Feral cats should be declawedPublished 12:45pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I am a retired zoologist. I spent five years teaching at Montevallo from 1962-1967 prior to relocating to Auburn. While at Montevallo, the late Dr. E. B. Sledge was a contemporary of mine who shared my appreciation for birds.
When Dr. Sledge told me that Montevallo had enacted a cat “leash law” I was immensely pleased and mentioned it in columns I wrote in local papers. I suggested that other municipalities enact similar ordinances. A friend wrote and informed me that Montevallo had been awarded a grant “to help free roaming and feral cats.” The cats would be trapped, vaccinated, neutered, and released to go about their way, as alien predators, killing birds and small mammals. Needless to say I was sorely disappointed. I wonder if the felinophiles, or cat lovers, are aware that research conducted by the Smithsonian Biological Institute and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed that cats are responsible for the deaths of an estimated 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion small mammals, mostly natives, annually in the United States, “making house cats one of the most serious threats to the nation’s wildlife,” according to the New York Times. The felinophiles should consider declawing the trapped cats prior to their release, which would make them substantially less harmful and would be greatly appreciated by ornithophiles, or bird lovers.