Poor TNR (trap-neuter-return) is worse than no TNR
So, poor TNR is worse than no TNR. Right? Put it another way – as a Catster writer effectively did – euthanasia of stray and feral cats is better than feeding them and people who feed stray and feral cats make people mad.
Some people, a lot of people in fact, would agree that it is better to euthanise stray or feral cats than feed them which is most often part of the TNR process.
The lady author on Catster, Meghan Lodge, thinks this. This is a quote from her article:
….pardon me. I wasn’t aware that humane euthanasia, as awful as it may sound, was so horrible in comparison to adding to the population of intact, unvaccinated homeless cats. I don’t like to see any animal die, but I also don’t like seeing people willfully contribute to the problem instead of being part of the solution….
She lives with three cats and two dogs, which surprises me. Her article is extraordinarily wrong and exaggerated. She claims that cats of a local feral cat colony close to where she lives are so inbred that they have missing eyes, ears and limbs. Uhmm, ridiculous, obviously. What Megan states is clearly complete nonsense. Feral cats are random bred and the gene pool is far wide than for pedigree cats. Genetically they are healthy.
Also a person doing TNR is not contributing to the problem but single handedly solving the problem in the area where they live. But is it too much for an individual? And do these good people succeed in trapping and neutering all the cats in the colony? Isn’t that too much to ask? Isn’t it a never ending process, too large a problem? Do they need help?
We should dismiss Meghan Lodge’s article out of hand but we should ask why does the burden of dealing with feral cats so often fall on the shoulders of a good women? It is nearly always women. They put up with a lot.
This is such a contentious issue in American society. The feral cats and the people who try and help just muddle through. There is no plan A or B or C to deal with feral cats properly. Where is the strategy?
The only way to deal with them properly is (a) to operate TNR which includes feeding and these programs should be extended and publicly funded and organized and (b) steps taken to prevent or slow down the creation of unwanted cats that become feral – education comes to mind. It should be a two-pronged attack on the problem.
It seems to me that it is too much of a burden for some individuals to operate TNR. There are heavy expenses. It takes a lot of time. So, what if a person just feeds ferals? That is very humane but is it sensible? If I saw feral cats – and we never see then in the UK – I’d feed them but would I be able to carry out an effective TNR program.
When I went to Malta to meet Martha Kane, a cat rescuer, she and her husband were battling against the odds to help the cats. They were not, as far as I am aware, trapping and neutering. I still felt she was doing good work. But is she?
There are too many questions. How successful are individuals who do their bit for feral cats? We know that TNR works but is it too hard for an individual to make it work and when it fails is it worse than no TNR because feeding feral and stray cats attracts wildlife and cat haters?