Poor kitty. Always getting blamed for killing local wildlife, when in fact, many tame cats are mostly inefficient hunters. Some people feel the well-fed, tame neighborhood cats pose the greatest risk to birds and other small animals. But why would being well-fed make them better hunters? Generally, the reverse is true.
Instead of becoming angry at cats who impact a local environment by destroying birds or small animals because they are their natural prey, why not try helping them? After all, they have not entered that area purposely, nor are they purposely destroying the habitat. They are the victims as much as the animals they are killing. They did not choose to be there. They are simply doing what Mother Nature is telling them to do. Is that their fault? Of course not.
How can we help, then? First, abandon the blame game, or at least place the blame where it belongs (on the humans who tampered with that environment), and then work on solutions that work, rather than on knee-jerk reactions that provide short-term results that aren’t humane, nor are they solutions.
In other words, simply killing the “marauding trespassers” does not change things much. You’ll never get all of them, but even if you do, people will simply dump more unwanted cats there anyway. And the cycle begins again.
Second, become an advocate for homeless cats. Work with local groups to help reduce the number of cats that are dumped by owners who no longer want them. If your community has a trap-neuter-return program, you can help with transporting trapped cats to the veterinarian, or by monitoring a colony. If you aren’t experienced with humane trapping procedures, learn or let someone else do that, but you can still help with transportation.
Third, provide help or donate to your local rescue facility. Always call to find out what they need. Of course, when in doubt, send money!
Finally, if you can manage it, help a neighbor get their cat(s) spayed or neutered if they are not able to do it themselves. Prices are out of sight for some pet owners, especially in a down economy, and this alone accounts for a large number of cats being “released” to fend for themselves.
Dr. Peters has an extensive background in health care, animal care, journalism, computer repair and systems administration. She writes articles over a wide spectrum of topics and has numerous ebooks available on the Internet. Visit http://www.theproblemcat.com and http://www.hipaws.com for more articles and information about pets.