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post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
Did you know that two unaltered cats and their offspring can parent more than 150,000 kittens within seven years? WOW! I didn't...not until today and I was stunned! I had just never thought about it before now. And I'll just bet there are a lot of other people who, like me, had not the first clue about the staggering numbers above.

It seems to me that the real tragedy of the pet overpopulation crisis is that perfectly adoptable dogs and cats are dying simply because somebody didn't get their pet spayed or neutered. Some had a reason for not altering their pet, others just never got around to it. But whether a pet owner neglects to have a dog or cat spayed because they want her to have "just one litter" first, they thought their pet was unique in some attractive way or whether someone simply didn't want to spend the money for their pet's surgery, the end result is always the same: far too many animals for the number of available homes.

There are lots of medical and behavioral benefits to having a female dog or cat spayed:

A spayed pet is a healthier pet. They are less likely to develop mammary tumors, and they won't develop uterine cancer or other problems of the reproductive organs. There will never be a risk of pregnancy complications, either.

A spayed pet is a happier pet. A spayed female is a more relaxed and peaceful pet. Spaying nullifies a pet's desire to roam in search of a mate and eliminates the frantic pacing and crying of a cat in season.

A spayed pet helps to reduce the tragic problem of pet overpopulation. Thanks to their caring owners, spayed pets will not contribute to the pet population explosion.

Altering doesn't change the personality of your pet. Altering does not make your pet fat or lazy. Spaying or neutering won't transform your pet into a pudgy pet or corpulent kitty -- overeating and lack of exercise will.

There's absolutely no truth to the myth that it's best to let a female pet give birth to a litter before getting her spayed. In reality, it's better for an animal to be spayed before having a litter or even going in to heat.

Letting your children "experience the miracle of birth" is a horrible reason to let your animal procreate. Would you then also take them to the E room at the shelter and let them experience the tragedy of death? Animals usually choose to give birth in a safe, secluded place free from what they perceive as a threat to themselves or their offspring. Many become quite upset and nervous with an audience, screaming from the pain of labor, but not wanting to deliver in an unsafe environment. Wouldn't it be better to teach your children the importance of responsible pet ownership instead?

So, for those of you who have come to this Forum with the intention of allowing Fluffy to have "just one litter" or breeding your non-pedigreed cats to each other because "they are so beautiful", please think about the ramifications of your actions. Because you are entrusted with their care, I urge you to act responsibly.

post #2 of 102
Gayef, it's actually 420,000, not 150,000 !!!

I completely agree with you about spaying and neutering.

People tend to equivate their sexual lives with cats'/dogs'. But cats and dogs have different sexual reproductive systems than ours. Also their sexual behaviors result from some kind of an internal power (drive) pushing the animal to engage in reproductive behavior. However, human sexual motivation results from the interaction of diferent factors; pleasure being one of them.

Cats have to be in an estrus cycle in order to copulate (we have the menstrual cycle instead). They have induced ovulation, meaning that by only mating the female will release egg for fertilization. If the female doesn't get pregnant, she will go in to the cycle again. (in female humans, the egg & the lining of uterus monthly grows and get rid off !)

Also, the female cat won't get pregnant if she is not in heat since she is not hormonally ready yet ! Even if the male overpowers the female and mounts on her, lordosis response wouldn’t occur in the female and he would probably be unable to achieve intromission. Sexual behavior of female humans however is not dependent on menstrual cycle; they can mate anytime during their menstrual cycle and sexual intercourse can occur at any time.

Cats don't need to have "kids" to be happy ! Its just their hormones telling them to mate (to pass their genetic material to the next generation), not the desire to take care of a baby or a child ! Male cats mostly don't even have paternal behaviors; they just take off & look for another potential mate. And maternal care is short in cats (unlike humans !!)
post #3 of 102
You may also want to check this link:

Spay and Neuter Your Cats!
post #4 of 102
Dogs are overbred needlessly because of lact of spaying and neutering, but NOT PET OWNED CATS. Check out this site, and survey's.
I don't know where you came up with your numbers on how many cats are produced, but I believe they are massively overstated, if you believe any of the survey material on the above site. Possibly healthy ferels reproduce at the rate you mention, but the feral population I've seen, has episodes of disease every few years, which whips out most of them, and they have to start over, building up a population.
post #5 of 102
We adopted two adult spayed females about 5 months ago. They have acclimated fine, however, one female just started to act as though she is in heat. Not being experienced in feline breeding, she appears to act as though in a false heat as one of my horses does every so often. Please let me know how long we should expect this to continue. Thank you!
post #6 of 102
Just checked out the site recommended by bluekat and there is a ton of great information to be read.

