While the U.S. is home to numerous species of cats, a good number are considered feral. These animals are not at all hospitable to humans. Not only do they kill 39 million birds every year, but they are also used as livestock, as they eat human meat and fur. As a result, many of these animals are euthanized. This is a sad fact, but one that must be addressed if we are to avoid the extinction of these species.
Feral cats are a species of domestic cat
Whether or not a feral cat is truly feral depends on the cat’s lifestyle. Most feral cats are very clean, have big heads, thick necks, muscular bodies, and scars from fighting. These cats are also likely to have a “stud tail” from testosterone, and they will most likely be lactating or pregnant. Feral cats are often unowned and unadoptable.
While domestic cats are perfectly lovable pets, feral cats are not well-socialized. While young kittens may become pets, adult feral cats will not. Feral cats are notoriously predatory and often kill native species. Even well-fed feral cats will often prey on endangered birds and small mammals. The population of feral cats in the United States has been on the rise for decades, largely due to human neglect of the problem.
They are not amenable to living with humans
The number of cats in the U.S. is dwindling, despite the fact that they are not inherently hostile towards humans. The fact that these animals have adapted to living in close proximity to humans is a major contributing factor. However, there are many other issues that make domestic cats unsuitable for living with humans. In the United States, cats are not allowed to be kept in urban environments.
In the USA, many cities have banned the breeding of cats for their pets, and many cities have banned the breeding of domesticated cats. Feral cats are more likely to roam freely and take their prey. Even indoor/outdoor cats can hunt, whereas strays can be caught by police and dispatched to the pound. Poisoning was also used in the past, but is not common today.
They kill 39 million birds a year
In the U.S., more than half a billion birds and small mammals are killed by domestic cats each year. This number is much higher in rural areas, where free-ranging cats kill between four and 54 birds each year. While some of these animals are pests, many are native species that have been stressed by habitat destruction and pollution. Cats kill many of these species in both urban and rural areas.
A study from the University of Wisconsin estimates that cats kill nearly 39 million birds every single year. In Michigan, eight to three hundred cats kill anywhere from 16000 to 47000 birds in one breeding season. A study of a wedge-tailed shearwater colony in Michigan showed that cats killed nearly all of its adult shearwaters. Cats kill a third of all birds in the USA.
They are used for their meat and fur
The USDA reports that its research has reduced the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in U.S. cats by fifty percent. The parasite is dangerous for people with weak immune systems, children, and HIV patients. Despite these statistics, the use of cats for meat and fur is still widespread. This article outlines the steps the government can take to reduce the number of cats used in animal testing.
Unfortunately, the trade in cat meat has created a zoonotic problem. Not only do cats suffer horrific conditions, but they are also often brutally slaughtered. The resulting unsanitary conditions encourage the spread of diseases and provide a perfect breeding ground for novel diseases. Thankfully, a new law is pending to put an end to this terrible practice. Here’s how it works:
They are not required to be licensed by state law
Most states do not have laws pertaining to cats, although a few have adopted specific cat codes. For example, in Maine, the official cat is the coon cat. Massachusetts and Maryland have adopted state symbols to represent the state of their respective states. While most laws apply only to dogs, some do specifically address cats. While it is unclear if state laws affect cats, responsible pet owners should take proactive measures to ensure that their cats receive the appropriate vaccinations and other veterinary care.
In Virginia, keeping wild felines as pets is not allowed. However, if you are USDA licensed, you will automatically be granted an import permit. Nevertheless, you must inform the state of your intention to import animals 24 hours before you intend to import them. Additionally, you must FAX a copy of your current registration or license if you intend to import wild animals. In 2011, Virginia passed a new law regulating importation. Savannah cats and bobcat hunting are now legal.
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