Letter to the Editor

Spay and neuter regulations essential

Friday, June 11, 2010

Letter to the Editor:

I write this belated response to Carol Hamm's Letter to the Editor about the death of a strange cat (March 4, 2010 Banner Graphic), "A fate no animal deserves."

Without spay/neuter regulations, our community has serious cat overpopulation problems, especially with feral cats.

Feral cats, though dependant on people for food, will not approach humans unless starving. They form colonies with well-defined territories and feeding sources. They may appear alone, but have strong social bonds with each other, and are known to die when separated or confined.

Relocated, they become disoriented. Unlike kittens or strays, they are not adoptable. Hiding, yet dependent on humans for food, feral cats evade awareness until rapid multiplication becomes a nuisance.

Traditional catch-kill-relocate methods are costly and endlessly cyclic. Due to the universal vacuum effect, cross species phenomenon, others move in and fill the gap.

Persecuted, for survival, feral cats breed younger with more kittens.

Still, feral cats are poisoned, shot, run over purposely, dumped on country roads, in the woods, ignored and despised.

We just want them gone!

It doesn't have to be this way. Ferals do make good neighborhood cats.

With the assistance of SPOT (Stop Pet Overpopulation Today) in Cloverdale and Lyn Cullen at the Putnam County Humane Shelter, I help trap-neuter-return these domesticated, yet unsocialized, cats.

The average life of a feral cat is three to four years. If neutered, fed and protected in familiar territory, the population stabilizes, mating, yowls and fighting cease, and these beautiful, now healthy creatures catch mice, eat bugs and grace our lives.

Donations are welcome at SPOT!

So, next time you see a strange cat, please call me!

Reverend Marian Patience Harvey, BSN

Health Educator and Terminal Midwife