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300,000 Cats in Vegas

300,000 Cats in Vegas

The Las Vegas valley has an estimated 300,000 feral cats. This area is defined by surrounding mountains and includes the city of Las Vegas. About two million people live there, along with the very large feral
cat population. Cats can have several litters each year, and a female cat can become pregnant as early as five months of age. Once a feral cat population has reached a very large size, government resources may
be unable to spay or neuter them, so they continue reproducing.

Though we may perceive cats as being calm, beautiful and even benign they are very effective hunters and kill many small animals, including birds. “During an 18-month period, a single cat roaming a wildlife experiment station killed over 1,600 birds and small mammals. A study in England showed that cats wearing bells killed more birds than cats without them; during a study in Kansas, a free-roaming declawed cat killed more birds than the cats with claws.” (Source: New York Times) A study published in 2010 found the impact on bird populations is devastating.

Though trap, neuter and release is often advocated, it may not be as effective as some believe. To make matters worse, some people feed feral cats using their own money to buy pet food and then take it to the areas where they live. The feral cats they feed are not fixed though, so they wind up nourished and reproductively viable, contributing more to an already very difficult problem. One Vegas woman spends $240 a month feeding feral cats.

Pity she doesn’t identify with wildlife as much as cats, because feeding unfixed feral cats is only contributing to the destruction of birds. Up to 500 million birds are killed each year by cats, according to the American Bird Conservancy.

Image Credit: Boksi, Public Domain


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Read more: Cats, Conscious Consumer, Pets

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3:01AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

A rather sad state of affairs that should have been sorted along time ago!

6:28AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

All wild life has to eat! Are yu saying that wild ferel cats should stare rather than kill birds? what abut mountain lions? what about tigers & Lions, etc- or any other animal? Are theyb noot entitled to hunt their natural food? It is not the cats fault he has been left to fend for hmself out there - cats have been domesticated for so long I would say it is lucky for the cat that can survive on its own.I dont eveen understand this article. What are theyn trying to say- good that someone feeds them, or bad? it is confusing to me. TNR- is the answer to cut back on ferels. Period. With articles like this one floating around, the next thing you know some joker will be out there putting down poison. Killing not just cats but owls, rodents, all kinds of wildlife.

4:10AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

very sad and depressing to hear news like this,hope something will be done about this situation,thank you for sharing

12:01AM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

poor adorable cats, please save them, dont let anyone kill them

10:37PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Very sad.

4:39AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

These cats are homeless because of irresponsible humans. People are moving and leave Fluffy in the backyard to fend for herself. Or, they dump her in a park.They don't want the responsibility of taking her to animal control where they know she will killed. Stupid humans. TNR does work; some of these cats are feral and cannot be rehomed but they will not reproduce. I have a feral cat at home; he's a wonderful pet. Many of these ferals are really dumped housecats and they can be rehomed. Killing is not the answer. I hate the fact that outdoor cats kill birds but cats are not the only wildlife that kill birds. I commend everyone who has a heart and compassion for these animals and is trying to help them. We should take a lesson from them.

9:57PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Do they think that doing nothing will solve the problem?? Wait...I see a petition coming...Tell Las Vegas to Stop Collecting and Euthaniz...........

9:50PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

My apologies to Jake, I got him confused with another Care2 writer. Please ignore my earlier comment.

9:45PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Pity Jake doesn't have as much empathy for these poor cats as he does for gay people. I'm just saying.

9:39PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Please God help all these beautiful cats...this is so unfair that of all places they live outdoors in that heat. But so glad they are alive and that there appears to be people caring for them and providing all their needs!

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Thank you for the article.

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Wow! Sounds like I need to grow one.


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