Way to go bluekat.
post #7 of 102
I'm a cat rescuer. Every 2 out of 4 cats I take care of on the streets are cats that are owned or were owned. I believe that qualifies both as "pets", right?. Of all the cats dying in shelters more than half are domesticated pets, not ferals. Right now in my city the shelter is putting to sleep 25 kittens a day because they don't have the room for them. These are not feral kittens, these are kittens born to pets. Pets who belong to irresponsible pet owners. On the SOS board I posted my frustration because just the other night I rescued a beautiful cream siamese mix w/blue eyes. Her owner dumped her in the woods at a dead end. There she sat crying her heart out as I slowly approached her. She did not just wonder up to the woods and she wasn't feral. I picked her up and put her in a carrier. Upon exam my vet verified she had had kittens about 6-7 weeks earlier. So here's the probable story on this little cat. She had a owner who let her get pregnant, let her have the kittens, did God knows what with the kittens and then decided to throw her out in the woods. This is the story that plays out over and over again in the city where I live and I know it is happening all over the country.

Breeders want peoople to believe that only ferals overpopulate the streets and shelters. This is a falacy. Irresponsible pet owners and people who think it's alright to keep breeding, for whatever reason, are the reason for the overpopulation problem.

I have 57 cats, all were from the streets or a shelter. None were given to me by individuals or born in my household. Only 2 of these are feral.

I have a pedigree Manx, whose owner thought it was just fine that she let her breed with any cat that came along. As a result the cat contracted FELUK when mating for the last time before I rescued her.

I have a pedigree Snowshoe Siamese who was eating birdfood on my neighbors lawn when I discovered her, 4 lbs. and barely alive.

I have a pedigree Persian that I rescued from the shelter because she was going to be put to sleep for sneezing. Her owners deserted her on the streets, unspayed.

I have a pedigree Border Collies, whose owner died and whose son threw her out on the streets, unspayed and infected with hookworms, heartworms and ear mites.

When I see a pedigree animal roaming the streets I think to myself now there goes another animal to suffer because of some breeder who swears "all my kittens and puppies go to excellent homes". Would someone tell that to the ones roaming the streets starving, getting hit by cars, being shot and abused, etc., etc. I have a lot of extraordinary stories to tell about most of my rescues. Some who were almost dead when I found them because they were put out on the streets and couldn't take care of themselves so they ended up hit by cars, attached by dogs, legs mangled, etc., etc.

Most people are under the mistaken notion that just because an animal is pedigree or just because it cost a lot of money, that is insurance that the animal will be taken care of by it's owner. That is so far from the truth. All you have to do is look at the thousands of pedigree rescue groups in business to know this is a lie.

I guess the most amazing thing I'd ever seen was someone turned in a King Charles Spaniel to the local shelter. Now anyone who knows anything about dogs knows these are not your run of the mill dog and you never see one in a shelter. However, this dog, as pedigree and expensive as it was, ended up in the shelter. This should not happen, but it does over and over again and breeders keep their heads buried in the sand because they don't want to realize that an animal they allowed to be born into this world could end up in this King Charles position. However, when there are so many animals that people think as disposable, this is what happens.

One thing I think might have some people confused and that is what is a feral cat. A true feral is a cat that has never been touched by humans. Also, if irrsponsible pet owners quit abandoning, dumping or throwing out their pets, there wouldn't be a feral cat problem.

Millions of pet cats and dogs will continue to die until those responsible accept the responsiblity and stop blaming it on something or someone else because they are to ignorant or selfish to do otherwise. I sleep well knowing I'm not adding to the numbers dying and I know a lot of other people do also.

