Killing Cats: The Open Faucet (Tap)

Killing Cats - The Open Faucet

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There is a double whammy effect when a country has a policy of killing unwanted cats.

If the cats killed are feral cats – and almost all trapped feral cats are killed – other feral cats move into the space vacated by the killed cats. This is the well known vacuum effect. So, killing feral and stray cats does not solve the problem of unwanted community cats.

If the cats killed are unwanted domestic cats – and there are millions relinquished to cat shelters – by killing them society indirectly encourages relinquishment. A person who no longer wants their cat can dump it at a shelter where, on average, 70% are killed. There is no resistance or barrier to abandoning a cat at a shelter.

The open faucet (tap) analogy is this: At one end water flows into a tank and at the base of the tank the tap is open so it flows out. The water flows constantly and there is a lot of waste of resources.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

In relation to cats…..

The water flowing in is the excess creation of unwanted cats due to irresponsible cat caretaking in failing to neuter “owned” cats, letting cats roam and breed and become feral and stray.

The water flowing out is the killing of abandoned domestic cats and community cats.

The system has an inherent stability but is expensive, wasteful and deeply inhumane. It is plain wrong because we owe a responsibility to treat cats properly and in a moral way.

It is interesting that in some societies people accept the community cat even without effective trap-neuter-return policies. Morocco seems to be a case in point but we don’t know how many cats are killed by people in these societies. In Greece community cats are a tourist attraction during the holiday season and then slaughtered (poisoned) by the authorities out of season. China killed stray cats by the thousands in Beijing before the Olympics to “clean up the streets” and they eat them in some cities.

There is no doubt in my mind that the best, and only, solution, is mass and effective trap-neuter-return programmes (TNR). I believe that Local authorities and state governments in the US are gradually coming around to the idea that it works and most importantly it is cheaper than killing cats humanely. The economic sense of TNR is its greatest recommendation. If there is one thing that motives man it is money. The inhumane aspect of mass killing does not upset us, which is why, year in and year, out millions of cats are deliberately killed under the banner of “euthanasia” – not.

TNR shuts off the faucet (tap). It stops community cats breeding. If you combined widespread TNR with regulations and/or education on neutering within cat ownership the flow of cat production would be reduced to a trickle.


Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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14 Responses

  1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    The open faucet is a very good way to describe this madness Michael and it’s time people realised that killing cats is not the answer.
    Why on earth don’t other countries follow ours and EDUCATE people to the fact that a cat is for life and not a possession to get rid of when it suits them. Why don’t they educate them as to how the neutering of both sexes of cats prevents the birth of more kittens to be killed as unwanted.
    TNR DOES work, Cats Protection here have proved it.
    It’s the FAILING of human beings causing the suffering and death of far too many cats.
    They are innocent and they have THE RIGHT to live once they are born.
    I can’t be bothered to read the rubbish written by the insane Woody under yet another alias as it is no doubt the same old axe he grinds that all cats should be dead.

    • Michael says:

      We agree on this totally. It is a human problem and everyone should be focused on people if they want to fix the problem. There should be very few unplanned community cats. If we want and accept community cats that is great but we have to manage that situation. No one at the moment does. I always think that if we kill even a small number of cats because they are unwanted it is a human failure.

      It upsets me when people criticise the cat. This is so typically human short-sightedness and an example of human arrogance. We think we are cleaver etc.. As a species, we are definitely not clever.

      Woody does grind his axe. I feel I have to let him say something even if I delete some of it because it is rude. In a perverse way his comments helps PoC. It makes it more real and makes the good comments more valid. I don’t want a site that is too sweet and one-sided.

  2. Sigh... says:

    Oh wait, I know an even bigger and better target for your stance of “it is immoral to kill animals”. Write to all the makers of your cans and bags of cat-food! That’ll teach ’em good!

    • Michael says:

      You don’t get it. I believe you are saying that killed cats are used as a food source for pet food. Yes, I am aware of that but please tell me your source of information. What you don’t understand is that if cats are used in pet food it is not a justification for killing them en masse as you suggest. Your logic is monstrous and illogical. The answer is to stop pet food manufacturers using dead cats in pet food not to make things worse.

