Alley Cat Al-LIES: Feral Cat Favoritism Runs Amok
Warning, the nature of this article is a bit ranty, which I find impossible to not do when discussing this subject.
While it is very understandable that people want to protect the feral counterparts of the personal pets that they bond with on a daily basis, the sheer lack of empathy for wildlife that they have and their attempts to suppress scientific information is unethical and irresponsible.
Simply put, the feral cat advocacy group Alley Cat Allies is an agenda-driven, special-interest group, not unlike the website DogsBite (anti-bully breeds) or the popular animal rights organization PETA.
The organization deliberately misleads, misconstrues, and blatantly denies every piece of information available that might suggest that domesticated feral cats are invasive predators that urgently should be removed from the environment or controlled to the fullest extents possible.
Feral cats in Hawaii
- Cat Ownership is an Environmental Disaster
Out of the many types of animals being kept as pets in the United States, domesticated cats take the prize of being the biggest threat to the environment as a carnivorous, invasive species.
Since one of the main tactics of this group is to attempt to discredit their detractors by labeling them as ‘cat haters’, I will introduce myself and my so-called agenda. I may not be the hugest fan of cats, but I’m certainly no ‘cat hater’. I wouldn’t mind owning a few cats of my own. I would like to see healthy, adoptable cats not euthanized in shelters by the hundreds each day just because there aren’t enough homes for them, and I’m vehemently against breeding cats for this reason.
I am also not a bird watcher or heavily invested with environmental issues. Yet there are very few things that infuriate me more than ethical obstructions that shouldn’t even exist because they have such preposterous reasons for occurring in the first place. Therefore, I might project my disdain toward the cats when I view them with dead and dying prey, and the subsequent nonchalant attitude that people tend to have toward this.
The ‘Cat Person’ Mentality
Now don’t get me wrong, many cat lovers and owners are very nice people who also have an appreciation for wildlife and a scorn for unnecessary animal suffering and death.
Many cat owners realize that not only does allowing their cat outside expose their beloved pet to danger, but that it also endangers small animals that will be indiscriminately hunted, tortured, and killed by their cat regardless of any appetite. Some cat owners who leave their pets outdoors are also surprisingly naïve or ignorant to the fact that their cats are likely doing these things regardless of whether or not it is seen.
But then there’s a very unfortunate group of people that know about it and simply do not care-- even going as far as to commend it and brag about it. This attitude is unfortunately very common. It shocked me at first; I thought song birds and bunny rabbits were beloved by most of the public. Yet apparently, domesticated cats reign supreme for human appreciation. I mention this here as a potential suspect that might be the driving force behind individuals who perpetuate the offenses that I am describing.
Alley Cat Allies is a group that deals with protecting feral cats, not personal pet practices, but they also support the practice of free-roaming housecats that result in the unnecessary torture and destruction of animals. Given this, it is amazing that this group demands that wildlife proponents accept their counterarguments against wildlife research.
The Preposterous Petition
In an unlikely wonderful turn of events, major news distributors like the New York Times and the BBC began reporting on and featuring a new finding conducted by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The results of the study revealed that domesticated feral and stray cats are, unsurprisingly, the biggest threat to birds and small animals, beating out other human-caused conflicts like car collisions and pesticides. The findings were stated to be "two to four times higher" than previously believed.
Predictably, Alley Cat Allies immediately responded with their usual nonsensical retorts.
They began to circulate a petition entitled: "Tell the Smithsonian: Stop Spreading Junk Science that will Lead to the Mass Killing of Cats". They claimed that the study was based on "biased research", that it "recklessly perpetuates a bogus debate", and most annoyingly, it was stated that "it’s time for the Smithsonian to disavow this research, stop funding this junk science, and turn their attention to remediating the real threats to wildlife populations".
Another article immediately emerged by the organization's president with the title 'How Important is the Cat vs. Bird Debate When Millions of Cats Are Dying in Shelters?'
This is enough information to make an obvious conclusion about Alley Cat Allies, because declaring cats as a significant threat to wildlife as "bogus" is nothing short of malicious lying that can be debunked by kindergarten-level common sense.
Accusing the researchers of being biased or of cherry-picking facts to support their claims is devastatingly ironic for Alley Cat Allies, as they are a group committed to suppressing information that might paint the tremendously invasive and destructive feral cats in a bad light, defying common sense at every turn, and even suggesting that the cat problem be ignored because other human activities are more harmful (and it is likely that they are not).
This is an actual quote from Alley Cat Allies horrendous website:
"Humans, not cats, are responsible for bird and wildlife species loss."
Uh, wrong. Untrue. Incorrect. Erroneous. Negative. They are.
Alley Cat Allies Does Not Give A Rat's (Partially Eaten) Behind About Wildlife
The fact of the matter is, even if the estimates of the animal deaths from cat predation were lowered to their conservative estimates, cats would still be a massive conflict against the survival of many small animal species.
Not only is it common sense that cats prey on animals, and this is especially true of feral animals that have no choice, but this is readily observable to any person with eyes. I have observed pet cats chasing and killing wildlife. I have rescued wildlife from these animals. I have observed a TnR cat hunting wildlife as well.
Given that the populations of these animals are so numerous, the results of the study make perfect sense. Yet Alley Cat Allies would like us to believe that all of these reports are untrue because they said so, and that they have all the answers on the real threats against wildlife, even though they have NO interest in the welfare or existence of wildlife, and would love to see a society where feral cat colonies and roaming, owned, pet cats make up 95% of outdoor vertebrate life.
When an organization is devoted to protecting feral cats and nothing more, it is a wonder that any news article run their useless, blatantly biased commentary.
Lies About Public Safety
Alley Cat Allies on rabies:
"Even in the unlikely event that a feral cat develops rabies, it can't spread the disease to people without biting them, and feral cats rarely seek direct contact with humans. The idea that cats will unexpectedly jump out of alleys and bite children is just as ridiculous as it sounds."
