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Help! Benefits of (feral) cats!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, could anyone help me out? What are the benefits of feral cats, aside from keeping the vermin population down?? Basically, need help on educating ignorant, cat hating people about cats. Thanks!
post #2 of 8
There are people in the world who do not see any benefits to feral cats. They see them as diseased, dirty, a pest, and say they decimate wildlife- which is a bunch of hogwash.

Here is a website to help you:
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy! Do you happen to know more websites like this?
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by Jalapeno
Thanks Hissy! Do you happen to know more websites like this?

(I own 2 feral kittens so I have a lot of info about them).
post #5 of 8
Actually, feral cats are very useful. My yard as well as my entire neighborhood has no snakes, lizards, or bugs big enough to eat. They also act as watchcats, because when someone comes around, they scatter. They also have alerted me to some problems, such as water leaking.

It certainly is all worth it, when you call them by name, and have them stop, look at you and give you a happy, sleenky-eyed look because they are well fed, well watered, safe and happy.
post #6 of 8
I think it would be cool to have colony of feral cats.
post #7 of 8
Feral cats are living beings who deserve to be allowed to live. Some human threw away cats, unspayed, or unneutered. The cats did not appear by themselves.
If a decent, caring human will take responsability to try to care for the ferals, they should be supported. The cats can be spayed, neutered, given basic health care. They can be fed, and allowed to live out their lives in peace.

I am out in the country. I think the outside cats have better lives than the inside cats. The outside guys hunt, travel, interact. The only reason my inside guys stay in is the knowledge that their life spans will be longer. But they often sit in the window and dream of hunting a bird (or bug) outside. The outside cats never peer in longingly!

Good luck educating the heartless, uncaring people. You will need lots of patience!
post #8 of 8
There is an arguable benefit to a managed colony. Cats are territorial, so they tend to protect their area and their food source. When I started doing TNR a few years ago, we had animal control and some neighbors trapping our numerous feral cats and having them euthanized. The sum result? More cats, year after year, and none of those cats were spayed, neutered, or vaccinated. In the spring, I'd see as many as 8 cats at a time in our parking lot. They'd keep breeding, and the part-time trappers were only maintaining the numbers -- not really putting a dent in the population because the remaining cats would keep breeding.

We started doing TNR on feral cats. As concerned volunteers, we were religious about it. About 40% went to adoptions. Another 40% were spayed, vaccinated and released. And about 20% either disappeared on their own or had to be put to sleep because of disease, etc...

Now, from about 30 cats and kittens, we're down to about 4-6 "regulars" in one colony. In the past year, I've seen one or two traveling strays, but they come and go. In our direct colony, we've seen no new kittens. In neighboring colonies, we've seen only a few kittens in two years.

That was a DRAMATIC decrease from a few years before. I've watched these remaining cats chase off new cats. If we removed these vaccinated, spayed ferals, the other cats -- unspayed and unvaccinated -- would probably move in.

So which is better? Having a small number of spayed/neutered and vaccinated cats in a managed colony, or remove those and have unspayed, unvaccinated, unneutered cats move in?

Reason Two: our TNR and animal rescue groups are made up of all volunteers. They're responsible for spaying/neutering, managing, and controlling hundreds of animals every year. If other people are having the animals killed, then what's the incentive for the TNR groups to continue with their work? The truth is that the volunteers are much more effective at maintaining and reducing populations than part-time animal control operations. And they often pay for their efforts with donations, rather than community taxes.

Reason Three: Most people like animals, or will tolerate them. When doing TNR, you're much more likely to get homeowners to cooperate with you (and let you trap on their property) if you tell them you're having the cats spayed, neutered and vaccinated. If people think the animals will be killed, they're less likely to help -- so those cats keep breeding. Another reason why TNR works better than "kill" control.
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