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Feeding Feral Cats, Exacerbating the Rat Problem?

by Prince Of Petworth February 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm 104 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

On the Columbia Heights Listserve a resident wrote:

We have a recurring problem in our alleyway behind the 3500 block of 11th Street.

As has been discussed here in the past, there is a woman who comes around to put down food for stray cats. She places it under the cars parked in driveways. On several occasions, this has attracted rats that have nested in our cars, chewed through wires, and caused damage that in one case cost more than $1,500 to repair.

We asked her repeatedly to stop, and a couple of years ago, she finally did. Now, she is doing it again. Is there anything we can do to stop this behavior, which is technically taking place on our own private property?

I have also heard reports of this behavior happening in parts of Petworth and Park View too. The debate got a bit political on the CH listserve – but I’m wondering if anyone can address the legality? Is it legal to place this food under cars in alley parking spots and/or driveways?

  • Anonymous

    Another side to this problem is that these cats aren’t doing their natural duty and eating the rats, because subsisting on a handout is far easier.

    • Anonymous

      GOP cat talking points? I always knew they were Takers!

      • textdoc


      • dunning-kruger

        I’m Mittens Romney and I approve this message.

    • Anonymous

      to be fair, barn/farm cats that are fed make better mousers than those cats that have to subsist on whatever they catch

      • Anonymous

        I’m reading a book on cats right now, and I could have sworn it said that hungry cats are more interested in hunting things (even non-prey) than well-fed ones.

        • Sunsquashed

          This isn’t really well documented (either way). The evidence suggests that feral/unowned cats are more likely to eat their prey, while owned/pet cats are more likely to play with their prey (sometimes killing the animals, other times not) without consuming the prey animals. To be honest, either of these things could be correct, there just isn’t enough good data out there.

        • Anonymous

          haha, i love the conflicting information. i think i read that fact on jackson galaxy’s site- i’ll look into it some more now

    • zach

      I saw a cat run right by food placed in an alley behind Newton and Park with a chicken bone in its mouth. Absent the cat food, they’re scavengers, and probably not willing to take on a full size rat. That’s not an argument for feeding them, though, because if they’re eating chicken bones and not cat food, the rats are the ones eating the cat food.

  • Logan_Circle

    Gross – you have my sympathies. There was an article in the Washington Post magazine a couple of weeks ago about volunteers capturing feral cats, having them “fixed”, then releasing them. I do not understand how releasing cats into neighborhoods is legal.

    • Anonymous

      The area can only sustain so many cats, so if you release fixed cats they are at least not creating more cats that will spread to other areas.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      That article had many mis-statements of “fact.” Read Alley Cat Allies response here:

      ACA is a national org but based out of Bethesda. Feel free to contact them. They can help with TNR. No what she is doing is not illegal, but poisoning the cats is and has sent a Smithsonian nut case to jail. How does it turn political? Same as discussing pit bulls. It’s racism by proxy.

      • Sunsquashed

        WTF? No. Feeding “wildlife” is illegal in DC, there is little/no scientific evidence that TNR is an effective method to control cat populations, and the Smithsonian nut case was convicted and given probation, not jail time.

      • Sunsquashed

        And rumor has it that ACA is funded by the big pet food companies, thus it is in their funders interests to have people feed cats (thus buying pet food) regardless of whether it is actually a good idea or not.

      • Anonymous

        Racism by proxy? Come on, get real.

        • Yeah I know nothing on the legalities of pet food placement, but that part of the post really confused me.

      • Wait – how is dumping your garbage (i.e. sticking trays of cat/rat food) on my private property not illegal?

      • annonny

        I’m sure a creative prosecutor could figure out a way to charge this woman with littering and/or failure to properly secure garbage, if not some sort of public health violation for encouraging vermin. Alley cats and alley rats both carry disease.

      • Wobble

        Are there different races of pit bulls?

  • Anonymous

    And let me add that the most humane solution is to set traps for the cats, and then spay/neuter them.

  • Anon

    Anyone putting out food for stray/feral animals should be taken to the nearest shelter to get their shots and be spayed/neutered.

