Mary Blakeman: Feral cat prevention
To the editor:
The Humane Society of Moffat County is planning a feral cat intervention program. The Humane Society recognizes feral cats are a problem for the community and has conducted research to determine which existing programs are successful in controlling feral cat populations.
Feral cats are the offspring of free-roaming or abandoned domestic cats. They live where they were abandoned, where there is a food source, like Dumpsters near restaurants, food stores and fast food places or where people will feed them. Feral cats are frequently encouraged for rodent control in outbuildings.
Trapping and removing feral cats does nothing to prevent the migration of new cats into the area, nor does it prevent reproduction. When cats are removed and euthanized, more cats simply move in to take over the food source and the reproducing continues.
Without human intervention, a single female cat can produce 3,200 kittens in a 12-year lifespan.
When feral cats are trapped, neutered, and returned to their original territory, they protect their food source by not allowing new cats into the area, and if unable to reproduce, they die out naturally over a few years. They also stop mating-related nuisances like fighting, spraying, howling and roaming.
Gradually, the number of feral cats decreases without new ones moving in.
Trap, neuter and release programs change the situation through education and intervention. Trap, neuter and release programs have been remarkably successful.
Program models have been implemented through the Humane Society Pikes Peak Region, Animal Control in Eagle County, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Washington and the communities in San Diego and Santa Clara County, Calif., and are endorsed by nationally acclaimed organizations such as the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Cat Fancier’s Association.
Simply removing and destroying feral cats creates opportunities for new feral cats to move in, and the problem continues with more random, uncontrolled breeding. Trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats will keep new cats from moving in and will reduce the feral cat population problem naturally.
You are invited to attend the special Humane Society meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Golden Cavvy to address this issue.
The Humane Society of Moffat County
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