      Your logic is the same as the logic of the NRA when they say the best way to deal with mass school murders with automatic rifles is to put more guns in the school – which will make schools battle fields.

      • Marc says:

        Great comparism Michael. I’ll bet Wooden cherishes the second amendment. I bet he thinks kids should have guns to protect themselves. He is so stupid it’s funny. It’s hard not to laugh at the rants. When I read them I start guessing what’s going to come next because there is a predictable pattern.

        Woody if you really wanted people to listen to you then you would do alot better to keep your emotions in check so the conversation can stay productive. The funny thing is that we all tried to listen to you. Do you even care thart we tried to understand some kind of practical and decent point which you failed to produce. What will you do when nobody listens to you? After one or two sentences you can’t hold it in anymore and you start being so rude and offensive that all you have left to be proud of is being a not so good troller of the internet. A good troll would let a person get a few paragraphs in before crossing the line but you can’t do it.

        A person who ridicules other people’s love – no matter any discussion therein – is a very angry antisocial lonely person who can only poison what he touches.

        What do you love Wooden?

  3. Sigh... says:

    Next you’ll be writing letters to McDonalds Corporation on how immoral they are to use cows for hamburgers. Cats are animals. There is no less nor greater morality in keeping them alive or killing them than any other animal on earth.

    • Michael says:

      You miss the point again. Cows are bred to be killed under controlled conditions to be eaten. Cats are domesticated to be companions of people. There is a difference in case you had not noticed.

  4. Sigh... says:

    Tell us all again how anyone who hunts animals is completely immoral. Maybe you should go to your nearest hunting club of people who hunt to feed their families and explain your beliefs to them. That should go over really big.

    • Michael says:

      Today there is no need to hunt wildlife to feed yourself. If you are doing that you are living in the 18th century. I guess you are. You certainly sound like it.

  5. Sigh... says:

    FACT: Your mythical “vacuum effect” is a 100% LIE. A study done by the Texas A&M University proved that any perceived “vacuum” is just the simple case that CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of them all and there’s no cats there to attract more. I proved this myself by shooting and burying hundreds of them on my own land. ZERO cats replaced them FOR OVER 3 YEARS NOW. If you want more cats, keep even one of them around, more will find you. That university study also found that sterilized cats very poorly defend any territory. Non-sterilized cats, being more aggressive, take over the sterilized cats’ resources (shelter & food if any). If there is any kind of “vacuum effect” at all, it is that sterilizing cats cause non-sterilized cats to restore the reproductive void.

    How much longer are others going to have to spoon-feed your pablum-level education to you?

    • Michael says:

      Get rid of them all and there’s no cats there to attract more

      To make that work you’ll have to get rid of them all, the whole lot state-wide or over a large area and that is not possible or decent or humane or in any way moral. Even then it won’t work because more stray cats that were domestic cats will enter the area in time. And how can you guarantee killing all the cats? It amazes me that you can think like this. It is neither practical nor moral.

      • Sigh... says:

        Now there’s the self-defeatist attitude that we all know and love about you. Good thing I didn’t think like you, or I’d still be plagued with destructive invasive species cats. That’s now a thing of the past. And should even ONE cat ever step even ONE paw on my lands again? Shoot on sight, A.S.A.P. Or I’ll be up to my a** with vermin cats again in no time with hundreds of them annihilating all the native wildlife on my lands, as it was before when they were here. Now I know how to keep the cat-population count to zero. If only you knew the same where cats don’t belong.

    • karen murray says:

      bull shit, my cats r sterilized & they defend their territory just fine against non sterilized cats. Dragon is quite a bruiser & takes no s*&t, he’s been fixed since Nov 2010. i’m sure that in some places cats r welcome, who wants the mice & rats to take over the grain stores. ever see the mass of rats in Austraila, baby picks 1 up & goes to put in it’s mouth, yeah i’m sure YOU would love that. fun shooting there

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