  • dcd

    I’m fascinated – how could this discussion turn political?

    • Anonymous

      I’m assuming it’s differing opinions on how to handle feral cats. On one side you can try to, ahem, get rid of them, and on the other you try to help them survive. And then probably lots of shades in between.

    • anon

      Anything on the CH listserv can get political and it often gets personal. Mostly between two posters.

    • Colhi

      Anything and I mean ANYTHING on the CH list serve will always go back to Jim Graham thanks to one of our regular email posters. It’s actually pretty impressive the mental gymnastics that he goes through to connect any event in the neighborhood to Jim Graham and Donatelli development. Crime, cats, tulips, aliens, etc.

  • KenyonDweller

    We used to have this same issue in our alley in Columbia Heights. It drove the neighbors crazy and did exacerbate the rat population. The same woman who fed the cats also had them spayed/neutered, so eventually the colony died out and the problem went away. It took seven or eight years though.

    • Angry Parakeet

      I live with the busy Kenyon/Irving alley behind me. That woman would put out the food and about 12 cats would arrive. Judging from the kitten crop and mating shrieks, this group was not being trapped and sterilized. The rat population was enormous as well. Populations of both have declined. The obvious game changer is that (most) residents are responsibly storing trash and putting out city-issued cans rather than random plastic bags on the ground for pick up (or like my previous neighbors, just throwing the fast food containers directly in the alley)

      • Anonymous

        Someone is still feeding the cats nearby, between Kenyon and Kilbourne, and between 17th and Mount Pleasant St NW

    • The proper term for a “colony” of cats is Clowder.

      • Emilie

        or Glaring

  • Diddy

    Same problem here. 700 block of Park Rd NW. Other issue is — She is using these paper plates and leaving them all over the place. My fiance asked her to kindly pick up the plates when feeding the cats. In response cat lady said it would be a good idea to “do our part” and pick up the plates after her.

    • Logan_Circle

      GUH people are the worst.

      • Anonymous

        i fail to see how feeding animals makes this woman “the worst”

        • Logan_Circle

          Probably because she puts trash down all over their neighborhood, then expects others to clean it up?

          • Anonymous

            so if they see a paper plate, why can’t they just pick it up? i get trash on my sidewalk and stoop all the time, from beer bottles to chicken wings to whatever else ends up there.
            i understand why they’d be annoyed by it, but in the scale of things it’s not the biggest deal (to me).

          • Anonymous

            Why can’t the cats clean up after themselves? It’s the least they can do.

          • Anonymous

            The trash on your sidewalk and stoop is an accumulation of stuff that fell out of trashcans, or blew around and got stuck there, or got dropped by someone accidentally or perhaps intentionally but nonetheless anonymously. If the same person was dropping trash on your stoop every day and asked you to pick it up for them, wouldn’t that piss you off?

        • Anonymous

          Expecting others to help her perform her personal hobby is presumptuous, at best.

        • Anonymous

          I think the fact that she’s littering and then asking other residents to clean up after her makes her “the worst”, though I think that’s a tad dramatic. It’s rude and obnoxious for sure, but not the worst.

          • Logan_Circle

            Good lord people, it’s hyperbole. I’m sorry I didn’t include a list of people she’s both worse than and better than.

          • Without putting her on the Hitler scale how can anyone know for sure?!

    • MetMet

      “Do your part”? Wow.

    • Steve

      I live on the same block. The cat feeding is almost definitely helping the rat population, but I think the real problem is the trash and almost constant standing water. There are so many broken/lidless trash cans. Everytime I walk down the alley I see rats scurrying in and out of broken trash cans. It’s disgusting. I hate to wish this on my neighbors, but I really wish DC gov would come around and start issuing citations.

      • textdoc

        If you want, you can report them to DPW — its director said at the Ward 1 rat summit that DPW doesn’t routinely inspect alleys and issue citations unless there’s a complaint from a neighbor.

  • Anonymous

    A bigger part of the rat issue are people putting their garage out and not using the cans with lids, over letting their own trash pile over, which is attracting all kids of rodents, so I’m not certain how feeding a stray cat is being claimed as causing rats….

