Sterilizing Cats Is Cruel, Barbaric, and Deadly
The American Bird Conservancy's (ABC) highly successful Cats Indoors campaign has led to the proliferation of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) programs in practically every city across the nation. Whereas for the ABC and its allies (National Audubon Society, PETA, National Geographic, National Wildlife, etc.) the only good cat is a dead one, for TNR advocates the only good cat is a sterilized one. Unless both of these factions are confronted and their lies exposed, Felis domestica will one day go the way of Tyrannosaurus rex and the woolly mammoth.
Whereas the malevolent designs of aulirophobes such as the ABC are pretty much transparent, the machinations of the sterilizers are far more insidious. Extermination and sterilization both lead to the same cul-de-sac as far as cats are concerned; the latter merely takes longer.
Not only is sterilization bad for the species as a whole but, more importantly, it is cruel, barbaric, and dangerous for individual cats. Although methods vary, the long road which ends with the removal of either a cat's ovaries or his testicles usually begins with starvation and trickery. TNR advocates' main objective in feeding feral cats is sterilization, not the alleviation of hunger. Consequently, after a while they cut off the food supply and begin starving the cats in order to lure them into their baited traps.
Not only does this duplicity cause the cats to become even more wary of humans and thus reducing their adoptability, but it also constitutes a rather traumatic experience for them. Having never before known anything but freedom, they are suddenly trapped in a cage, transferred to an even more confining pet carrier, and then transported by strange-looking, queer-sounding giants to a veterinarian's surgery.
At the surgery the real barbarism begins. The cats are first anesthetized and then sterilized. One of their ears is carved up as a permanent signpost to let their mutilators know that they have been fixed. Sometimes microchips are surgically implanted in their shoulders.
There are many problems with these procedures. First of all, the anesthesia alone kills some of the cats. The Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho reported in its April 18th edition that a recent sterilization party in Jackpot, Idaho claimed the life of one cat while under anesthesia. Secondly, some cats die soon thereafter from Vaccine Associated Sarcomas (VAS), which are cancers caused by the mandatory vaccinations which all sterilized cats receive; this is particularly true in the case of inoculations administered for the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and rabies. Thirdly, postoperative care at the sterilization mills is almost nonexistent. After their surgeries the cats are returned almost immediately to either the wild or to a shelter where sometimes their incisions either break or become infected. Their carved-up ears can also easily become infected. Back in February, Alley Cat Allies held a spay and neuter clinic one weekend in a Washington, D. C. school and thereafter left the cafeteria in such a mess that the school was forced to close the following Monday. Based on this, one has to question not only the procedures themselves but the sanitary conditions under which they are performed.
Most TNR groups would have the public believe that all cats trapped and sterilized are returned to their territories where they live out their lives. This is patently untrue. Alley Cat Allies, for example, returns only forty per cent of the cats it traps; the remainder are sent to shelters where almost one-hundred per cent of them are exterminated shortly after their arrival. The petit fait that sterilizers are seldom willing to admit that they, too, exterminate large numbers of cats is proof that they know what they are doing is morally reprehensible.
Shelters are even filthier than the sterilization factories. Not only is space severely limited but cattery diseases are rampant. Consequently, many cats who were relatively healthy living in the wild become incurably sick when incarcerated. Right on cue, the shelters then capitalize on these illnesses and a general lack of space as convenient justifications to exterminate more cats. A similar situation prevails at homeless shelters and soup kitchens where chlamydia pneumoniae and other communicable diseases are rampant. Warehousing is deadly for both animals and humans alike.
Cats have just as much a right to live as do humans and this includes the right to procreate. Moreover, since they have so many enemies in this world cats need to have robust sex lives. The argument that sterilized cats live longer and healthier lives is difficult to substantiate. It might have some validity as far as indoor cats are concerned but even that is questionable. If a cat is kept indoors, sterilization (and vaccination) is superfluous; to sterilize a cat in order to ensure an owner's peace and quiet is cruel an self-serving. More importantly, it is difficult to see any health benefits for sterilizing homeless cats; on the contrary, they need their testosterone and estrogen not only to survive but also to ensure that they produce offsprings.
Also troubling is the fact that, contrary to what TNR advocates allege, not all colonies of sterilized cats are cared for in a proper manner. For instance, despite all of its millions, Alley Cat Allies feeds the Boardwalk cats in Atlantic City only cheap dry food, which has been shown to cause lower urinary tract problems. Cats are carnivores and need meat; a milk substitute called Cat Sip along with some fruits and vegetables would also be beneficial to their health.
Critics will argue that the feline population must be kept in check by either exterminations or sterilizations. This is nonsense. If the sterilizers are so concerned about keeping down the population of cats why do they sell the eggs they remove from female cats to cloners such as Low Hawthorne of Savings and Clone of Sausalito?
The problem is not too many cats, but rather too many people and too much greed. More to the point, to kill and sterilize innocent animals who have committed no crime other than daring to exist is morally indefensible.
Just as both extermination and sterilization should be opposed, so too should such draconian anti-cat laws as those which require licensing, collars and leashes, mandatory vaccinations, and imprisonment indoors. Statutes which set unreasonable limits on the number of cats a person can own are also a bad idea.