Feral Cats


Invasive Species — and Highly Efficient Killers

So-called feral cats, or stray domestic cats, whatever their breed, are all members of the same species, Felis catus, which is not an indigenous species to North America. As a non-native, invasive, highly predatory species, feral cats are an unnatural burden on the ecosystem. There are estimated to be as many as 150 million feral cats in the United States, twice the number of pet cats! Feral cats seriously disrupt indigenous fauna: birds, ambphibians, reptiles, small mammals. They kill birds in the U.S. to the tune of as many as 2.3 billion per year! The appalling destruction of other species by feral cats has been denounced by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a host of conservation organizations.

The island continent Australia has to resort to killing this invasive species, rather than let it destroy its unique fauna, for example, marsupials. Certain celebrity opponents of the plan insist that the cats should be neutered rather than killed, though neutering does not prevent the predators from killing their prey?

A Host of Organizations Against TNR

State of California on the Prodigious Killers

PBS Documentary: Feral Cats and TNR Ineffectiveness


The domestic cat, little changed from its African ancestor:



How Many Feral Cats in Hampton Roads?

The estimate du jour seems to be 30,000, though where this estimate came from is anybody's guess. Feral cat populations are very difficult to estimate. Nevertheless, that number has been bandied about as if it had some sort of legitimacy.

30,000. Wow! Sounds like one helluva a lot, but is the number of feral cats really anywhere near that low? Consider that estimates for the number of feral cats nationwide range from 30-40 million to up to 70 million or more! WOW! The low end estimates are the ones put out by feral cat advocte groups, but even if we take the lowest estimate of 30 million as the bench mark, the 30,000 estimate for Hampton Roads seems unreasonably low.

Consider that for a nation of about 325 million people like the United States, 30 million feral cats would mean one cat per 11 people. Now let's face it, people are the cause of feral cats, since feral cats originate with domestic house pets that have been abandoned or otherwise irresponsibly treated by people. So it seems only reasonable to assume that the number of feral cats in a given area would be directly proportional to the number of people, and there's no apparent reason to assume that the citizens of Hampton Roads are more responsible than those of any other metropolitan area. So at the national rate of 1 feral cat per 11 people, that would mean about 155,000 feral cats in Hampton Roads! — over 5 times the ballyhooed 30,000 estimate.

And mind you, this figure is based on the lowball 30 million national estimate of the feral cat advocates themselves. If we were to start with the high end national estimate of 70+ million (which was made by experts back in 2004), that would yield over 370,000 feral cats in Hampton Roads! WOW WOW!


Local Feral Cat Zealots

The proponents of Trap-Neuter-Return, for example, the people who run the Norfolk SPCA and several members of the erstwhile Norfolk Animal Advisory Board (which the City disbanded, probably due to its questionably helpful proposals) are every bit as irresponsible and irrational as the science-denying people who refuse to vaccinate their kids.

Maybe a better comparison would be to the philosophically rigid anti-abortion crowd that seems to believe that every human fetus at any stage of development and every human embryo and even every fertilized humn egg is sacred, making it evil to destroy one by means of abortion or even contraception. Nevermind the fact that two-thirds or more of human pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, presumably making God the most prolific abortionist ever.

Nevertheless, most anti-abortion people seem to have no qualm about destroying lesser members of their God's creation, typically by means of industrial scale slaughter for the purpose of devouring them and enjoying the taste of their flesh.


Cat Compassion?

Feral cat advocates seem to relish claiming the compassionate high ground — after all, they're trying to save the lives of all those kitties, all those former cuddly little kittens, right? — yet these people seem to have zero compassion for all the many species that feral cats kill. Zero!

"Releasing a feral cat in a natural area is like releasing a serial murderer in a maternity ward"— University of Florida wildlife scientist Frank Mazzotti

TNR equivalent to outoor cat hoarding

One Problem: TNR does not work

A Common Sense Perspective

TNR Reality Check

Virginia Cats Kill


Why Not A Truly Compassionate Solution?

TNR has become a cause célèbre, championed by the likes of Alley Cat Allies, Pet Smart, PetCo, etc. These organizations/companies pump millions of dollars into their campaigns to impose TNR (and "colonies" of free roaming feral cats) on communities around the nation

Here's an idea: Why don't these TNR/feral cat advocates use all their millions to establish preserves for those cats? Why not buy up tracts of land out in the country, fence the land, and let those cats run free inside those fences. Shelter and food could also be provided for the cats inside those fences. This way, the cats would be protected and all species outside the fences would be protected from them.

Make sense? Or is that too much trouble and money and compassion to ask of the feral cat advocates?


Or Is It Cat Worshipers?

Is that what's really going on here, cats like gods who must be venerated, pampered, allowed to roam the Erth as they please, even offered all manner of sacrifices (all the other species they are allowed to decimate)?

The TNR people seem to revere cats — both feral and pet cats — above all other animals. They certainly value them above all the creatures they prey on. But why shouldn't cats be treated exactly the same as dogs? The law does not treat them any differently, but then, the law (which requires cats to be licensed and properly cared for, just as with dogs) has not been enforced. People let their pet cats roam freely outdoors and apparently see nothing wrong with this. And the TNR people support colonies of free-roaming feral cats. Where are the free-roaming wild dogs?