  • anonymouse_dianne

    The Post magazine article contained some egregious errors in mistatement of facts and misquotes. Read Alley Cat Allies comments here.


    ACA are national but based in Bethesda and work with Wash Humane and the DC TNR program.
    How does it turn political? The same way talking about pit bulls does. It’s racism by proxy.

    • Anon

      Pit bulls are, of course, black dogs. And everyone knows that all cats are female. If you hate cats you must hate women. The white supremacist patriarchy of domesticated animals must be stopped!

      • Anonymous

        Have you seen “Discourse on the Otter”? Sounds like you and I are on the same page – we need to talk.

        • Anon

          How reasonable is it to eat off wood instead of your tummy?

    • Anonymous

      How is this debate “racism by proxy?”

    • Sunsquashed

      Huh, how is this racism by proxy? We have no clue about the ethnicity of the person who is feeding cats. All the poster said was that rats are eating the cat food, and that the rat population in this area is out of control. How is that racism by proxy???

  • kd

    Why does she put the food under cars? Is there a reason for that? I understand wanting to feed them but why under cars?

    • textdoc

      I think cats often like to take shelter under cars and inside their engines (especially when the engines are warm and it’s cold out). Unfortunately, rats like to do this too.

    • annonny

      Feral cats are very skittish/shy, usually hide under cars, and when the weather is cold actually shelter beneath cars that have been running because it is warm there. She puts the food where the cats are most likely to find it. Problem is the rats can find it there too.

  • Loganite

    I do not see how feeding cats is “exacerbating” the rat problem. It isn’t necessarily the duty of cats to kill rats, they just happen to on occasion. That said, if the woman is coming into your yard to put down cat food, you should probably just have the police get her for trespassing. It’s one thing if she’s feeding them in an alley, but she should obviously not just waltz into your yard to do it.

    Also, feral cats can fend for themselves. I’m not sure why she finds it necessary to feed them. Lord knows if the rats can survive, the cats can too.

    And as for the spay and release program, they often release back into the places where they capture. So you can’t really accuse them of bringing cats to your neighborhood. The most annoying thing about feral cats are their often unfortunate selection of places to urinate. Otherwise, who really cares? Are they stealing your wallet or something?

    • Because the rats eat the food left for the cats.

      • /endthread

      • Loganite

        You assume somehow the rats wouldn’t otherwise be there without the cat food? I think what it is doing is simply putting the rats in your yard rather than in the alley. The rats are there either way, I assure you.

    • Sunsuashed

      Cats were bred/domesticated (in the middle east) to kill field and house mice, not rats (which are originally from Europe). Many large adult rats (especially in urban areas like DC) are so big and nasty, the average cat can’t kill them. Feral cats also carry diseases such as toxoplasmosis which is really nasty and leads to severe health problems, are more likely to contract rabies than owned cats, and can have negative effects on native wildlife (although to be honest, this latter issue is less of a problem in DC).

      • textdoc

        Pretty much all cats that have ever hunted outdoors — feral or indoor/outdoor — carry toxoplasmosis. However, they shed oocytes only shortly after being infected (usually, when they’re kittens).

      • annonny

        Recent research is showing a link between toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia, as well. Transmission can happen simply by touching infected cat feces. Ever wonder why so many homeless whose hands are rooting through tons of garbage are so often very physically and mentally ill?

        • textdoc

          It’s generally (untreated) mental illness that leads to homelessness, not the other way around.

        • Anonymous

          My OBGYN told me that a third of all humans have been exposed to toxo (higher in Europe than in the US), usually contracted through contaminated meat, and its symptoms are similar to the flu. You won’t necessarily know you’ve had it until you have a blood test. Once you’ve had it, you can’t get it again. (Meaning a pregnant woman who had it prior to becoming pregnant has no excuse not to clean the litterbox.) Doesn’t really line up with the idea that homeless people are being infected and driven insane by this dangerous virulent monster protozoan.

