Roaming cats, trap-neuter programs have problems of their own
To the Editor,
If you own a cat and think it is good to let them outside to roam, or you think that trap-neuter-release programs are humane, please think about the problems both of these cause.
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have estimated that outdoor cats are responsible for killing 2.4 billion songbirds and 12.3 billion mammals per year in the U.S. alone! (Yes, billion!)
Homeless, stray cats can spread diseases to owned outdoor cats, like feline leukemia, feline AIDS, distemper, respiratory infections, some of which are fatal. They can spread parasites, which can cause severe symptoms. Any cat allowed to roam or is homeless can get hit by a car, can be attacked by dogs and wild animals. They can come in contact with toxins like antifreeze or rodent poisons. Feral cats live a miserable, unhealthy life.
I have a number of cats who regularly patrol around my bird feeders, when they should be inside being taken care of. I urge the city to search for a solution to the problem.
For more information go to www.americanhumane.org and search for the article Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats. Or read the New York Times article from January 29, 2013 titled That Cuddly Kitty is Deadlier Than You Think by Natalie Angier.