Arkansas Will Trap Feral Cats

Arkansas will soon implement a common-sense plan to benefit conservation and public health, yet it will likely receive resistance from the usual "animal rights" types. Why? The plan involves trapping feral cats along the Little Red River and removing them from the environment.

According to the American Bird Conservancy, feral cats kill an estimated 500 million birds annually. This unnatural toll on wildlife is noted in the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's official press release:

Tom Bly, fisheries biologist with the AGFC said that feral cats are considered an invasive species by conservation agencies and organizations nationwide. "Cats are the most significant invasive species affecting native bird populations and are also estimated to kill twice as many mammals as birds. There are also numerous human health concerns associated with feral cat colonies. Through feces, fleas, bites, or scratches cats can pass a variety of parasitic, bacterial and viral illnesses including rabies, toxoplasmosis, hook worms, and typhus," Bly said.

Emphasis mine. Live traps will be baited with sardines and set each evening, then removed in the morning. Feral cats will be taken to local shelters.

What do you think of Arkansas' plan? Are feral cats a problem in your area?

Further Reading:

Writer: Kill Feral Cats to Save Wild Birds
ABC: Coyotes Have Taste for House Cats
Utah Bill Would Allow Shooting Feral Animals
Claim: HSUS Seeks Wild Bird Executioner

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10 Responses to Arkansas Will Trap Feral Cats

Jeannette wrote:
September 08, 2013

Thank you for viewing this non-native, invasive species from a biological standpoint. TNR proponents refuse to look at the whole picture and simply want a 'no-kill' world for their cats. They don't realize that millions more mammals and birds lose their lives due to these very cats existing in an environment in which they do not belong! How can we get this done in Oregon?

DAMS wrote:
August 25, 2013

Thanks God there is some common sense left. Sad that we had to come to this, but the cat lovers are not willing to take all the cats in and some think a 'cat's independence' is more important that its impact its surroundings. Feeding -wild animals- in some countries is forbidden due to fear of spreading diseases.

S. Hughes wrote:
July 08, 2012

Thank goodness for people like woodsman. I lived in a trailer park that was so badly infested with cats. It was scary. They tore up everything and then there's your typical old lady that keeps dishes of food out for them. In a 25 trailer park there were easily 150 cats. The fleas on the property were so bad that I couldn't even walk through the grass without bringing them back in. Needless to say, I moved as soon as I realized how bad the cat problem was. Being from Southern Wisconsin, I've never encountered feral cats but they are a huge problem for many reasons. I say kill 'em. If not, they'll continue to multiply and spread disease.

J Edwards wrote:
July 07, 2012

I have a Sheridan Silver Streak in .20. In town, nobody knows I am whacking cats or starlings. I know which cat belongs to my next door neighbor, I won't whack that one, bad for friendships, but all others die. That one isn't outside all that much, anyway.

Woodsman wrote:
July 07, 2012

A couple more tips for those trying to clean their lands of cats. For some of the most wary ones I built a "cat call" out of a small MP3 player and some battery-powered pocket-speakers (also a $3 ebay deal). Then downloaded all kinds of cat sounds from cat-lovers' sites online. They LOVE sharing the sounds of their cats. Put those to good use. Get all kinds. In heat, mewing kittens (attract toms that come to kill them if not their own), cats fighting, etc. ALL attract cats. Curiosity DOES kill the cat. Sage advice from generations past. And oddly, one of the most beneficial cat-finders of all? Believe it or not, but ... squirrels. I learned their predator calls. They would alert me anytime a cat was anywhere in the area during daytime. Their predator alert starts out with a "chuck ... chuck ... chuck ..." followed by a mimicry of whatever predator's voice they know. They can emulate the sound of a hawk so surprisingly well that even I would mistake them for a hawk that flew over the area but was now long gone. For a cat they make more of a strangled meowing or mewing sound. It's not as clear as the hawk sound (probably from the cat being a recently introduced predator), but they do their best to sound like a cat. If you're lucky, sometimes up to 3 will have spotted a cat, and then by triangulating where all their noses are pointing, you can find a cat in the densest of brush. Plus, the squirrels nearby will also start to mimic the warning call. By following where these calls spread through the woods you can follow exactly where the cat is headed to. I no longer think of squirrels as the "tree rats" that so many (and even I) used to think them to be. They are an integral part of a wildlife community's defense mechanism. All other animals also respond to their predator calls (probably from sounding so much like the predator), and they all react accordingly. I figured out why they do this, but that's for another post some other day.

