Xeresa coun­cil an­noys cat feed­ers with old wives' tales

Mayor said that if cats are fed, they will not hunt mice or rats

Costa Levante News - - NEWS -

By Saman­tha Kett UR­BAN myths about cats which could af­fect the well­be­ing of Xeresa's feral colonies have up­set an­i­mal lovers – even though they re­alise the coun­cil's in­ten­tions are good.

Mayor Tomàs Fer­ran­dis says feed­ing the feral cats is 'coun­ter­pro­duc­tive' be­cause they do not then 'do their job' of catch­ing rats and mice – de­spite the fact that even well-fed do­mes­tic fe­lines still hunt, and that no cat can sur­vive for long only eat­ing what it can catch.

He also says some res­i­dents have com­plained about the 'smell' and 'fleas' – yet vets have con­firmed cat fleas do not af­fect hu­mans, and cats do not 'smell'.

They tend to bury their wee and poo if they can, opt­ing for pri­vacy when they go to the toi­let rather than us­ing a well­trod­den pave­ment, and fe­line urine can be in­stantly neu­tralised by pour­ing wine vine­gar over it, which also erad­i­cates its odour and bac­te­ria.

Xeresa wants to fol­low a trap, neuter, re­turn (TNR) pro­gramme, like the one per­formed by its neigh­bour, Xe- raco, with coun­cil fund­ing.

But Fer­ran­dis only speaks of cas­trat­ing male cats – even though it is just as im­por­tant to spay fe­males to stop them hav­ing sea­sons and run­ning the risk of in­fec­tion.

He is seek­ing vol­un­teers to help catch the cats and then take them to a shel­ter af­ter be­ing ster­ilised.

But feral cats do not adapt to be­ing kept in en­closed spa­ces or do­mes­tic en­vi­ron­ments, un­less they are caught very young.

Feral cat feed­ers say they al­ways clear up the area af­ter the an­i­mals have eaten, tak­ing away left­over food, mop­ping up wee and scoopìng up poo, mean­ing all that is left is a bowl of wa­ter for them to drink from.

It wor­ries them that some town coun­cils con­sider the cats 'ver­min' and value them ac­cord­ing to how well they keep the rat pop­u­la­tion down.

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