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Paws & Reflect by Maui Humane Society
September 22, 2011 - Mark Vieth
Cats, Cats, Everywhere Cats
Love ‘em or hate ‘em feral cats are part of our island communities. MHS takes in thousands of feral cats each year, with the majority being euthanized. Last year alone we received over 2,250 feral cats. 94% were euthanized. Is euthanasia making a significant impact on the feral cat population? Absolutely not.
Trap, neuter, release, and manage (TNRM) is a proven humane method to control feral cat numbers. However, it is dependent on the timely and consistent sterilization of feral cats and responsible pet ownership, so no more cats join the feral population. Unfortunately, many people with feral cat colonies are little more than feeders, and spay/neuter is not their priority. They think they are doing a kindness for these cats, but in truth it is a disservice to allow the cat population to grow. All cat colony caretakers should follow the guidelines of the TNRM program. All feral cats should be sterilized. We do this free of charge for colony caretakers.
It is disturbing to hear people advocating “dumping” of feral or unwanted pet cats (dropping cats off into established cat colonies). Aside from being cruel and illegal, this impacts the colonies, creates issues for neighboring residents and businesses, and causes negative perceptions of the TNRM program and feral cats themselves.
Cats were brought to Hawaii by humans. These are the same domestic animals that we tamed thousands of years ago to provide companionship. Humans are responsible for the feral cat situation on Maui, and we are the ones that must solve it. For more information on TNRM, contact our partner Feline Foundation of Maui, 891-1181, Mauicats.org <Mauicats.org> or the Maui Humane Society.
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