plinker wrote:
July 06, 2012

Thanks

Woodsman wrote:
July 05, 2012

@plinker, I used an old (but accurate) .22 rifle. Got a special close-out price of 5000 rounds for only $15. With the hundreds I had to shoot and bury I needed to consider costs too. Plus, with all the diseases cats carry, you want to make each kill as clean as possible (e.g. no shotgun splatter). Outfit your rifle with a good illuminated-reticle large-aperture scope too. And a laser-sight. (Can be had for under $15 from suppliers on Ebay.) Invaluable for the times of day when cats are most active, dusk to dawn. As well as ensuring a precision humane kill each and every time. Though, contrary to popular advice, I would never used a head-shot ever again. I tried that once to see if it would be faster, it was worse. A precision chest-shot is best. They always died in under 3 seconds, often less than 1 second. None had enough time to even make a sound. I now suspect it's that cats survive more on their reptilian brain-stem than any gray-matter that might be above it. If you have an infrared video wildlife surveillance system for your yard (tip: plain red-floods on a dimmer and dimmed low put out tons of infrared), you can employ that too. Feral cats are genetically predisposed to seek-out human habitation. Use that to your advantage. It's how I got over 50% of them. Set up a feeding dish in the yard and then just watch on an indoor monitor while watching TV or surfing the net. Anytime they enter the yard at night turn off your indoor lights, then slowly, carefully, and quietly open the door so as not to scare them away. They're skittish as all get out. If you trail some fish oils on the sides of all your roads right to that feeding dish, you can get all strays within 1/4 mile of where you live. Very effective. Turning your whole home and land into a 100% fatal cat-trap.

plinker wrote:
June 29, 2012

what's the best caliber to use?

Charlie Muise wrote:
June 29, 2012

Thank you for listening to science! This is will be a very beneficial measure. It will help hunters, trappers, bird watchers, fishermen and anyone who likes native animals. Kudos to you all. I like cats. But the do not belong in the wild in North America.

Woodsman wrote:
June 27, 2012

Congratulations on their intelligent decision to rid their lands of this highly destructive invasive-species, but they will quickly find that trapping them won't work. Trap & kill failed to curb their populations just as much as trap & sterilize is an even bigger failure. Any trapping method used cannot catch-up to cats' breeding rates. Especially a man-made invasive-species like these cats that can breed 2-4X's faster than any naturally occurring cat species. The ONLY action that man has ever done which can eradicate a species fast enough is "Hunted to Extinction" (or extirpation of all outdoor cats in this case). This is a hard cold fact. Using a mistake of human behavior in the past and employing it as a viable solution to clean up this man-made ecological disaster of today. It worked on my land. And contrary to cat-lovers' oft-spewed and relentless pack of lies, their "vacuum effect" is a bald-faced lie. I shot and buried hundreds of cats on my land over two years ago. NONE have replaced them. Simple reason being: CATS ATTRACT CATS. Get rid of every last one and there's none there to attract more. If you want more cats, allow even one to stay around, more will find you. Should even ONE cat ever step paw on my land ever again? Shoot-on-sight A.S.A.P. (and bury to protect wildlife from their diseases even after they are dead). Because if I don't I'll be up to my a** in cats again, with them destroying all wildlife and spreading deadly diseases everywhere again. I tried to reason with cat-lovers for 15 YEARS. It wasn't until I discounted everything they said that the problem was solved. The time for being "nice" to cat-lovers is OVER, DONE, FINISHED. You don't ask your local thieves how to safeguard your valuables, just as you don't ask delusional invasive-species advocates how to protect your native wildlife. Don't make the same mistake I did by trying to reason with cat-lovers. Just do what needs to be done and there'll be nothing to argue about.