Author Topic: Found a lost cat (I think) -- need advice  (Read 1967 times)

Poundwise

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Re: Found a lost cat (I think) -- need advice
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2019, 02:28:23 PM »
As a cat friend, I was quite horrified by the following article.  https://www.outsideonline.com/2127956/hawaiis-crazy-war-over-zombie-cats

I want TNR to work!

But in the end, the determination of whether TNR or killing work depend on the rates relative to reproduction rate. It seems that TNR would work better in conditions where the amount of food is limited but the in-migration of new cats happens naturally as a function of population density.  However, killing might work better if the population is being increased by cat dumping positively affected by the presence of an existing feral cat population. 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 02:31:07 PM by Poundwise »

Another Reader

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Re: Found a lost cat (I think) -- need advice
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2019, 02:49:24 PM »
Invasive species become part of the ecosystem over time.  The arrival of people had very large effects on ecosystems.  Introduction of domestic cats was one small change.

You will never kill enough cats to change the numbers.  Cats move in or the remaining cats multiply.  People will not cooperate and will derail you through pressure on their local governments.  Better to manage the result of the problem and work on the people that cause it.


RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Found a lost cat (I think) -- need advice
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2019, 03:18:20 PM »
I do wonder if the kill method does eventually work if done consistently.  I'm part of a sailing club, and marina's always have rat problems.  Last year a member took it upon himself to try to get rid of them.  I forget how many he got over the course of the year, over 100 i think.  And we're seeing noticeably less rats.  Yea rats move in to occupy the space, but then the surrounding areas start getting a little depleted, albeit to a lesser extent, and then rats further out move in to fill in those surrounding areas, etc etc.  But it did seem to create a bubble of less rats.

Although, to bring it all full circle, we also had a stray cat show up.  We took her in and got her fixed and shots, and she pretty much lives there now (no predators, no traffic, so hush ;P ).  I'm sure she's helping with the rat problem too, but it does seem like being vigilant with the kill method (either via traps or addition of predators) does dwindle the population.

Cassie

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Re: Found a lost cat (I think) -- need advice
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2019, 04:37:05 PM »
Killing doesn’t work. We have been doing it nationwide for decades and kill millions of pets every year. 

dougules

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Re: Found a lost cat (I think) -- need advice
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2019, 02:39:40 PM »
You cannot accomplish what you want by trapping and removing, except on a desert island.  Trap and kill has never worked.  Six months to a year later, you have the same problem as more cats move in or are abandoned.  I tell people in animal control and shelter work that they are killing the same cats over and over.  The genetic material is largely the same in the neighboring areas from where the new cats emigrate.  If you tried to eradicate all cats in a city or county by putting a bounty on them, the cat lovers would have their representatives fire you.  Since you can't accomplish your goal, the logical solution is to find a way to manage the population and keep it from reproducing as much as possible.

One of the biggest problems is that cat kibble is cheap and that encourages people to feed the "poor starving animals."  No matter how many laws you pass against feeding strays, people will continue to do it.  Unfortunately, in most jurisdictions it's expensive to spay and neuter plus it takes work.  Putting out a bowl of food and some water?  Easy.  Solving the problem?  Difficult and expensive.  Prosecuting cruelty and abandonment cases would help as well.  It's increasing, but underfunded courts with higher priorities mean change is slow.

Most of the invasive species you mention are not well controlled using catch and kill.  Nature is smarter than that.  In addition, the distinction between these species and cats is that cats are a domesticated human companion animal species.  You are not going to get much support for killing all the cats that get outside from the taxpaying and voting public.

In Santa Clara County all of the shelters with one exception TNR all feral cats that come into their shelter and are healthy enough to release.  Shelter intake and the outdoor populations as measured by several parameters are declining.  Even in Bakersfield, the center of personal irresponsibility in California, the TNR program is reducing the population.  Some combination of TNR and keeping people from abandoning animals will go a lot farther in solving the problem than trying to trap and eradicate outdoor cats.

Controlling invasive species is never easy.