I apologize for the scattered thoughts. It's late and I'm tired, but I thought I needed to respond to the e-mails when I saw it written that ferals are the reason for the overpopulation problem. NOT!!It's pet owners and breeders, pure and simple.
post #8 of 102
Respectfully I disagree with you. The numbers are staggering about the over population of cats. They are not all feral cats that are causing these numbers to rise. It is usually cats owned by people who don't really give a rip about the animal and don't get the animal spayed and neutered. Your link to the survey shows that the information they have was in 1994. You will find this link to have a bit more current information.

Most feral colonies that are not managed, by that I mean they don't have people feeding, and trapping neutering and releasing the cats will inbreed causing the line to become sick and riddled with all sorts of problems from tumors to blindness. There is disease and illness and the cats will get steadily weaker as they continue to breed within themselves. The kittens die very soon after birth, or are killed by the stronger toms in the group. A healthy feral is one that has been TNR and is being fed and is therefore not contributing to any more kittens being put on this planet. There is no ONE factor to blame for this, there are many mitigating factors that are causing this sad situation to exist.

Spay America
post #9 of 102
People don't seem to be able to find healthy kittens around here. Sure their are barn cats, which are sneezeing, runny eyed, pieces of ears missing on toms etc. I even know one vet who raises non-pedigreed healthy kittens, and sells them for $35-$50, with shots included. The vet has no problem selling them either. It brings in business, as then the owner's come back for a neuter & routine cat care.
There are true ferals living in the cranberry bogs here. Plenty of them. I don't think anyone could catch any of them, except in a trap. I'm assumeing you must live in a city to have so many dumped cats. People who discard kittens obviously have no sense. Keep them healthy, get their shots, they are vary saleable. It just takes effort to raise animals. I don't believe in breeding non-pedigreed cats, but that doesn't mean people don't want them. I'd much rather see a $35 price tag on a kitten instead of free.
The only thing that I can see working in cities is selling all pet kittens already neutered. Spay contracts aren't worth the paper they are written on. Unfortunately there is no incentive to spay/neuter a non-pedigree kitten prior to giving it away. Farmer's who have barn cats don't want them neutered, if they did, pretty soon they wouldn't have any cats, and would be overrun with rats & mice.
post #10 of 102
I spay and neuter all my adoptions before they leave my house and that's what everyone who adopts out should do, but they don't. Most people who adopt out don't realize they have the right to spay/neuter or demand spay/neuter to the new adoptive person. One lady told me once "Oh I can't tell them what to do, it's their pet". I reminded her that until it leaves her house it is still her pet. People are dense, but that's why I love animals. ha!

As for the farmer who doesn't spay/neuter because he'll run out of cats, that will never happen. If even half of all the "intelligent" people spayed/neutered there would still be enough idiots out there keeping the numbers up because no matter what you tell them, they won't get it! It's the responsibility of people who consider themselves "responsible" to take the initiative to help curb the numbers being born. But like I said before, some people aren't thinkig about the animals because they are too selfish and are only thinking about themselves. Those people are the ones using the genius excuses for not getting their pet altered, i.e., God meant it to have babies, my children need to see the miracle of birth, I find good homes for the kittens/puppies, I want a baby who looks like my cat/dog, and the list goes on and on.

Whew I get so exhausted talking on this subject. Sometimes I feel like a broken record!!
post #11 of 102
I live in the country and during kitty season I am full up trying to keep up with all the dumped females bulging with kittens. Because of financial concerns this year I was only able to take in one female with 2 kittens, but I have unfortuanately had to turn down over 10 cats in the last 3 months. It is heartbreaking.People see our barns and stop and let their cats out in the woods behind our home because I guess they feel like we need those cats a lot. I have 13 inside outside cats and 5 barn kitties. I spay and neuter immediately, and in regards to the newest arrival McKenzie, as soon as her kits are old enough, she will be spayed and they will be fixed as soon as possible.

One thing I have learned by being in this community, is never assume anything. And when it comes to cats, I am always learning more and more each day and stay here to share my knowledge and gain from others.
post #12 of 102
Bluekat, I must ask you. Where do you think the ferals are coming from? Maybe they are falling from the sky?

