Feral Cats of Los Angeles

by Michael
(London, UK)

Superior court - Inferior decision - photo by JaymezB (Flickr)

Superior court - Inferior decision - photo by JaymezB (Flickr)

The feral cats of Los Angeles are going to have it harder, at least for a while. I am sure you have heard. A group of wildlife conservation organisations including the Audubon Society made a court application for an injunction into the city's subsidization of individuals (through vouchers) who wanted to trap, neuter and release (TNR) feral cats. A lot of the people who report feral cats and who wish to help are on low incomes so financial support is important for them.

As I understand it, their argument was that TNR does not work and feral cats kill birds by the millions.

Although I have not seen the judgement, the application succeeded and a survey was ordered into TNR and the impact of feral cats on wildlife. In other words the judge wanted to know whether the applicant's arguments were true and in the meantime he shut down city funding of an important process that helps control feral cat populations.

The fear is that many more feral cats will be killed in shelters as nearly all feral cats taken to shelters are killed1

For me, the whole process is wrong on a number of levels.

Firstly, animal conservations groups should not be in conflict over which animal is more important. This at the root of this application, it seems to me. On that basis alone the judge should have thrown the application for an injunction out. A judge is not qualified to make a decision on wildlife issues of this nature. The various groups should have found a common solution and worked together. The first thing they could and should have done is to fully and accurately investigate the impact of feral cats on wildlife and then make appropriate decisions while steering clear of courts.

Secondly, if the judge agreed that the application has merit he should have let the funding continue pending the outcome of a survey. In other words the status quo should be maintained while further research was carried out. That, surely, is a more logical sequence of events.

After all, what if a survey finds that the arguments of the bird conservation groups was founded upon inaccurate data? That would lead to the unnecessary deaths of many feral cats for no purpose.

In my opinion there is no substantive evidence that concludes that feral cats kill birds to an extent that warrants new law or controls.

I also understand that the judge may have overstepped his authority in creating new law, which is the work of the government. A judge can interpret legislation and thereby create precedents but not create wholly new law.

I am afraid the judge got it wrong. The decision is being appealed as it would take too long to produce a report (a report might result in the decision being overturned). And in any case will a survey be accurate and how much will it cost? Will it be biased? There is a lot of self serving data collection going on. It is hard to get at the truth. We don't even know how many feral cats there are so how can we work out their impact?

I would have thought that the city councillors are annoyed. They are an enlightened group on the basis that they banned the declawing of cats late last year.

Michael Avatar


1.Alley Cat Allies

Associated Pages:

Feral cats of Los Angeles

Please go to Alley Cat Allies Action Alert page -- link broken May 2013

Feral Cats of Los Angeles to Feral cats

Comments for
Feral Cats of Los Angeles

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 11, 2011 Humans are the invasive species!
by: Demian

Cat-haters argue that cats are "ecological disasters," but in reality, they, like most of humanity, are the ecological disaster. Millions of acres of forest chopped down, even now, to expend suburban sprawl and make room for more "Mc Mansions". Anyone who has ever seen the before and after of a suburban development will readily see that this kills far, far more birds, foxes, deer, and other wildlife than any cat. Cats are an easy target for those unwilling to reconcile the fact that their own personal ecological imprint is easily more than that of 1,000 cats. Cars, roads, burning fuel to heat the home. Are these "indoor cat" fanatics going to stop driving their cars, living in big houses, using all that electricity and water? Not likely.

Oct 07, 2010 feral cats
by: Howard

The main problem I have with feral cats are they are non natives and non endemics..they arent supposed to be in nature here in USA..they kill countless numbers of wildlife..I have seen this for many years as Im out in the wild most of the time either for work or play...I have no problem with people having cats as pets but they need to take responsibility for their pet and keep them indoor unless walked on a leash or allow them to go outside in an enclosure..they arent any different than other pets..I have reptiles,birds,bunnies,fish for pets..I dont allow them to run free all over the neighborhood...I have to put up with cats using my flower beds as their personal litter boxes..not to mention them trying very hard to get at my pets through their enclosures..howling at all hours of the night fighting...if people loved their cats they wouldnt allow them to roam at great peril to themselves..I see atleast 1 cat a day ran over on the highway on the way to town each day..probably many make it off the road where they arent seen before dying..I used to feed the birds becuase I enjoy watching and photographing them but the neighbors cats put an end to that..I sit on my porch watching as the cats kill and eat birds still under the neighbors feeders...cats can be trained to walk on a leash same as a dog...they have toys and food that can be bought and fed to them they have NO reason to be out in the wild whatsoever...the native critters can handle the mouse problem ...if they are allowed to..cats either run them out or eat them first and then take over as the local predator...around here in March you cant buy a cat..they are all eaten by the Great Horned Owls outback..I think the most inhumane thing a cat owner can do is let their cat roam...keep em indoors and spay and neuter them...

Jul 15, 2010 GET A GRIP
by: Anonymous

Feral cats are wild, they carry diseases. They are problems to domestic cats, dogs and wildlife. I love cats but it is the cruel HUMANS who dump them. The same humans that got them when they are kittens because they are cute, and want to show their kids about the facts of life. Take your kids to a shelter and show them how irresponsible humans are killing cats and dogs - death and killing is about of life also! Quit living in your rainbow world. We have feral cats in the neighborhood that some neighbors feed - thinking they are helping them. If you want to help them TNR them. This way they wont have kittens. Kittens which will may not live long due to hot summer days or freezing winter nights. Humans that feed these feral cats are weak, they do not see that life these cats live. They toss out food then go back to their safe homes. Feral cats need to be stopped - it is the humane thing to do.

Apr 13, 2010 birds get away
by: kathy

I live in a rural neighborhood where we all have bird feeders and we also all feed the local feral cats, whatever ones show up from day to day. I never see the cats try to get any birds, they do stalk squirels, These cats are in more danger from the squirrels than catching one. Either that or the squirrels in my neighborhood have rabies. This morning I watches one chase poor patches ( the new aabondoned feral friendly cat) away from the tree. The birds in my neighborhood are in more danger from the local hawks and falcons that pass through. This winter we lost one cardinal and many morning doves to them than we did local cats. Especially if they are being fed by someone I dont really see where they present a danger to any birds. I raised cats and birds right along side of each other for many years. People need to be educated and this is just another one of those nasty wars being raged by local cat haters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.