          • Disgusted in DC

            Almost everyone has been exposed to toxo by the time they reach a certain age. Generally, it doesn’t come from the cats. It’s a part of living life of Planet Earth.

    • Angry Parakeet

      They ruined my garden by burying their feces regularly there. I still plant flowers, but won’t eat anything out of the yard

      • Loganite

        My point is only that short of actually exterminating them, it isn’t like most of them won’t find food in a city to eat. Just like the rats. The issue here seems to be that the woman is putting the food in the yards of her neighbors. That seems like trespassing.

        It’s odd to me that people simultaneously argue that the food attracts the rats/cats and that the rats/cats would be under the cars for warmth.

        Short of the food actually keeping cats or rats alive, which I doubt is necessary in a city filled with so much discarded food and trash, I doubt the addition of this woman putting out cat food is “exacerbating” anything. You’re probably noticing more rats because she is putting it in your yard. Tell her to stop doing that. Poof.

  • Anonymous

    I will say that rats routinely eat the wires and nest in any car left in my alley too long and no one is feeding any cats so the problems are not necessarily related.

  • ElEl

    People are missing the fact that if these cats were there even when she wasn’t feeding them, then food sources exist that are going to keep them around anyway. If you get rid of the cats, others will just move in, and so will mice and rats.

    Call animal control, have them put on a list of areas to trap. Or, call the Washington Humane Society spay/neuter clinic, borrow a trap, and do it yourself.

  • soozles

    We have a colony of feral cats in our 16th St. Heights alley that are fixed and well cared for by the neighbors. I have NEVER seen a rat since I’ve been there, so I assume the cats are doing a good job. There do seem to be an abundance of starlings, however, that feast on the food.

  • Paul

    Please remove the food whenever you see it placed out for cats. Ferral or “outdoor” cats kill wildlife. Sometimes that includes rats and mice, sometimes its rabbits, but most of the time it is native bird populations. They also spread disease.


    “Virginia: Researchers compared a free-roaming domestic pet cat
    in a rural area with 4 urban cats. The rural cat captured a total of 27
    native species (8 bird, 2 amphibian, 9 reptile, and 8 mammal,
    including the star-nosed mole, a species of special state concern).
    The 4 urban cats captured 21 native species (6 bird, 7 reptile, and 8
    mammal). Between January and November 1990 each cat caught,
    on average, 26 native individuals in the urban area, and 83 in the
    rural area. The study did not count prey killed and completely
    consumed, prey killed and left elsewhere, prey that escaped but
    died later from infection or injury, or non-native prey. (Mitchell, J.
    and R.A.Beck. 1992. Free-ranging domestic cat predation on native
    vertebrates in rural and urban Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science

    Cat’s look adorable, but they are still an invasive animal that harms to the environment. Whenever possible a stray cat should be brought to an animal shelter.

    • Sunsquashed

      Actually, cats kill far more rodents and lizards then birds (Loyd, K.T., Hernandez, S.M., Carroll, J.P., Abernathy, K.J., Marshall, G.J., 2013. Quantifying free-roaming domestic cat predation using animal-borne
      video cameras. Biol. Conserv. 160, 183-189), but yes, cats are an important non-native predator of native bird species. This is probably less of a conservation problem within urban DC, then many areas of the country, but it is a good reason to reduce the number of unowned cats in this country.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        there have been some interesting studies where feral/community cat colonies have been removed and the disruption to the ecosystem that ensued. I have seen rats in my alley the size of cats and I’m pretty sure no cat would try to take it on. They eat mostly mice and lizards (as do wolves, btw). The rat problem is highly coorelated to the blossoming restaurant trade.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, please, this malarkey made a nice appearance in Jonathan Franzen’s last novel, but anyone who cares about wildlife habitat will concern themselves with suburbs, not urban feral cats. Honestly. “Native birds”? Another joke. Most urban bird species were imported from Europe.

