The domestic cat (Felis catus) is the most popular pet in the US, numbering somewhere around 175 million. In terms of lifestyle, they fall into roughly three categories: indoor (household pets), free-ranging (outdoor pets), and feral (wild or unsocialized cats). Domestic cats are by nature skilled and instinctive predators with great reproductive potential. Household cats that occasionally go outdoors are not generally a serious threat to wildlife, although some will take an occasional small bird or rodent. In fact, in suburban/urban areas they are just as apt to become prey for red foxes or coyotes. Free-ranging cats can do a lot more damage, especially to songbirds. The impact can be very significant. Even when fed daily by people, they continue to hunt wildlife. In some cases this can be beneficial, especially around warehouses and barnyards where free-ranging cats prey heavily on commensal rats and mice. Feral cats have the biggest negative impact on native wildlife, not only by preying on many species, but also by competing with intermediate predators (skunks, raccoons, foxes) and transmitting diseases.
All that being said, there are many instances where feral and free-ranging cats should be controlled. It’s a fairly common request. This is best done using live traps (cage or box traps). Captured cats can be taken to local animal control shelters and held for adoption or euthanized as the case may be. Sometimes removal involves just a stray or two hanging around a neighborhood, or it can be someone’s lost pet. At other times a feral cat colony may be the problem. Large numbers of feral cats often live loosely together in junk yards, abandoned buildings or older neighborhoods. They not only impact wildlife, but also can create a stinky mess with their feces/urine. We provide services to deal with any of these situations.
Note: We do not support trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs advocated by some animal welfare groups. We don’t consider TNR to be a humane or effective solution to feral cat issues, including reducing cat populations.
If you have a domestic cat problems, call us at 719-636-1014 for an assessment and prices. We can help.