Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The cohabitation of humans and urban cats in the anthropocene: the clash of welfare concepts.

Abstract

Urban environments are inhabited by several types of feline populations, which we can differentiate as feral cats, free-roaming pets, and confined pets. Due to a shift in the cultural representation of cats from pest controllers to companion animals, cats living semi-independently of humans are perceived increasingly negatively, while the pet population has become the object of intense care. A regulative approach converges with a concern for welfare in the operation and educational campaigns of municipal shelters, which through their implementation of neutering policies have proven to be key players in the contemporary relation of urban cats and humans. The generally widespread notion of cat welfare associated with a secure life comes into tension with the fact that the psychobiological needs of feral cats are significantly different than those of pets. It becomes apparent that individual interactions between humans and cats in urban environments in the Anthropocene are increasingly influenced by the intervention of institutions that can be characterized as seeking to administer the wild.