  • Anonymous

    Some folks will probably dislike me for posting this…but we responsibly feed a fixed stray in the NW living in our alley. He probably had a home before, because he is not afraid of people….kind of sad. The responsible way of doing this is to feed and then remove all food and plates after the cat is done eating. We have not seen any rats near our home. We close our lids and take the trash the morning of the trash pick up. We have seen HUGE rats camping out on our neighbors trash cans without lids that place the trash out the night before. The kitty that we feed needs a good loving home! We already have two and can’t have more per our lease.

    • Sunsquashed

      Agreed. I do not advocate feeding unowned cats, but if you’re gonna do it, do it in a responsible manner.

    • Anonymous

      we feed a kitty in our neighborhood (bloomingdale) this way too. A couple of times a week she appears at the door when we’re coming home, we feed her a can of food, she cleans her plate, and we take it away long before any rats or other cats appear.

      • Anonymous

        Does the kitty happen to be black with white spots on the chest? I think the kitty is double tapping :)

  • L

    I feed a small group of cats that live in my alley, and I get nervous that neighbors will get angry. But I can say for certain that I am feeding 3 spayed/neutered cats that all live together (they all have their ears clipped) at an abandoned house right next to mine, and I have monitored the food and have never seen a rat eat it, only the cats. I pick up the extra food if any is left over. I usually only feed them when there are freezing temperatures, especially in snowy conditions, because I figured it’s harder for them to hunt and scavenge. I guess I would understand neighbors getting angry, but so far no one has mentioned anything to me. :/

    • L

      I’ll also say that two of the cats are at least seniors, probably extremely elderly, and I’d guess they won’t be around much longer anyway.

  • That MAn A

    A few years ago(probably closer to 4 years) up on about 6th & farragut there were tons of cats around. on the street side and in the alley

    very few rats/ mice were seen roaming those parts.

    if anything i saw more racoons strolling the alleys than i did rats

  • textdoc

    This has been an issue in Park View.
    Feeding feral cats PROPERLY should not exacerbate the rat problem. However, not everyone who feeds feral cats is following the recommended “best practices.” For instance, people aren’t supposed to put food down and then come back the next day; they’re supposed to remove any uneaten food later that same day.
    If I remember correctly, placing food in the alley isn’t illegal. But if this woman is going onto people’s private property and placing cat food under cars, that definitely is.
    You don’t need cat food to have problems with rats chewing up wires in cars — just the presence of rats. But it sounds like what this woman is doing is exacerbating the existing rat problem.

  • Carlinho

    Sue her and/or report her to the police for trespass. If your lawyer can show a good enough link between the cat food, the rats and the damage to your car, you may be able to recover damages (unless it was too long ago, but may be helpful for any future damage or to use as a threat to keep her away).

    • Anonymous

      I’m guessing most cat-ladies don’t have many recoverable assets.

    • Anonymous

      I really, really hope you don’t live anywhere near me.

    • Loganite

      Good look proving that causation in court. And also not having the judge laugh your lawyer right out the door.

  • JT

    how does one get signed up for the CH listserv?

    • Colhi

      Beware, it’s a crazy, crazy listserv. You’ll get to know the neighborhood cranks pretty quickly. But here’s the website with more information on how to get on the listserv. I took out the http part to get it to post:


  • Anonymous

    Thanks for enlightening me. Here I thought the rats and mice were everywhere thanks to restaurants, construction, renovation of rat-invested dwellings, and broken smart cans. Now I realize it’s actually the fault of old ladies feeding cats.

    • Meow

      Just mainly a lady in a grey nissan pathfinder.

    • KenyonDweller

      It’s not an either-or. All of the things you mention contribute to the rat population, including leaving cat food in alleys for the rats to eat.

  • anongardener

    We feed 3 or 4 cats. I never put out more food than they will be able to eat immediately. I have personally seen each one of these cats pounce on and chomp down mice – they all prefer a mouse to the cat food – and once one of them killed an enormous rat and left it as a trophy on the porch. I wish they would eat the starlings, who clean up any leftover food. I’ve gotten several cats fixed, and I’m planning on trapping a few more this spring. What I don’t do is wander down the alley strewing food about for anything to eat. I would be pretty mad if it happened in my alley.