The threat of rabies from any pet is not a serious concern relative to other zoonotic diseases, yet out of all pet animals, domesticated cats are by far the highest concern. While they may not be directly spreading the virus to people, they offer convenient vehicles for the transmission of the disease (and other diseases) to wildlife (the most common source of rabies).
In addition, cats certainly do attack unprovoked sometimes...not that so-called 'provoked' attacks mean there is no problem. This puts small children who may naively approach these cuddly-appearing animals at a high risk for an altercation with one. Cat bites are a serious concern and aside from the grueling pain they cause, about 80% of them will become infected.
Bird Advocates are 'Cat Haters'?
Bird and environmental enthusiasts do not have an evil vendetta against cats. They may often recommend euthanasia as a means of preserving an irreplaceable species, not as a trivial revenge against felines that cannot control their behavior.
If they did not believe that these methods were effective, it would serve no purpose to support them. It's possible that TNR methods can have a place in the never ending battle to control the populations of invasive felines, but other options should not be eliminated because of the emotional and irrational sentiment of people perpetuating from cat favoritism.
Birds, reptiles, and even the small rodents that people typically dislike, are feeling vertebrates just like cats. No true animal lover will elevate the status of one over the other, but a reasonable, logical person must take into account the irreparable damage that is unnecessarily occurring in the already heavily damaged ecosystem that we inhabit.
Still not enough evidence for some that cats kill wildlife
Leland Kohrs on June 12, 2019:
the only thing that tnr does is get a very small amount of unwanted cats fixed. that's all. when someone says that the colonies need to be well fed to help with this, its just another one of their lies that spew from them. there is a person who comes into my, our, but not his neighborhood, and dumps food in other peoples property, on public property, and when confronted he will lie until blue in the face. says he has permission from an owner, maybe an owner in another state but not in this neighborhood. he lies to police, and they tell him to leave and not come back, but he does. he does not care about the people that live here. he thinks he is so much better that us since he is doing tnr. but in the whole time he has been feeding his unwanted cats, we have not seen him put out one single trap not one. now isn't trapping a must as in trap neuter release? he does use tnr as a cover though so he can bring his unwanted cats into my neighborhood. again not his. he does not live here. this guy has lied in court, to a judge under oath. yet he is highly looked up to in the unwanted cat community. he is a threat to my property, he killed a tree in my yard, he has punched my car, and one of his other hoarders sprayed me with pepper spray, all because I pick up the food that he put down on property that he has no permission to or street corner curbs,public property. he is not a physical threat, he is like 4 feet tal come up to my belly button not that short people are not tuff, but he is not. its the fact that he will lie to anyone about anything, and can recruit others like him to lie for him. that in its self is enough for me to not believe anything from the tnr groups. since he is looked upon so highly int that community. another thing, please do not refer to these unwanted cats as community cats, they are not. and I don't know of any community that wants them. only a few selfish irresponsible cat owners. also, this problem with the unwanted cats, was not created by humans, it was created by irresponsible cat owners. so don't blame the rest of us for this. there are solutions to this, but tnr advocates will not allow any of them to happen. they are just going bully us and force all to have two or three unwanted cat in every single property. like it or not. anyone that question them, they only resort to name calling.so there is no reason to explain other methods. no matter what it is. this gentleman that comes into my neighborhood is a disgusting human being, has no integrity no honor, disobeys the police the wishes of the property owners, and an all around terrible person. but hey he is mr T N R.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on October 11, 2016:
Jean, I don't like birds that much, ESPECIALLY American robins, but that doesn't mean I'm going to permit wildlife to be taken out by an invasive species because people have a delusional attachment to them. I don't support TNR, unless it WORKS. And that means it will make cats disappear from the region in 5 years. If that were happening we wouldn't have any reason to be against it.
Jean on July 14, 2016:
Wow. Most of these posts are just as despicable and outrageous as their extreme counterparts. Yes, feral cats pose a problem. I for one have no issue with humane euthanization; drowning & poisoning using household chemicals is NOT humane, and the fact that is advocated on here is extremely distressing and makes me believe that few people on here are capable of compassion.
HOWEVER, there are many low-cost spay clinics that also offer TNR, but that is definitely not their primary purpose. For instance, the clinic in my area only allows TNR if you house the cats on your property and feed them. I know an individual that lives next to a park & has gotten a number of strays over the years (probably from drop offs). They live in her garage, almost never leave the yard, are neutered, vaccinated (thanks to the low cost clinic) and cared for. Large cat colonies are another issue, and it is neither humane for a cat colony, even neutered, to face a life of disease and starvation if not properly cared for. These groups also pose the biggest threat to wildlife, which is a very real issue. A well cared for cat MAY hunt, but it is likely to not be nearly as pervasive as a feral, hungry one.
There is a way to handle this without MURDERING healthy, well taken care of pets, instead of returning them to their owners, or killing ferals in a excruciating way. You stated that you don't even like them that much, proving you are not a neutral party, so I wouldn't expect to you understand cat behavior. But many a cats behavioral & health problems, often due to understimulation inside, can be fixed by having controlled time outside. Much different then a irresponsible owner who does not vac, neuter or neglects. You lost all credibilty with me by siding with that extremism. You're as bad as Alley Cat Allies and their awful founder.
Frederick Minshall on March 12, 2016:
I try to look for the positive in any situation--think how much more damaging Alley Cat A$$holes would be if they had someone less psychotic and more competent at the helm? My hope is that Ms. Robinson will run her misguided, fraudulent enterprise onto the shoals of bankruptcy and scandalous exposure. The more we hear from people like Cathy, who have seen these criminal "cat-pimps" up close, the closer to reality that hope will become, and we can begin to turn the tide of public sentiment back in favor of CONSERVATION and concern for PUBLIC HEALTH, rather than prioritizing the lives of individual castoffs of a debased, domesticated animal as if they were more important than everything else. Good on ya, Cathy!
cathy sims on March 02, 2016:
It was a matter of time before Charlene Pedrolie had to boost Becky’s ego and decide to make a fake post on this website. Clearly, the ONLY positive review of this organization and of the CEO (in fact, reading it sent shivers down my spine) This woman is an evil troll.
