Letters (December 13, 2017)

Another view of the feral cat issue

There is no such thing as a community cat (“Options available to help address ferel cat problems,” Dec. 6 issue). This contrived term has been promulgated by TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) advocates in an attempt to convince the public that domestic cats are a natural part of the landscape. They are not.

TNR began decades ago based on the idea that through sterilization the feral cat population would reduce. That never came to fruition. Since then, the mantra of TNR advocates changed and they began to claim that colonies would stabilize and no new kittens would be born. This rarely happens.

Today we are encouraged not only to re-dump feral cats outdoors via TNR, but to do the same for friendly cats (community cats) that were doing fine living outside. TNR has been an utter failure in reducing the homeless cat population, but successful in enabling pet abandonment.

That isn’t all. TNR results in the destruction of native wildlife, increases risks to public health, infringes on landowner rights to remove unwanted domestic cats, and subjects domestic cats to a lifetime of living outdoors in the absence of regular veterinary care until they likely succumb to some trauma or untreated illness or injury.

TNR is neither responsible nor humane.

Stray and feral cats should be removed from the environment. Remove food sources and properly secure trash. Enact and enforce ordinances that treat cats the same as dogs: licensed and prohibited from roaming. Adopt out cats that are friendly, perhaps contain some in appropriately sized enclosures on private property and euthanize the rest.

The alternative of re-dumping sterilized cats and feeding them so they exist at densities beyond the environmental carrying capacity of any natural mam­mal­ian predator is neither sustainable nor effective. That simply turns an area into a giant litter box.

Linda Cherkassky

Voorhees, N.J.

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