Humans moan about feral cats, but human carelessness created them
Every day on the online news media - every damned day (yes, I am annoyed) - we see hundreds of articles on local, state and federal newspapers and from other countries particularly Australia, about feral cats and the nuisance that they cause. The biggest complaint about feral cats is that they kill birds. But of course, they kill other animals too, sometimes native species, which really irritates local authorities and going higher up to federal authorities.
|This sort of picture annoys millions of people, and they blame the feral cat. Let's go one back and blame the people who are careless cat owners. Image in the public domain.|
They moan and moan and they criticise feral cats over and over again. The dreaded feral cat is a constant concern to the authorities. They speak of feral cats as if they are monsters from another planet. They just arrived out of the ether, and they are a damned nuisance.
The old saying 'don't shoot the messenger' comes to mind. The feral cat is the bringer of bad news to people in the community. They don't tell citizens the bad news through vocalisations but by their presence. The bad news is that careless people created the feral cat.
But it would help if the people who moan about feral cats sat down and counted to ten and reflected on why feral cats exist and the reason is...wait for it...human carelessness and negligence. They should then moan about the people who caused the feral cat problem! And leave the innocent, persecuted victim - the cat and the messenger - alone or at least treat them decently unlike the bloody Aussies.
If the news media and the local authorities are going to moan about feral cats, they have to moan about people as well because they are the root cause of the problem.
And I want to see some more moaning about people and I don't want to see the feral cat victimised over and over again by ignorant journalists who don't really get to the bottom of these problems. They simply regurgitate what they read on some other online news media site. The articles are often written by a person with very skimpy knowledge of cats and without an opinion of their own.
Let's drill down and see why feral cats exist. It goes back to the beginning in Australia when migrants came to the country, but the problem has been perpetuated and exacerbated to further carelessness in domestic cat ownership and therefore when you talk about feral cat nuisance and that they need to be either eradicated or humanely euthanised after being trapped (or just shot), you have to talk about proactive steps to stop more feral cats being created.
That can only take place through education. It has to be widespread education, probably part of the general school curriculum if you really want to get to the bottom of the problem.
You have got to change attitudes, fundamental attitudes in a small section of society because it is only in a small section of society, perhaps around 5% of cat owners, who spoil it for everybody else by not spaying and neutering their cats to ensure that they don't procreate. And by limiting the number of cats that they possess. In short, showing some self-discipline and demonstrating to others that they care about cat welfare and are not self-indulgently simply acquiring cats willy-nilly without proper controls and management.
There are even some people - even today - who believe that a female cat needs to have babies before she can be complete which is pure mumbo-jumbo. If all the people who think that that their female cats need to have babies, you have a cat problem and some of those kittens will grow up to be adult cats that are unwanted and some of them will become feral cats.
The more you read about domestic and feral cats the more you have to conclude that the domestication of the Middle Eastern wildcat has been a failure. This is because half the world's population of "domestic cats" are actually feral cats. So, if there are 500 million domestic and feral cats in the world, there are at least 250 million feral cats and that might be a conservative number. It was never meant to be this way, but humans have learned to reluctantly accept feral cats which means they accept a ton of misery in animals that were created out of negligence.
Although we do not know the number of domestic and feral cats in the world. We have to guess. But my guess is that there are more feral cats than domestic cats when looking at all the world's domestic and feral cats.
This is because in Asia and specifically in India the majority of cats are 'community cats'. They are semi-feral. They are not true domestic cats. They are sometimes fed but they are not taken the veterinarians when they become sick. There is little or no medical care. The level of care to community cats is average-to-poor to very poor.