As long as people continue to dump their cats outdoors, you're right.  There is no solution that will work for the problem.  TNR is more expensive and ineffective, but euthanizing the animals is made ineffective when there's an inexhaustible supply of cats.  I've yet to see much hard data showing that TNR is actually works better than simply killing invasive species, but am more than willing to support programs that work if you've got them.  There's an awful lot of information that shows it doesn't work very well, or gets mixed results at best.

Once again, humans, including you, are the worst invasive species in North America.  Most of the wildlife is dying because of us, not the cats.  Don't hold cats to a higher standard than humans. 

Domestic cats are filling an empty ecological niche.  If you take out the feral cats, you have to reintroduce bobcats and foxes to fill the niche of controlling smaller animal populations.  What do you think a native bobcat would do to your non-native dog?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 02:46:23 PM by dougules »

GuitarStv

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Re: Found a lost cat (I think) -- need advice
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2019, 03:08:10 PM »
You cannot accomplish what you want by trapping and removing, except on a desert island.  Trap and kill has never worked.  Six months to a year later, you have the same problem as more cats move in or are abandoned.  I tell people in animal control and shelter work that they are killing the same cats over and over.  The genetic material is largely the same in the neighboring areas from where the new cats emigrate.  If you tried to eradicate all cats in a city or county by putting a bounty on them, the cat lovers would have their representatives fire you.  Since you can't accomplish your goal, the logical solution is to find a way to manage the population and keep it from reproducing as much as possible.

One of the biggest problems is that cat kibble is cheap and that encourages people to feed the "poor starving animals."  No matter how many laws you pass against feeding strays, people will continue to do it.  Unfortunately, in most jurisdictions it's expensive to spay and neuter plus it takes work.  Putting out a bowl of food and some water?  Easy.  Solving the problem?  Difficult and expensive.  Prosecuting cruelty and abandonment cases would help as well.  It's increasing, but underfunded courts with higher priorities mean change is slow.

Most of the invasive species you mention are not well controlled using catch and kill.  Nature is smarter than that.  In addition, the distinction between these species and cats is that cats are a domesticated human companion animal species.  You are not going to get much support for killing all the cats that get outside from the taxpaying and voting public.

In Santa Clara County all of the shelters with one exception TNR all feral cats that come into their shelter and are healthy enough to release.  Shelter intake and the outdoor populations as measured by several parameters are declining.  Even in Bakersfield, the center of personal irresponsibility in California, the TNR program is reducing the population.  Some combination of TNR and keeping people from abandoning animals will go a lot farther in solving the problem than trying to trap and eradicate outdoor cats.

Controlling invasive species is never easy.

As long as people continue to dump their cats outdoors, you're right.  There is no solution that will work for the problem.  TNR is more expensive and ineffective, but euthanizing the animals is made ineffective when there's an inexhaustible supply of cats.  I've yet to see much hard data showing that TNR is actually works better than simply killing invasive species, but am more than willing to support programs that work if you've got them.  There's an awful lot of information that shows it doesn't work very well, or gets mixed results at best.

Once again, humans, including you, are the worst invasive species in North America.  Most of the wildlife is dying because of us, not the cats.  Don't hold cats to a higher standard than humans. 

Domestic cats are filling an empty ecological niche.  If you take out the feral cats, you have to reintroduce bobcats and foxes to fill the niche of controlling smaller animal populations.  What do you think a native bobcat would do to your non-native dog?

Once again, I don't hold cats to any standard (let alone a higher standard than humans).  I feel that cats are to blame for the situation.  It's not their fault that idiot people let them run around outside and then dump them in the wilderness when they're bored of them.  I wholeheartedly agree that humans are a huge cause of many environmental problems.  Indeed, the problem under discussion (cats) is yet another example of an issue that has arisen because of humans.

No, cats are not filling an empty ecological niche . . . their introduction is disrupting the order that has arisen from centuries of natural evolution.  They're doing this by both crowding out natural predators and hunting to extinction animals and birds that are not adapted to withstand this newly introduced level of predation.