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The dangers of feral cats

Intelligencer Journal - 9/28/2017

I have some questions for the letter writers (“Help sought for cat quandary,” Sept. 12, and “Where cat lover can go for assistance,” Sept. 18) who cannot understand why there is any objection to them feeding feral cats.

Are you aware that Pennsylvania has the highest number of reported rabid cats in the U.S., and that one rabies shot is useless without a booster within a year? Do you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that four times as many PEP rabies shots are due to cat exposure than to dog exposure? Do you know that the brain-invading parasite toxoplasma gondii can only reproduce in felid intestines, infects any warm-blooded animal on land or sea, and is implicated in miscarriages, fetal deformity, blindness, deafness, dementia, schizophrenia, suicide - and can be fatal for immunocompromised (AIDS, organ transplant or chemotherapy) patients?

Have you seen the peer-reviewed scientific literature that shows feral cats live shorter lives and die crueler deaths than indoor cats who have the luxury of humane euthanasia? Are you aware that TNR (trap/neuter/re-abandonment) of feral cats normally releases the cats the next day with no pain control and no assurance that sutures don’t fail or become infected?

Because I love my cat, and do not wish her to annoy my neighbors or to suffer from disease, trauma, bleeding out, predation or human cruelty, I keep her indoors, like the Centers for Disease Control advises. Try thinking about the health of your cats and of your fellow citizens, and the wildlife that cats maim and kill, for a change. Keep your cats inside or send them safely and humanely to kitty heaven.

Page Williams



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