A pro-kitty crowd of almost 100 people showed up Tuesday night to share opinions with Fort Worth Code Compliance on feral cats.

Most people favored a kinder, gentler approach to handling the wild critters.  About 5,000 cats a year end up at the animal shelter. Few make it out alive, and feral cats are almost always euthanized.


The city is considering a trap-neuter-release (TNR) policy that could stabilize the populations of feral cats and reduce the number being euthanized.

Crowd members urged the city to adopt the policy.

“Why are humans wanting to kill everything?” a woman said. “We need to trap, neuter, and release.”

“These animals are a part of us whether you like it or not,” another said.

Residents who abandon pets are the ones creating the feral colonies; it’s a people problem, not a cat problem, others said.

But not everybody was purring pretty.

A few people complained that feral cats were a nuisance that needed to be snuffed. Pet owners who follow city rules don’t always appreciate stray cats getting into trash, peeing and pooping willy nilly, attacking domesticated pets, killing birds and squirrels, or spreading disease.

“I have three feral cats who think [my house] is their toilet,” a woman said.

A gray-haired gentleman ambled up to the podium and kept his statement succinct: “When a cat comes into my yard, he’s a goner,” he said.

The crowd sat stunned and silent. As the man returned to his seat, he walked past faces that either glared at him or stared in drop-jawed amazement.

“Just hold your applause until later,” he said.

Cat lovers are probably more apt to take time out of their Tuesday evening to attend a public meeting on feral cats. But that cat-hater’s sentiment might be more representative of the masses.

A Fort Worth Star-Telegram story that announced the public meeting drew plenty of remarks in the comment section. Most weren’t exactly warm and fuzzy.

“Judging from comments here, I guess my earlier comment that cat hating is an integral part of the local culture was right on,” one said.

“Kill on sight, that should solve it,” said another.

Two more public meetings are scheduled on December 10 and December 15.


  1. I am a cat owner, and my kitties go outside. My kitties are vaccinated so i don’t worry about feral cats encountering my kitties. I reside in Fort Worth (76114)

  2. How an individual feels about cats is subjective. However, there are some objective considerations that can help a community make the policy decision in support of particular objectives. If the goal is simply to reduce the number of feral cats, then policy makers have to consider what resources are available for either a sterilize and release program or a traditional program of lethal control. Most traditional animal control programs lack the necessary resources to trap enough cats to offset the reproductive capabilities of the cats that aren’t trapped. However, sterilize and return programs will suffer the same fate if a very high percentage of cats aren’t trapped and sterilized. Adoption rates are also very important for the success of sterilize and return as are educational efforts to prevent pet abandonment.

    This is a highly emotional and polarized issue, so the natural tendency is to focus on what management approach is used rather than realizing that any management approach faces daunting challenges. Those advocating for one approach over another need to show that they can muster the necessary commitment of time and money to make their favored approach work.

  3. Be cautious about suggesting that any cats rounded-up from outdoors be used for adoption. There’s no way to know their vaccination history, if any, nor their exposure to all the deadly diseases cats carry. If a cat has contracted rabies then a vaccination against it later will do no good. It’s already too late. There’s also no reliable known test for rabies while keeping the animal alive. They really need to be destroyed after they are trapped. It’s the only sane and sensible solution. This is precisely why all wild-harvested animals in the world, of any type intended for the pet-industry, must undergo an extended quarantine period before transfer or sale of those animals to prevent just these things. Cats are no different than any other animal when harvested from the wild. You’re just risking this following story happening in every shelter across the land.

    Adopting any cat that’s been taken from outdoors is just playing Russian Roulette these days.

    I found some surprising things about all the diseases these invasive-species vermin are now spreading throughout the USA. They are nothing but 4-legged bags of disease-vector now.

    These are just the diseases cats spread to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife and even other cat species. They include: Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Plague, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasma. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Flea-borne Typhus and Tularemia can now also be added to that list.

  4. Destroying cats is NOT “hating cats”.

    Why do mentally-unbalanced and psychotic cat-advocates always presume that if someone is removing a highly destructive, deadly disease spreading, human-engineered invasive-species from the native habitat to restore it back into natural balance that they must hate that organism? Does someone who destroys Zebra Mussels, Kudzu, Burmese Pythons, African Cichlids, or any of the other myriad destructive invasive-species have some personal problem with that species? (Many of which are escaped PETS that don’t even spread any harmful diseases, unlike cats.) Your ignorance and blatant biases are revealed in your declaring that people who destroy cats must somehow hate or fear cats. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    • the cats kill my pet yard chickens and rabbits and wild birds and and and ect
      I have the solution. its quick and the right thing to do. trap and destroy. Biggest problem with feral cats is many have been trapped and dumped. They are really hard to re trap. One time in a trap makes them afraid of traps. Answer is to make a trap out of wood. It is easy and does not look like the normal “have a heart” . works for me. also not liking feral cats means to me that you like normal wildlife that is harmed by them. Just my way to look at it. I guess if your a real cat lover you just hate robins, frogs, rabbits and wildlife in general (except cats). I am not talking about tame pets which are also a problem. I am talking about wild animals that are also a cat. Most people that get upset about putting a feral cat out of its missery dont have a problem with hunters killing coyotes which belong out there. Seems odd.

