I confess- I've been guilty of it. When a furry kitten show up at my house, I have been known to put out a saucer of milk or can of tuna to feed that sweet little face. How do you say no to a hungry, helpless animal?
But could it be illegal!?
The laws vary city by city, so make sure you check with your local city council to find out for sure in your area. We do know that where it is banned, it is taken pretty seriously. A couple in Augusta, KS has been found guilty of feeding feral cats and ordered to pay a pretty hefty fine. And if they are caught in violation of the city ordinance again, they could even go to jail!
David, a professional animal control officer and webmaster of the wildlife removal website AAAnimalControl.com, detailed the reasons why feeding feral cats can be more harmful than helpful:
I've seen dozens of horrific cases of diseased and malnourished packs of stray cats as a result of people leaving out food for them. This is because feeding causes a bunch of cats to get together, and dependent on human feeding, and they breed like crazy, and then you've got a lot of cats in one small area, they fight, they spread disease between each other, and the population grows too large to feed, and heaven help them when the overwhelmed human stops feeding them, they all starve even worse.
Back in March, the city of Wichita did a survey to find out if residents thought feral cats were a problem. Some people thought that feral cats provided a benefit to the community by keeping the rodent population under control.
“Feral cats provide a service to our environment, they help to keep the rodent population in balance, as well as birds and even insects,” said Polly Brown
I, too, have noticed that the more cats that wander our neighborhood- the less mice wander into our house.
What do you think- is taking care of feral cats doing more harm or more good?