Ooops. I didn't notice Richard had sent this directly to me. Here's
what I just emailed back to him.
That's good info, Richard. Thanks for locating it and posting.
Much more useful, I hope you agree, than "cats are murdering wildlife at
an incredible rate," and but it's rodents and robins, and it's mostly
I agree this needs a bunch more careful study to really get a handle on
the true extent of the problem.
I disagree with you, though, I think, both on the relative ease of
controlling outdoor cat populations, both feral and housecat, and on the
idea that we should maybe just give up on the more important stuff
because that's even harder.
For sure, as I said, I would not be opposed to trying to get some sort
of local ordinances on the subject in the suburbs or less dense urban
areas where people are likely to let their cats wander through other
people's yards, etc. But whether it could be enforced and/or how much
good it would do I'm dubious about. At least it would give people
something to pressure their neighbors with, so maybe that's something.
But animal control officers I've talked to react with horror to the idea
of having to enforce any kind of rules when it pertains to cats because
it's so incredibly difficult and time-consuming. Many towns in fact
forbid their ACOs to have anything to do with cats, and I know one in
another state who was severely reprimanded and almost fired for taking
the time to rescue some kittens thrown in inflated plastic bags into a
local pond to drown slowly. So there's that, too.
If you decide to try, I wish you luck and I'm willing to help if I can.
Despite some tempers flaring here and there, I think, I hope, this has
been a useful discussion. Too often, such things just end up being cat
lovers versus cat haters and nobody learns anything they didn't already