This is an underreported story, but potentially a bombshell.
According to The Wildlife Society, free-roaming domestic cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion small mammals each year
The indirect impacts of cats gone wild on larger wildlife are less obvious, but one of the greatest emerging threats from feral cats is infection with Toxoplasma gondii.
A study published in EcoHealth found that feral cats, through their feces, are likely driving infections in whitetails in northeastern Ohio. The study’s authors collected deer samples from a Cleveland park, as well as cat samples from the area. Nearly 60% of the deer and 52% of the feral cats tested positive for T. gondii. Older deer and deer in urban environments were more likely to be infected, which suggests transmission from extended environmental exposure.
If these findings from Ohio prove to be more widespread, there are serious implications for people as well as deer. Experts say widespread environmental contamination increases the likelihood of human infection, which has been linked to schizophrenia and can lead to miscarriages, blindness, memory loss, and death.
Also very concerning: People that consume undercooked venison from infected deer can also acquire T. gondii and the subsequent disease, toxoplasmosis.
The Wildlife Society actively supports the humane removal of feral cats from native ecosystems.
Should hunters kill free-roaming cats too? We shoot feral hogs that negatively impact native wildlife habitat, and other predators. What about feral cats? Tricky. I’m not saying go out and start shooting every cat you see, but like any predator in the wild they do need to be controlled.
BD- May be in Tioga mid July weekends around the 22nd
If there isn’t a farm building or a house within a good distance of a cat, he doesn’t belong there and is up to no good. Put the rest of the puzzle together and you can guess the results where I am from for the cat!
I just keep a .22 mag sitting by the kitchen door for whatever ambles into the tater patch.
Heck, BD- a CB Cap in the brain is a dead kitty. In the south, some studies indicate more feral cats than ones in homes. Almost out of CB’s can’t find any so may have to use shorts……
Isn’t that why the .22 WMR was invented?
If we value our wildlife and environment, we should shoot wild cats, feral dogs and wild pigs. These are man-made problems that need to be corrected to keep a balance in nature. They are having to big of an impact on to many other species.