Feral Cat Colony Management
Feral cats are an international problem and a great deal of research has been done regarding the most effective way of managing them. Through simple neglect or abandonment, it is extremely easy for domestic cats to become feral cats. Such cats will gravitate towards areas where there is a supply of food and shelter. These cats will continue to have kittens until the available food supply is exhausted. The nature of colonies of cats is such that the population is generally young with a high mortality and morbidity rate.
There are three options available to tackle the feral cat challenge:
- do nothing and allow the cat population to reach the maximum numbers supported by the available food supply
- euthanasia of trapped cats, carried out regularly and constantly, to keep up with rapid feline breeding habits and migration patterns
- implementation of a spay/neuter programme combined with controlled feeding stations to achieve stable, mature and non-reproductive populations.
While few would agree with the "do nothing" approach, a number of people advocate the euthanasia option. In BFAB's experience, mass eradication is ineffective. If all the food sources that support a feral cat population are not removed when trapping and euthanasia take place (and they usually aren't), then a new population of feral cats and/or stray cats will quickly fill the vacuum.
Ethically, one must question a position that favours the euthanasia of feral cats, whose existence is the direct result of human carelessness and neglect
BFAB advocates option #3 above. Moreover, BFAB recommends that the Bermuda Government support its efforts by enacting legislation making mandatory the spaying or neutering of all cats not intended for breeding purposes.