Feral Cats have been a topic of discussion with many groups for many years. There are also many groups in the region who take the time to trap, neuter and release (TNR) and to feed feral cat colonies. The Chapter Conservation Affairs Committee became interested in the issue after hearing this report from 2014 on capital public radio. Prior to that we knew that feral cat colonies existed but this report estimates that there are as many as 1000 stray cat colonies and at the time of the article it was estimated that there were 77,000 stray cats in Sacramento. We are interested to know whether the population has shrunk or grown since then.
The Wildlife Society has a position statement available on their website. The position statement includes the following language:
“Feral and free-ranging domestic cats are exotic species to North America. Exotic species are recognized as one of the most widespread and serious threats to the integrity of native wildlife populations and natural ecosystems. Exotic species present special challenges for wildlife managers because their negative impacts on native species are poorly understood by the public to the point that many exotic species are perceived as a natural component of the environment. Some exotic species have advocacy groups that promote their continued presence, and few policies and laws deal directly with their control. Perhaps no issue has captured more of the challenges for contemporary wildlife management than the impacts of feral or free-ranging domestic cats and their impacts on native wildlife.”
As a chapter we support The Wildlife Society’s position statement and have the desire to:
- Add to the knowledge base of how many feral cats are in Sacramento County
- How much money and resources are needed and used to maintain feral cat colonies
- Find a time and way to survey for feral cat colonies
- Pursue education and outreach opportunities
- Brainstorm to find other methods besides TNR that can lead to a reduction in feral cat colonies.
The Sacramento-Shasta Chapter of The Wildlife Society Conservation Affairs Committee is working on drafting their own position statement tailored to our area. Several years ago we attempted to convene a discussion group that is dedicated to reducing the feral cat population in the County. Although that effort was unsuccessful at the time, the CAC would like to revive the effort.