Cats Indoors: Better For Cats, Better For Birds, Better For People

I applaud the efforts of concerned citizens working to reduce cat overpopulation, but feel that the Trap/Neuter/Re-Abandon (TNR) program does not resolve all of the problems associated with stray and feral cats.

Cat overpopulation is a human-caused tragedy that affects the health and well-being of cats, our native wildlife and the public.  Outdoor cats, even well-fed ones, kill hundreds of millions of wild birds and other animals each year in the U.S., including endangered species. Birds that nest or feed on the ground are especially vulnerable to cat attacks.  I painfully watch them ambush and kill native species in my yard, including goldfinches. I try to attract native birds and wildlife to my yard as sanctuary for them.  TNR is not humane to cats or wildlife. Free-roaming cats are in constant danger of being hit by cars, contracting diseases and parasites, or being attacked by other animals or people. Cats can transmit diseases to humans such as rabies, toxoplasmosis (an infection from cats that makes pregnant women have dead babies or birth defects -
affects first tri-mester), and cat scratch fever. In the U.S., cats are the top carrier of rabies in domestic animals.  Trap/Neuter/Re-Abandon is also ineffective at reducing cat populations because not all of the cats can be trapped and spay/neutered, and food left out for them attracts more cats. Colonies develop and become dumping grounds for unwanted pets, thus continuing the inhumane cycle. In addition, the food also attracts rats, carriers of diseases such as rabies which can be transmitted to humans.  People concerned about the welfare of feral cats should work to find homes for them, and help EDUCATE pet owners about spaying and neutering their pets, KEEPING THEIR CATS INDOORS, and the ethical and wildlife issues associated with cat abandonment. Abandoning cats is illegal in many areas, and it is extremely cruel to cats, AND TO BIRDS.  All cats should wear bells to warn any of their unwary prey. 

by William J. Sanek,
sixty year resident of North Collinwood

William J. Sanek

Sixty year resident of North Collinwood. Born and raised here. Degrees in Computer Science, Business, and Psychology. Past contributor to the Collinwood Observer. Schooled at Memorial School (elementary), St. Jerome (junior high), Collinwood High, St. Joseph High, and Cleveland State University. Other various certifications, diplomas, and licenses. I also operate the Website . It was me who originally proposed a program to demolish derelict and vacant homes and buildings in order to renew the area. When I proposed that idea to Councilman Polensek in 1998, he said, "Then what?" To which I replied, "Just plant trees." I am a wildlife and nature enthusiast. I was opposed to cutting the road through Villa Angela along the creek, which has killed all the diverse species of indigenous snakes and other species in the adjacent primeval woods. The creation of that park was a travesty and wrought a lot of irreversible natural damage. 

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 11:42 AM, 06.09.2014