June Buggie and Hissy Fit Jones Debate!

Oh Dog! Politicians are debating, so we thought we’d have a debate of our own. Today we’re going to post the debate between June Buggie– an indoor cat since he was rescued as a young kitten, and Hissy Fit Jones– a cat born of a feral mother who lived the feral lifestyle for almost a year.

The topic? Feral cats and what to do about them. As you may be aware, there are two different schools of thought on how to address the problem of feral cats. You can check out PETA and Alley Cat Allies stances on feral cats by clicking on the titles.

I will be your moderator. Note the protective stance in case the claws come out!

First, speaking out on behalf of feral cats is Hissy Fit Jones.

Thank you. As you know, I was born to a feral mama and was myself a feral cat. Some would say that I still am, but that’s another story.

It is estimated that there are 70 million stray and feral cats in the US. Let’s face it- there’s no way you humans are going to be rid of us. And there’s no way people are going to stop feeding us, so our numbers will continue to grow.

So I think the Trap-Neuter-Return is the most viable option to handling the feral cat population. By trapping the cats, having them neutered and then returning them to their colony they will live out their days without creating more cats to continue the suffering.

Will that solve the problem? No, but it is a positive approach that is respectful to the cats and to the humans that care about them.

Rumpy: Thanks Hissy. Now we’ll hear a different perspective from June Buggie.

Yes, Hissy, it’s true there are around 70 million stray and feral cats in the US. But domestic cats are not native to the habitat and throw a monkey wrench in the ecosystem. The damage they do to the bird population alone is alarming.

And while it’s great that there’s an effort to spay/neuter these cats, it doesn’t change the quality of life they experience. For example, we have ferals in our neighborhood. One has a problem with a front leg, one is blind in one eye, one has recently had his ear sliced in half and one recently had a chunk missing from his neck area. The life is hard and the deaths are often violent (run over, dog attack) or gruesome (sickness, exposure). And while humans may care enough to feed these animals, most are in no position to provide veterinary care for these animals.

If you can help the cat by providing health care and rehabilitation and then home the cat, please do so. Otherwise it’s humane to euthanize the cats.

Rumpy: Thanks Buggie.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your stance on the dealing with the feral cat problem?

44 thoughts on “June Buggie and Hissy Fit Jones Debate!

  1. I practise TNR in my neighbourhood and add a “M” which stands for Manage. Like now, I have one of the neutered stray with me because of an eye problem. I’m nursing him back to health and returning him to the colony. It’s not ideal but it’s a workable solution.
    I won’t say I’m against euthanasia but it should only be done as a last resort, and not putting down healthy, but feral / stray animals because of overcrowding. I have had a feral cat put down because of his very poor health. It was dying a slow and miserable death and was not in the position to recover even with aggressive treatment. It’s not a decision I like to make, but necessary to avoid further suffering of the animal.
    Education is key, and that will take time. One step at a time!

  2. Thanks for your opinions about feral cats problems, Hissy and June Buggie!!! ( You two, are so cute!!! *blush*) Oops! hem hem,,, well..I think that what June Buggie says is truly ideal for feral cats and if we could provoide those circumstances for them. It would be perfect, but sometimes it’s impossible because of different reasons depending on people. 😦
    So when we think of at least what we can do for those feral cats, the things Hissy says are one positive approach, and of course although it doesn’t solve the problems, we should start from what we can do right now even if it is a little thing. I don’t agreer euthanize…. 😦

    1. It’s a really tough issue to face Kevin. But the reason why we have so many feral cats here in the US (and I’m guessing in other places as well) is because people haven’t faced it. But we can’t keep pretending the problem does not exist.

  3. Important issue. We used to volunteer for trap neuter return but the funding dried up and it became over a 100 to neuter or spay one feral kitty. Low cost spay neuter programs wold really help

  4. I know that here in the UK the RSPCA try not to euthanise unless as a last resort. I’ve personally never met a feral cat, but they must be around! The problem of abandoned pets is getting huge and I know there are dedicated folk involved with neutering as many as possible. I feel that euthanising is absolutely a last resort. If an animal is healthy, then it should be rehomed if possible. But it is getting harder 😦

  5. This is a tough issue and one that’s close to my “formerly feral” heart. I feel sorry for ANY cat that’s out in the world fending for itself. I often wonder where I would be if I hadn’t been adopted as a kitten from the shelter 12 years ago as a little feral guy. TNR works of course but there are SO MANY cats who wander and many are domestics who have not been neutered so the problem is self-perpetuating. I just know that I feel lucky to be one feral “off the streets” and in a happy home.


  6. Ai dont fink peepuls shud kill them. But peepuls shud FIRST be moar resposibul edukated pet owners. Not a whole lot of ferals, once born owtside of pethood & grown R eas’ly made n2 “former feral.” Baby kittehs kin but not teen & older cats so peepuls who fink dey kin jus’ go grab sum grown cats off teh skreet & mek pets owt of the poor kittehs iz not helping– Prolly hoarding w’ich is harmful fur bofe the cats AND teh humans w’at catches them. Bein’ usta being on the skreets & sumbody traps them fur keeps, well, they haz 2 be kept in cages furever & that’s cruel, too! They get berry stressed owt being cooped up & prrfer 2 run free. Best unner circumstances iz to take kare of ferals by catch, spay/vaccinate release. Catch baby kittehs fur hyoomin homes if they gets bornd anyway. Educashun & Donations fur servis to them no matter how long they live is betta than doin’ nuttin.

