General Question

comity's avatar

Why do people dump cats and can I help to prevent that from happening?

Asked by comity (2837points) November 27th, 2011

The house I’ve lived in for the past 6 years house backs onto a state park where people dump cats. In this park there are predators like the Fisher Cat (a weasel), and a bob cat has been spotted recently. People can’t have indoor/outdoor cats here as they wouldn’t be safe. I rescue those I can, get them shots, neutered and rehomed. I’ve rehomed all 14 of the ones I rescued, but then there are the ones I couldn’t. How could people do that, and how can I help to prevent that from happening?

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17 Answers

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Mariah's avatar

Aw, it’s so great that you want to help!

My best guess would be that people dump cats because a cat of their own gives birth and they can’t afford to care for new kittens.

One way to help, therefore, would be to advocate for spaying and neutering pet cats.

digitalimpression's avatar

The sad fact is that you’re not going to be able to completely prevent it. You may be able to reduce its occurrence by promoting the spay and neuter campaign just like Bob Barker did. Or you can donate to a charity whose cause is the same. Or you can take all these cats in and feed them yourself.

There are just some people in this world who need to be left in the park themselves.

comity's avatar

digitalimpression – I can’t take them all in as it wouldn’t be fair to my animals but, I have found homes for all I’ve rescued given shots to and spayed/ neutered. Most weren’t newborn, were about 1year of age and in terrible condition. One was pregnant. Are there any communities that you know of that have laws against people doing that and fines if caught?

digitalimpression's avatar

@comity Yes, there are laws against it . It is even a felony in quite a few states.

bkcunningham's avatar

I have a friend who lives just outside of Orlando, FL, in a community near Disney. She and her husband use traps from an organization to capture the feral cats and then pay to have them nuetered and spayed. They then release them back in their neighborhood and feed them.

When I first met her, we talked about why she had started doing this. In the beginning she said she could believed she could get the entire population in her little area under control and it was the humane thing to do. Unfortunately, now, about one year into her good hearted project, she and her husband realize how futile their dream really was.

I wish I knew the answer. There should be cat birth control where you can put it in their food. It doesn’t take long for a generation of domestic cats to become a generation of feral cats.

comity's avatar

digitalimpression – Checked NYS law and its just a misdemeanor
bkcunningham – state park calls animal control when they see a stray cat – strays in Cayuga County NY where shelters are overloaded end up…....The park management would be quite upset if I had a cat colony but, after I rescue and take care of medical needs, I have a huge 5th wheel that I house them in while searching for an adoptee – I live near Ithaca New York (Tompkins County) where many animal lovers reside so finding a home wasn’t difficult. But, I can’t rescue them all as I don’t always see them and the dumpers arn’t caught as they come in the thick of night. Wish I could do more! Protest for better laws to protect these helpless animals? I really don’t know.

digitalimpression's avatar

@comity If you put an “at” symbol in front of someones name it will make things easier to spot. It will also help you fill in the name so you don’t have to type it all out.

Really, just a misdemeanor?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Sounds like you’re doing quite a bit already. You are to be commended for your concern. We have the same problem out here in the Middle-of-nowhere. People will drop off unwanted cats and dogs, usually because they can no longer afford to keep them. We have several kind people like you who do their best to find these abandoned animals a home, including our next door neighbor. But our little hamlet is so small that there is no budget for this sort of thing ( or for most anything else, for that matter! ). God bless and good luck

Coloma's avatar

You can only do what you can do, and, you are doing it! :-)

I live in a rural mountain community with lots of wildlife too. There are few feral cats out here, mostly barn cats that people don’t spay/neuter and usually when a pet goes missing it is coyotes and bobcats/cougars that do the taking.
It is what it is and it is very sad indeed.

I recently tried to rescue 3 feral barn kittens in the woods but was unsuccessful.

Just do what you can without overburdening yourself and your resources.

Everyone that gets taken off the streets is a success, even if it means euthanasia.
Better a painless death than starving to death in the weeds, endless reproduction, or being killed by predators.

I have been very lucky with indoor/outdoor cats out here in the woods. I have only lost 2 out of a group of 8 over a 20 yr. period to mysterious circumstances.

comity's avatar

I always try to understand “why” and not being able to afford your pet cat is not a good enough excuse to me for dumping a pet cat on the roadside, in a garbage can, in a park where dangerous predators are. There’s cheap cat food out there. One of the cats I rescued had pellet wounds down its side. Grrrr! Some people are….............

YARNLADY's avatar

Irresponsible people seem to believe that cats have an instinct to take care of themselves, and the State Park is an area where nature’s food would be abundant. They have no idea that the cat is the food.

There is no way of stopping it. Laws require pets to be licensed, but people who can’t afford to license them will simply “dump” them, so it doesn’t work.

rooeytoo's avatar

I hate the answer but the only solution I see viable at this point and with the numbers of unwanted animals in this world is to cull cull cull. I would also desex any human found abandoning animals so that they cannot reproduce any more or their irresponsible ilk.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My poor sister in San Antonio is going through the same dilemma. She has about 30 stray cats at any given time that she feeds. She also gathers them up and takes them in to be fixed. She puts out about 10 cans of cat food a day (the big ones), and about a gallon of dry cat food. Now she has racoons, too. Her neighbors hate her. You can just call her house Grey Gardens.

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