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Animal Update: Community Cats

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at the San Francisco SPCA, about October 16, National Feral Cat Day.

Nationally, there are an estimated 60 million free-roaming, feral cats. At the San Francisco SPCA, feral cats are referred to as “community cats.” Community cats, as the name implies, can be found in every neighborhood – in parks, abandoned buildings, alleys, and yards. These cats are primarily the offspring of stray and abandoned domestic cats whose owners had failed to have them spayed or neutered.

Feral Cat Day is a special day for those who advocate controlling and reducing the number of community cats through humane, non-lethal methods.

Locally, many neighborhoods have put programs in place to control the numbers of community cats. The SF SPCA follows a method called Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR. Caregivers who feed the cats trap them and bring them to SF SPCA clinics, where the cats are spayed or neutered and vaccinated, at no cost. After recovery, the cats are returned to their neighborhood.

Since they no longer reproduce, the number of cats is stabilized and gradually decreases.

Last year, the SF SPCA TNR program altered close to 1,300 community cats.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

More from Jeff Bell
  • Woodsman

    Some further information to help you do the RIGHT thing. ALL the required laws that you need to deal with this problem are already in place and have been for decades most everywhere.

    Cats listed in THE TOP 100 WORST INVASIVE-SPECIES OF THE WORLD in the “Global Invasive-Species Database”:

    Cats are _NOT_ exempt from invasive-species laws.

    IT IS YOUR CIVIC AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO DESTROY ANY INVASIVE-SPECIES WHEN FOUND AWAY FROM SAFE CONFINEMENT AND OUT IN A NON-NATIVE HABITAT. In fact, it is against the law to NOT destroy an invasive-species on-site. Since cats are genetically engineered through selective-breeding and no longer have ANY native habitat ANYWHERE on earth, these laws include cats. This is precisely how they are dealt with on my own land, destroyed by using any and all humane methods** (see note).

    For an example of how invasive-species laws are properly followed and enforced: It is highly illegal for a person to transport an African Cichlid fish species to just the other side the road if you catch one in the canals of the Everglades when fishing. THEY MUST BE DESTROYED ON-SITE. Yet Cichlids are often kept as pets, that’s how they wrongly got into the canals to begin with. There are hefty fines in place for anyone found transporting these invasive-species alive if caught in the wild. (Interestingly, these Cichlids are FAR FAR LESS damaging to the environment and all other native wildlife than ANY cat.)

    All of this much to the dismay of criminally irresponsible and psychotic cat-lovers who are desperately trying to raise these invasive-species cats to some absurd level of “Community Cats”. If they do that then I’ll just raise “Community Pet Piranha” and release them in all your lakes and pools, or “Community Pet Black-Mambas” and release them in all your backyards and parks, then claim the exact same protections for them as cat-advocates want for their invasive-species cats. It’d only be fair! Are you starting to see just how absurd and ludicrous these cat-advocates are yet?

    ** (Though to be perfectly honest, considering how cats cruelly torture and destroy all other animals by ripping the skins off of live animals or disemboweling them for slowly dying and twitching cats’ play-toys (not even using them for food), I’m not sure why cats should be given the privilege of a humane death. I’ve been drawn to many animal screams in my woods to find their cats shredding another animal to death; which I had to then quickly put that animal out of its misery, torment, and suffering caused by that cat. Lucky for those I found so fast from their screams. Other wildlife that I’d find days later had died a slow and agonizing death from wounds after being shredded by their cats. I guess I’m just more humane than all cat-lovers and their cats, that’s why their cats get shot and die instantly instead of equitably and justifiably tortured to death. If cat-advocates want REAL justice for their cats then any cat found outdoors would have to be cruelly tortured to death the same way their cats cruelly torture all other animals — something that I couldn’t do. Maybe that’s why TNR-advocates don’t mind that their cats slowly die of “attrition” — by disease, attacks, exposure, starvation, road-kill, etc., on ad-infinauseum.)

    • Bernie

      Okay Woodsman, so there was too many cats on your property and you shot them all and had to fight with local animal groups over it. That’s why your blasting the internet with irrelevant studies and distorted calculations.

      The reason cats are able to breed out of control on your land is because YOU killed all the coyotes, wolves, etc. Please don’t make cats out to be anything other than another creature in our ecosystem. The links you post citing studies about fleas, etc, are meaningless. All wild animals have fleas, ticks, etc.
      People cannot just go around shooting everything that inconveniences them. And “cat-lovers” are not all lunatics. Though some are. (I prefer dogs myself). But what happens when my neighbor decides there’s too many owls bothering his chickens? Too many fish breeding in his river? Etc.

      Most people who promote TNR are on the same side as you (trying to reduce cat populations). However, they realize that allowing people to just shoot them is a mistake because a large percent of people are simply ignorant jerks, who will abuse such rights.

