How bad is the problem of feral and stray cats disrupting an ecosystem in which they do not belong? Cats are included in the category of invasive species which is the second most serious threat to birds. Habitat loss is the first.
Cats are NOT part of our ecosystem. They compete with natural predators, they transmit diseases to wildlife, and can wreak havoc on a protected area surrounded by human development.
The American Bird Conservancy started a program in 1997 called Cats Indoors! Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats to educate cat owners, decision makers, and the general public that cats, wildlife and people all benefit when cats are kept indoors, in an outdoor enclosure, or trained to go outside on a harness and leash.
Freelance writer Rosemary Drisdelle from Nova Scotia wrote an aticle on the problem of feral cats killing wildlife. One of her sources is called Cats and Wildlife – A Conservation Dilemma, who conclude that “we must make an effort to limit in a humane manner the adverse effects free-ranging cats can have on wildlife”.
One big debate was Wisconsin fighting to make feral cats an unprotected species. (They could then be hunted). The American Humane Association did not agree. “The feral cat problem is a human one not a feline one.”
If you want up-to-date information, check out The Bird Advocates, it is very interesting.