Let’s take a quick journey into the facts:
doesn’t know what a feral cat is. She thought it could just stay in her office. One time when a kitten was playing with a toy she looked up and asked “is he feral?” I kid you not. In another instance—a kitten was sleeping and she asked, “is he alright? What is he doing?”. She once thought that fraudulent donations (who another staff mentioned might have been made using a ‘bot’) were made by a ROBOT (she proceeded to call the police, ask for the FBI and say that the reason they were able to make these fraudulent donations so quickly was because “ROBOTS HAVE LONG ARMS AND CAN TYPE FAST”. We all felt sympathy for the police officer that was sent to the office. Her trips to her house in NJ—are all paid for by using Alley Cat Allies credit card (they are just coded as trips to the Boardwalk—where ACA has a program). She uses her credit card to order miscellaneous things from Amazon (at one point for thousands of dollars).
Where do we begin? Her trips to the mental health specialist are all paid for by ACA. She spends hundreds of donor’s dollars on frames to make herself feel better (some of these end up at her house). She buys treats for herself with the ACA credit card, we pay for her parking, she expects staff to clean-up her dirty dishes. She has thrown a laptop at an employee during an interview. When everyone has to submit receipts for purchases—she doesn’t have to.
DONORS: YOU SHOULD REALLY TAKE ANOTHER LOOK BEFORE YOU MAKE DONATIONS TO THIS ORGANIZATION. BASICALLY, YOU ARE FUNDING THE LIVELIHOOD OF TWO GREEDY, SELF-RIGHTEOUS WOMEN.
Frederick Minshall on December 27, 2015:
(Continued from above): ...Cats were selectively-bred, and were ruthlessly culled, to reinforce their inborn predilection to kill anything that moved and was small enough to overpower in order to protect grain stores (and possibly tombs) in ancient North Africa.
Today we have breeding populations of Burmese and African rock pythons, boa constrictors and Nile monitor lizards stalking wild and domestic animals in south Florida, dangerously venomous lionfish plaguing inshore waters and reefs along the eastern seaboard, feral swine overrunning Texas and eating everything in their path, and feral cats and mongooses destroying Hawaii’s rapidly dwindling native bird populations. Yet no one is suggesting we ‘humanely’ trap-neuter-release these invasive species so they can ‘happily live out their natural lives as part of ‘nature’. Except for the cats, that is.
Such an insane policy is a recipe for ecological collapse. What we’ve yet to hear from Alley Cat Allies, the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Best Friends, PETA and other maudlin, emotion- (and/or profit-) driven ‘humane’ organizations is why this, along with egregious zoonotic threats to public health, are acceptable costs for maintaining ecologically destructive, invasive disease-vectors in our midst. I suspect it’s because their lawyers have advised them not to provide such explanations.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 10, 2015:
Tank girl, this is NOT a human vs. cats article, if you had at least an iota of intelligence you wouldn't make such an asinine argument. Cats are just as much a human impact as the saws that chop the trees. Are you going to tell me to stop blaming saws because humans do more damage?
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 10, 2015:
Meshanum1, the nest was in your yard. If you cared about the nest you wouldn't allow your negligence to cause its destruction. But the nest was in your YOUR yard. I don't care what happens on one's property. They have the right to be amoral on it but when someone's cat is killing anywhere it wants that should be criminal.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 09, 2015:
I care about gnats but if they die as a part of nature there's nothing I can do about it. Hopefully you will have the same attitude when your cats are taken by coyotes.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 09, 2015:
"Domestic cats have filled the niche left by those"
No they do not, a bunch of cats is nowhere near comparable to native cats, they barely specialize in the same prey. Are you naive enough to believe that millions of cats would fill in the niche of bobcats, lynx, and mountain lions? Nature is not so simplistic that any carnivore at any density will balance things out.
"Those geckos were eating the bugs that would have been food for the birds."
And the "weak,sick birds" would have been food for a bird of prey or a fox, if you can see how you only apply your logic in favor of cats.
"I have pictures of a snake which climbed into the very tiny limbs of a tree and killed every baby bird in the nest."
So? Why do cat people think that native animals do not belong preying on prey as they should? The snake BELONGS and the cat DOES NOT. Get it now?
"I can tell you dogs do far more damage than cats. They kill Everything -even fawns. Why aren't you complaining about them?"
Maybe because I have never seen people release dogs to free roam nor have I ever seen a dog kill wildlife in my entire life but I'm always chasing after cats stalking and killing. Maybe that's why.
Meshanum1 on September 08, 2015:
Agree with tank girl..by the way all my cats are vaccinated and spayed and nuetered indoor .As for killing things my dog kills MORE Wildlife than any of my cats. She's also vaccinated and spayed .Just thought id let you guys know ..Since you guys know everything .the cute birds in a nest .Who killed them ?Not my cats .. my dog and i was upset .In my yard in my fence. So should i kill the dog too ? Cat haters?????
