This is my cat Baci. He’s an American shorthair, but his name is Italian for ‘kisses’ — which is very fitting, because as you can see, he’s got a very kissable mug.
But don’t let that fool you. Baci is a former street cat. And I fear that if turned loose on the public, he would revert to his prior life and go on a bird killing spree – or at least start stealing cars.
According to the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), 95 million feral and outdoor cats kill more than 500 million birds every year. ABC vice president Darin Schroeder recently penned a letter to U.S. city mayors, urging them to oppose programs that call for the trapping, neutering and release of feral cats.
“Numerous published, scientific studies have shown that trap, neuter, re-abandon programs do not reduce feral cat populations, and that outdoor cats, even well-fed ones, kill hundreds of millions of wild birds and other animals each year in the U.S., including endangered species. Birds that nest or feed on the ground are especially vulnerable to cat attacks.”
Schroeder also says outdoor and feral cats are at risk for rabies, parasites and of course being struck by automobiles. ABC is promoting a message campaign called “Cats Indoors” which encourages people to keep their furry little bird-murderers indoors, or in outdoor enclosures or tethered.
However, from my experience you have to watch a tethered cat closely. A few years ago, Baci nearly bagged a low-flying bird while on a leash outside my apartment. Killer.