Feral cats starve because of ban on feeding them as part of TNR program as it attracts coyotes

The management of local businesses (confirmed by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, which operates the plant) in the neighborhood of Astoria, New York City, USA have decided to ban the feeding of feral cats as part of a longstanding trap-neuter-return program because the food attracts coyotes. They say that the ban on feeding the feral cat colony of 25 cats at the Bowery Bay plant near the East River is “bad ecology” and they have to comply with intructions from city and state wildlife experts.

Feral cats Astoria NYC

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

“The coyotes pose a potential threat to our employees and members of the community, including children who use nearby baseball fields,” the Port Authority said.

The union workers and management decided that the coyotes were not a treat to workers.


Paul Santell (@Paulthecatguy) has been looking after the colony for two years under a project he calls the “Main Industrial Site”. He is the main feeder and a few workers contribute. The demand to stop feeding the cats inevitably means the cats are not eating.

Santell has been successful in his TNR program. In two years nearly all of the cats have been neuthered. Numbers have halved to 24. Several have been adopted.

Feral cats Astoria NYC

Santell argues the following points:

  • The cats were there first
  • The industries there welcome the cats as rat catchers/deterents.
  • The coyotes should be trapped and relocated. By contrast the city want to trap and kill them. This resulted in a plans for a protest by animal advocates.
  • The coyotes are drawn to the area by food related businesses. Therefore banning the feeding of feral cats will not have the desired effect.

An online petition to save the feral cat colony has 1,500 signatures after one day.


12 thoughts on “Feral cats starve because of ban on feeding them as part of TNR program as it attracts coyotes”

  1. One point everyone seems to be missing:


    Coyotes love easy meals, and starving cats are at the top of the list. Not only are the cats slowly starving to death, they are not able to get away from the coyotes because of the weakness brought on by starvation.

  2. To add, coyotes are very little threat to humans. They fear anything larger than themselves. Plus, humans stink to them, like it is with many animals. And, we aren’t a preferred food source, nor are cats. And, they are unable to carry away much more than 15 pounds of weight.

    • The coyotes in my neck of the woods LOVE to eat cats and dogs. They also love calves. Many farmers have had to destroy three legged calves because of hungry coyotes. They hunt in packs and eat the animal as it fights and struggles to get away. When they don’t carry off their meals, they will attempt to lure or herd dinner away from the protection of the humans. Coyotes are nasty and vicious animals and on rare occasions have become threats to humans, especially children.

      • I, completely, believe you Cat’s since my experience with coyotes has only been within the past year.

        Because a large part of their habitat was destroyed here, running off their food sources (rabbits, squirrels, etc.), I have found them very near to one of my feral colonies.

        All of my cats have remained safe, because I enter coyote area from behind and keep them fed, avoiding any front entrance where my cats reside.

        From what I see, there is a small family, a papa, mama, and I think I can hear 2 pups. Not sure if they would qualify as a pack. Papa
        awaits me every morning. He meets me and stops about 50 yards away. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s working for me right now.

        I guess, because I don’t have your experience, I find my papa beautiful, even charming.

        The biggest nuisance that I have today are raccoons. They steal cat food, are filthy, and have sliced up countless cats and kittens in the past over food, leaving only the intestines and parts of the head.

        Just out of curiosity…why would any farmer destroy a calf that had lost a limb?

        • Loss of habitat is the #1 reason for destruction of all native wildlife. Loss of sustainable habitat from free-roaming cats is #2 on the list. All other human-caused reasons COMBINED (wind-farms + glass-buildings + etc.) fall below the destruction caused by you and your cats at a ratio of 1/100th less destructive than you and your cats. Blame yourself for being one of the most destructive kinds of humans of ALL native habitat on earth. Them’s the facts!

          • (For sake of clarity: For every ONE animal destroyed by all human caused reasons combined, ONE-HUNDRED more are killed by people who support outdoor cats.)

  3. Well, as central Florida residents were told by wildlife officials, “Coyotes are here to stay and we must find a way to co-exist”.

    Since no one can really come up with a compromising solution, the cats must suffer in this instance.

    I don’t think that trapping the coyotes and relocating or killing them will work as the same vacuum effect exists for them as with feral cats. When some are taken away, others will fill the vacancies. And, officials will quickly see that it doesn’t work, especially if there are food sources in the area, ie. restaurants.

    At this moment, the best move that I can fathom would be to relocate the cat colony, as hard as that is.

  4. So all those animals have and are now suffering to death just because YOU don’t have the strength of heart to peacefully euthanize cats. Is your fear of your own deaths that great that you would deny a peaceful and painless death for another? Wow, just wow. You are all so weak, so very weak. Not one strong heart nor spine amongst any of you. Animals those animals suffer just because you are all so weak — and foolish.

    • What are talking about W. Williams? This is a not a question of euthanasia. These cats are not suffering. They live in a managed colony. They are fed. They have derelict buildings to live in. It is not that bad. The guy looking after them is doing something far more humane and tender than killing them. He is stopping them breeding while he looks after them. That is decent behavior. That is humane and moral. Really, you are a fool. We, who endorse TNR are not weak. We are the opposite. It is much harder to do the right thing. Killing them is the easy root. The one chosen by the weak.


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