Xeresa council annoys cat feeders with old wives' tales
Mayor said that if cats are fed, they will not hunt mice or rats
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.