I'm sorry, I'm trying to be respectful. But I just can't see how anyone can think there is no cat overpopulation problem.

It must be kept in mind that the 420,000, or 150,000, or whatever figure is thrown out is just a function of 1 cat has 4 kittens per litter on average and 2 litters per year on average, so multiply 8 x 8 x 64 x 376 etc. This is only the potential. The reality is likely far less, but no less of a problem.

I have links, too, lots of them, and they are not from a breeder website. They are from the people who clean up after the irresponsble pet owners, therefore they have no monetary interest in putting forth the facts (?) they put forth.

Notice in the above, they are speaking of "companion" and "owned" animals. Notice about half of the "surrendered" animals are not altered. "Surrendered" means their "owners" are throwing them away.

Midway down the page on this one you will notice that 30% of shelter animals were brought in by their owners. Of the others (animal control and strays brought in by citizens) it's unlikely each and every one were feral, since the average person cannot approach the average feral. It's likely that the majority of those remaining 70% were cats and dogs that had been thrown away by their "owners".

I wondered about your contention that there were more dogs breeding neddlessly than cats, so I checked that out, too. As you can see from the above site, about 4 millions dogs enter shelters each year, whereas 4.5 million cats enter shelters. And....

as this site says, there are an estimated 60 million feral or stray cats in the US. Since dogs are not self-sufficient like cats are, the "feral dog" is virtually unknown. Most stray dogs are captured, taken in, or die within days, whereas cats can live years on their own, surviving, evading capture, and reproducing. It is estimated that a feral cat lives no longer than five years at the most, so a conservative estimate of how many cats are being born or dumped into the feral population could be reasonably placed at 12 million.

As you can see from this site, approximately 52% of dogs in shelters and 70% of cats in shelters are euthanized. Therefore, to put the math to it again, there are approximately 2.04 million unwanted dogs being born every year, and 14.8 million unwanted cats being born every year.

Again, if these cats are not coming from "owned" cats in one way or another, they must be falling from the sky.

Pet, and especially cat, overpopulation is a serious problem, and anyone who can't see that either has their head in the sand or is choosing to delude themselves.

God commanded us to husband his animals. In the Garden of Eden natural forces that God put into place prevented overpopulation of any animal. But we tamed dogs and cats and removed them so far from their natural habitats that these limits are no longer in place. It is up to us to reintroduce those limits by surgical means. By allowing this severe pet overpopulation to exist, we are failing God.

I am not trying to flame you, bluekat, I am just trying to knock some sense into you!
post #13 of 102
I don't personally know one person who has "dumped" a cat. Several people at work have been looking for free kittens, and can't find them. I know many people who have "dumped" dogs. They let them breed, and take the whole litter into a shelter.
I know there are several loose cats that make the hunting rounds in my back yard and woods. They look pretty well fed, so most likely belong to neighbors. The wild ones, look vary wild, if you see one. And there are wild dog packs, they chase deer, and kill farmer's livestock.
I think a bunch of the cats taken into shelter's are trapped or otherwise caught by people who haul them in. I'm sure some of them are owned by people, who allow them to run loose. I wouldn't dream of catching cats that walk through my land, and haul them into a shelter. If the loose cats in my neighborhood where not neutered, you'd think there would be a litter of kittens showing up once in awhile. I have yet to see a half wild litter of kittens in my back yard, or in any of my buildings. At least 3 of the cats I see on a regular basis have collars.
post #14 of 102
I don't know where you live, but I'm sure that within a one mile radius of your home there are at least 100 cats roaming, if not more. If there are no cats available you must live in some God forsaken part of the U.S.

