Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Getting Rid of Stray Cats... Ethically

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--- Quote from: fritz_monroe on October 22, 2018, 04:55:49 PM ---I think this is directed at me.  Everything I did was through animal control.  I contacted them when the cats became a problem.  I was instructed to catch them and to call animal control to collect them.  If they are pets, they are required in this county to have a collar with a license attached.  None that I caught and had animal control pick up had collars.  And when I spoke to the people feeding them, I was told that they were just feeding strays.

--- End quote ---

I was responding to this part of what you said
--- Quote ---And I have to disagree, it is NOT your responsibility to keep someone else's animal out of your yard.  It is that neighbor's responsibility to keep their animal under control.

--- End quote ---
How is it that cats are kept out of anothers yard by owners ? Keep a cat under control ? That is not the nature of cats, and it is not required that a cat owner keep a cat out of anywhere as it is not possible.

If you went thru animal control, you did it right. I was talking about in general trapping someone elses pet cats, as the cats around Dave may be pets to teh people feeding them.  You cant just trap them, you have to check the other neighbors also want them gone or consider them their pets

Sounds like your population was known strays, as you checked with your neighbors, which is the right call.  As far as collars for cats, good luck with that, your area may require them, but the logistics are not good, they are not dogs.  Some may keep their collars on, others will not, just depends.  Cats have to have breakaway collars because they climb.  Because they climb collars get caught on things, so to keep them from hanging themselves and choking to death, all cat collars are ( or should be, unless someone is putting a small dog collar on a cat) break away collars, so when the cat snags the collar on a tree branch or something, the collar breaks open, and the cat goes free, collarless.  I tried to keep collars on my cats for a while, they never lasted long enough. 

David in MN:
Sad to say this is a messy issue and not just for me. I can't get a dog; I'm allergic to them too. That's hard because I actually like dogs and wish I could play with them without the hives. I also get that a pet is part of the family. Part of the reason I can't hurt stray cats is that they got dropped off at the family farm and grandma did her best and eventually died with somewhere in the area of 15 cats. So I've got a weird hangup using traps on cats and dogs I don't have for other critters. I might not like (I don't) how my neighbors care for their dogs and cats but the animals are outside that calculation.

I also agree that it shouldn't be my responsibility but I'm also trying to be nice. A lot of this 'I feed the cuddly wild animals' bullshit is from nice people who grew up in cities and don't see wild animals the way those of us from the rural fringe do. My gun club has DNR permission to shoot all beaver on sight for the county because of flooding and guys from town don't believe it.

It's a rock and a hard place. I have no hostility to either the neighbors or the cats. People think they're doing a nice thing and the cats are just cats. So I'm in a position where I have to crap on a neighbor (either by talking or calling animal control) or put up with it and build a shield. I don't want to upset the neighbor or their kid but I also don't want my kid playing around stray cats and/or their poop.

It's rather telling that amongst us who generally agree it's still a hard issue. I get livid when people let their dogs lick me (I'm allergic and it's bad) but I don't want to see animals suffer needlessly. What can I say? It's a gray area.

You started this post, so I am going to respond, but I realy do not get it. 

You are very allergic.  regardless of stray cats,  your neighbors will have pet cats.  And,  pet cats are outside some, alot or all the time and there is no effective difference for your problem whether it is a stray or pet, you are allergic to cats.  Cats climb and jump very well, they go everywhere whether pets or strays.  I dont get what the dillema is.  If you are that allergic, you realy have no choice but to make your backyard as cat proof as you can. 


--- Quote ---..the reason I cant hurt stray cats....
--- End quote ---
   The reason one does not hurt stray cats is that it is wrong to hurt animals.  We even have laws for food animals and hunting with the purpose to not hurt, to have a quick clean kill.  We also have societal norms to not kill animals without clear need or reason.  There is no correlation between the beaver story and the cats.  The cats are not causing that kind of problem, you personally are allergic.  The solution to stray cats is to catch and give shots and spay/neuter so that they do not carry disease ( see, the disease problem solved....) and do not reproduce and end up with starvation and suffering. 

You havent addressed this normal, supposed best practices solution:

-- call and ask animal control about free or very low cost programs that may exist to get shots and spaying to feral cats
-- ask your neighbors how attached they are to the various strays, and likely they are attached and like them hanging around, feral cats are often not strays, but they are just not tame, often they are just feral, outside cats
-- broach the topic then of having the cats get shots and spayed, so there is no disease and no starving kittens later on
-- the cats then are back in the neighborhood, the ones the neighbors area attached to anyways, disease free and not reproducing.

Responsibility.  Well, you are allergic.  How is that any of your neighbors responsibility ?  As they find out, they may learn to hold their dog back from licking you or not dump kittens in your lap, but I find that people have so much on their plate that they cannot seem to remember these things very well, the ones you are friends with at least should be able to.  But, you can do things to minimize your chances of exposure.  A fence.  Cats kept from reproducing.


--- Quote from: mountainmoma on October 22, 2018, 11:53:04 PM ---They need to be caught and neutered and put back, then they sill stop reproducing.  It is not a police issue, talk to animal control about shots and spay/neuter so this population can stop growing.  That is alot of cats, but causing them more suffering, starvation, does not sound like a good solution. That is what your are trying to do, have them not get fed.  Best practices, from what I am told, is to give them their rabies shots, spay neuter and release to a place where people will feed them to live out their lives without creating more kittens.  That is what all the animal control does out here, and it is working.

--- End quote ---

It's a bit trickier than that.  First, because there IS a group that is doing the capture/spay(neuter)/release, but they're fighting an uphill battle at this point.  The area is a known dumping point for people that want to abandon their pets.

It IS a legal issue, as feeding animals on the multi-use trail is a violation of the local law.  If the police enforced that law then this would be a lot less likely to happen.  There's plenty of natural prey in the area for a population of cats, even one of this size.  If people *really* want to feed these cats, they can.  That's fine.  But they shouldn't be doing on the apartment complexes property.  There's plenty of non-residential space very close by where they can put out food.  But the people are too freaking lazy to walk a couple hundred feet up or down the trail, they'd rather park at the complex, put the food out (in front of their car), and then get back in their cars and drive away.

The people that live aren't the ones feeding these cats, but we ARE the ones that have cats sleeping on our cars, under the car hoods, cats pooping in our plants, dogs getting skunked, skunks spraying other critters and having a huge cloud of stink wafting where we live, and just all the general mess and mayhem that raccoons bring to the party.
If these people care so damn much, they should feed the strays on THEIR property, or at least walk down the trail a bit and leave the food where humans are living.

My neighbor has so much junk on his property he is getting over run with rats.  I spent 5k on a fence to keep them out  because I could not bear to set rat traps, that would be cruel. 

Our animal control also advised us to live trap any cats and call them.  BTW, it is very evident when whether or not you have a feral or pet cat in a live trap. 


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