The New York City Feral Cat Initiative is an organization which is now providing the residents of the city with solutions for two problems, namely feral cats and rats infestation. The group intends to give stray cats a new mission, which is that of the defenders of the city. The rats roaming the city streets became a nagging problem, and the former pets could solve it.
The first step of the plan is for volunteers to trap feral cats. People in the city are concerned that stray cats can spread diseases among other pets, wildlife, and even children. They tend to get away from them, but now the cats turn out to be quite useful.
The volunteers take good care of the cats and give them vaccine shots. Afterward, the feral cats return to the streets. If the communities were they belong to can’t receive them anymore, the members of the group distribute the cats in areas where large colonies of rats were formed.
On the other hand, there are voices that claim that feral cats are not such a good idea in the fight against rats in New York. They argue that stray cats are a problem on their own. Critics claim that they are predators and feed on local fauna and pets, such as rabbits, chipmunks, and birds.
Authorities in New York have already spent millions of dollars on programs meant to fight rat infestation in the city. However, none of the already eighty proposed and applied methods paid off. The proposal from the organization aims to give a chance to the traditional method of eradicating rats.
Rat colonies extended in several areas due to the amount of garbage and waste. Statistics show that there are more than two million individuals in New York City. However, specialists were also able to monitor some areas which are now owned by feral cats. This is how they found out that the felines managed to reduce the rat population in their respective sectors within four years.
Specialists explain that the presence of cats in an area inhabited by rats can drive the pest away. Rats are highly responsive at the mere smell of a cat. Females tend to protect their babies, and this is why they will move away from an area where cats roam.
National reports show that cats can kill at least seventeen million rats each year. This is why some specialists believe that feral cats can be New Yorkers’ best bet against rat infestation.
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