Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 31 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/24/10

Don't turn your back on feral cats

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Become a Fan
  (7 fans)

It was all over. The injection was painless, making this poor cat's death more peaceful than much of his life had been.

Deadly infectious diseases such as feline AIDS are just some of the many dangers that feral cats face . These forgotten cats do not die of "old age." They are attacked by other animals, are hit by cars and die of exposure or starvation. During winter months, automobile engine fans slice through cats who seek shelter under warm car hoods. If cats escape these perils, they may still fall prey to cruel people. PETA receives calls every day about stray and feral cats who are mutilated, shot, drowned, poisoned, beaten, set on fire or used by dogfighters as "bait."

One feral cat helped recently by PETA's cruelty caseworkers had what appeared to be a bloody red mustache that turned out to be a horrific chemical burn that had eaten away part of her upper jaw. Another feral--a kitten just 6 weeks old--was rescued with PETA's help after being trapped for days in a storm drain. His left front leg was so mangled that it had to be amputated.

Even easily treatable conditions can be deadly for feral cats. Minor injuries can turn into raging infections and abscesses. Untreated upper respiratory infections cause cats' eyes and noses to become so caked with mucus that the animals can barely see or breathe. PETA's caseworkers have lost count of the number of feral cats they've seen with their ears scratched bloody as a result of desperate attempts to alleviate the pain and itching of ear mites. Some cats die of blood loss or anemia from worms and fleas. Two former ferals whom I trapped and tamed later suffered from repeated urinary tract infections, which can lead to blockage in male cats. I shudder to think of the painful, lingering deaths these cats would have suffered without treatment.

It is because these terrible fates await most feral cats that PETA believes that trap, neuter, return (TNR) programs are not usually in the cats' best interests. TNR may prevent future generations of cats from suffering the hardships of life on the streets, but they fail to address the misery experienced by cats trying to eke out an existence in alleys and behind Dumpsters.

Advocates of TNR argue that feral cats are just as deserving of our consideration as other felines. They are absolutely right. And it is precisely because we would never encourage anyone to abandon their own cat in a parking lot or at the end of a rural road that we should not advocate the same for feral cats.

The only real solution to the feral cat problem currently plaguing communities across the country is to aggressively promote spaying and neutering. Feral cat colonies don't spring out of nowhere--they are the direct result of irresponsible people who abandon or allow their unaltered cats to roam outside. That is why it is vital to promote the spaying and neutering of all cats, not just ferals.

No cat, whether feral or not, should be abandoned and forced to endure the harsh conditions of homelessness.

Alisa Mullins shares her home with several rescued cats, including two former ferals. She is a research specialist for The PETA Foundation, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510;

Funny 2   Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with 6.5 million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the (more...)

Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Dolphins in tanks: Cruel confinement

Don't turn your back on feral cats

Protecting animals protects everyone

What a horrific cruelty case can teach us

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend