1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Sterilization Drugs for Cats

New Hope for Managing Cat Overpopulation?

By

Cat overpopulation is arguably one of the largest global problems facing animal advocates, as the figures increase annually. In 1996, Sarah Hartwell of the Feline Advisory Bureau wrote :

    "Britain has an estimated 7 million pet cats and 1 million ferals. By comparison, the United States has approximately 60 million pet cats and 60 million ferals. Feral populations are swollen by breeding and the dumping of unwanted pets; 5 million cats and dogs are 'dumped' annually according to the US Department of Agriculture while American surveys suggest that between 36% and 60% of unneutered pet cats go feral within 3 years."

Alley Cat Allies estimates the current U.S. figure to be between 60 million and 100 million ferals, but the United States is not alone - Australia and Singapore also struggle with problems related to feral cats.

Traditional "solutions" in some areas have been trapping and destroying ferals, or even shooting them, which is currently still being practiced in Australia. The U.S. is not immune to this practice, either. Federal employees are still available to assist local agencies, by shooting "problem" feral cats. A previous article detailed one incidence of this "solution" in a city near my own hometown when Federal Wildlife Damage Control officers were hired to shoot feral cats in a park.

TNR is a Better Solution For several years, an increasing number of animal advocates are utilizing Trap - Neuter - Release programs for management of feral cat colonies. The reasoning behind TNR as opposed to trapping/destroying is that when feral cats are trapped and destroyed, new cats simply move into the colonies, whereas, and established colony of neutered cats will defend their territory from outsiders. The figures show clearly that TNR is working, as indicated by this page from a previous article.

Next > An even better solution is in sight.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.