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Student Life

Feral cats on campus: nuisances or simply homeless?

The number of feral cats spayed and neutered exceeded those euthanized in Tampa last year.

To some, feral cats are seen as rabies-infested, untamed animals that are unwanted on private property.  To others, they are homeless cats that live in colonies and depend on wild behaviors to survive.

Mary Ann O’Donnell, the Feral Cat Manager at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, said, “There are 17,000 registered on our database with colony caregivers.”

Some of these colony caregivers are located on the University of South Florida’s campus.  The majority of the USF cat population is sterilized and has already received shots.  To identify this, a quarter-inch is removed from the tip of the cat’s left ear.

Gordon Fox of the Department of Integrative Biology at USF believes feral cats are an invasive species along with weeds and fire ants.

“As long as people see feral cats as something like pets, we’ll have a problem,” Fox said.

Fox thinks feral cats are a nuisance species that carry rabies.  But, according to O’Donnell, there has not been a recorded rabies case since 1948.  When a cat gets spayed and neutered, it also receives a rabies shot that lasts up to seven years.  If a rabies case were to occur, it would be more common to see it through a cat to cat infestation, O’Donnell said.

The large number of feral cats roaming streets is due to irresponsible owners.  These people fail to spay and neuter their pets and the cats are either abandoned or run away.

“I have noticed a rise in stray cats around campus,” said sophomore Gregory Jacobs.  “They don’t bother me, though, because they rarely come up to me.”

Jacobs finds these cats to be invasive and thinks they kill many birds.  O’Donnell said that feral cats kill a minimal number of birds and help control the rodent population such as rats.

An easy solution to reduce numbers of cats is to participate in the Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR, program the Humane Society offers.  A cat is trapped humanely, neutered, vaccinated for rabies and released back into its colony.

Every Monday, 150 cats are sterilized.  If a resident lives in the area code 33612, this service is free.  Otherwise $15 is needed.  The TNR service is available to outdoor and indoor cats.

About Marissa Kosiec

-Student at the University of South Florida (GO BULLS!) -Majoring in Public Relations -Play lacrosse and softball -Love music more than anything -This is my first blog so enjoy! :)


2 Responses to “Feral cats on campus: nuisances or simply homeless?”

  1. Data taken from TNR advocates’ OWN resources:

    Estimated Cat Population of Hillsborough, Florida
    Estimated Number of Cats 569,070
    Estimated Number of Free-Roaming Cats 312,990
    Estimated Costs Associated With Alteration and Return Per Cat
    Trap/Fieldwork $50
    Neuter/Spay $40
    Physical Exams $40
    Vaccinations $30
    Estimated Cost of TNR in Hillsborough, Florida Per Cat $160

    Applying population-growth calculus on your existing population of feral cats for just ONE YEAR, with only 2 litters per year, not the 3 or 4 they are capable of, with a 90% survival rate, brings you 4,542,264 feral-cats by years’ end.

    This means an average of 11,587 feral-cats are being born PER DAY during the coming year.

    Unless you can trap MORE THAN 11.587 cats PER DAY, then you must trap 11,587 cats PER DAY into perpetuity. You MUST be able to exceed their breeding rates or you will have a steady supply of 11,578 cats per day or greater FOR THE REST OF YOUR SORRY EXISTENCE.

    You’re sterilizing a whopping 150 cats per week?!? Wow! How successful this must make you must feel!

    (Excuse me, I have to go laugh deeply for awhile, be right back….)

    If employing TNR methods, then this will be at an expense of resources diverted (stolen by TNR con-artists) from your community by volunteer hours, donations, or outright cash valued at $1,853,920.00 — PER DAY (or $676,680,800.00 per year, yes, over 1/2 $BILLION per year). Keeping in mind that this is just to match cats’ breeding rates. If you cannot catch-up to and match or exceed this breeding rate and TNR expense, then this must be sustained INTO PERPETUITY at a higher cost each day.

    I got rid of every last one of hundreds of cats on my land by using .22s purchased on a close-out sale of 5000 rounds for $15. Hundreds of them permanently gone for less than the price of a few cups of coffee. Three per penny, completely gone. No further problems. No diseases. No more wildlife destroyed. No more cats. (Bury cat carcasses deeply or incinerate them to protect wildlife from dying from eating dead cats, cats kill wildlife even after they are dead. I tried to feed one of the shot-dead cats to some surviving opossum, which promptly died from some disease in that cat-meat. Cats truly are complete wastes of flesh. They can’t even be used to safely feed wild animals. Leaving cats out in nature, alive or dead, is no better than intentionally poisoning all your wildlife to death.)

    Contrary to psychotic cat-lovers’ oft-spewed “vacuum effect” LIE, none have returned to my land in over 2 years. Simple reason being: CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of every last one and there’s nothing there to attract more. Should 1 or 2 ever show up again, shoot on first sight before they attract more. Situation back to normal. All the wildlife on my land is now nicely rebounding. I have fox, owls, hawks, turkey, pheasant, grouse, etc. etc. again. All those animals that completely disappeared for over a decade — from cats’ either using them for heinously tortured cats’ play-toys, or those that starved to death from cats destroying all their foods.

    I also find it interesting that you have a whole University at your disposal and not one of you have figured out that you’re all being made fools of by these TNR psychotics.

    So much for our education system! And those who run it.

    Oh, one other thing … how many stray and feral cats with Feline Leukemia and other deadly cat diseases are roaming around your beloved endangered Florida Panthers? Yeah, you can kiss them all goodbye too. So much for your efforts to save them and all the money and time wasted in doing so! (Are ALL you people genetically brain-dead?)

    Posted by woodsman001 | April 19, 2012, 5:29 am
    Reply to this comment


  1. Pingback: Gardening with Harry « Dancing Through Life with Spirit - April 23, 2012

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