The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Owners should protect feral cats from danger and trespassing

Sitting in my backyard on Easter Sunday, enjoying the slight breeze and the last day of spring break, my bliss was abruptly interrupted by a smell I was not accustom to, but was well aware of. The stench that was slowly invading my nostrils and impairing my vision with disbelief was three strategically placed lumps of cat feces.

My reaction to seeing cat feces in my backyard may seem like a harsh description, but the fact is I do not have a cat and I have never had one as a pet, so witnessing cat droppings in my perfectly manicured lawn was like having someone stab me with a dagger.

I sat in my backyard and contemplating as to why my family and me were being subjected to this type of assault onto our property and into our lives. Then as I was driving home on the following Monday, I saw the alleged culprit or culprits hanging out and most likely planning their next move which elevated my anger even higher.

There were four of these property vandals, one grey, one brown and two calico cats all sitting idly by as I drove by.

This was the first of many occasions; I would encounter or hear these feline culprits. But the question remained whom could I hold accountable for their crimes, seeing I could not report four cats to the Los Angeles Police Department. So I figured the problem stems from a variety of sources, which include owners letting their cats roam the neighborhood, owners who have lost their cats and cats who were born into the life of a stray or feral cat.

Whatever or whoever is to blame, the fact remains the same, many neighborhoods including mine are overrun by these feral cats.

The problem with feral cats stems from the fact many house cats and stray cats are unspayed and unneutered.

Cat owners who refuse to spay and neuter their cats are risking the chance that if their cats become lost from home and become strays, they will subsequently reproduce.

The cycle of constant and unchecked reproduction is also the result of those owners who “freely” let their cats roam from home.

Often these roaming cats end up being menacing to other neighbors by purring loudly, defecating and lounging idly on property that does not belong to their owners.

These irresponsible owners run the risk of jeopardizing an individual’s health, who may be very sensitive to cat feces or allergic to cats in general.

Cat owners also have an obligation as a pet owner to make sure their pets are safe and cared for.

Roaming cats face a variety of dangers when they leave the comfort and supervision of their careless owners.

These roaming cats can become victims of a hit-and-run by a fast moving vehicle, attacked by undomesticated animals like possums and raccoons and in certain instances become stolen pets.

Roaming cats are also move susceptible to disease associated with strays when they are allowed to roam freely.

For all the possible reasons and repercussions of neighborhoods being overrun by cats I have given, cat owners and lovers will argue spaying and neutering animals is a inhumane practice to solving the overpopulation problems.

Cat owners who allow their cats to freely roam argue their pets always come back home and the practice of allowing them to roam is necessary to ensure their cats happiness.

As stated earlier, these roaming cats do not always come back home and while away they become nuisances to others. The cats that are neither spayed nor neutered also continue to populate without any regulation and transmit diseases to other cats. The counter arguments provide little resolution to overpopulation of unsupervised cats.

Cat owners are not only to blame in this issue. Those individuals that feed strays also perpetuate the appearance of stray cats in neighborhoods.

The solution and results of this issue can be attributed to various factors. First, cat owners should be more responsible and keep their cats indoors. Secondly, individuals that feed strays but do not take them should be held accountable for their actions. Lastly, owners should spay and neuter their pets to prevent over reproduction that often increases the stray population.

Spaying and neutering cats is probably the most humane effort in treating stray cats. Spaying and neutering can prevent the practice of euthanasia, which often is implemented in animal shelters because the stray cat population is so drastically high.

Devising a plan to tackle the stray cat population is one that will take close coordination between cat owners, cat lovers and individuals like me who do not want to be subjected to the effects of stray cats.

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