Cats are in the environment

Cats are in the environment

Wild animal Advocate

Ecologists agree around the world that one of the biggest threats to wildlife is Felis catus. Felis catus comes from wild cats. Felis silvestris lybica. These two cats are known by common names, domestic cat and African wild cat…

The African wild cat survives in the wild with exquisite hunting and survival skills. It inhabits large grassy plains (steppes), tropical grasslands with scattered trees (savannas) and wild uncultivated country (bushland). A native of Africa, it does not threaten the survival of species, driving them to extinction. The African wild cat is not an apex predator and exists as a hunter and the hunted.

Domestic animals Advocate

The attraction and fascination with Felis catus, the house cat, is universal. Generally, you can trust your house cat to play with a toddler. In fact, many parents have kittens and socialise the kitten with their children, providing hours of fun and play. What child or even adults can resist the playful antics of a kitten as it demonstrates acrobatic skills.

Companion cats are fun

Owners of house cats are proud of their cat as it stands guard, protecting the house from a rodent infestation. Owners of cats are now falling into two broad groups, one group identified as 'responsible owners' and the other group is not named, but it would be 'irresponsible' owners. 

Responsible owners are identified by behaviour. They take responsibility for the cat's health and well-being. These owners have come to realize that to allow their cat to free roam is irresponsible and  problematic. Picking up disease, fighting other cats, risk of car accidents and attacks by dogs.

A popular and effective solution to protect cats is to keep them indoors at night. Many owners are now installing containment devices to prevent their cat from leaving their property. This can be done with cat netting or mechanical devices. Many councils across Australia are now implementing a cat containment policy in an effort to prevent free roaming cats.

Anti cat crusader

Who is an anti-cat crusader and what is the point of this crusade.

 Dr John Wamsley is one:- Follow the story with this radio interview. 

Select the image to turn the radio on

Radio interview Dr John Wamsley

Cat crusaders are environmentalists who are passionate about saving Australia's native fauna. As part of environmental protection, choices have to be made. There is no place in the Australian landscape for a feral or free-roaming cat. Environmentalists are able to differentiate between a companion cat and a feral cat or free-roaming cat.

Cat crusader

Who is the cat crusader. Cat crusaders are animal welfare groups that focus on cats. They see the euthanization of cats as abhorrent. The life of the cat is put above all other environmental issues that arise. The phrase cat lovers and cat haters belongs with cat crusaders. If you are not using TNR and rescuing cats so they can be released back onto the streets or parkland but instead advocate for euthanasia for cats that cannot be rehomed. By definition, you are a cat hater. They, on the other hand, are cat lovers.

Life is a little more complicated than that. And just being a little sarcastic above, the description  is just a tad unfair. Cat crusaders are generally compassionate and enthusiastic advocates of animal welfare. They have great difficulty seeing the damage feral and free-roaming cats do.

In the Australian landscape, TNR is suicide for wildlife, mammals, reptiles and birds. The Australian Government needs to here from you if you oppose TNR in Australia. If you are not familiar with the acronym, it means trap, neuter and release. Visit the petition to see some of the facts.

Legislation to make TNR illegal in Australia

Lethal Implications of Cats

Why are councils, environmentalists, and native animal lovers keen to see cats removed from the landscape. In the bush, deserts and mountain ranges the answer is easy. Cats are an introduced pest species. They predate native animals. In towns and cities it is rare to see a feral cat. Even roaming cats are not easily seen. But their presence is felt by the environment. Unowned and free-ranging cats roam the suburbs, attacking and eating birds, lizards and small mamals.

Many municipal councils now require strict control over companion cats. This is novel for some, but the cat containment policy is well thought out, supported by vets and major animal welfare agencies. Manufactured solutions are available. 

To manage your companion cat to keep safe and healthy. Parents know instinctively that an unhealthy cat will bring illness to their children. All efforts to keep your cat healthy will go toward keeping children healthy.

Lethal solution to cats in the environment

Euthanasia is the only solution. Overseas examples of failed TNR programs avoid the human responsibility to protect the environment from cat predation. The conundrum is how to choose between the viability of species vs the life of cats. The cats are visible and to euthanize a cat requires a human to administer the method to euthanize.

Endangered species, on the other hand, are  not easily seen. They are just reported on in scientific or specialized journals. They can be eaten to extinction and we would never know unless environmentalists, both professional and amateur, engage is field work to count the numbers that remain in the wild. 

Pet food manufacturers promote friendly, lovable adorable, playful dependent cats. Cats slinking about pretending to stalk prey with a bell collar. This is the image consumers have of cats. These are the powerful TV advertisers with powerful emotive messages spruking up to sell their products. It's a tin of cat food, but with the message it is so much more. And it targets emotions. The consumer animal lover is being fed a myth, but the myth is potent. For many people it is unconscionable to deliberately kill cats. 

Who would want to hurt such an innocent animal, and people react in horror to the morality of cat euthanasia. Branding environmentalist who advocates for the euthanasia of all feral and free roaming cats as cat haters. 

Two flavors of morality 

Morality and ethics are part of this conversation. There is no doubt that Australian indigenous animals cannot live side by side with cats. The cat is the apex predator without any meaningful competition. It's true Dingoes will attack and kill cats if they have an opportunity. That is not enough to slow cat predation. So choices have got to be made.

We are consumers and most of us are carnivores. Yes, of course there are vegetarians and vegans, but most people in western societies are carnourvours. We all enjoy the modern convenience of the suppermarket. We see rows and rows of meat products neatly wrapped. Very clinical. Clean, healthy environment with food products expertly presented for us to buy.

As consumers we do not see the daily activities as our meat products are being slaughtered. Thousand of animals are brought to the abattoir every day to be slaughtered and butchered into meat products that consumers can handle at the supermarket and put into domestic refrigeration. Consumer sensibilities are shielded from the daily activities of slaughtermen. 

How do we justify managed slaughter of animals for food and the wholesale slaughter of wildlife? We know Australian animals are becoming increasingly threatened with the survival of species becoming a major concern.

Emotions are an empowering force

Emotions are an amazing motivating force. The emotions that environmental scientists have are different from the general population. Reasons are obvious, environmental scientists see first hand the dead, crippled and remains of animals and birds and their impending extinction. Their motivation is not driven by revenge, but by compassion and concern for the wider ecology.

The general public can't see that unless some shows it to them. There is a major problem right there. Manufacturers of cat food have enormous budgets and employ very clever people to tap into animal welfare, pushing that emotional button for all it's worth.

A shocking event that increases the threat to wildlife.

Recently the Australian Capital Territory allowed a TNR trial to run. This will have devastating consequences for Australia right across the landscape. This trial is designed to show that free roaming cats can be cared for while roaming free. The logic is totally flawed. The most obvious is just because you feed a cat, it does not stop it from hunting.

Please read and sign the petition. This is now urgent. If you agree and sign the petition, please spare a little time and share it on all your social media. Email colleagues, family and friends.

TNR doesn't stop Feral cats from hunting

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Our facebook group. Cats In the Environment

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