Mary and Bob: Feral cats and 9/11 ads

MNSure falls short in the African American community, the White House pushes the burden of success to Russia, Missouri considers arresting feds who try to enforce gun laws, Boston says ‘whoops’ for scheduling a fire drill on 9/11, how one California community tries to beat the banks at their own game, what to do about feral cats in Minneapolis, and what do you think when you see a corporation use an ad with a 9/11 theme?

Here’s today’s news conversation with Mary Lucia on The Current.

  1. Listen Mary Lucia and Bob Collins

    September 11, 2013

On the subject of feral cats, a listener writes:

First, I highly recommend Shadow Cats, a book about one woman in NYC who started feeding feral cats outside her apartment and encountered a major learning curve on how these animals behave and what’s best for them. For support in caring for a feral colony (the basic spay/neuter, treat, release, and continued feeding and monitoring), Alley Cat Allies is the go-to group. Turns out if you remove a colony of feral cats, more cats will move in, so going no-kill really is the best way to go. The cats do kill some songbirds, but they also make a dent in the pest population (rodents and such), and, again, there’s no good way to keep an area that’s conducive to a cat population clear of cats. Feral cats are different than strays, which are either cats that have lost their way home or have been dumped. Stray cats can become feral, but they can also often be returned to domestic bliss, as it were, whereas true feral cats will never be comfortable in a house or apartment–they are no longer domestic animals. According to Shadow Cats, there’s a narrow ideal timeframe for capturing feral kittens that allows them to be socialized and developmentally healthy without also developing a fear of humans. So as far as shelters taking in these cats, most that do so end up euthanizing a terrified animal that can’t be rehomed. Monitoring the health of a feral colony, treating individuals as needed, and neutering them to prevent both population explosions and inbreeding really is the best way to go. This also includes keeping even simple housing for them to get out of the weather, especially in winter or when they do have litters.

  • Connie

    Feral cats are just another invasive species destroying native wildlife. We don’t build shelters for Zebra Mussels, Gypsy Moths, or Emerald Ash Borers – why feral cats? They are not domestic and are not native wild animals either. They cannot be tamed, handled, or kept as pets. I live in Sauk Rapids, and our city no longer has an animal control officer. My backyard is overrun with cats fighting. I have to clean up the remains of song birds and small mammals that they torture and kill. There is cat litter in my garden areas, which spreads parasites and diseases that can be transmitted to humans. A group of feral cats set up housekeeping under my neighbor’s deck. The litter smell is unbelievable – she can’t get rid of them and is afraid to let her grandchild play out there where she could be bitten. I purchased live traps and make regular trips to the Humane Society with strays. Minneapolis would be crazy to encourage feral cat colonies.

  • Denny

    Five words–Adult Air Rifle–garbage bag. Problem solved.