I feed over 150 ferals a night. They are within a 12 block area. They are spayed and neuterd. If I'm feeding 150 in that small an area that gives you an idea of how many are in my city. One hundred of these cats are not feral, they were once someone's pets.
post #15 of 102
I think I like where I live better every day. Maybe the mink, martins & badgers keep the cat number's down. Lots of wood chucks also, though I've only seen one cat that I thought a wood chuck killed. I don't know if otter's or beaver's would go after a cat. Probably not.
You really feed 150 cats??? Amazeing.
post #16 of 102
Yep, I really do, actually it's over 200 if you add in my pets. Wildlife will definitely keep the numbers down. I think I have a poisonous water snake killing some of my ferals by one location. The cats, that have lived in this safe spot for 3 years all of a sudden dissappeared. A friend who went to feed at this location one night said she saw a 3 ft. water mocasen (not sure of the spelling) one of the cats was playing with it. I found that particular cat laying dead in the middle of the yard where they stay. There were no obvious marks, so I know it wasn't a dog and generally cats don't just lay down in plain view to die. After him 12 more dissappeared. The ones remaining won't go in that yard now so I know it's something in the yard that killed them. The yard is overgrown with shrubs and weeeds and is next to a canal where the snakes live.
post #17 of 102
bluekat i wish you were right in saying there are no feral cats near you. One thing about ferals, that unless you are putting food out for them you won't see them. Their survival depends on them staying cunning and hidden, and they come out only in the dead of night to find food. The moms will keep the kittens hidden because not only are the kittens vulnerable to attacks by wild critters but wild toms are also a danger to young kittens. Oh and people who "dump" cats, don't usually talk about it, not even to their friends. Because deep down inside they know it is wrong to do it, and even though they say to themselves, "well it is a cat and it will survive..." They know in their cold heart differently. You usually won't find "free" kittens, because it is a known fact that free kittens are likely to end up as lunch for a pet snake, or in reseach facilities. I charge $25.00 for each kitten I place and $15.00 for the adults. Like Patsy, I have strict rules about who gets these animals and I do surprise visitations on them. The one time I didn't follow my own guidelines, one of my cats really suffered for it. I will not let down my guard again.

Three years ago, I was feeding 62 ferals from 4 colonies. People were dropping off food for these cats once I got the word out, and since they were wild generic cat food was the most offered to me. The spay and neuter mobile comes in 3 times a year and does spaying and neutering for a donation. They start taking names the day after the last clinic and when they are done, they clip the tip of each cat's ear so the following year the cats are easy to indentify to tell they have been fixed. It is not offered enough times during the year to keep this cat population from exploding. My friend Gracie, right now has 54 cats that she has rescued, most from a mobile home park that was being torn down. The cats are there, it just takes certain eyes to see them.
post #18 of 102
After I read the last reply, I picked up local newspaper. In a pound, 120 miles south, big town/small city, they claimed they were over run with cats. 500 of them in the humane society!!!! Happens to be a big college town also, and school just let out.
I wonder if the water moccasins eat the cats?? I'm too far north, so it's vary rare to have a poisoness snake around, but we do have pine snakes (bull snakes) I've seen some that are 6-8 ft. long. When I raised chicken's, they would go in the coop. Swallow baby chicks, but get stuck in the chicken wire on the way out. The lump that the chicks made, caught them in the fence. I'd never let one of my kitties with babies, have access to my outside cat runs, as I don't trust those snakes at all. Someone had a real nice outside cat cage, posted on one of these threads. That one wouldn't be safe for my kitties at all. I've got chain link fence, with roof and cement bottom to keep wild critter's from getting near my cats. The cats love to be outside, but they have got to be protected. We also have owls & eagle's that will swoop down, and take small domestic pets. I've been on some lists, where people living in the west, have coyote's coming right into town, takeing dogs/cats out of back yards.
This is for "cooie" who "wants to knock some sense into me" her words. Cooie please ask your local government to import some natural predators of domestic pets. I've heard coyote's can survive in towns. Your cat problems will be over, and maybe the many people who treasure a pet, will realize it needs to be kept indoors, or in a well secured outside enclosure. Person I work with, raised in Saskatchewan,CA, says her government was so smart that they decided to release cougars to control the overwhelming deer. Now they have so many cougars in the area, that parents can not allow their children to play in the barnyards. Cougars have walked right into people's back yards.
Wolves have been reintroduced in my state. I'm just waiting for those to cause a problem. Black bear are getting to be prevalent. we've seen a couple run through our property, and one young male, slept in oak tree, for a whole day, beside the road, approx. 1 mile from my house, last summer. So far they haven't bothered me, but a cattle farmer claims they scare his heifer's, sending them on a wild run.
post #19 of 102
I'm certainly not an "expert" like Hissy and Patsy who rescue and care for feral colonies, but I can tell you that introducing natural predators, especially into an urban setting, would not work. I live in Colorado, right up against the mountains. Every year there are problems with predators coming into towns (Denver suburbs, Boulder). These predators don't know the difference between Fifi the prize show poodle who is in a fenced yard and feral cats who will put up a fight. All they know is that Fifi is easier prey. Then Animal Control has to come down and kill the coyote, fox, cougar, or whatever is eating people's pets. Also, when wild animals especially predators lose their natural fear of humans by being in such close proximity to them they will eventually see humans, especially little humans (children) as possible prey.