  • In Russia, rat attacks cat:

  • Sknewt

    Something to consider…Some of the alley cats are tame and in need of homes. We got a wonderful cat after she started visiting us on our porch. She was starving but very friendly. We started feeding her (watching her eat and removing the bowl right after). Now we have her and one of her kittens.

  • Miss Lu Lu Hog

    I don’t know which is worse, rodents or bed bugs?

  • Marcus

    While it is not illegal to feed feral cats (the only wild animal with this privilege), IT IS illegal to trespass, leaved food/waste on public property and feed rats.

    The Department of Health has specific guidelines as to the proper way feral cats are to be fed, usually ignored by the over zealous cat feeders. Then DOH can issue citations but only if the inspector actually witnesses the event (anyone with security survellience).

    The MPD can issue citations for trespass if the property owner calls in the complaint. I don’t know why a concerned neighbor witnessing the event isn’t enough. They can also issue citations for illegal dumping and littering IF they witnessed the event.

    The Humane Society has a Trap, Neuter/Spay and Return Program but DOES NOT have a feeding program. They urge adherence of the DOH guidelines.

    This small group of zealot cat feeders, which travel to other neighborhoods, have been flouting the law, threatening residents and property owners, claim their actions are legal and sanctioned and have even leveled allegations of THEIR intimidation and fear to the extent of Civil Law Suits against residents in areas in which they don’t live.

    WHY does the DOH, the Humane Society, MPD, City Council, ANCs, etc permit this small group of individuals create such havoc and civil discord to continue is beyond all reasonable and rational thought.


    • Anonymous

      It’s worse than Hitler!

  • Nature Advocate

    If you think that cats make good rodent control, think again.

    Your myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there’s nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents — all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction because of it. And you think of yourself as educated?

    The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat’s Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. (Google for: Parasite Hijacks the Mind of Its Host) Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are (and the cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents). Further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have, the more rodents you get.

    Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents! I don’t care how many centuries that fools will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they’ll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities like Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.

    No cat population anywhere has EVER been able to control rodents. But native predators can — easily.

    Keep deceiving yourselves.

  • Nature Advocate

    The law in the USA is that it is perfectly legal to destroy any animal, someone’s pet or not, that is threatening the health, well-being, and safety of yourself, your family, your animals, or even your property. Also true even in most densely populated cities, firearms laws permitting, if not then 700-1200fps air-rifles with vermin-pellets are commonly used. The newer ones even come with a sound-suppressor design built right-in, being designed specifically for shooting vermin cats in urban areas, the demand is that great. The only animals exempt from you taking immediate action, legally, are those listed on endangered or threatened species lists, regulated game-animals (hunting season only, except for designated “small game” on your own lands which is year-’round no-license in most states), and any bird species under protection of MBTA (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act). Even then variances can be given should there be sufficient problem but this requires further study by authorities. Since cats are listed in the TOP 100 WORST invasive species of the world in the “Global Invasive Species Database” issg D0T org SLASH database/species/ecology D0T asp?si=24&fr=1&sts=sss , this means they have no protection whatsoever from being shot on sight, they are not on any protected species list anywhere in the world. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact. And if your area enforces and obeys invasive species laws — as they should — then it is against the law to NOT destroy any cat on sight, someone’s pet or not. It is your civic and moral responsibility to destroy any invasive species that is found away from supervised confinement and roaming freely in a non-native habitat.

    (This is precisely how I managed to clear out every last one of hundreds of these invasive species vermin cats from my own lands. On the sound advice of the sheriff. Even he found that trying to reason with and warn the cat-lickers did no good. But shooting every last cat finally worked! My lands have been 100% cat-free for 4 years now, for less than the price of a couple cups of coffee for the ammo — on close-out sale, 5000 rounds for $15. That’s THREE cats sterilized, permanently vaccinated against ALL diseases, and also given a permanent “loving forever home” (2ft. under) so they can no longer destroy any more native wildlife — PER PENNY!)

