Saturday, March 9, 2013 | 2 a.m.
In the column “House cats: The invasive species,” George Fenwick suggests stronger laws against abandoning house pets. I agree. The remaining content of the column is rubbish. The author shows a total lack of understanding with regard to the capture, neuter, inoculate, release and feed (CNIRF) program. The following reflects my analysis of this article:
• Under a CNIRF, the cat population is reduced over time by stopping the breeding process.
• CNIRF cats, as well as most domestic cats, are inoculated for rabies. Birds, which routinely drink, bathe and defecate in the same birdbath, are much more likely to spread disease.
• The column refers to a study where cameras were mounted on 60 cats with the cats’ activities monitored. Results estimated an implausible 14.7 billion bird and mammal kills each year. Since domestic and feral cats have been around for centuries, how is it possible there are any birds or small mammals left?
• Having had cats for 60 years and observing feral cats for several, I have observed that cats aren’t that efficient in catching birds. Rather, birds fall prey to other predators such as hawks, falcons, owls, eagles and roadrunners. The author did not call for their capture and euthanasia.
• A key element of the CNIRF program is the obligation of the caretaker to feed the feral cats. A well-fed cat is less likely to hunt for food.
Studies sponsored by organizations with biased opinions often result in biased conclusions. This column is no exception.