The book “Cat Wars” advocates extermination of free-ranging cats from the landscape

The full title of the book published by Princeton University Press is: Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer. The authors are Dr Peter P Marra, head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and Chris Santella, a freelance writer who was probably employed to make sure the grammar was okay because poor old Peter needs some help on it.

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

On pages 152-153 it states:

“From a conservation ecology perspective, the most desirable solution seems clear—remove all free-ranging cats from the landscape by any means necessary.”

and on page 170:

“There is little question that free-ranging cats—both the unowned and the owned pets allowed to roam freely outside—pose a pending ecological and public-health disaster.”

The authors do admit that humans are also to blame for threats to conservation of wildlife and birds. At least they admit that. But Dr Marra’s brutally biased final solution to bird conservation is to exterminate all free-ranging cats which must include all outside cats both domestic, stray and feral in any country.

We should not be surprised because this is not the first time Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has been involved in attacking the cat in this way. Dr Ross did it not so long ago. Perhaps he is a colleague of Dr Marra.

On where it can be purchased, it gets a 1.5 out of 5 rating. This is exceptionally poor as 92% of the reviewers gave one star and 8% gave five stars. Here is some extracts from comments on Amazon:

“This is a person blaming a problem that people have created on an animal. I know cat lovers are going to bomb this book to bomb this book but there really are some serious errors here. For one thing, people make decisions, animals do not. Feral populations are almost always created by humans (Think Australia and rabbits) and it makes zero sense to blame these issues on the animals themselves…. — Spenser Calderin

“It’s difficult for me to figure out why Princeton University Press would publish this sensationalist, one-sided book, not because it calls for a repulsive and outright war on cats, but rather because it lacks the scientific rigor that characterizes numerous other books they’ve published. Cat Wars calls for a massive assault on all free-ranging cats. After superficially and very selectively reviewing information on a variety of topics (you can see their Table of Contents on this Amazon page), the authors heartlessly conclude: “From a conservation ecology perspective, the most desirable solution seems clear—remove all free-ranging cats from the landscape by any means necessary.” — Marc Berkoff

There are many more negative reviews, which indicates that the vast majority of people find it very distasteful that a so called scientist who should be objective and scientific in his arguments demonstrates bind biased to conclude that mass killing of outdoor cats by any means is the answer to bird conservation.

The Amazon reviews also tell us that there is a substantial body of people who do want to kill all outside cats. However, they are in the minority by a large percentage because most people are sensible and sensitive enough to realise that humans are to blame for feral cats and to kill them is to kill an innocent victim of human behaviour. The cats are behaving naturally. They are doing nothing wrong. It’s the people who are at fault. This demands an humane approach. Nothing less is morally wrong.

There is no doubt in my mind that Dr Marra set out to attack the cat and then selected any study he could lay his hands on to support his arguments. Most of these studies are themselves biased and incomplete. Or they guess the impact of cats on birds. There is a war out there but it is not cat wars it is people wars: the war between cat haters who are bird lovers and the rest of us who see through the unethical proposals of those advocating mass cat killing, which is impractical and ineffective anyway.

I could go on for hours but I’d be repeating myself. Please use the search box at the top of the page to find more articles on this subject. There are many. Australia is the number one advocate of mass killing of cats by any means.

Don’t buy this ugly book, please. Just go to Amazon and slag it off as vociferously as you can.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

15 thoughts on “The book “Cat Wars” advocates extermination of free-ranging cats from the landscape”

  1. READ THE BOOK: Their point is not killing cats… First, they’re advocating for people NOT dumping cats! Then for feral cats, they advocate adoption and failing that sanctuaries. If all cats cannot be handled this way, then we obviously have a huge humane problem that needs real solutions, not ignoring them.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I agree that the best course of action is to prevent feral cats existing but to take extreme action in the form of mass killing is wrong no matter the cause. I don’t have time to read (or the inclination to be honest) the book and have to rely on reports.

    1. Cats are part of the natural order in nature. Overpopulation of any animal is detrimental. Cats seem to have evolved to live with humans and play an important role in rodent control. Remove all the cats within areas that have high population density and watch the plague start.

      1. There were four more cat-to-human transmissions of plague in North America just last month–hundreds and hundred in the last 3 decades so far. Many people and cats died from it because people refuse to believe it is alive and well today–and being spread by CATS. They don’t believe it is happening so they don’t diagnose it until far too late.

        Oh? Didnt you know? It is cats that are spreading the plague to humans today. I wonder why nobody is letting you know. 🙂

        http : / / www . abcdcatsvets . org / yersinia-pestis-infection
        “Recommendations to avoid zoonotic transmission: Cats are considered the most important domestic animal involved in plague transmission to humans, and in endemic areas, outdoor cats may transmit the infection to their owners or to persons caring for sick cats (veterinarians and veterinary nurses).”

        Try another deceptive myth on why cats should be allowed to roam free, that one isn’t working anymore. Cats are causing the spread of the plague today.

        But of course Micheal won’t want you to know this. He’d rather that you and everyone and everything else die of cat-transmitted plague, rather than tell you the truth. That’s just how much that he truly cares about you and every other living thing on earth. I have proof of this.

