I had a fellow at the pound tell me the best and cheapest way to get rid of them is to just quit feeding them. He said they will go somewhere else before they let themselves starve. I had someone else tell me if you just feed them a time or two they are your cats now and you are responsible for their rabies shots and if they don't have them when the man comes around you could be fined or have to pay to have them vacinated right then and there. That boils my blood. Sorry to have to tell you that. Having critters around isn't as simple as it used to be. Since you are trying to catch up to me in age I guess you well know that nothing is as simple as it used to be.
Do what you want, but be aware that any animal that comes to see you as a source of food has a strong chance of adopting you as its caregiver, in which case unlikely to go away...unless it finds a better source of food.
Feral cats are not native to any wild environment, including urban environments. They were bred for centuries to be indoors. Outdoors they get terrible diseases and they hunt anything else that moves. Cats don't belong outdoors, and feeding them only makes more cats that suffer and kill other animals that belong in the ecosystem.
The previous poster was correct to point out that many wild birds are killed each year by cats - but they got the number wrong. The American Bird Conservancy estimates that 2.4 billion wild birds are killed by cats in the USA every year - not millions. Estimates by scientists range as high as 4 billion birds annually in the USA. And estimates for the number of mammals killed by cats in the USA range from 6.3 to 22.3 billion annually. Spay-neuter-adoption/release is the only humane solution to the tens of millions of feral housecats now loosed upon the country. Feeding them outdoors only makes the problems worse and causes more suffering.
btw more things have pointed out to me that tom is dead. he had a hard hard life. feral but was always kind to me.....he sometimes was bit bloody from fighting i guess. but he would come up to me for a head scracth but i was worried about catching something but i also didnt want to hurt his feelings
Of course. I don’t make up stuff for the purpose of posting on forums. The estimates come from the most comprehensive meta analysis of studies on the subject, in 2013. There are more feral cats now, so the numbers are no doubt higher now. See Nature Communications 4:1396 (2013).
It’s a big range because we’re dealing with big numbers of wild animals, and the behavior and outcomes being estimated occur out of sight of humans most of the time. Also, as is normal in science, the outcomes are estimated with statistical precision accounting for inevitable uncertainty in the estimates - so they use a 95 percent confidence interval to express their results - not one specific number.