·⋆·Ṭåηḳ✩Gïяℓ·⋆· on September 07, 2015:
You want to know what kills wildlife more than cats? HUMANS! Humans are the ones who are tearing down all of the trees that were once homes to birds of all types,and ripping into wooded areas where deer,and any other wildlife you can think of use to live.why?to build sub divisions,housing developments,super markets,railways,highways,malls,bike/walking paths,sky scrapers,fast food joints,massive factories & plants,restaurants,movie theaters,businesses,air ports,amusement parks,companies,and distribution centers for every man made product out there.not to mention all the human caused pollution from vehicles you drive every single day to get to and from these places.and the billions of semi trucks being ran 24/7 so humans can have everything distributed to these wear houses.and you're blaming CATS for killing off wildlife? Give me a f✩ckin' break and Use your God d✩mn brain. If anything is killing off wildlife more,it's HUMANS!
vonnie dunn on September 07, 2015:
I didn't read all of this but I'd like to comment on some parts that I did read. Birds have dealt with predators for as long as there have been birds, mostly other birds but also native cats. The native cats are gone except in a few isolated pockets as are the other natural predators. Domestic cats have filled the niche left by those. They cull weak,sick birds that native predators are no longer there to cull. That actually makes bird populations healthier. In areas where there are still numerous native predators cats have but days to live because they themselves are on the menu. A healthy bird can put a hurt on a cat as Ive seen times.
most experts agree that the number one cause of loss of species including birds is loss of habitat. My back yard is full of birds because it is not mowed. It is full of native plants which also make it pretty difficult for my neighbors cats to catch birds. I heard one woman ranting about cats killing all the "native lizards'. The "lizards" turned how to be non-native Mediterranean geckos. Those geckos were eating the bugs that would have been food for the birds. So the cats were also helping the birds in that case. cats are a deterrent to rodents and snakes which also kill birds. I have pictures of a snake which climbed into the very tiny limbs of a tree and killed every baby bird in the nest. It ate two and killed the others by knocking them out of the nest. No normal sized cat could have gotten on those thin limbs but a cats presence might have discouraged the snake from being there.
During the Black Death that killed millions of people in Europe cats were also killed. They were present in hard-hit plague areas so those uninformed people assumed they were to blame. Of course we now know killing cats was the worst thing to do during an epidemic spread by rat fleas.
I have no pets outside. I don't want them hurt or bothering anyone. I want my pasture to be a small haven for wildlife and I can tell you dogs do far more damage than cats. They kill Everything -even fawns. Why aren't you complaining about them?
All that said I need to say that I too want to remove cats from our streets. It would be an ecological disaster for humans as the rodent population would boom and there would be other negative effects. I want them off the streets because they do not deserve the irrational cruelty inflicted on them by psychos and numbskulls and that is why I do TNR. Removing and killing cats from various areas has NEVER worked in all the decades its been going on. It just creates a vacumm effect and more move in. TNR HAS reduced the population in areas but trap and kill never has. We also need to educate people about being responsible pet owners. Lastly and most importantly WS need to pass and enforce sterilization laws for ALL non native pets. Look at Florida.
Emmy Traub on September 07, 2015:
I love all animals! I've worked with wildlife and domesticated animals for years now. I live in the country and love seeing the birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer, and other wildlife that visit my yard every day. I also have a German Shepherd, 9 cats, and a pet cockatiel. All are rescues and most of the cats were feral! I know that the TNR program works because I volunteer with a group that does low cost spay and neuter clinics for owners and we help with feral cats. These cats are taken care of by someone that cares and wants to keep them healthy and keep the numbers down. That's why we spay/neuter them. We also get them up to date on their vaccines. That takes care of rabies! Then they are marked (like an ear tip) and released back at the place where they came from, after a couple of days of recovery. Some are young enough to be fostered and adopted into a home. They are just cats that have never known the love of a human. Alley Cats group has people all over that spend countless hours and lots of money to give these cats food, water, shelter, and vet care when needed. How do I know this, because I've worked with people that work with the group and alone. I worked with feral cats myself. And as far as killing wildlife, that is the cats that are not cared for by a caretaker or a pet that is allowed to roam outside and is not taught that it no longer needs to hunt and kill. I try to educate owners on the danger of letting cats outside, but they are stubborn! All my 9 are inside only! The only thing they hunt is a toy! Hunting is natural for cats and many farmers keep cats around their barns to keep rats away, but I encourage them to keep them fed and healthy as well and not feral. As a group, we are trying to educate pet owners to keep their cats spayed/neutered, up to date on their vaccines, and inside where they are safe and so are wildlife. Alley Cats volunteer are trying to save and help the ones that were failed by their owners. They feed them, spay/neuter them, get their vaccines, medical treatment, and shelter. These cats don't deserve to be killed. They pose no threat to the public or to pets. And remember wildlife has other wildlife that hunts and kills it. So don't blame it all on the cats.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 01, 2015:
Our 'agendas' are to prevent the killing of other animals but of course a cat nutter wouldn't comprehend that.
catsrnumber1aps on August 31, 2015:
This is the first & last I will visit this site. I am disgusted by all of the comments. In truth, those of you that advocate the deatb of cats are no better than the cats you vilify. At least cats were born with the instinct to hunt by nature from the beginning of time while those of you that hate cats wish to kill for your own agendas. In reality, you are all "The Black Death" to society. You are hardened & inhumane. What goes around comes around eventually & you will reap what you sew. May God bless this country & protect us from all aggressors like you. Oh & by the way, your site came to me & not me looking for you! How sad!
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 30, 2015:
Janice you might want to get checked out if that's what you got from this article.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 30, 2015:
Lauren, have you heard of 'invasive species'? They don't belong there, period. They should be removed.
ManNewt on August 30, 2015:
Charles, birds are not rats you dope.
charles donnelly on August 29, 2015:
Janice, this site is for cat haters and rat lovers, for blaming rabies on it's true cause, cats... it's the same as one of those sites that attract gun freaks
Janice Foraker on August 28, 2015:
Oh! Now, I have a mental illness, just because I have cats. I'm finding out more & more about myself!
Janice Foraker on August 28, 2015:
So.....because I live cats, and have cats as pets, I lie, and am a horrible person contributing to the destruction of the planet. Thank-you for the eye-opener. I necer would have guessed.
lauren hoover on August 28, 2015:
I wasn't sure who wrote this article.
