Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

September 3, 2009

Feral Cats, Again

Filed under: Cats, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 11:55 am
Feral Cat at Gilbert Water Ranch

Feral Cat at Gilbert Water Ranch

I’ve written here before about the problem of feral cats at the Water Ranch in Gilbert, AZ. But an article by Ted Williams in the October 2009 issue of Audubon magazine makes the case about feral cats very strongly and I wanted to alert everyone to the article. If you don’t have access to the hard copy magazine it is currently available on line at their web site. The article also reminds me that the American Bird Conservancy has been publicizing this problem for many years and has a good summary of how we can all work to address this problem.

Every time I visit the Water Ranch I see plenty of cats. And contrary to the claims made by the people actively feeding the feral cat colonies that they only feed in one spot I find numerous feeding stations scattered around the preserve.

As the Ted Williams article points out:

  • we have “something like 150 million free-ranging house cats wreaking havoc on our wildlife”
  • “The American Bird Conservancy estimates that 150 million free-ranging cats kill 500 million birds a year in the United States.”
  • “TNR [Trap, Neuter, and Release] causes “hyperpredation,” in which well-fed cats continue to prey on bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian populations so depressed they can no longer sustain native predators.”

And for the record, I’m a “cat person.” We’ve had cats in our home since 1971, and I’ve featured both of our current cats (Bert and Ernie) on this blog before.

Image taken September 2, 2009, at the Gilbert Water Ranch. This is one of the well fed regular feral cats I encounter there. It belongs in someone’s loving home and should not be roaming through the preserve where it takes a toll on the birds.



  1. Hear, hear!

    Comment by Ron Dudley — September 4, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

  2. Interesting article. I guess I never realized how big the problem was, or that TNR alone won’t cut it. Sad.

    I, too, have seen several feeding areas.

    Comment by Kimberly Hosey (Arizona Writer) — September 5, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

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