Letter: Missed the point
The Monitor’s Feb. 22 editorial on feral cat colonies seems to have missed the point of Trap-Neuter-Release, a humane method of limiting the feral cat population.
Of more concern than the colony near the river are people who feed stray cats without TNR, allowing them to reproduce exponentially until they become a problem. Then some of the several hard-working TNR people in the area are called in to deal with them.
A smaller number but still of concern are unneutered pet cats who are allowed outdoors. If cost of surgery is an issue, there are a number of spay/neuter programs in the area – including a state program which last I knew was unfunded (hello, legislators – it won’t take a casino to fund a spay/neuter program!) and one recently started by Petco.
Feeding feral cats reduces their need to kill wildlife in order to survive. Cats, being very intelligent creatures, are opportunists who know which side their bread is buttered on. While they will still catch some prey, they are happy to get a meal they don’t have to work for.
Also, there is ongoing research into methods of birth control that can be delivered by food. When a successful method is found, delivery will be quick and easy to colonies that are already being fed.
We all want the numbers of feral colonies and shelter populations decreased. Those of us who live with cats know them to be affectionate, intelligent beings full of heart and soul and humor. As stewards of the planet we must treat them humanely.