The ranger stood on the dirt road, facing south, and the rest of us, scattered about the parked safari truck, facing north and paying close attention to what she was saying. The sun was slipping quickly below the red sand dunes to our west, and the day’s warm breeze was rapidly changing to a chill wind. She talked about what we might see after we remounted the safari truck, which we had just driven out of the campground at the southern end of Kgalgadi Transfrontier Park, where we were staying in the South African camp, just across from the Botswana camp. This would be a night drive, cold, dark, uncomfortable seats, loud engine in the giant 26-seater truck, scanning the brush and the roadside with three or four strong spotlights wrangled by volunteers among the nature-loving tourists, and of course, the headlights of the truck. But for now the sun was still up and if anything interesting came along we’d see it just fine in the dusk.
And, of course, something interesting came along. Just as the ranger was telling us that we might see wild cats – well, not wild cats, but rather, Wildcats, the wild version of the domestic cat, Felis silvestris lybica, one of those cats popped its head out of the brush about 50 feet beyond her. As she continued her monologue about these cats, the Wildcat cautiously walked in our direction, never taking its eyes off of us, stiff-legged, ears motionless, striped like a standard “tiger” domestic cat but entirely in grays. The most interesting thing about this cat was lack of kitty-cat-ness. It was not a kitty cat, even though all of its relatives in the Americas were. It was deadly serious, intense looking, nothing like a kitty cat at all. And just as the ranger finished her monologue with “… so if we’re lucky, we’ll see one of those cats” the person standing next to me intoned, in a mimicking fake british-sounding accent to match the ranger’s South African dialect, “You mean like that one, there?” and all of us pointed simultaneously to the wildcat now about 10 feet behind her.
She turned, looked, and by the expression on her face I guessed she was thinking “Goodness, I’m glad that was not a lion.”
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Actually a number of the groups have a solution trap, neuter and release. Then the cats can't make more cats. Combine this with the short lives feral cats have and they problem self limits.
It remains to be seen if that works.
There was a study done back in the 1960s ,in California, which found that feral house cats were not prudent predators. That they would focus on one prey species and drive it to near extinction before shifting to other prey. They were not part of a coevolved ecosystem.
If you shoot at a feral cat, and miss, you don't get a second shot. They get out of range amazingly fast.
Trap, neuter and release has never been shown to lower feral cat populations or reduce the damage they do. Cats breed so fast anything short of neutering the vast majority has no effect and while you are waiting for the cats to age out they still spread disease, destroy wildlife and pollute the environment.
The biggest part of the problem is the owners. Many who claim their cats are all neutered or spayed simply lie. A few doors down the lady claims her dozen cats are all "indoor cats" and that they are all "fixed". And every year a miracle is visited upon her furry friends in the form of another case of immaculate conception. Kittens borne to infertile felines is now so routine as to be something less than miraculous. Every year there is another litter, or two.
Cats are marvelous animals. They make great pets and companions. But they should all be fixed, for real, and they should all remain indoors.
Actually, cats, of carious species including lions etc, generally focus on prey like that, it works with their other features
No trapping program in the world has been able to catch-up to cats' breeding rates, this is precisely why Trap & Kill failed as well as Trap, Neuter, Re-abandon (TNR) is an even bigger failure. Actively and aggressively hunting them down, employing "hunted to extirpation" methods, is the ONLY way to get ahead of and stay ahead of cats' breeding rates and the rates at which criminally-irresponsible cat-lickers let more cats be born and dumped outdoors.
Any non-native cat that is allowed to illegally hunt our native wildlife where I live then in turn gets hunted until dead. No delays, no excuses, NO EXCEPTIONS. That's the very best way to keep these invasive species vermin from destroying any more native wildlife or spreading any more of their 3+dozen deadly diseases to all other animals and humans. They had annihilated all the wildlife on my lands for 15 years, until on advice of the Sheriff I shot and buried every last one of hundreds of their vermin cats for them (as-is the legal right of every land-owner). Collared or not -- for you MUST destroy ALL stray collared cats as well, they are the very source of every last feral cat. If you don't destroy them too then you have done NOTHING to solve the feral cat problem. Guaranteed. All the cat-lickers by me told me for over a decade that all their "pet" cats were sterilized. But upon inspection during shooting and burying hundreds of them, NOT ONE of their cats was sterilized. Cat-owners are manipulative and deceptive LIARS -- one and all.
