Feral cats should be declawed

Published 12:45pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dear Editor,

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.

Bob Mount


  • Fyrecat

    I respectfully disagree with this. To declaw feral cats would leave them helpless and unable to fend for themselves, get away from danger or defend themselves. Declawing is painful and is often the cause of cats having health issues, and in the case of a feral cat, it could cause infection.

    Studies are often misleading with this-and a counter study has been conducted, revealing that feral cats aren’t a danger to birds or wildlife. Sadly, what is, are pesticides, human encroachment upon species habitats, and pollution of the environment, which greatly impacts many wild species.

    ‘Community’ cats oftimes are poor bird hunters. They are more likely to seek out small rodents, and many rely on caretakers who manage a colony.

    The things that effect the environment are more likely to be effecting the bird population-for instance, as more homes are built in areas that hosted bird populations, the birds lose their trees, and watering holes and feeding sources.

    We have to protect these wild places, and stop using toxic pesticides that effect birds and everyone.

  • pdeych

    Dear Bob,

    I could appreciate your compassion toward birds and small creatures. However, as a “animal lover” and not exclusively bird lover, I would deem your suggestion as being highly inhumane and ignorant. I think you would feel the same way if I told you birds should be de-beaked. I understand, cats are predators and I have seen the handiwork of a feral cat. I always mourn for the poor creature-victim because I know it suffered much before it died. In fact, a bird living in our home was rescued from an attack, rehabilitated and remained instead of being released since he befriended an indoor bird (also rescued due to owner surrender). Feral cats could seriously injure creatures but declawing them in NOT the answer– we need to CONTROL the colony size by doing TNR. MORE TNR/LESS FUTURE predators to your beloved audubon world. I hope you understand especially since you are, in fact, a supposed zoologist.

  • bigyellowcat71

    If you’re a zoologist I’m a Hottentot. You, sir, are a charlatan and a poseur, and your opinions are not worth the newsprint to line a birdcage. Study up on the realities of declawing before you spout this abysmally uneducated rubbish in public.

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