You did say that TNR could have a place in controlling feline populations, but what other "options" are you suggesting, if any.
Also, I don't like any small rodents or birds to be killed either, but have you heard of the food chain? . It is unfortunately embedded deep within our ecosystems throughout the world.
I think what "Alley Cat Allies" is pointing people toward is education about a more humane option to control kitty pops (TNR for feral communities). than what we currently use.
You seem to be very emotionally against the organization, but fail to come up with realistic alternatives that brim with humane ethics!
ManNewt on August 28, 2015:
"Name calling those who have opposing views does not garner you credibility"
Well Jen, that statement could have been a little bit justifiable if you hadn't tried to imply that the author of this hub is a poacher just because she advocates something that opposes your ideology-that-is-better-as-an-idea-than-a-forced-life-style.
And specism, really? Your comment is trying to make cats look like some sort of saint while trying to make dogs look like d-bags. (Besides if it weren't for specisim the ammount on living creatures in this planet wouldn't be diverse and humanity [something you and other pro-outdoor-cat people are sadly a part of] wouldn't really exist today)
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 28, 2015:
Jen, I take offense to being called a 'poacher'. I buy captive bred animals, some many generations removed from the wild. I am not doing anything illegal. A real poacher native kills animals that are protected by law, either with their own means or by releasing non-native predators into the environment, aka cat nutters like you. Owning a cat does not entitle you to release it into the environment, and loving cats does not entitle you to protect prominent invasive species. How does that protect ecological systems? It doesn't, it undermines it in every way. I know you are suffering from 'cat-nutter vision', so you want to focus on dogs, humans, ect. being worse, over such blatant should be-criminality of destroying native species for the benefit of cats. Demanding studies to protect the deaths of wildlife is what a cat nutter does.
Jen on August 27, 2015:
@Melissa & her ilk. Name calling those who have opposing views does not garner you credibility. Nor does the endorsement of correlational studies that admit their studies do not prove causation. Plus, there is sheer hypocrisy in how you advocate the imprisonment of wild species for personal entertainment. How does the support of wild animal poaching, so you can own wild species as pets, protect the ecological systems?
Your point of view based on specism and retributional, sadistic violence is disturbing. Owning property does not entitle you to kill any animal that may wander there. It is also an obfuscating tactic to pit dog lovers against cat lovers. The idea that dogs may not defecate a certain parasite is completely irrelevant to this discussion. If you want to compare actual, quantifiable harm between species, dogs will not fare much better, especially on the level of harm to humans (a neighbor of mine is on life support after being mauled by a pack of dogs while walking).
Texastrong on August 26, 2015:
Melissa and Woodward waste of time and life. Woodward killing cats and burying in backyard, there is a name for people like that, it's a psychopath serial killer. It's the circle of freaking life. Who is caring for the poor flies and nats that die by the thousands because they are eaten by birds. Get the hell out of here.
Al Hajj Frederick H Minshall on August 20, 2015:
Here's how TNR works--rather, doesn't work:
TNR can and does increase growth rate and perpetuate feral colonies, particularly if they're fed. Why? Firstly, because it allows these populations to exist far beyond anything close to a natural mesopredator carrying-capacity, because their density isn't dependent on the cyclical availability and non-availability of prey items.
Secondly because it enhances survivability of un-spayed colony-members' offspring by reducing competition for available resources. With less competition smaller, weaker animals--i.e. kittens of cats NOT, trapped, neutered and re-abandoned--risk baited traps less often so they don't turn up in shelters as much.
TNR advocates claim this is 'evidence' their program works. They're lying through their teeth, not to put too fine a point on it.
The dynamics of a house mouse-infestation work precisely as described above. The one little mouse you see creeping along your baseboard when you turn on the light is the smallest, weakest mouse in a population of hundreds or even THOUSANDS infesting your home behind its walls and beneath its floors. The one you surprised 'in the open' was kicked out of one of those overcrowded refuges by its stronger brethren because it's at the bottom of the pecking (nibbling?) order.
"Community" cat colonies work the same way. When you reduce competition for kittens, it's easier for them to stay under cover, just like it is with mice. Meanwhile the un-trapped cats continue to breed, and irresponsible 'pet owners' find it easier to abandon unwanted cats with an untroubled conscience because there's an established colony waiting for them. For both reasons colony recruitment is perpetuated and in most cases enhanced.
And that's what these maudlin, obsessed TNR advocates want. TNR isn't about colony attrition or about reducing colony size. They're CAT-HOARDERS. The more the merrier--waxing all warm and runny over their precious outdoor 'pets' gives these selfish, mewling simpletons' stunted, circumscribed lives some sort of meaning.
Peruse their websites! They boast of maintaining 'community cat' colonies for over 20 years! They're not trying to reduce their numbers--they want MORE! That's what hoarders do!
But foisting their precious, disease-ridden invasive vermin on their neighbors and defenseless wildlife? No problem. And even less problem for Alley-Cat Allies and their ilk to lie about it. Those of us who object are condemned as 'cat-haters.'
And meanwhile their precious outdoor 'pets' continue merrily torturing and destroying every songbird, rabbit, lizard, vole and frog they can catch. They do this despite being spayed/neutered. They do this despite being FED. They do it despite regular visits by doddering, hormone-flushed spinsters who bring them blankets and toys and talk baby-talk to them on a regular basis.
And these organized cat-hoarders shrug their shoulders with indifference when confronted with the reality of their carnage. These alleged 'people' love animals the way Ted Bundy loved women.
And like any and all sociopaths, the problem is never their fault. They blame those who originally abandoned their cats as the cause of the problem. I have yet to encounter a TNR apologist who will admit that their program COMPOUNDS the irresponsibility of the selfish idiots who released the cats in the first place. Einstein's definition of insanity comes to mind.