Licensing and laws do nothing to curb the problem. If cats are required to be licensed then these lying, deceitful, manipulative, and conniving cat-lickers just stop putting collars on their cats; as they did by me. And they won't even bother getting them micro-chipped, especially not that. They want absolutely nothing that can hold them legally accountable for the actions of their cats. We're not talking about the topmost responsible citizens of the world, you know. They don't want that responsibility of what they and their cats have done coming back on them. If they had even one iota of a sense of responsibility and respect for all other lives on this planet we wouldn't even be having these discussions.
If you live where its not legal to use firearms (areas zoned as "residential") then check into 700-1200fps air-rifles and pointed vermin-pellets. Many of the new ones come with their own sound-suppressor designs built-in, specifically designed for shooting vermin cats in urban areas, the demand is that great. Just remember, shoot-to-kill is a perfectly legal way to rid your homes and lands of these vermin cats. Shoot-to-maim is animal cruelty, and rightly so, all hunters know this. Don't let them parade another illegal shoot-to-maim case in the media to exploit yet another suffering cat for donations for themselves. They torture enough cats to death with their TNR programs for that and make $millions by doing so. (Check out Better Business Bureau's findings of "Alley Cat Allies" (All Lies) for one example of how to become a millionaire by torturing stray cats to death.)
Then there's always the "SSS and TDSS Cat Management Programs" that are exploding in popularity worldwide: Shoot, Shovel, & Shut-Up; or Trap, Drown, Shovel, & Shut-Up. Both methods are legal on every square foot of this earth. No local ordinances were violated if it never happened. In fact, most law-enforcement agencies prefer that you use either of those two methods. The only thing worse than having feral cats is drawing feral-cat-lickers (criminally irresponsible cat-hoarders) right to your door. They will do everything possible to destroy your life, even further than they already have with their cats, if they find out you are even thinking about destroying their vermin for them. Cat-lickers delusionally believe that any land on which a cat has stepped-foot is their own property and they can manipulate and control the owners and all laws on it. There are dozens of their cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying attacks on individuals, businesses, whole towns, and even corporations on a weekly basis. One time so bad that they even drove a loving veterinarian to suicide, and she only tried to save the life of one of their outdoor hoarded TNR cats. ( banvetabuse.blogspot.co.uk/2014_03_01_archive.html ) They will even send death-threats to Congressmen and their families. Google for: Oda Lawmakers Shun Security Threats
Where cats have already learned to evade all trapping methods, then inexpensive generic acetaminophen (overseas paracetamol) pain-relievers are a more species-specific vermin poison -- a method condoned by even Audubon, Smithsonian, and National Geographic today. Stray cats have been listed as "vermin" in the USA since the early 1900's. (I learned this from a cat-licker. Thanks cat-lickers!) This is why it is even legal to use any and all vermin-poisons on them. For an even more species-specific vermin poison check into the toxicity of "Lilium" species of flowers too. Be certain the plant contains the word "Lilium" in the scientific-name (other plants with the word "Lily" in the common-name may be toxic to other species besides cats). Common N. American "Day Lilies" also work, they are the one exception to the rule that the name "Lilium" needs to be in the scientific name. Lilium species of flowers are 100% fatal to cats ONLY, even a bit of pollen on their fur that they lick-off will do. If they even drink a bit of water in which a bunch of Lilium flowers have been kept -- that too is fatal, but totally harmless to all other species of animals (including dogs). Much safer for the environment and all other animals than the rat-poisons and antifreeze that cat-lickers have forced everyone into using on their cats. These plants when harvested and dried for year-round cat-eradication use is even better, as the unknown toxin is concentrated during the drying process (the blossoms and pollen being most toxic), and the dried plants are even more palatable to cats. An excellent mulch for anyone's garden or a ground-up additive for any tins of food left lying around.
