Letter to the editor: TNR doesn’t even reduce cat populations

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor,

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the photos of cats shivering in the snow say all anyone needs to know about how cruel it is to trap, neuter, and re-abandon (TNR) cats. (See related article by clicking here).

Homeless cats are not super-felines who can withstand freezing temperatures and other dangers, including contagious diseases, parasites, speeding cars, and attacks by other animals or cruel people. Recent horror stories include three cats who froze to death in Michigan, three members of a “managed” cat colony in New York who died of suspected poisoning, and a cat who was shot with a crossbow arrow in Cedarville. The average lifespan of a homeless cat is under 3 years, compared to 12-15 years for a cat who lives indoors.

Moreover, TNR doesn’t even reduce cat populations: It actually encourages more people to abandon their cats in the mistaken belief that the cats will be “cared for,” and the food attracts more cats—as well as creating “pest” problems by attracting foxes, raccoons, opossums, and even rats, which a recent study found cats have little effect on.

After experimenting with a TNR program, Parry Sound, Ontario, had second thoughts because, as a council member noted, “the number of feral cats appears to be increasing—as does the noise, smell and general nuisance.”

To protect cats and effectively combat the homeless-cat crisis, instead of sanctioning abandonment, Parsippany should focus on the root of the problem by requiring that all cats be licensed, microchipped, sterilized, and kept indoors.

Teresa Chagrin
Animal Care & Control Issues Manager
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510