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FERAL CAT RESCUE of the Bitterroot Valley
Aren't Feral Cats Unhealthy?
Studies have shown that feral cats are generally in good health and condition and pose no threat to human wellbeing. This has been demonstrated in both practical knowledge and scientific studies. As more cats become part of a controlled setting where people play a part in their care, they become a benefit to mankind.
Don't Feral Cats Threaten the Small Birds?
Feral cats are not a significant cause of bird and wildlife decline. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that human development, drought, pollution and pesticides are the major contributors to the toll on birds and wildlife. Feral cats become scapegoats for humans who continue to raze and develop wilderness areas.
Feral cats do their part in keeping the rodent population in check; otherwise we would be overrun with these pests and their diseases such as Hantavirus.
What is the Best Way to Control the Growing Number of Feral Cats?
Decades of experience have shown that campaigns to exterminate feral and free roaming cats do not work. Nonlethal population control, including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only method proven to be effective in reducing feral cat populations in any environment in both short and long terms. Abundant scientific studies and practical experience demonstrate TNR's cost-effectiveness, safety and public support. TNR programs cost one quarter to one third as much as extermination.
A study of 11 feral cat colonies published in the June 2002 'Journal of American Veterinarian Medical Association' (JAVMA) reported that TNR together with aggressive adoption programs, resulted in a 47% reduction of the original cats and kittens between 1991 and 1995, with no kittens born after 1995. By the study's conclusion in 2002, every colony was reduced in number; three colonies were gone completely. In contrast, extermination programs across the country demonstrated that when cats were removed, new cats rapidly replaced them because what attracted the cats in the firstplace -- food and shelter -- remained the same. The new un-neutered cats, of course, reproduced, thus beginning the cycle all over again.
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