However, you really need to dispose of that cat safely and hygienically so that wildlife won't die from the deadly diseases cats spread even after their death. Leaving ANY cat out in nature, alive OR dead, is no better than intentionally poisoning your native wildlife to death. I know this. I fed one of the hundreds of shot-dead cats on my lands to some wildlife under my care, those animals and their offspring that they had while under my care then died from some disease in that cat-meat. Cats truly are complete and total wastes-of-flesh. They can't even be used to feed wildlife safely.
I don't see anyone dumping cats where I live anymore. They don't even adopt more than can be kept under lock & key 24/7/52. When driving through the area I don't see even one cat on anyone's doorsteps anymore. I always keep an eye out to see if there are more free-roaming cats that will have to be shot. And if I'll have to leave fish-oil trails on all the roadsides again, leading right to my IR surveillance system and laser-sighted rifle. (You can read some of the most effective methods I invented to rid my lands of hundreds of these vermin in only two seasons, posted here: americanhunter.org/blogs/arkansas-will-trap-feral-cats The eradication of these disease-infested invasive species vermin was so complete and effective that cats are non-existent from my area for nearly FIVE years now. Not seen nor heard a single one.)
Leaving ANY of their invasive species cats outside in my area means certain death for their cat, their cat's further existence can be counted in hours. You'd think everyone else could learn from this simple lesson. The quickest way to solve an unwanted animal and irresponsible pet-owner problem is to let everyone know that you will quickly and humanely destroy every last one of their unwanted, uncared-for, or unsupervised animals for them. They either grow up fast or, far more plausible, dump their animals elsewhere to become someone else's problem.
You just can't be an enabler of criminally irresponsible spineless and heartless idiots -- or they remain that way. (At least where you live, anyway.)
IF THERE ARE NOT DIRECT AND IMMEDIATE IRREVERSIBLE CONSEQUENCES TO THEIR CRIMINALLY-NEGLIGENT AND CRIMINALLY-IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIORS AND VALUES THEN THEY LEARN ABSOLUTELY *NOTHING*.
I first tried to rid my lands of cats by hand-rearing native predators (to also repopulate my lands after I found out they had all but disappeared due to starvation-by-cat). Thinking that these native predators could oust the cats for me. It was a failure (in regards to them helping in the least, even highly amusing at times).
Please read this post (of mine), URL below, that fully explains why humans cannot and should not rely on nature to solve this man-made ecological disaster for them. The government of Australia made a similar error with their attempts at increasing Dingo populations which did nothing to curtail cats’ breeding rates. I alerted them to how and why their experiment failed, having discovered this man-made anomaly on my own lands years ago. All due to cats' coat-coloring patterns that have been bred into them by man and a base communication system of all animals across all phyla. (I.e. Strong bold patterns in ANY unknown animal species is perceived as toxic or dangerous by all other species, avoid at all costs.) Not only will native predators not solve the problem, but they end-up dying in the process from all the 3-dozen+ diseases that cats carry and spread today.
The ONLY predator on earth today that can balance the equation is the discerning eye of a human aiming a gun at every last free-roaming invasive-species cat it sees.
Cats are all fangs and claws. Any moment that you can caress one without being torn to pieces should be considered a blessing.
Since the burmese python was introduced everglades the species has been responsible for major damage to that environment. Feral cats cause just as much ,if not more, damage to the environments in which they have become established. When it comes to the feral cats that cannot be easily adopted out, I do not see an objective reason why the response to these two invasive species should be
handled differently. While I really do not like the idea of any animal being killed en masse for simply existing, do to the damage both species have done, and continue to do, to the environments they have been established in, I cannot object to the practice.
If you disagree that feral cats should be controlled in the same way as the burmese python, or any other invasive species, please give me a list of objective reasons why feral cats should receive special treatment over these species.
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