      Many of these cats are domestic cats that ignorant jerks have released. Also, there’s a lot of photos and videos online of feral cats being domesticated and making their owners very happy. An example:

      Think ahead a bit… if TNR programs are allowed to continue and grow, eventually science will find a more effective way to mass sterilze cats (via biotech or perhaps some sort of dna-altering substances which can be fed to them and will not affect other species). This sort of breakthrough would drastically reduce the problem for you and “cat lovers” who just want to end their suffering. But the basic concept of TNR instead of shooting needs to continue for that pat

  • Nature Advocate

    I celebrated Feral-Cat Day this year because every last one of them are gone from my land. NONE have returned. Much to the chagrin of those fools who believed the manipulative TNR-LIE of cats’ “vacuum effect”. NATIVE predators and NATIVE wildlife returns once you rid your land of disease-infested invasive-species predator cats. You really can’t celebrate until you’ve accomplished getting rid of every last stray and feral cat. And doing so without violating every invasive-species law in existence, which is exactly what TNR violates. Cats are listed in the TOP 100 WORST invasive-species of the world in the “Global Invasive Species Database”. If you’ve not managed to get rid of every last stray and feral cat then there’s absolutely NOTHING for you to celebrate.

    All wildlife on my land is now returning to normal. Native predators are no longer starving to death from cats destroying their only food sources. No prey animals are being tortured to death for disemboweled twitching play-toys for invasive-species cats. No longer are cats spreading their deadly diseases to all animals and humans. Not even cats themselves are suffering to death by dying of “attrition”. You know, that candy-coating feel-good term that TNR advocates love to wrap themselves in to enjoy their immense bliss of self-inflicted ignorance. All their TNR’ed cats dying from disease, exposure, attacks, road-kill, starvation, etc. TNR-advocates’ practices clearly violating animal-abuse, animal-abandonment, animal-cruelty, and animal-endangerment laws everywhere. Plus their direct violation of all invasive-species laws in existence. There’s a reason all these laws exist — to prevent EXACTLY what TNR has caused — an ecological disaster on a global scale.

    There’s much to celebrate now that cats are all gone from my land.

    On advice of the sheriff I managed to accomplish this by shooting every last one with a good .22 outfitted with a laser-sight and good illuminated-reticle scope for precision aim, day or night. This method is as humane as it gets. One moment the cats are enjoying intently stalking more defenseless animals to cruelly torture and rip the skins off of them for play-toys, the next the cats are dead and don’t even know what happened. They don’t even have enough time to know they’ve been shot nor even make a sound. I urge everyone to rid their land of this devastating invasive-species this way. It’s the ONLY method that can catch-up to and actually surpass cats’ breeding rates. If not, you’ll be trapping them for an eternity as they continue to breed faster than your reach. Plus the next generations will have learned to evade traps and won’t even be able to be trapped. That’s so smart, isn’t it.

    Don’t bother celebrating until you have actually accomplished getting rid of them all. Otherwise you’re just a major fool, jumping around like an idiot — acting glad that you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing.

  • TNR is a CON

    TNR programs and their advocates are making absolute fools out of each and every one of you that they con with their nonsense. Not only are they causing untold damage to ALL native wildlife (directly and indirectly) and further spread of deadly diseases to all animals and humans, but are also doing *ABSOLUTELY* *NOTHING* to curtail cats’ breeding rates. On top of that, they are doing all of this while violating all invasive-species laws in existence.

    If you do the research, as I did using data from the most “successful” TNR programs, you’ll easily find that no TNR program has EVER trapped more than 0.4% of existing cats in any one area for over a decade now. (Even Oregon’s amazing 50,000 TNR’ed cats, at the end of this year will have only trapped 0.35%.) They cannot trap them faster than they breed, no matter what they do. This is why, due to TNR-Advocates’ insistence that they have “the answer”, that their feral-cat population has now climbed to an ecologically-deadly 150 MILLION feral-cats across the USA. Soon to turn into 1.5 BILLION cats within the year if you apply cats’ breeding rates to previous population numbers.

    Find whatever way you can to destroy all feral and stray cats on-site. Avoid using traps because trapping is what slowed everything down to where cat populations have now sky-rocketed out of control. TNR advocates are at least right about one thing; trap and kill doesn’t work either because it is based on the very same flawed method that they use — slow, random-chance, inefficient, easily outfoxed traps. There’s a reason the phrase “hunted to extinction” is so well-known in all cultures across all lands. It is the *ONLY* method that is faster than a species can out-breed and adapt to.

    On advice of the local sheriff where I live I used a .22 equipped with a good illuminated-scope and a laser-sight for use when they are most active, dusk to dawn; as well as to afford precision aim for a humane kill. 100% total success! This is even a more humane method than terrorizing trapping and animal-shelter methods; and why it is the preferred feral-cat management policy in so many areas today. One moment the cats are happily stalking defenseless animals to cruelly torture again, the next they are dead and don’t even know what happened. Making your land 100% cat-free is something that cat advocates haven’t been able to solve nation-wide for 30-40 years. On my land only 1 person in only 2 seasons was able to accomplish what they couldn’t attain in decades. Why is that? The cost per cat was also only 0.3 CENT, 3 cats PER PENNY, a ONE-TIME expense (5000 rounds on sale for only $15). All cats gone for the price of a few cups of coffee. And contrary to another famous TNR-Advocate’s bald-faced “vacuum effect” LIE … NO CATS REPLACED THEM. The NATIVE predators and their required NATIVE prey that WAS here and BELONGS here is what returned.

    May you have as much success as I did, and so quickly and inexpensively too.

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