Should it be a crime to feed feral cats within the city limits?

If you’re feeding them they’re not feral cats, they’re poorly cared for pets.

So is that true for the birds (and squirrels) fed from bird feeders? Is it true of the deer that take advantage of salt licks? What about people that put out food in general to just attract wild animals into viewing range?

I think the content of your post is incorrect if you could not gather that.

When I lived in a garden apartment complex I was happy some of the older ladies put food out for the local feral population. We were between a restaurant and a creek and would have been overrun with rodents if not for the cats. The cats were clearly not pets but almost welcome employees of the complex.

While I agree, I’ll have to assume you’ve never tried to have a conversation about animals with a crazy cat lady. In training or otherwise.

She gets a bit, how can I put it… defensive.

They have something like that here as well but I live in the suburbs and they neuter the cat and you provide it with outdoor shelter (usually involves putting a cat door in your outdoor shed or something under your deck) and food and it provides you with a vermin free property. People seem to like it and the cats seem willing to eat whatever you give them.

I love cats, but you’re making a false comparison. Feral cats are not the same as wildlife; they’re a domestic species that has been inhumanely returned to the wild state. The birds that come to feeders are not escaped or abandoned canaries. They generally survive quite well if no humans put out food for them. People don’t put out food to attract feral cats as they do wild birds, nor do people start feeding birds because an emaciated robin came around.

I’m concerned about the situation at your old apartment complex. First, a restaurant that’s attracting that many rodents is surely in violation of several health codes. Second, if the rodent population is that large, the cats wouldn’t need an additional food source; providing one would make them less likely to dine on those rodents.

I like cats, too, but the life of a feral cat is not a pleasant one, and they definitely tend to have shorter lives due to predators, including other cats, and traffic. People feed them because they understandably feel sorry for them, but feeding without fixing is a cruel condemnation of future generations of feral cats. If people are going to feed them, they’re morally obligated to TNR them.

actually the official policy of los angeles county is trap them fix them and put them back because it keeps the desert rodents out and in residential areas theyd rather have a dominant herd because it keeps strays out

How ever the cats seemed to have reached a pax with the desert squirrels more or less cause they don’t like the teeth and claws of the other…now the mice …the squirrels and the cats are at war with

As I am not proposing changes to public policy, I probably won’t be doing any.

I also won’t be introducing any invasive species to a small restricted area.

I will continue to argue that feeding any wild animal is very bad for its group and to carefully read articles, even in Nature, for signs of a previously existing agenda.

And to look for ways to kill vermin that doesn’t introduce toxic materials into the ecosystem.

An ideal solution would be adding some form of chemical birth control to the food.

I am not convinced that feral cats would not thrive without human interaction.

Everyone recommends keeping the feral cats population in check, but some prefer a method rather than starvation.

Feral cats are not driving species into extinction in most environments; any invasive species is dangerous, so singling out feral cats is conflating two issues.

Well why not point out the evidence for a previously existing agenda in the article then? I thought the article did a decent job of pointing out the knowns and unknowns on the topic and gave a lot of decent examples of how to shape policy to the specifics of their analysis.

It is clearly irresponsible to feed wild animals. Deer car collisions cause more than a billion dollars in property damage and over 200 fatalities a year. Habituating wild animals to human beings does harm to both human and animal populations. Leave wild animals alone, they and you will be better off.

edited to add: That’s 200 human fatalities. The deer fatalities are exponentially higher.

Agreed, and I’ll add that it’s also bad for the deer in other ways. When deer become habituated to urban areas, they don’t eat ONLY the food that’s put out for them. They eat plants in lawns that have been cultivated using chemicals such as those in Roundup, the world’s most popular weed killer. Roundup and Bravo cause thyroid damabe in developing deer fetuses, which in turn causes emaciation, hoof malformations, and hair loss. (Link.)

Why do you feel that you’re above the law?

Random question, I don’t know enough about feral cats. I see them in parking lots around here sometimes and they’ll generally run into the sewer if approached. If you got enough of them around will they ever attack humans, not that they are a legitimate threat just wondering if they would ever try.

Deer are not getting hit because they are getting fed, they get hit as they have a lack of natural predators these days and cars have effectively taken that role. You’re taking an extremely small number of deer that might have gotten to use to humans and thinking that is the cause of any but a small number of the road accidents deer are involved in? Come on now.

Another good reason to attempt to ban the feeding of feral cats is you’re rarely just feeding the cats. You could be feeding skunks, raccoons, rats, mice, birds, foxes, cockroaches, and anything that might see the cat food as an opportunity. The unintended consequences of concentrating all these animals around a central food source are injury due to fights, constant stress from the competition, and the spread of disease.

Why are wild birds more valuable then wild cats?

I have two indoor/outdoor cats that were rejects/feral. They are both fixed. They show love. I have no reason to believe that it isn’t love. They have very similar neurochemicals as humans. They are mammals. I know that anytime when they go outside they may die. But that is their wont. They are 11 years old.

I have seen 11 year old , Molly Clementine, snatch a bird out of the air. I don’t see how that bird is more valuable then her.

I have also rescued a Chuck-Will’s-Widow that she brought into the house.

I have NEVER been loved by a wild bird. I hope they thrive.

I will NEVER accept that wild birds are more valuable then feral cats. They can duke it out. BTW, Duckster, Molly Clementine does the “touch noses” thing too. I know she loves me.

It depends. If the wild birds you are referring to are starlings or house sparrows, I doubt many would value the birds over the cats. But if the bird is a native species, I don’t see why you would place so much value on the cats over protecting the birds.

What is more difficult for me to understand is how you value the cats’ privilege to go outdoors over the wild birds living at all, and peoples’ passion to observe and enjoy these birds means less to you than letting your cats go out and needlessly kill wildlife. Your cats could enjoy your company without them ever going outside. Most domesticated cats have absolutely no reason to be outside.

Because they want to. The cats want to go outside. It matters not to me that they didn’t start detained. The fact that they want to go outside means something. I assume you want to go outside. Would you deny that right to your child? Imprisoning something wild because you feel it would be better for a different species seems-----I don’t know. Have you never loved an imperfect animal?

I don’t see how you have answered why wild birds are more valuable then feral cats.

Yes, see this documentary.

It’s against the law in many cities to feed the pigeons, does anyone think that works?

You cannot eliminate feral cats. A good and well-publicized TNR program can help keep the population under control. Feeding them keeps them from eating (as much) wildlife (although we had a semi-feral in our yard that we fed, and she liked to hunt gophers for sport, a practice of which I was greatly in favor).

As for those who let their house cats run around outside unsupervised, well, here in San Francisco we have an increasing coyote presence, which has rightly made many cat owners think twice about that practice.