Published on:  
Dec 30, 2015

How do we handle complaints that Return to Field is harmful to birds?

Dear Million Cat Challenge,

Our local bird protection group is opposed to Return to Field programs. They claim cats kill birds at an alarming rate. Suggestions? – Animal Lover

Dear Animal Lover,

This is the most controversial aspect of TNR/RTF programs. The bottom line is that birds are not served by a freely reproducing cat population. It’s also impossible to trap and cull enough cats to reduce their population. Increasing the proportion of cats that is incapable of reproducing is a long-term investing in protecting birds AND cats. We do need to be aware that there are some places in which the risk to the bird population is so great that cats shouldn’t be there. In those cases, we can help by relocating the cats to a more appropriate environment.