Among the egregious lies promulgated by these people (term used in its broadest possible sense) is that Felis domesticus has been a part of the natural environment for at least 10,000 years, i.e. since their first breeding by humans.
What they fail to mention is that they were never a part of the 'natural environment in North America, Central or South America, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji, Jamaica, the Galapagos or any islands of the Caribbean, eastern Atlantic or western Pacific.
What they fail to mention is that F. domesticus has through displacement and genetic swamping pushed their parent species--the African (Felis lybicus) and European (F. sylvestris) wild cats--to the brink of extinction. Domestic cats are an ecological catastrophe (no pun intended) in the natural ranges of the species from which they were bred. In environments where NO mid-sized cats evolved their impact on wild animal populations and diversity is incalculably worse.
But the MOST egregious lie organized TNR cat-hoarders tell is that they have 'studies' that prove their ill-conceived, destructive program 'works' for anything other than ensuring the perpetuation of feral cats. To date I've seen them refer to--but never quote--ONE 2003 study by TNR advocate J.K. Levy.
The reason they won't quote it is that Ms. Levy's study wherein she tried to claim 66% colony reduction, and tried to cook the numbers by translocating and euthanizing some of her subjects, proves exactly the opposite--in her own words that "...population-level effects" by TNR alone were "...minimal."
Anyone who actually READS the report of her study will quickly learn that 47% of her colony 'reduction' was from feral kittens placed in homes. This proved that--in this case--trap-neuter-ADOPTION worked. In a Trap-Neuter-RELEASE study that 47% doesn't count.
She also euthanized 11% of her colony, and at least 6% more were either killed or deliberately moved from the study area. But TNR sure took care of the remaining 2%, by gum! It only took 11 years...
Problem is, in terms of the rapid rate of extinction brought about by these invasive predators, particularly in insular situations, 2% reduction in 11 years is too little, too late. And the increasing fragmentation of wildlife habitat even on major landmasses creates survival challenges to native animal communities that resemble those of island populations under dire threat of elimination by feral cats.
Jordan on August 17, 2015:
It's amazing when a small, special interest non-profit decides to call the smithsonian on its research methods without any evidence
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on July 30, 2015:
Anyone who finds it crazy to keep cats inside is more crazy than Woodsman.
rondon on July 30, 2015:
Wow, Woodsman001!! That guy must have a lot of time on his hands...and you guys call cat fans crazy.
OBXconsumer on April 20, 2015:
I feel everyone is wrong, especially AlleyCat Allies. I feel that all cats outside are actually there due to human neglect and irresponsibility, and that, if they (the alley cat groups) would use the money donated to actually put cats into Protected sanctuaries, feed them, house them, maintain their health, following responsible pet owner rules, then it would solve the problem for all concerned, especially the cats who -DO want a loving home. Make Alleycat Allies put their donated money where their big mouth is and actually humanely care for the cats by opening and staffing cat sanctuaries. Then the cats will not be running around fending for themselves. They like to go outside but don't want to be homeless - bunch of moronic idiots running the cat groups. They abandoned hundreds of cats here on Hatteras island and the few feeders - us who actually care for the cats - are totally being stuck with the bill. The cats are suffering and need our help.
idonotlikeyou on January 12, 2015:
some cats yes, need to be put down because they have attacked a child or someone. That dose not mean we have to hate on all cats. if a cat attacks a small animal it is usually because its hungry or because maybe it does it for fun and then eats it. If a human kills an animal its usually because they need food or because they are out with their hunting buddies and shoot the poor animal because they feel like it. if an animal is on your lawn and you don't like it just chase it off, don't kill it. i mean really what kind of person does something like that!?
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 10, 2015:
Gardenias are not hardy in my region, but many species of lilly are: http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/toxicology/a/Lily-...
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 10, 2015:
Iagreewithyouareallhypocrits-- Alley Cat Allies are HUMANS, not cats. I was obviously condemning them, and people like you and "youareallhypocrits".
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 10, 2015:
youareallhypocrits-- Farmed animals are not a part of our (extremely compromised) ecosystem, and ethical farmers dispatch them quickly. The rest of your rant shouldn't be dignified with a response.
youareallhypocrits on January 10, 2015:
MAY THE CATS DEVOUR YOUR SOULS AND YOUR GARDENIAS!!!!! mwahahaha!!!!!
Iagreewithyouareallhypocrits on January 10, 2015:
It's not really the cats fault. It's the humans, further more if the cat population is out of hand its peoples fault in the first place by abandoning their cats. Cats are not the monsters humans are.
youareallhypocrits on January 10, 2015:
and why should you care so much if a cat is on your property? If a squirrel is in your yard "oh, look at the sweet like wildlife" if a child steps in your front yard " Oh, look at the little darling, isn't she so cute?" But if a cat is in your yard " We have to kill it because it might want to feed its self to survive! Kill it kill it kill it!" That really doesn't make any sense. please explain to me why that makes any sense at all. I would really like to understand how you see the world. Maybe I will suddenly be like " I understand now! Of course we should kill all cats be nothing else! Why didn't I think of it before!?"
youareallhypocrits on January 10, 2015:
So you think it's so bad when a cat kills an animal, but I'm sure most of you eat animals that were raised just to be slaughtered. Isn't that really hypocritical? So if your child wanders into someone's yard does that man that mean that the owner of the house should kill them? No. Of course not! They would be in prison for the rest of their lives. Why is it so much different for cats? At least they don't cut down trees and dump their trash into rivers. been there seen that you act like people are so perfect. According to your thoughts, we should all walk around killing each other because "Oh, sorry, I had to kill him because he killed the pig that I'm eating right now. He so deserved it!"
