Letter to the editor: Cat concerns

To the editor:

While trap-neuter-release (TNR) ends reproduction by those cats who are caught, the following negative impacts are not addressed by TNR.

Free-roaming cats live shorter, harder lives. Predation by larger animals, poisons, antifreeze, rat bait and being killed by cars are serious threats. Exposure to extremes of temperature and unreliable food and water sources all conspire to dispel the myth that a free-roaming cat is living its best life. Dog owners would be considered negligent by subjecting their dogs to the same risk-filled life faced by “community cats.” TNR is not a very humane solution.

Estimates of numbers of birds killed by cats in the U.S. annually range from 1 billion to 2.4 billion, according to various studies. Cats are not a co-evolving part of an ecosystem, and the damage they inflict causes great environmental harm. TNR does not ameliorate the damage to ecosystems by cats.

Community cats use yards, gardens and landscaping as their litter box. Contact with cat feces exposes humans to toxoplasmosis and parasitic roundworms and hookworms. What recourse would property owners have to permanently remove cats that are causing damage to property if the current ordinance is changed? TNR does not protect property rights.

Free-roaming cats are a problem that humans have created. Looking at the wider negative impact, TNR is not a good solution for the cats, the ecosystem or our neighborhoods.

Denise Pettengill,

Lawrence

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