Tuesday, June 12, 2012

More On Feral Cats

black and white of a feral kitten
The caption on the website reads: 'She Deserves To Live
Feral cats are the descendants of our domesticated cats that have  returned to their wild state. They are distinguished from the local stray cat population ... pet cats that have been lost, abandoned or simply thrown on the side of the road and survive the fling from the car window. Most ferals are born in the wild while the offspring of a stray can also be considered feral by virtue of also being born in the wild. What constitutes wild? The brush at the back of your yard, the small forest across the road in a rural area; the city park is home to more than just pigeons!
caged feral cat for spay or neuter
Trapped feral for spay or neuter
Feral cats are a growing problem in Australia where they prey on a wide variety of the local wildlife; bird populations of cockatoos and other species suffer at their paws but they are just trying to survive like any other animal. In the arid and semi-arid areas of the country their primary food sources are mostly the introduced European rabbits and house mice that some genius figured was a good idea to bring over. In the forests and urbanized environs they feed mostly on the native marsupial prey that's available, this is based on the 22 studies that were done and summarized in the Dickman report in 1996. Unfortunately, in many of the arid parts of Australia where rabbits don't thrive, the cats take the native rodents which includes bird and reptile populations that form the smaller portion of the cats diets.
feral cat
Cat with no home, no one to look after him but himself and he's punished for it
Feral cats have become the apex predators in some local ecosystems but in others they are preyed on by feral dogs, dingoes and coyotes. They have become the food sources of much larger animals like wolves, bears, cougars and leopards. Bobcats, the lynx, hyenas, even fishers have taken feral cats as a meal. As have local crocodiles, snakes, foxes and other birds of prey. The overall effects on wildlife vary but the impact of our domestic and feral cats on local wildlife is still a centuries old debate.
feral dogs being feed
Feral Dogs

australian dingo
Australian Dingo

coyote in taking refuge in empty bus
Coyote taking refuge in empty bus, as much a victim as the feral cats  

wolf pair
More victims of human inhumanity   

These are the predators of the feral cats that we humans have created in colonies round the globe over the past century. 

No animal deserves this treatment from a humane, civilized society and yet...

In1916 a report was done for the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture entitled The Domestic Cat: Bird Killer, Mouser and Destroyer of Wildlife. In this report, noted Ornithologist Edward Howe Forbush stated in the preface:
"Questions regarding the value or in-utility of the domestic cat and problems connected with limiting its more or less unwelcome outdoor activities are causing much dissension. The discussion has reached an acute stage. Medical men, game protectors and bird lovers call on legislators to enact restrictive laws. Then ardent cat lovers rouse themselves for combat. In the excitement of partisanship many loose and ill-considered statements are made."

This report actually cited Extinct Birds, a book published in 1905 by zoologist Walter Rothschild who stated, "man and his satellites, cats, rats, dogs and pigs are the worst and in fact the only important agents of destruction of the native avifaunas wherever they go."
stephens island wren, extinct bird species
Stephens Island Wren, extinct bird species

Rothschild went on to give several examples of cats in general causing the extermination of some bird species on islands.

Apparently the man gave equally no thought to how these feral and domesticated cats got there in the first place and that it took some brilliant 'human' to come up with the idiotic idea of populating already populated islands with rabbits and cats in the first place! Really, some people ought to try 'thinking' before they talk out loud!!

Even today there are farmers and gamekeepers that see feral cats as absolute vermin to be exterminated at all cost. Because the feral cat populations catch and eat ground nesting birds like pheasants and partridge that are protected, for no better reason than for people to kill them in flight when they go on their hypocritical bird hunts ~ not unlike the excuses they give for local fox hunting. To protect their birds some gamekeepers have resorted to setting traps and shooting any feral cats they find, on sight, as part of their ongoing, so-called pest control campaigns. Does this sound like a charmed life of freedom to you?

Please, think twice before dumping your unwanted cats on some farm or dairy or by the side of the road, your actions have direct consequences for these animals. Do the more humane thing and at least take the unwanted animal to a shelter or SPCA. Lets not forget that these animals actually 'trust' us to have their best interests at heart. No animal, pet or otherwise, is expendable. If they do become expendable in our world view, which animal is next? Will it be an animal or perhaps an unwanted child. Ask yourself.
caged feral cat
Help me, don't hurt me ~ the choice is yours, not mine

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi and thanks for visiting my blog. I am very grateful for your comment and please leave a link.