FIV+ and FeLV+ Cats
(From Neighborhood Cats)
Neighborhood Cats opposes the euthanizing of any feral cat simply because he or she tests positive for the FIV or FeLV virus. We believe if the cat shows no active signs of ill health, they should be released back into their colony regardless of the test results.In fact, because we know we will release asymptomatic feral cats no matter what, we don't test in the first place. The reasons for these policies are many:
Common Myths About Feral Cats
Myth #5: They prey on wildlife.
Truth: Habitat destruction and pesticides are the main cause of diminishing wildlife. Also note that raccoons and birds of prey diminish wildlife.
Myth #4: If people stop feeding the cats, they will go away.
Truth: Cats are very attached to their own territory/neighborhood. If people stop feeding the cats, they will not move away. They can go for weeks without food and will survive on meager food supplies and continue to reproduce in their neighborhood.
Myth #3: Trapping and removing will solve the problem.
Truth: Any species exists in an area for one simple reason: the area provides an environment conducive to that species’ needs. Cats are no different, so if all the cats are taken away, new cats will move into the area and breed up to capacity. Therefore, a community has only two choices – either live with a neutered/vaccinated colony that does not reproduce, or live with an unspayed/unvaccinated colony that continues to reproduce.
Myth #2: It’s not my problem.
Truth: The fact that Atlanta area animal controls spend over $15 million to deal with animal overpopulation is everyone’s problem. This money is wasted on a method that has been proven not to work.
The #1 Myth: Feeding cats helps them, even if they aren’t spayed and neutered.
Truth: Feeding cats without spaying and neutering only makes the problem worse! Studies show that the more a colony is fed, the more it grows and reproduces, meaning more cats will be born—only to die of disease, freezing weather, predators, and car tires. In addition, the colony often grows so large that neighbors call animal control, resulting in most of the cats being killed. However, a few cats will always be left to continue to breed and quickly start this sad cycle all over again. Please act responsibly towards the cats and spay/neuter any that you feed.
Concerns About Outdoor Cats
(Solutions are most effective when several are implemented at the same time!)
Do the cats pose a health risk?
A Stanford study found virtually no risk to human health or safety from feral cats. Similarly, research at the University of Florida found that feral cats and owned cats share similar health status, confirming that the cats do not pose a risk to public health or to other cats. People sometimes worry about rabies, but this is unjustified. Cats are not natural carriers for rabies. There has not been a single human death from rabies attributed to transmission from a cat in the USA in over thirty years. Also, as part of a TNR program, cats are vaccinated against rabies and then provide an immune barrier between humans and wildlife in the community. Furthermore, the British Medical Journal states that: "contact with cats, kittens, cats' feces, or cats who hunt for food was not a risk factor for infection. . . for toxoplasmosis.” The study concludes that eating undercooked meat is the primary risk factor in contracting toxoplasmosis.