By the way, domestic cats that are kept as pets were not and are not indigenous to the ecosystem. They became feral and wild because someone dumped them. Maybe the people you know are better people than many, I know that most of my friends have never purposely dumped an animal and have rescued animals as pets. But just take a look at the Cat SOS forum to find out that not all people are like you and I, and all of us on this board.

Everything else in this society is disposable, and many people view pets the same way. You said yourself that a shelter near you has 500 cats. Think they are all feral? Go there and see how friendly most of them are. It will break your heart to see these wonderful loves waiting to die because their protectors didn't want them anymore.
post #20 of 102
I was only being sarcastic to "cooie" on natural predators.
I doubt any of the 500 cats 3 hours south, are feral. I always though feral meant wild, and then people on here talk about them as being dumped pets, etc. When I say feral, I mean wild, just as wild as their natural predators.
post #21 of 102
Dear Heidi:

Thanks for trying to respond to this "natural predator" thing. You've a bigger person than me. There are just some things I can't reply to because the ignornace of it makes me want to scream and then I can't think!

As for the other comments posted:

Since when are domesticated cats as wild as wolves and coyotes? As far as I know they have never been equipped to be considered a "wild animal". A feral is a cat that is left to it's own resources, but never is it able to tackle a wolf, cayote or even a domesticated dog. Bringing in other animals to kill them is cruel and should never be thought of as "animal control". I think they should take the people who dump the animals, put them in the wild, and see how they survive. Hell, humans are the superior species right. Well, let the idiots who throw animals away prove it!

I just learned that a fellow rescuer caught a man putting a sick kitten out by our lake front area. She saw him putting the kitten on the ground and she asked what was he doing. He said his wife told him the cat was dirty and he should bring it out to the lake because there were other mama cats out there that would take care of it. The cat was so infected with upper respiratory it wasn't funny. How stupid is that? If that is not a typical senereo. Unfortunately, the lady who rescued the kitten did not get his license plate number which I would have done and he would be explaining his actions before a judge!

I have a dream, that someone with some money, make a documentary, put it on primetime television to show what happens to the animals that are dumped and abandoned. Show the idiots the dead, mangled, suffering animals that were going to make it own their own. Maybe, just maybe, some will catch on.

I told a friend today, how can you expect people to care about animals when they in fact don't care about themselves. Think about it, if you wake up in the morning and have no purpose, how can you find compasssion for something else?

Later gator - a slang used by us New Orleans folks!

post #22 of 102
Bluecat - It is so hard to tell when someone is being sarcastic in writing. Sad to say, some people actually think that may be a viable option.

Feral cats, as in the ones who have been without human contact for generations, may seem as wild as coyotes or wolves. They have learned to view humans as a threat, and no wonder considering how they are generally treated. However, at one time, perhaps generations before, these animals were "owned" and were abandoned for one reason or another. Maybe some "escaped" an abusive situation and that's where some of them got their fear of humans, but the majority were just given to their own devices.

