Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The feral cats: situation, management and issues in different countries of the World.

Abstract

Cats have been closely linked to the evolution of human society for thousands of years. In addition to cats with an owner, there is another population of cats referred to as feral cats. The feral cats are defined as unowned cats, not confined and roam freely which live and feed in close proximity to one another in groups called "colonies". The presence of feral cats causes various problems, relating to hygiene and public nuisance, predation of native animals, zoonosis, illness transmitted to domestic animals and welfare of the same feral cats. The methods for the numeric control of the feral cats can be divided in two groups: lethal controls and non-lethal controls. The choice of the method depends on political, economic and social aspect of each country, and on the sensibility of population towards animal welfare. Here, we present an overview of the methodologies used for the control, as well as the principal problems caused by the presence of feral cats in different countries of the World. Despite the cultural differences, the modern society seems to have become more sensible towards the animal life: it is hoped that in the future, for the control of feral cats, it will use a only non-lethal method that takes into account the needs of all stakeholder, in full compliance with animal welfare.