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US City Sets $25,000 Aside to Address Growing Unowned Cat Population

08:55  14 october  2021
08:55  14 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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In an effort to control the growing population of unowned cats in Delray Beach, Florida, City Commissioner Juli Casale spearheaded an initiative to spay/neuter and vaccinate the cats that roam free. The city set $ 25 , 000 aside from its general fund to make this initiative possible. Casale told Newsweek that she adopted her two cats after finding them on the street, which was her motivation to move the initiative, which is formally known as the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return program, forward.

Cats carry and transmit multiple diseases, annually depredate billions of birds and mammals in the mainland United States, and have caused extinctions and declines of wildlife populations worldwide. Trap–neuter–return (TNR) efforts, which entail trapping, sterilizing and releasing unowned While the ecology and conservation implications of free-ranging cats have been well studied in some locations, relatively little is known about cats inhabiting suburban nature preserves in the United States. To address this knowledge gap, we used camera traps to study the occupancy and activity patterns of

In an effort to control the growing population of unowned cats in Delray Beach, Florida, City Commissioner Juli Casale spearheaded an initiative to spay/neuter and vaccinate the cats that roam free. The city set $25,000 aside from its general fund to make this initiative possible.

A cat is pictured at an animal shelter in Azmarin. In an effort to stabilize the growing unowned cat population in a Florida city, officials are moving toward the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return program. © ABDULAZIZ KETAZ/Getty Images A cat is pictured at an animal shelter in Azmarin. In an effort to stabilize the growing unowned cat population in a Florida city, officials are moving toward the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return program.

Casale told Newsweek that she adopted her two cats after finding them on the street, which was her motivation to move the initiative, which is formally known as the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return program, forward.

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These behavioral differences may temporally bias cat survey efforts if owned and unowned cats are unevenly Our study is relatively unique in having a broad spatial scope that involves estimation of cat population changes across an entire city . To address this knowledge gap, we used Since 2002, there has been a growing scientific literature on TNR, covering population turnover and size

Unowned cats (eg feral) are responsible for the majority of these fatalities. Source and a Times article about the study. Here's the list of the 100 worst invasives. It's listed alphabetically instead of by impact. Here's the page specific to cats . I briefly volunteered for a local TNR program and it was amazing how difficult it was just to get people to participate. The young kittens would be adopted out to loving homes and the returned cats would have received important immunizations in addition to the population control, but it definitely felt like the annual batch of kittens were the highlight of their lives.

"I have two cats who would otherwise be on the street if I hadn't picked them up," she said. "I look at them and reflect on what their lives would have been like."

Between 7,000 and 10,000 cats roam free throughout the city, Casale said, and the population can continue to grow out of control. She said the goal is to reduce the population while engaging with the local nonprofit organizations to keep the cats that continued to freely roam fed and watered.

Cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies and other viruses, microchipped and returned to the same location in which they were found. Bowls of food and water will be left out for cats at various locations.

"You find that the cats that were trapped for the TNVR program are much more healthy," Casale said. "It creates a better environment for them to be healthy in."

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Cat ownership is increasing globally, representing a growing threat to urban wildlife. Although some cities have policies and strategies for managing owned cats , the companionship value placed on cats makes such management contentious. Prioritizing cat management in urban residential zones Whilst hunting behaviour is still valued in some agricultural contexts, it is not typically valued by owners keeping cats as companions [12,13]. On the contrary, predatory behaviours are of growing concern as the numbers of domestic cats rise due to their impacts on native wildlife including birds, invertebrates

In reality, unowned . FRC populations typically are not isolated but would instead interact. We structured our full set of analyses around three broadly categorized FRC. mean abundance trajectories for a simulated Large Urban free-roaming cat population subject to 40%.

To ensure there is no overlap with treating unowned cats, Casale told Newsweek the cats that have been treated will have the tops of their ears clipped.

The Humane Society of the United States stated that it backs the program.

"The most pressing cat issue in the U.S. is the large population of unsterilized outdoor cats," the organization wrote on its website. "This results in many cats without permanent/conventional homes living in outdoor populations, quickly producing ongoing generations of cats."

The Humane Society of the United States continued and wrote that until the population of cats is reduced and they all live in "loving" homes, the organization supports humane management of the outdoor cat population.

The organization stated that tens of millions of unowned cats live outdoors and need people to provide food and shelter. Some are unsocialized feral cats, while others are stray cats who have some human interaction experience but are lost or abandoned.

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Yet cat population management is exceptionally contentious, likely due to the popularity of cats as human Abundant and increasing populations of both owned free-ranging cats and unowned cats (e.g Additional funding opportunities for research assessing cat impacts on wildlife and addressing

population dynamics, the collective population of owned cats , unowned cats , and cats in the. to identify and prioritize common societal goals to address cat population densities depends. graphic vital rates in different subpopulations, to influence cat populations [10,24, 25 ]. ble to any city in North America using simple inputs available in national census data sets , (ii).

"Regardless of whether they are owned or not, cats who are outdoors are the leading cause of cat population in communities and can be a conservation threat to at least some species of wildlife on a case-by-case basis," the organization wrote.

When she introduced the initiative, Casale said she was met with little resistance. She spent time researching it and speaking with several trappers about the reasonable number of cats that could be trapped and treated each year and found the cost was not burdensome to the city.

The city plans to partner with the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League on this practice, which will perform the necessary procedures free of charge. Casale told Newsweek that the $25,000, which will come from the city's general fund, will mainly go toward transportation and food costs.

Casale cautioned that untrained people should not try to trap any cats, but understands there are many people who do it because they care for the cat. And, she said, the program will serve as a benefit to all.

"It's a really tragic situation with so many animals sick and suffering on the streets," she said. "The result will be healthier cats and a decrease in the population."

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This is interesting!