I know it seems like you are getting flamed on this thread. Like the declawing issue, this is a big hot button for some people, especially those who do rescue work and see first hand what wonderful companions some people throw away and worse. The two main posters in this discussion, Hissy and Patsy, have the biggest hearts and have opened their homes, wallets, and given unlimited love to these unwanted animals. They are both very passionate about what they do, and sometimes passion comes across as flaming.
post #23 of 102
By abuse or by ignorant owners. Let me tell you a story about a kitty I got about 4 years ago. A friend of mine over the Internet called me one afternoon begging and pleading for me to help this coworker who had a two year old orange kitty. This kitten was born of a domesticated female and the coworker took the kitty in for a pet. Now something happened that she never would admit to, but my guess is she lost her temper one day and hurt this cat quite badly and he decided the best thing to do from there was to protect himself from her. I got in touch with this woman, and she told me all this stuff about how she had to push this cats food into the room with a pole, slam the door so it wouldn't escape! The one time he did manage to get out, he "tracked her" got her into a corner and proceeded to terrorize her for an hour......Pleeeze! lol I listened to this poor woman go on and on about this holy terror and she lived in a bigger city near me, so I told her bring the cat, I would take him, work with him and find him a good home. She brought him that day and she brought all kinds of stuff with him. Expensive cat toys one of those luggage type cat carriers, computer scoopable litterbox you name it this cat had everything.

I put him up in the cat room, talked to her for awhile, assured her he would be fine and she finally left, so I went upstairs to meet Pete- and holy cow! We quickly changed his name to Psychotic Pete. The only way I could get close to him was with wearing welding gloves longs sleeves and lots of clothing. He was intent on shredding any arms that came near him, another indication to me that she had severly hurt him somewhere down the line. I had to trap him inside that room, take him to the vet where they had to sedate him just to run tests on him.There was nothing medically wrong with this cat.

I had him for about 3 weeks when one afternoon I went upstairs to feed him and found he had climbed through the security trellis I have on all the windows in the cat room and clawed his way out of the screen and jumped down to the ground without killing himself and he was gone. I have never seen him since, and although he could have had a brain tumor, he was definitely a feral cat though not born of being one. Abuse a kitty long enough so they lose trust in humans and you will have a wild cat on your hands, this is also true of cats who are neglected. They learn that people "hurt them" so they don't trust. I have also had feral cats that have come here and been completely wild and in a manner of weeks, they are fine, but others take months, years even before that initial first contact.

We have natural predators as well. Coyotes, cougars, raccoons, possums, turkey buzzards, all kinds of hazards for kitties and cats, but still the ferals show up and they will continue showing up, because in this part of where I live, I am the only one who has a feral feeding station outside and no matter where these cats get dumped, ultimately they seem to show up at my door. I will continue to TNR and feed these critters until there is no breath left in me to do so. I believe that is what I am supposed to do because there are not to many people who would take the time out to care.
post #24 of 102
I don't think I've ever paid attention to "declawing" arguements. Seems to me a cat needs something to defend itself with. Neither cats or dogs started out domesticated. They seem to revert to the wild in a couple generations. As to the animal dumpers being turned out in the boonies, sounds like a marvelous idea.
I tried to get the license plate number, of someone in a pickup who dropped off a malamute, but I couldn't get my binoculars out fast enough. 3 days later I saw the dog dead, at the edge of the ditch. I was nosy so walked up to it. It had not been hit by a car. It had been shot. Probably by a farmer. I imagine the people who dropped it off, told their kids they gave it to a good home !!!!
I'm still not convinced that feeding loose cats is a good idea. All it will do is keep attracting more of them, from all over. It's just like feeding deer. Feed 2 skinny deer in the winter, that you feel sorry for, and pretty soon you've got 40 or 50 of them. Then you are buying hay by the truckload, the herd runs accross the road at night, causeing death or major car damage to passing moterists. The deer feeding has gotten so bad here, that the state is probably going to make a law against it. I would think having 100-200 cats all in one place is going to be a reservoir for disease. I'm surprised that towns or cities allow it. People fed geese until they wouldn't migrate anymore, and they have ruined parks & beaches in Canada.
post #25 of 102
Perhaps ignoring them and starving them is the answer? I don't think so. There are cities and towns across America who have enacted laws against feeding the feral cats in an attempt to stop the overpopulation. All this has resulted in is the cats becoming more of a so-called "nuisance" and raiding garbage cans and literally breaking into places where food is stored so they can survive. By feeding them, trapping and neutering them, I am stopping them from over populating at least in this area. I have no control over whether or not someone drives by the house and drops a cat off in the woods. You cannot see my feral feeding station from the road, but you can see the two barns and all the land we have. I could not in good conscience stop feeding these defenseless critters, and they really are defenseless against the cold, against being scared, against being terrorized,against being chased by larger animals and against any vehicle they happen to meet. Unlike a deer, you can run over a cat without wrecking your vehicle. A feral that is starving, cannot survive to hunt anything, bugs, rodents whatever, because it lacks the energy to hunt. I will feed these cats for as long as it takes before people start becoming competent caregivers to their animals and start spaying and neutering. As I specialize in abused cats and german shepherd dogs, I have seen the horrible consequences of abuse on poor defenseless animals. This is another reason I do what I do, and I can tell by the direction your posts are taking, that your mind is set on this issue, and nothing anyone would say to you to educate or enlighten you will make one bit of difference to you. So that being said, I now back out of this thread completely.
post #26 of 102
Saying that feeding a domestic animal that is hungry is wrong went out with my mother's generation. I remember as a child everyone would say oh don't feed them or more will come. So more will come and all that means is more need help. You can't turn your back on a domestic animal and call yourself an animal lover. I've seen people walk past starving, sickly animals everyday and never raise a hand to help them, not even to pick up the phone to call an animal shelter or a humane group. But like I said before, when people don't care about others, be it people or animals, there is something missing in them. I personally think it's a soul.

