Sunday 28 December 2008

To Get Rid of Stray Cats

OPINION: Is it right to get rid of stray cats? Do we have a collective responsibility to deal with stray cats in a humane way and not simply to get rid of them?

stray cat
Stray cat outside my patio door, wanting food. Do I feed her, or get rid of her? See this post to find out: Feeding stray cats.

Sure, not everyone likes cats and some people hate cats but God knows why. If a person hates cats they hate the world too; that's what I say. But looking at it from a practical point of view, some people dislike cats and therefore if there are stray cats (plural) around they might like to get rid of them. That I can understand.

There are a lot of stray, semi-stray, becoming stray and plain feral cats about. All are the result of irresponsible people or at least their predicament can be traced back to the irresponsibility of a person or persons. Domestic cats should have a home. That is their raison d'etre. Anyway, I've banged on about this before and it gets boring.

Because someone else has been irresponsible resulting in the effective abandonment of a domestic cat, should other people pick up the pieces? That doesn't necessarily mean taking in stray cats or feeding stray cats. We can't expect all people to do that. But should we collectively by lobbying government and if needs be taking action to change things such that there are fewer stray cats around and therefore less of a need in the future to get rid of stray cats?

The only way to get rid of stray cats in the very short term is take them to a rescue center where they most likely will be euthanized - bingo, problem solved or is it? In the medium or long term the only way to get rid of stray cats is to trap, neuter, medicate if needs be, vaccinate and rehome or return. That would mean stray cats being around for a while but gradually we would get rid of stray cats this way and in a humane way. This method takes commitment, time and some resources and it seems that right now these are in short supply.

In conclusion, the only way to truly get rid of stray cats in the long term and on a permanent basis is for all people who keep cats to behave is a responsible manner towards their cats and other people. This can be achieved by ensuring that their cats are neutered and well kept. In the very short term it seems the only way is to kill them in a humane manner (and not like they do it in a part of Southern China (killing brutally and eating) or New South Wales, Australia where ground shooting of feral cats is encouraged by the authorities).

To Get Rid of Stray Cats to Feral Cats.

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