  5. Look up the term TNR advocates just LOVE to use on how they reduce their feral-cat numbers, their candy-coating feel-good term of “Death by Attrition”. This means that their cats will die from disease, cat-attacks, animal-attacks, exposure, road-kill, starvation, and any other means that drastically shortens cats’ lives. They don’t die from old-age, you know! ALL their cats suffering for how many months it takes to die that way. Just because they don’t see how that cat lies there, gasping for air, dying for days, after it’s been hit by a car or survived an animal attack means that it didn’t die inhumanely? Is that how it works with TNR advocates? They didn’t see it suffer to death so it didn’t suffer? Are they THIS self-deluded? A cat dying from poisoning is even more humane than a cat dying from TNR’s “attrition” (of which poisoning by any means; plant, snake, insect, or chemical; is one of the many methods that falls under the definition of “attrition”). In most parts of this country and the world TNR practices clearly falls under the guidelines for cruelty to animals, animal-abuse, animal-neglect, animal-endangerment, and animal-abandonment laws. Including being in direct violation of every invasive-species law in existence.

    Let’s not forget how TNR advocates don’t hesitate to carve up cats with scalpels as well as cutting off parts of their ears, from which they have to heal-up for weeks before they try to survive again. As if letting them die of “attrition” wasn’t bad enough, TNR-advocates start them off by terrorizing them with traps, cages, and sticking knives into them first. (Which is also precisely why they can’t trap them a 2nd time to keep them vaccinated.)

    Not only are they cruelly torturing cats, but also all wildlife they inflict their cats upon. Their cats literally ripping the skin off of and clawing the guts out of any wildlife to use it as an agonizingly and slowly dying twitching play-toy for their cats. And as soon as all the “fun” has drained out of their play-toy, they go on and find another one to torture. This is no different than if cat-owners went to a pet-store and bought canaries and hamsters then threw them at their cats to watch their cats tear them apart for their amusement. What about all the native predators that depend on all those animals for their ONLY food? Their cats cause all those animals to STARVE TO DEATH. TNR-advocates’ cruelty knows no bounds.

    If you want to raise revenue for your towns and cities in order to deal with this invasive-species ecological-disaster properly and effectively, start charging all these TNR advocates with severe fines and imprisonment for CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AND VIOLATION OF INVASIVE-SPECIES LAWS.

    They’re not doing this out of any goodness of their hearts. THEY DON’T HAVE HEARTS, nor minds. Proved, 100%.

  6. Speaking as someone who has owned only cats in my life, never dogs, I must say I agree completely with Woodsman. My neighborhood (my home) is overrun with feral cats because I have neighbors who put out pet food on their porches to feed possums, raccoons, and mostly cats. Because of this, we have few birds and no lizards, frogs, or even grass snakes (all of whom eat insects). We have cats. And insects.
    They need to be controlled.

  7. Bub, controlled should mean kill. The same way that cats kill all wildlife, the same way all animals are killed by the pet-food industry to make cat-food. You can either kill cats, or kill animals to feed cats and let cats kill all other animals. Killing one animal species (a MAN-MADE invasive-species that was genetically engineered through selective breeding) to save thousands of other NATIVE wildlife species is the only sane solution.

    Why do you think Pet Smart and other national pet-food chains are donating so much money to TNR programs? It’s not out of any goodness of their hearts, they don’t have hearts. They love nothing better than to have every TNR cat torture all wildlife and let the cats slowly die from disease, animal attacks, environmental poisons, ran over by cars, exposure, etc. The way that ALL TNR’ed cats die.

    No, this is purely a business venture for them. Every cat mouth kept alive, no matter how much that cat is suffering outdoors, is more money in their pockets. If they can con some foolish little old ladies to buy their pet-food to feed cats that are slowly suffering to death outdoors, what difference does it make to them if it looks good on their bank account? TNR advocates are just foolish pawns to the pet-food and veterinary industry. They all manage to make a buck off of the suffering and torturous deaths of cats and all those animals that cats torture to death.

  8. I too am a cat owner and lover. I am also opposed to managing cats outdoors – TNR is too expensive and labor intensive to work the way its advocates claim. It is also not ecologically necessary to return a cat once it has been captured. TNR is in no way a ‘no-kill’ solution, either.