People need to realize that ignoring a problem does not make it go away. I ask people all the time what would it be like for you if the Lord decided you were to be born a cat that ended up homeless, cold and hungry and not a well fed human, living in a nice warm comfortable house? Thye don't have a answer or they something stupid like "but I wasn't".
post #27 of 102
After reading this thread, I feel kinda compelled to ask...

Do any of you do the trap and release thing?

And when does one decide that the next cat is one to many.

I understand the need to rescue, I understand the need to work with ferals, and after having socialized a few, I can tell you, for those that don't know it, it's very hard work.

But when does that law of dimishing returns come into play? By that I mean, it is sooooo easy to loose objectivity about this, I've seen breeders to as well, (BTW not all breeders are the same), you know they love thie cherished cats so much that they just can't bare to get rid of any, so they end up with tons of cats they can't practicly care for, but don't recognize that fact..

post #28 of 102
In that the colonies that I managed, I was only able to do so out of the generosity of others. Had Denise not come over on a regular basis and left sacks and sacks of dry food, had the Spay and Neuter Mobile Clinc not been in existence, these cats would of been doomed because no one else seemed to care. Fortunately my paths crossed with some people who did care and over time the ferals were captured and socialized and placed either in farms or homes. It took a long time, and not all the cats were able to be placed, but the majority of them were that had not already succumbed to the hazards of inbreeding and living wild. Eventually other people stepped in to take care of the remaining colonies (i was having severe car problems there for awhile and could not take care of them well enough)

I have a lot more cats than the "average" cat owner, but none of them are unhealthy or unloved. All of them with the exception of Mckenzie and her clan and the new one that I just saw this morning have been spayed and neutered, and all but one has had their shots. I do without a lot of things so these cats can be cared for, and I do that because it is my choice to do so. Simply turning my back on these critters that show up at my door is not an option for me. My father taught me quite early how to care for all critters wild or tame and I get my love of them from him. Many think I am crazy for doing what I do and maybe I am. But I will take this type of craziness over apathy any day. I do not go looking for these critters, they find me.
post #29 of 102
Ken, the sad fact is they can't all be saved, and TNR is the next best thing. In the days when I was doing rescue, the group I worked with was quite objective and thus accepted the fact that sometimes euthanasia was the kindest, even if the saddest, solution. We never gave up on them just because they were feral, though. If they were young they were captured, tamed and adopted, if they weren't they were TNRd.

I wish TNR would be better accepted. Believe it or not, there are still municipalities, vets, and animals welfare groups who still resist this idea.

If I could, I would take every stray and abused cat in my home. But I already have too many at four (one pregnant rescue became four cats in two weeks!). I no longer actively particpate in rescue work for unavoidable reasons, but I still donate my meager resources to groups that do.
post #30 of 102
I just now figured out what TNR is......

DUH me

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