Their Own Words Reveal Them

This TNR manifesto is a must read, proof of just how wacko some of these people are, every bit as bizarre as the people who think they know better than modern medical science and refuse to vaccinate their own children:

Even feral cats with feline leukemia must be returned (re-abandoned)

Excerpt: "Even assuming the released cat does transmit the virus and another cat does get sick, this is not your responsibility. TNR does not mean creating a world without risk for feral cats - it's about improving the situation, not about making it perfect. The disease was present before you came along. By getting the cats neutered and implementing a managed colony, you've vastly improved the quality of the cats' lives and no one should criticize your decision to let the animal return to his family and not euthanize him because of a test result."

Just leave the consequences to God. It ain't your responsibility. Maddening!


Over a billion birds killed by cats in America per year!

TNR for Rats — a more worthy species?


Look at the mess feral cats have caused at the local zoo:

Deaths at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk


Reflections of a local naturalist:

Mary Reid Barrow


But what about Mr. Whiskers?

So-called feral cats are not the only problem. If you let your pet kitty run loose during the day, do you have any idea how much harm this does to local bird populations?

Fluffy, the ruthless killer


Feral Cats and Communicable Diseases

Toxo, T. gondii, and Rabies

Toxo at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk

Monster named Shkreli profits bigtime from toxo



Zoo to import toxo-resistant strain of wallabies

Since toxo from the cats has killed mosty of the Virginia Zoo's non-toxo resistant wallabies from New Zealand, now the zoo will see if it has better luck with some toxo-resistant wallabies born in America. Hmm! An idea: All we need now is toxo-resistant people.

Shouldn't the zoo, with a large population of feral cats roaming its grounds according to the Virginian-Pilot, warn pregnant women of the risks (to them) associated with hosting a colony of feral cats on its premises? If you walk around the zoo or even have a picnic there, better think twice about wearing sandals or taking your shoes off or sitting on the ground. Best not to come in contact with feral cat feces, since studies indicate that 62-80% of feral cats carry the protozoan that causes toxoplasmosis.


From Wikipedia: Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family. Infection occurs: 1.) By eating infected meat, particularly swine products. 2.) By ingesting water, soil, or food that has come into contact with infected animals' fecal matter. This is most commonly spread in feces by household cats. 3.) By transmission from infected mother to fetus during pregnancy. This is why physicians recommend that pregnant women avoid cleaning kitty litter boxes and eating under-cooked meat products.

Rabies, Cats, and Hampton Roads

There have been several instances of rabid stray cats biting people in the area, for example:

Rabid feral cat in Norfolk, 2014

Rabid feral in Virginia Beach, 2014

Rabid feral cat in Chesapeake, 2014

Rabid feral cat in Suffolk, 2014

Rabid feral cat in Virginia Beach, 2015


But not to worry, right? The NO-KILL people will take care of everything. They'll roll up their sleeves and get down to doing something about all the stray cats on the streets just as soon as they can get the law changed to make it perfectly legal for them or anyone else to turn cats lose on the streets.

Where are the "no-kill" shelters that not only do not euthanize any animal, but will accept any unwanted animal? It's easy to boast that you are "no-kill" when you can pick and choose the animals you accept, thus forcing someone else to do the unpleasant stuff with the animals you reject in order to maintain your "no-kill" status. Not only is it easy, it's reprehensible:


Many of the TNR people probably mean well, but then there's always that stuff they use to pave the road to hell with. Nevertheless, well-meaning cynics must be allowed their speculations:


Recent photo of a local feral cat house — possibly connected with a local human restaurant and located on a public right of way. Watch out for the toxo and maybe the rabies too:

Someone stole the cat house!

News Report

Wonder who will catch the blame for this dastardly heist. But not to worry, there's a new cat house on the street already, and what a sleek beauty it is, too:

Oops, now the new cat house is gone — this time removed by the City of Norfolk.


The experience of a no-kill shelter in Texas:

Help, they're dumping too many cats on us. We can't handle them all!


From the Norfolk City Code

Sec. 6.1-8. - Limitation on keeping of dogs or cats.

(a) No more than four (4) adult dogs and four (4) adult cats may be kept in any one dwelling unit or premises within the city limits.

(b) Prior to October 1, 1999, any person owning or having custody of more than the allowable number of dogs or cats shall apply for licenses for each adult dog or cat and such person shall not be charged with a violation of this section for the period which the licensed dogs or cats remain in the custody of such person. Only adult dogs or cats licensed by the owner or custodian prior to October 1, 1999, shall be allowed over the limit set by this section. The owner or custodian may not transfer the exemption to other dogs or cats not specifically licensed prior to October 1, 1999. Upon the death, loss or transfer of ownership of the licensed dogs or cats, the owner or custodian is prohibited from owning more dogs or cats than allowed by this section.

(c) This section shall not apply to licensed kennels, veterinarians, animal shelters or humane societies, licensed temporary exhibits, licensed pet shops or kennels housing law enforcement animals. No other exceptions or exemptions to this section are authorized.


Attorney General's Opinion

Contact Your Legislator


Mother Nature Stepping in to Save the Day?

Coyotes love the taste of feral cats!

Indoors the best place for cats after all?

Pet safety guide, for all kinds of pets





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