Hello Kitty Alert: Writer’s Call to Kill Feral Cats Sparks Outcry

Published on March 22, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 10.11.15 AMA writer’s call to euthanize feral domestic cats has caused new fur to fly in the ongoing debate over how to handle free-roaming felines.

In a March 14 opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel, Ted Williams, then editor-at-large for Audubon Magazine, advocated for trapping and euthanizing feral cats due to their rampant hunting of birds and their reputation for carrying diseases like toxoplasmosis.

The magazine, published by one of the nation’s leading bird groups, has since suspended its contract with Williams and removed him as editor-at-large from its masthead.

Over 80 million pet cats reside in U.S. homes and as many as 80 million more free-roaming cats survive outside. (Watch a video about the secret lives of cats.)

A study published earlier this year in Nature Communications estimated that cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 billion to 20.7 billion mammals in the continental U.S. each year.

Read more: news.nationalgeographic.com