        By the way, if cats are a natural part of the environment, then why are you sterilizing them so they can’t reproduce? Your agreement to sterilize them is your admission that they don’t belong out in nature in the very first place. Does this sound reasoning and logic escape you? It seems to soar right over the heads of most of you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you can’t comprehend it either.

        1. Hi Woody. I hope you are enjoying your 1000th persona. Is she female?

          I am perfectly happy to accept that there are some risks of disease transmission from cats to people but it is grossly over-hyped. Also this does not change the argument that we must deal with feral cats humanely. You consistently fail to understand this which indicates that you are sociopathic.

          I agree to sterialisation as a humane way to control and decrease numbers. That’s obvious. There should no feral cats in an ideal world where all cat owners were highly responsible. You consitently twist arguments to suit you distorted viewpoint. You need professional help.

        2. How many cases of plague transmitted by cats have we had during last 10 years? Out of how many in total? You don’t understand statistics, you don’t understand epidemiology, you just cite articles you don’t understand.

          All of the cases of people getting plague by cats specifically involve cat owners who had very close contact with cats infected with pneumonic plague (which is in itself rare) or vets. It’s also a very small number of cases, most of the cases of plague in the US are from human hiking in endemic areas and being bitten by fleas that fed on prairie dogs. This can happen, but it’s hardly a risk to general population. If you are not a vet, and you don’t have cats that go outside in endemic area, it’s not a risk to you.

          Bubonic plague is spread by fleas. Most owned indoor-outdoor cats are treated for fleas. Rats cannot be treated for fleas. No cats = more rats. Got it?

          1. Vets bulletin boards , feed stores and local newspapers run regular reminders during plague season to keep your pets away from wildlife and treated for fleas. In many cases the plague in humans is a direct result of stupidity.

  2. Will this insanity about cats killing wildlife and spreading disease ever end?
    Since I’m sick of it, others must be too.

    1. I can’t go anywhere it seems without dodging dog crap on every public surface. Forget public parks it’s like walking though a field of landmines.

  3. Right now outside I have what was obviously once a pet. Likely a housecat who showed up here skin bone and flea bit. She has now been fed, wormed , treated for fleas. Two days ago she had 6 kittens. This morning I finally found them. I had to go to the animal shelter and have 4 of them euthanized. The mother and two healthy babies are in a large outdoor crate. I’m heading out later to buy a large out door type cat pen. We are not income eligible for low cost spay. We’ll have to eat that cost. Plus shots. If we can’t home her I’ll do my best for her here. My one cat will not accept an adult cat. We’ll probably keep one of the babies. Again more spay and shots cost. All for a pet that someone tossed out because she became incontinent. I’m for ridding the landscape of abusive pet owners. If I take her to the local shelter she stands a good chance of being put down. Interestingly we have hoards of birds but I believe it was Tera that cleaned up the field mice problem.

    1. So sorry about your plight. So, the 4 euthanized kits were sick (if it was a kill shelter, they would have killed them, healthy or not). Just curious as to whether they just had an URI, with goopy eyes, that would be an easy fix, or not. Most long term caretakers keep an ample supply of injectable penicillin, azithromycin or amoxicillin elixir, and antibiotic eye ointment on hand. Most are prescribed by our own MD’s who know that we are treating cats.
      But, you or anyone would have to have a clear understanding about dosages.
      I’m not sure where you are, but many rescue groups have access to low cost services that aren’t based on income.
      Here, mine has no restrictions – $10 for spay/neutering, health checks, rabies vaccine, microchipping, deworming.

      1. The kittens were in a ball. It appeared 2 were underdeveloped , One was missing a leg and the third was entangled in the bunch and not thriving. They were two days old and in poor shape. Whatever was going on was more than cords, placenta and feces. Their constant screaming was distracting the mother from caring for the two healthy babies. I made the humane decision and after they were examined at the shelter they agreed the kind thing to do was end their suffering. We have no rescues here that aren’t full or funded to deal with this kind of mess. The point is this evil wildlife killing mama cat should have been spayed instead of out there adding to the feral population. I am sick of cat hate. I hate the people that refuse to respect their pets right to a decent life fail to see that once you own one you are committed to the pets well being for life. Not just until you get bored or find they are going to cost you money. This mom cat is a fantastic cat. I hope to find her a home. Regardless in 4 weeks she will be spayed.

        1. Understand completely. What a horror story.
          I know how the decisions that we have to make affect us. There are days when I walk around like I have PTSD and, well I do.

          I’m so sorry that you have no decent rescue groups in your area. Perhaps, you could start one. It’s a pretty easy project in the U.S. But, I’m not sure where you are. Let me know and, perhaps, I could help you start one.

          I applaude your rescue of a poor mama cat and kits.
          But, one of your lines bothered me tremendously.

          “The point is this evil wildlife killing mama cat should have been spayed instead of out there adding to the feral population.”

          To refer to a poor mother cat, who exists because of our own human idiosy, doesn’t deserve to be called “an evil wildlife killing mama”.

          You sound like Woody with his birdie spew. Cats, feral or not, enjoy the wildlife hunt. They don’t have to be hungry, only intrigued. That’s nature.
          Perhaps, you only have indoor cats that never chase a mouse, bug, or lizard around your house. Lucky you.

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