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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Letter: A better solution for outdoor cats

  • Kudos to Mr. Nowak for reminding folks that pets should be maintained under the control of their owners, not allowed to roam, not allowed to kill wildlife or threaten public health and safey.
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  • To the editor:
    Kudos to Mr. Nowak for reminding folks that pets should be maintained under the control of their owners, not allowed to roam, not allowed to kill wildlife or threaten public health and safey.
    We appreciate Mr. Nowak's advocacy for spay/neuter. It prevents the birth of homeless pets, and reduces or eliminates many of the nuisance behaviors associated with breeding.
    Unfortunately, the frightening "study" Mr. Nowak refers to by Loss, Will & Marra has been called into question for being agenda-driven and un-scientific. That same "study" is the one cited in the Washington Post article shared on the Kansas Wildlife Federation blog Mr. Nowak mentions. Other so called "studies" are not much better.
    There will always be outdoor cats, some of whom are not good candidates for adoption. They tend to colonize where there is food and shelter. Often, if they are trapped and taken to shelters, they are routinely killed. And other cats move into the habitat to take their place.
    The only reasonable approach that has been proven to stabilize and reduce these populations is trap/neuter/return (TNR). TNR gets the cats sterilized and vaccinated, so they are healthier and not breeding. Regular and responsible feeding of managed colonies reduces the cats' need to feed themselves.
    Aggressive prosecution of pet abandonment might let people know it's not OK to abandon Fluffy to the outdoors or drive her out to "the country" when they tire of her.
    In truth, the greatest threat to wildlife is the human animal and our activities. The National Wildlife Federation agrees – www.nwf.org/ Wildlife/Threats-to-Wildlife.aspx.
    Great information about TNR is available at www.alleycat.org. There are also simple tips and ideas for discouraging outdoor cats.
    For more information, news, and critical reviews of "studies" relating to outdoor cats, visit www.voxfelina.com.

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