    1. Good point Mr. BobButtons, but what about the cats that have homes that go outside and might come into contact with these feral kitties that might be sick?

  7. Hmm. The way me sees it is that cities in NOT viable to the ecosystem either. It brings added rodents and other things that would not be there. Trapping and releasing Feral cats keeps them in check. So me don’t Like how ferals gots there, but many places now has trap and release programs and peoples that goes and monitors and feeds them and makes sure they is taken care of and that is good.

  8. Not only did I find this very informative, but the pictures and format had me chuckling quite well. The animals are beautiful and I am inspired to adopt a cat.
    But I thank you for my first serious “belly” laugh of the day.

    p.s. is this system in place? Trap, neuter, return?

    1. It is in some places. There’s a county nearby here that has an excellent program in place and provides free neutering. They don’t limit the cats to just their county either. But it’s not cheap and requires alot of dedicated people who give of their time.

  9. I think the feral cat program is a good idea and if there is a caretaker system even better for the quality of the cats’ lives. We have about 3 to 5 strays in our neighborhood and one neighbor does feed, provide shelter in the garage and provides some basic care for them. It keeps the mice population down and I love that! Thanks for a great debate.

  10. I tend to agree more with June Buggie, except in rural and isolated areas of the country where sufficient food is available in the wild. Feral cats and the city do not mix. Both Hissy and June Buggie are on track for human solutions which we all need to practice.

  11. This is an interesting debate. I think most can agree that euthanizing a wounded or sick feral would be the most compassionate thing to do. Though I’m not sure I could justify it for a mostly healthy one. Trap, spay/neuter and release seems like a good idea but like you pointed out Rumpy, who would fund such a program? I don’t know how big an average feral colony is but when it’s costs over $100 just to do 1 animal, I imagine it could get very costly, very quickly.

    Sadly, as with most important issues, there is no easy answer.

    1. There are many such colonies. I’m not sure how big this one is around here. I do know most of the cats look well-fed, so either they have homes or someone is feeding them.

  12. First, I have to say that you are a beautiful looking dog, and you are also a great moderator! Secondly, Hissy Jones and June Buggie, you both raise interesting points about Trap -Neuter-Return. In Maryland, we have a large feral cat population that I wasn’t fully aware of until a veterinarian and strong advocate for cats filled me in. You may want to read about the Smith Island Feral Cat Project of Md. Here is the link- http://www.mdfelinesociety.org/smith-island.htm , and yes; the Smith Island that you are reading about, is the place from where the famous Smith Island Cake got it’s name ( YUMMY!) Great debate, friends!

  13. This is a tough. Feral cats are wild animals. I wouldn’t dream of going out and trapping, neutering and releasing a lion, but then I’d be an idiot to try to go out and feed one too! Not only that, but there are not very many people raising lions in their living room and then tossing them out a car window somewhere. People who let their own not neutered cats outside also add to the problem.

    It just really sucks that we have to find a solution to the animals when people are the problem. Both TNR and euthanasia are expensive. Maybe we should trap, neuter and release idiot people. πŸ™‚

  14. Have to agree with June Buggie, for all the reasons given. If they can be tamed for pets then they could be placed for adoption. My childhood kitty was a kitten born to a feral mom. Best and sweetest kitty ever once she learned to trust. (Shh don’t tell Nestle I said another kitty was the best.)

  15. I think it is better to euthanize them. Many are so accustomed to the feral life that they can never adjust to life inside. Then the ones that are neutered and returned only suffer as much as the ones that aren’t neutered. With the males, I can’t help but think that the whole males are more aggressive. And females that are neutered never go into heat but does a whole male care? No. Perhaps a combination of fix and return, plus a cull of ones that are injured/diseased could be a solution. I live in an area where the weather is mild all the time so the cats do not die of exposure, but they are prey to coyotes and other predators. I can’t think of a worse way to die than to be eaten alive. It’s a sad topic, but one that should be addressed.

  16. Sorry we can’t agrre with this: “Otherwise it’s humane to euthanize the cats.”

    If people acted responsibly and neutering was carried out then ferals would become a thing of the past without having to euthanize them ~ it could happen in just a few years if peeople cared enough.

  17. Great debate. I love to see respectful conversations take place. To continue in that vain I will say that some studies have suggested that feral cats do not actually harm the bird population or, at the very least, not to the extent that they are blamed. (http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/predation_studies_reviewed.html)

    I am an advocate of TNR but having done it personally on a small scale I know how expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining it can be.

  18. I think it was Deborah Barnes who did a post a while back on a woman in Miami, I think, who did TNR + MANAGE. This seemed like a great solution. Provide safe outdoor spaces for kitties, feed them regularly, and provide social-human contact. Looked like it really worked. Looked like it needed some $$ plus a lot of passion and dedication also, however. Needless to say.

    1. It does take money, and lots of it. Anything vet procedure done to a feral would cost twice as much because the cat would have to be sedated. It also takes alot of time. Right now I don’t have either. And it hurts. But that is the way things are right now.

What would you like to add to the conversation? Bark at me in a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s