Last March I expressed my disappointment over the actions of LoperCats at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I was even more disappointed that another pro-LoperCats article was just published without any information from other perspectives, showing no end to the ecological ignorance of the group and their actions.
The “feral cat problem” will not go away because of the very reason we have the problem in the first place: People continually let their cats out or outright abandon them. Now retired assistant professor Sherry Morrow confirms this at UNK. It isn’t rocket science to realize that if you feed cats, people will continue to dump unwanted cats for you to take care of. So, she admits she has a never-ending supply, whereas in her misguided world, neutering and releasing cats will lead to fewer of them. There is no scientific evidence that this process works.
I was astonished to read the following: “The cats are great hunters, ridding the campus and neighborhood of mice and insects,” Morrow said. “Though naysayers have complained that cats also kill birds.”
What insects — pollinators, butterflies, native beetles? And it’s not just a couple of birds. Cats kill at least 1 million birds each day in the U.S. (and twice as many native mammals). At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the groundskeepers put out rodent poison boxes because the feral cats that infest the campus aren’t up to the task.
Even more astonishing, Morrow said, “The way I look at it is God put both of them on the earth. Whether we’re feeding them or not, they’re going to go kill birds or mice or whatever.”
Quite obviously, Morrow lacks any training or knowledge of natural history and ecology, and is blinded by her affection for cats. “God” did not introduce cats in a mix with extremely vulnerable prey that have no defenses, people did. House cats are not native here. Do you think that a neutered cat will now eat only cat food? No, they keep killing native wildlife.
We should do things to help our native wildlife, not enable their killers. The only sensible solution is to trap and euthanize cats if no owners are willing to keep the cats indoors.
We spend lots of money supporting wild areas for our native wildlife (Have you ever visited the Rowe Sanctuary?). State and federal laws prohibit killing of native wildlife. You cannot shoot a bluejay from your bird feeder, but it is OK to let your cat out to do it? Why is this allowed?
Cats are exotic, non-native killers that do not belong outside.
We should not punish native wildlife for the irresponsible behavior of groups like LoperCats. Hundreds of people in Kearney feed birds. It’s time for them to take a stand on the problem of feral cats. We like birds more than unwanted cats.
Robert Zink, Walton