We all share the same goal: to humanely control the feral cat population in our communities. That is the sentiment of the Feral Cat Intervention Coordinator of the Louisiana SPCA, Sara Dawdy. Of course, it should be obvious that we need to behave humanely towards feral cats but it got me thinking. Sara makes the statement as if everybody has the same opinion regarding controlling feral cats, namely to treat them humanely.
But of course there are a lot of people who believe in the old fashion way of trapping and euthanizing feral cats or more accurately killing them. Fundamentally, this has to be an inhumane way of controlling the feral cat population because killing unnecessarily is inhumane. Killing feral cats is unnecessary because TNR is a non-lethal and superior alternative.
Therefore the people who want to kill are behaving in an inhumane way. I have never read a response from these people justifying why they think they should behave inhumanely towards feral cats.
If a person behaves inhumanely he is not showing compassion or benevolence. Therefore it could be argued that he is not a compassionate person. A compassionate person has concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
If you want to cull feral cats you can’t describe yourself as a compassionate person. Conversely if you want to conduct TNR programs you are a compassionate person. Therefore people involved in TNR are better people than those who want to kill them.
The point that I’m making is that to trap and kill feral cats is not only less effective than TNR it is a concept devised by people who lack a human characteristic which is desirable, namely compassion. I wonder whether they are aware of this. It is something that they should not be proud of.
P.S.: some people say that it is humane to kill feral cats in a humane way because it puts them out of their misery. This implies that their lives are entirely a misery and hopeless. I disagree with that. You can’t generalise and say that all feral cats live miserable lives. Of course some do but many don’t. Many are cared for by volunteers under TNR programs and live decent lives. In other parts of the world there are hundreds of millions of feral cats regarded as community cats. These cats are welcome in the community and part of it. To cull feral cats unselectively is inhumane.