence than with a loving home.
A paradox of this tragic state of affairs is that humans perpetuate it, and at the same time are distressed by it. Hence, a growing trend in the U. In some cases these feral cats congregate in "colonies" that are looked after by volunteers who feed them and provide TNR to new strays that find their way to the group.
Feral cat advocates see the TNR method as a more humane solution to the sad consequence of so many perfectly healthy animals being put to death just because they are, through no fault of their own, homeless.
There are known feral cat colonies in at least 17 Florida counties. For example, a Brevard County ordinance allows feral cat colonies to be established and maintained by care givers as long as the colonies are registered with the county and meet certain requirements.
The number of feral cats in Brevard County is estimated to be overNew individuals regularly enter the colonies when irresponsible owners release their unwanted pets into the wild, or when kittens are born in the wild to intact females.
Thus, despite the policy intent to have feral cat colonies dwindle away through attrition, this result apparently rarely occurs. As stated above, there are some 15 million cats, both feral and owned, spending all or part of their time outdoors in Florida. This large number of free-roaming cats takes a devastating toll on native Florida wildlife.
Based on extrapolated data from a Wisconsin study, the FWCC has estimated that free-roaming cats in Florida may kill as many as million small mammals and 68 million birds each year.
In Florida, domestic cats have been recognized as predators and a serious threat to the Key Largo cotton mouse, rice rat, Key Largo woodrat, Lower Keys marsh rabbit, Choctawhatchee beach mouse, Perdido Key beach mouse, Anastasia Island beach mouse, Southeastern beach mouse, green sea turtle, roseate tern, least tern, and Florida scrub-jay, all federal listed species.
Beach mice are found only in the southeastern U. Michael Wooten, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University, has conducted extensive research on beach mice, and concluded that domestic cats played a major role in the extinction of the Florida Point population of Perdido Key beach mice.
Wooten advises that beach mice, while they appear to be able to escape native predators such as fox, raccoons, birds and snakes, do not survive well against non-native predators such as cats.
During fieldwork conducted in andresearchers fitted radio transmitters on a number of Choctawhatchee beach mice at Grayton Beach State Recreation Area in Walton County, and tracked the mice for several days.
The cat was followed for several days as it roamed throughout the recreation area and a local village.Who is My Beauty Bunny? My Beauty Bunny™ is a an award-winning, top beauty blog written by Jen Mathews and a selection of writers and other beauty product aficionados – all animal lovers.
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Summary: An enormous and growing population of free-roaming cats exists in Florida, posing a threat to the state's native animal species, and creating a serious public health concern.