    Aside: Poisons may also be used on any species that has been listed as a “vermin” species. Not so surprisingly, stray cats have been listed as “vermin” in the USA since the early 1900’s. Though I wouldn’t advise this, you really need to destroy and dispose of that useless disease-infested cat carcass as hygienically as possible. I wouldn’t even advise the use of a shotgun these days (the tool of choice in the past), too much disease-filled splatter. Returning these highly-destructive disease-infested invasive-species back to the land (other than buried deeply) is not an option. I tried feeding one of the shot-dead cats on my lands to the last few starving native predators (their starving to death from invasive cats having destroyed all their foods). Those native animals under my care (2 adults, 3 offspring they had while under my care) promptly died from some disease in that cat meat. Cats truly are complete and total wastes of flesh. They can’t even be used to safely feed our native wildlife. Leaving ANY cat out in nature, alive OR dead, is no better than poisoning your native wildlife to death. They must be destroyed, and ideally should be destroyed where you can safely retrieve that useless carcass and dispose of it as hygienically as possible.

    Shoot to maim is punishable under the laws that define animal-cruelty, and rightly so, (these are the ONLY cases that cat-lickers cite to try to manipulate and scare everyone from shooting their only favorite animal). But shoot to kill is a perfectly legal way to humanely destroy an animal. The same laws and principles that apply to methods of humanely hunting animals also applies to cats. (Hint: outfit your rifle with a good scope and laser-sight, inexpensive on ebay. This will ensure a totally humane, instant, and LEGAL kill each and every time. Though use a fatal chest-shot, a head-shot is not always a sure thing.) Unlike cat-lickers’ psychotic beliefs, the reality is that a cat is just another animal. It’s NOT their baby, their child, their offspring. Even if they do view their cats that way, letting them roam free is no less criminally irresponsible than them telling their child to go play in the freeway and then blaming the cars for their child’s death. If they let their cat roam free, NO MATTER HOW IT DIES, that is THEIR fault and they can be charged with all laws that clearly define animal-neglect, animal-abandonment, and animal-endangerment. Not to mention being in direct violation of all international invasive species laws in existence.

    In fact, here’s a publication from a study done by the University of Nebraska on the best ways to HUMANELY deal with a feral-cat problem wherever you live. This documentation INCLUDES the best firearms, ammo, and air-rifles required to HUMANELY destroy cats. deenawinter D0T files D0T wordpress D0T com SLASH 2010/12/ec1781.pdf)

    • gotryit

      This is possibly the worst “legal advice” I’ve ever read. Please return to your bunker before Barack Obama takes away your air rifle!

    • TLDR

  • erica

    I just saw this and have to say that sorry I won’t have time to read all of the comments before passing out after another 12 hour shift, I want to say this: The woman who does this rain/snow/shine is dedicated and a very kind person. She may seem standoffish at first because she’s a bit shy. Please ask her again
    Of note, I used to live in that alley and would fill in if she was ill. The cats know her and the swarm to greet her and they eat all of there food quite quickly so I don’t think rats would have much left? Maybe now there is too much food? Possibility one of the cats died or is eating at a new home (yay!) and the servings weren’t adjusted.

    the people who work in the alleys have goals of preventing new births with altering, annual vaccinations, and other healthcare as needed. These cats are nearly all feral but finding homes for hem is also an option.

    Please try and speak with her (I know you already said you had in the past but please try again).

    I do sympathize with you about the rats chewing up cars. Thats really terrible too.

  • Anon5

    The woman you describe is breaking the law, by:

    1. Trespassing
    2. Littering
    3. Creating a nuisance.

  • Peeved

    These “nice” ladies show many different faces to those in our neighborhoods. Some sweet – some very ugly – but make no mistake – they have an agenda – to feed the feral cats regardless of what the neighborhood may want. These “nice” ladies have no respect for your personal property, will trespass and will not hesitate to badger and harass those that dare to approach them about their inappropriate and illegal behaviors.

    All we are asking for the cat feeders to do is to respect private property, and to remove the food and water stuffs once they have finished feeding the spayed/neutered cats.

    If the cat feeders would truly embrace and understood this – WE ALL WIN. Fed cats. Less rats. Clean alleys.

    This isn’t rocket science people.


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