Should a feral cat close down a school?

An elementary school in Maryland has been closed simply because a feral cat was seen wandering around the school. Surely this cannot be a sensible reaction to the presence of a feral cat within the school’s grounds.

Feral cat

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

The picture above is not the cat. If is just to illustrate the page. A picture of the actual cat is at the base of the page.

The school has 500 students and they were bussed back home or they waited to be picked up by their parents to return home.

Traps have been set to catch the cat. This story was reported on August 29, 2014.  The cat may already have been caught by now and if so it is a death sentence.

In closing down the school just because a feral cat is seen wandering around is effectively a death sentence for the cat because it will be trapped by animal control and then euthanized. No question about that. Is that fair?

Of course, people have to protect students in their charge. The headmaster’s first priority is the student’s safety but does the presence of a feral cat present a danger to the students anymore than sports events or playing in the playground?

I don’t think it does. All you have to do is ignore the cat. Feral cats will nearly always run and hide from people anyway. The real danger is towards the cat not the people at the school. The headmaster could have issued a warning at morning assembly to not approach the cat. Then the school could have used the opportunity to turn the event into something positive by setting up a lesson in companion animal welfare.

I have a feeling that the headmaster’s decision to the presence of this cat is a knee-jerk reaction based upon what he or she may have read on the Internet about aggressive feral cats. It is indicative of how it is quite easy to spread misleading impressions when the wrong language and the wrong emphasis is employed in articles about cats. This is something that the news media often do.

I cannot believe that this is the first occasion when a stray cat has wandered into the grounds of the school and I’m sure that on all the other previous occasions the cat was simply ignored and the school functioned as normal.

This bad decision by the headmaster, in my opinion, does yet more damage to the public profile of the feral cat in the eyes of the public which may well lead to more persecution of the homeless cat.

Update: the cat has been captured and will be “assessed”. That means a good chance of euthanasia. I think it is disgusting. She is a dark calico:

Cat that closed school is captured
Cat that closed school is captured

She is scared. Why did they embark on all this nonsense and to kill this cat? I’d be very surprised if the cat is released or adopted out.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

9 thoughts on “Should a feral cat close down a school?”

  1. This sickens me. The cat could have been seen as a lesson in compassion and truth. Compassion is something even children lack today. They could have done a donation box to raise money for food and vetting.Be proactive and educate on the truth of strays/ferals.

    1. Yes, excellent ideas. But as is so typical in a fearful world where the feral cat is unfairly criticised by journalists and scientists, the teachers take the overly safe route and kill the cat. I would doubt if this cat will survive now. Totally wrong but no one is speaking up for the cat except us.

    1. Good point Dee. I think this is overhyped though. If any and every feral cat is deemed to have rabies if kids are in the area it means kids can’t go out and feral cats are automatically trapped and killed.

      In the USA rabies is extremely rare in cats. I figured that the chance of getting rabies from a cat was 1 in many million – like winning the lottery. Dogs bites are far more commonplace. But would the school have been closed if a dog was wandering around?

      Rabies does not kill automatically. Immediate treatment can be taken:

  2. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    Talk about over reacting! As if there was any need to close down the school because of ONE cat! He may not even have been feral, he could be someone’s lost pet.
    That head teacher missed a good chance to educate the pupils in caring about animals and how to help a cat wandering around on his own.

  3. A very true and right saying MICHAEL
    My friend! I don’t know why every one is against these neglected creatures os Allah Subhanahu, I am dead sick of this all happening to cats.

    If I was there should I offer my free services to all that let the children be in the class room and let me trap this fellow within 5 to 10 minutes time without harming it.

    These cats actually wander in the need of food. They are actually neglected children. They are mature or kitten, what so ever but they need us in three basic ways.

    1. Food
    2. Water
    3. Shelter

    The most important is that we neuter all males of such cats. Leave the females but the males should be neutered.

    Is there any group of vet organization in the whole planet earth who can stand for the welfare of these cats and follow the main issues mentioned above by me. The answer is Yes! it is possible but the other answer is NO! there is no any group like that because our vets are selfish about this kind of “FERAL” issue. 🙁

    Very very great article focusing the truth picture, and I love the truth <3 🙂
    Thank you Michael (My friend).

    1. Ahsan I am sure if you were at the school you’d save the cat and no child be hurt. It would be peace and harmony. I don’t like the overreaction because the feral cat is bound to end up being killed. There lives are very cheap in comparison to children.

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