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on December 05, 2014:
Typical hysterical, insane comment types that 'cat people' make to me for common sense ethics. Thanks for stopping by.
karmatowatchfor on December 05, 2014:
Killing other people's pets is evil. You will get yours, you self-satisfied, smug jackass. I guarantee it.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 23, 2014:
Hi, thank you very much for your comment and the work you do. The behavior of some people is beyond appalling, and I shudder to think of the prolong suffering that many small animals endure because of their ridiculous denial. I honestly feel that there are certain mental illnesses associated with many cat keepers.
been there, seen that on September 23, 2014:
Thank you for your ranty post! I so appreciate running across someone who can see the fallacies connected to this so-called advocacy group.
My husband and I are wildlife rehabilitators who have spent almost 20 years patching up the victims of cat attacks. We have seen some of the most gruesome sights imaginable: legs ripped off, wings twisted backwards, intestines dripping from gaping wounds...so many wild creatures literally ripped to shreds by cats. We've heard every excuse: "Fluffy was just playing," "It's Nature's way," or the time-honored, "That's just what cats do." To which we respond, "When Fluffy plays, something invariably dies. It's not Nature's way. Nature has nothing to do with it. And yes, sadly, that's exactly what they do. Shame on you for letting them do it. "
Lately, we've begun to see a new trend. With all the bad publicity the feral cat colonies are finally beginning to receive, the cat apologists are starting to feel the heat. But, rather than curb their furry demons, they're less inclined to take injured wildlife to someone who might be able to save them. Apparently, too embarrassed to admit they let their cat(s) run loose, they'd now rather let the animals DIE than admit their stinking cats actually did harm something, thereby providing more ammunition to those (like us) who keep actual statistics on these things. So much for animal lovers.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 10, 2014:
"I consider invasive species equal to native species who also happen to be invasive, do you understand that concept?"
Really? OK I think I'm about done with this looniness.
he shall remain nameless on September 10, 2014:
Invasive species? Did you take science in school?
Asinine comparisons? Whatever are you alluding to?
Since when is natural or viral disease a "human-caused" threat"? Where did I make that comparison? I didn't, you did. Your ignorance and illiteracy is showing something awful.
I consider invasive species equal to native species who also happen to be invasive, do you understand that concept?
It must be warm and cozy on your planet. Here on my planet, sane people, and especially real scientists, explore every available reasoning, rationalizing, theorizing, proving vs disproving in order to discover the truth - science is an unbiased method, if there are biased scientists out there, they have already admitted their bias and either attempt to discard the bias in their search, or they remain biased and go down a deep and dark slippery path to pseudoscience and deception.
You really do not know how to evaluate credible information vs credulous information, you've gone into this with your mind already made up and refuse to evaluate facts that do not support your personal beliefs, that's pretty closed-minded, wouldn't you say? I'm willing to guess you don't have the guts to review the points from the other side, who have provided far more facts than the audubon society and bird watcher's society et al. They are also continually gathering more facts and information, unlike your advocates who can only seem to keep propagating the same old misinformation over and over and over...
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 10, 2014:
Nameless, only a person looking for excuses to keep invasive species in the environment makes asinine 'comparisons' over which human-caused threat is 'worse' than the other. There is NO scientist with a functioning brain and a moral compass that would ever advocate ignoring cats because other bad stuff occurs as well. The last time I checked, no one celebrates, ignores, or tries to keep pollution in the environment. We have ample advocacies to REMOVE these human-caused threats and littering is illegal. The same should apply to feral cats. Feral cat advocates hate nature advocates. They fight with every bone in their bodies to keep cats even in areas designated for wildlife. It is cretinous behavior, to say the least.
he shall rename nameless on September 10, 2014:
The absolute ignorance on this article is beyond mind boggling. It amazes me Melissa, how quick you were to read the position of one advocacy group against feral cats but couldn't bother your superior self to actually research every entity or advocacy rebuttal in the debate. How about asking real experts about the studies, their findings, the indisputable facts that feral cats are not as much a threat to wildlife as a miriad of other environmental factors, including pollution, human encroachment, natural disease, virus outbreaks, industrial and ecological erosion in all shapes and forms and other predators? Wow, way to research your personal AGENDA.
Me also thinks Woodsman001 has gone just a tad bit rabid...spouting off cherry-picked data all by his little lonesome.
Shelly NunChucks Ninja from worldwide on May 08, 2014:
I think the real truth of knowing how to really save animals, we do it ourselves.
Well, maybe lucky enough in my life, getting animals, they just show up, or maybe they think I'm a sucker who will feed them.
Truth be told, my kitty, who I named after one of my idols..Jackie Chan, hence her name, Jackie Chan Kitty, was left behind and running around in my back yard.
Slowly she got use to me, kept feeding her, next thing I knew, I had a cat and she has been with me ever since.
I can only speak of any foundation for myself, don't really where money that is donated goes to for foundations, or what are truths about any foundation charity, unless you are part of them.
The solution, when we take matters into our own hands, then we know exactly what goes on, so maybe in my own way, things I do might not be huge, but do things in my own backyard. :)
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 24, 2014:
Thanks, you should start a blog too.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 23, 2014:
To be fair something comes up if you put 'Notre Dame College" in South Euclid, Ohio' without quotes, not that having a BS qualifies her for anything. I will later add the info about the money they rake in.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 22, 2014:
Thanks, I saw that ridiculous post before and voted it 'low quality' (which it also is). Arguments are not well-accepted occurrences around here so it's likely that the authors will delete your comments. It's also OK to post links in the comments here. I picked toxoplasmosis for my immunology paper.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 22, 2014:
^ What he said.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on December 09, 2013:
Thanks for admitting that your blind devotion to this animal is the result of your lack of logic. Funny that you should mention that cats keep snakes away, yet your crew always tells me I need cats for rodent control. What do snakes eat?? We've substantially screwed up our environment and cat lovers insist that cats (or more cats) are the answer. Yet rodents remain in areas where there are cats. How can that be? Alley Cat Allies certainly makes a difference, they are reprehensible.
debbie on December 09, 2013:
if you use pesticide on your lawn you are killing birds, how many are killed by cars, hitting windows, clear cutting. Bread and other things a bird my eat. All contribute to bird death!. Cats keep rodents , snakes and other cats away. Get your facts straight before you as a cat hater and probably hate yourself before you go mouthing about an organization that makes a difference what are you doing????
