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Mailbag: Returning feral cats is bad for everyone

February 27, 2013

With regards to your front page article titled, "Care, capture, return" of Feb. 14, I oppose the releasing and feeding of feral cats after they have been trapped and neutered.

The cat food and the cats themselves are food for coyotes and only attract the coyotes to residential areas. According to new research by the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, free-roaming cats kill between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds each year. Huntington Beach is part of the Pacific Flyway, an important migration route for native migratory birds. Cats kill birds whether they have been fed or not. Many of the birds are decreasing in numbers.

Feral cats also suffer from diseases and infections and may carry and spread diseases to humans such as rabies, toxoplasmosis and typhus.

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Feral cats do not die of old age. Sadly, they suffer and die from an attack from a predator, abuse or illness, or may be killed by a car or even cause an automobile accident. It sounds like the people who care for them can barely afford the food, let alone any veterinary care.

Cats belong indoors and they should be required to be licensed. These are domestic animals and need care and should not be allowed to roam around freely in other people's yards, killing birds at will.

Releasing them and feeding them to become coyote food is a cruel answer. There are experts who have studied this practice and found that it did not reduce the population of feral felines, but increased it.

Also, as long as the coyotes have a source of food, they will keep coming back. It is a misguided idea that hurts the cats.

If the people who release these cats and feed them really care about them, they need to think of alternative answers to this problem and solve the problem, not perpetuate it. For ideas and answers, please see the American Bird Conservancy website at http://www.abcbirds.org and click "cats indoors."

Thank you to all the caring people who work to get homeless pets adopted. All of these free-roaming cats need to be removed from a shortened life of fear and lack of care.

Thank you to all the wildlife care providers who work to save the birds attacked by free roaming cats.

Vicki Andersen

Fountain Valley

Editor's Note: Vicki Anderson is the founder and director of Songbird Care and Education Center in Fountain Valley.

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AR-15s have recreational use

Re: "Military weapons are not the problem," Feb. 20 Mailbag:

The letter from Tim Geddes was extremely ignorant.

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