Sickofyourbullshit! on November 24, 2013:
All you are is a bunch of cat haters. You all should be terminated!
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on November 23, 2013:
"The Smithsonian article WAS debunked by the Smithsonian shortly after it came out. The man who wrote it poisoned a colony of ferals."
I'm waiting to here your reason why the study was "debunked". I don't care if Hitler says the sky is blue, that doesn't make it purple. And frankly, I don't see anything so horrendous about removing invasive species.
Julie on November 23, 2013:
The Smithsonian article WAS debunked by the Smithsonian shortly after it came out. The man who wrote it poisoned a colony of ferals. Managed feral cats do not spread disease; TNR includes vaccination with the spay/neuter and colonies are continuously monitored and revaccinated. There has never been a single reported case of a cat to human transmission of rabies. It IS humans that have caused many species to become endangered through deforestation and pollution and traffic. The reason there are feral cats is because of losers that dump their cats and never get them fixed. Allie Cat Allies is working to control and reduce the population of feral cats by catching them, fixing them, and taking in kittens and socializing them so they can be adopted. They do not want there to be feral cats, but they don't think they should suffer and die either. The best way to reduce the number of feral cats is TNR. Eventually, the colony will grow old and no longer exist. Often, there are cats that will warm up to people, at least somewhat, and these cats get adopted into a home or into a barn situation for the more feral ones. If you don't want more feral cats around, then support TNR and encourage your city or town to heavily penalize people that dump animals, and encourage your local shelter to start a low cost spay/neuter program. These programs work when implemented correctly. Going around and killing cats is not going to fix the cause of the issue.
deb calvert on November 13, 2013:
all of the above are uneducated and cat haters. I wonder how many bratty kids they all have running all over the neighborhood if I see them I will shot them with a be be gun ha ha!!
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on October 26, 2013:
Thanks desolatefox . That common logic seems to evade most cat lovers.
desolatefox on October 26, 2013:
I'm surprised Australia would allow outside cats at all. They already have a problem with cane toads (and IIRC wild pigs and rabbits?), I would have thought they'd do something about cats.
I hate the idea of cats being trapped and taken to the shelter (where they almost certainly will be put down, since they're feral), but I can't think of any other option other than some random celeb deciding to setup a feral cat rescue house.
My two cats are strictly indoor, though it's mainly for their own safety. I don't know why any cat lover would risk cars, poison, traps, predators, evil people, etc.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 18, 2013:
Unfortunately until the laws change it is their 'right', but this is clearly wrong no matter which way you look at it. It is sickening and appalling but cat owners and those who support them consist of a huge percentage of the population. It seems as though pet laws are shaped by which group has the most members. Glad that there is a 'release fee' in your country.
John on September 18, 2013:
In Australia, the Companion Animals Act was introduced so that cats can legally wander and roam onto another property.
I often find dead, mauled native animals strewn all over my yard.
It amazes me the arrogance of some owners, they seem to think it's their right to allow their pet to roam and kill other animals.
If it was a dog, the council would be over to remove the animal, but cats are treated differently.
The solution is to lobby your local politician to change the law, and in the meantime invest in an animal trap.
Usually, after having to pay the pound's release fee, most owners will find it's cheaper to keep their cat indoors.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on May 23, 2013:
Thank you Mel. It's too bad that the pro-feral cat advocates possess so much power.
Mel Carriere from San Diego California on May 23, 2013:
Here here! I am a supporter of wildlife, and the wild tabbies are out of control. I know a lady who has been feeding the wild cats in a vacant lot for about twenty years now, and I feel sorry for the extra stress she is giving the wild birds that are nesting out there. I am sure she has good intentions, but if she could feel the pain of the wild creatures that these animals torture and kill maybe her viewpoint would change. Keep fighting the good fight.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on April 14, 2013:
Yeah, and I've seen two videos where rabid foxes literally charged people. These animals are normally petrified of humans. It's likely that feral cats can aid the spread of the disease to wildlife, even if the cats themselves aren't directly doing the biting. I agree that all cats found on one's property should be removed at the discretion of the property owner. I don't think anyone has the right to infringe on another person's right to not have property destroyed just because they're trapped in the past on how cats should be treated as pets.
Shaddie from Washington state on April 14, 2013:
I can't wait to have my own home. I'm going to live trap the hell out of any cat that wanders in the yard, and then it's straight to the animal shelter! Collar or not.
Also this is the stupidest quote: "Even in the unlikely event that a feral cat develops rabies, it can't spread the disease to people without biting them, and feral cats rarely seek direct contact with humans. The idea that cats will unexpectedly jump out of alleys and bite children is just as ridiculous as it sounds." Obviously Alley Cat Allies has never seen an animal suffering from rabies. Rabid animals are dangerous for a reason. All their inhibitions are gone. A typically skittish, reclusive, or even friendly animal will turn violent, actively seeking out fights with other animals or humans. That's why rabies is so dangerous and is spread so quickly. I can't tell you how many stories there are of raccoons with rabies charging people on the street, pursuing even after they've been beaten. Raccoons are more afraid of people than cats ever will be, yet people are terrified of THEM getting rabies.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on February 27, 2013:
Precisely Don. It is an unfortunate entitlement complex, and it's bizarre that I have to fight for my right to keep certain animals completely to myself while I have other people's animals running across my lawn.
Don on February 27, 2013:
I still don't get why we even have to show that the cats are killing wildlife. If I don't want your pet on my property, it shouldn't be on my property.