    I’m OK with feral cats being euthanized – I’ve rescued a fair number of cats over the years, but I can’t save them all.
    For those that can’t bear to see them euthanized, set up an enclosure in your yard and care for them in a respectful and responsible manner.

  9. Annie, BRAVA, for being one of the few true “cat-lovers” (a term that has proved to be an oxymoron otherwise) that actually proves they love cats (as well as all other species on earth). You are far and few between. You are to be commended for speaking your mind. If only more people like you, with as clearly common-sense and reasoning solutions; were as vocal against these mentally-ill TNR-advocates — that do nothing for cats (and all wildlife) but torture them to death.

  10. If euthanasia works so well, why hasn’t the feral cat population been eliminated already? I mean it HAS been the official policy for the past 50 years. Instead of decreasing, the cat population has only grown.

    For euthanasia to work would require every single wild cat to be eliminated in a four month span. If only a few cats are killed at a time then reproduction quickly makes up the loss and increases the population.

    Performing such a task would require much more resources and volunteers than county animal control has or ever will have. Good luck recruiting volunteers for that cause. You’ll never convince the general population to actively kill cats.

    TNR serves the same purpose of removing the breeding population. This cause also attracts many more devoted volunteers who can trap a greater percentage of the wild cat population. In small, isolated communities, TNR has been shown to be highly effective. However, the ultimate source of feral cats must be stemmed: Free-roaming unfixed pets.

    I care just as much about native wildlife as bird lovers, but there is no use clinging to a method that does not work. If you euthanize one cat, a new cat will replace it. The source of the problem has not been addressed. In addition, euthanasia takes a terrible emotional toll on shelter employees. It’s easy for someone sitting on their couch to advocate euthanasia. Inserting the syringe into hundreds of animals is an entirely different story.

  11. Stephanie wrote: If euthanasia works so well, why hasn’t the feral cat population been eliminated already?”

    For the VERY SAME REASON THAT TNR HAS FAILED. Euthanizing methods too are based on slow and inefficient trapping methods.

    Introduce trapping into any part of the equation and you are now working far below cats’ breeding rates.

    Find whatever way that you can to destroy all feral and stray cats on-site. TNR advocates are at least right about one thing (and ONE THING ONLY); trap and kill doesn’t work either because it is based on the very same flawed method that they use — slow, random-chance, inefficient, easily outfoxed traps. There’s a reason the phrase “hunted to extinction” is so well-known in all cultures across all lands. It is the *ONLY* method that is faster than a species can out-breed and out-adapt to. The following link (of a study done by the University of Nebraska) is some good documentation on the most humane ways to confront a feral-cat problem where you live; including the best firearms, air-rifles, and ammo required. Though avoid using their suggested slow and inefficient trapping methods that got us into the ecological disaster that we have now.

    Your bullsh** “vacuum effect” is also a 100% LIE.

    TNR-Advocates “Vacuum Effect” is an absolute 100% LIE.

    There’s an interesting study done by the Texas A&M University on TNR practices. They started out with about 12 sterilized cats. At the end of 9 months they had over 30. An increase of more than 200%, all moved in of their own volition. This isn’t due to any mythical “vacuum effect” that cat-advocates spread and lie about so often. For that to have happened you would have had to remove cats to create a vacuum for others to replace them. The exact opposite happened in this study.

    Simple reason being: CATS ATTRACT CATS

    Cat scents attract cats. This is why they spray everything, to attract mates and rivals and mark territory. Cat sounds attract cats. Mewing kittens will even attract stray toms who will kill the kittens if they are not their own (basic feline behavior of any cat species).

    If you want more cats, keep some around. More will find you. Get rid of them all and there’s no reason for other cats to come to that area. I proved this myself by getting rid of every last cat on my own land. ZERO cats moved in to replace them. The native wildlife that was here and belongs here replaced them.

    Another interesting finding, sterilized cats do not defend their territory. Any new cats see this as easy-pickings and move in to take over. If that cat-colony is being fed then non-sterilized cats will actually overtake the sterilized colony’s food-source because the non-sterilized cats are not as docile and complacent.

    Dead Cat Lover, I personally wouldn’t advise killing opossum without a good reason. They are one of the most beneficial native-wildlife species we have. And due to their body temperatures being so low they can’t even contract nor carry rabies. One of the only animals species in N. America to be immune to catching and carrying many of the common and deadly diseases. They’re actually a rather admirable animal when you learn about them.

    Poison for cats is also a bad idea. As that cats crawls off to die somewhere, anything that might feed on that dead cat will not only become poisoned too, but will also be subjected to all the many diseases that cats carry today. Cats need to be trapped and drowned or shot on sight, then buried or incinerated to protect all wildlife and other humans from coming in contact with all the diseases that cats carry. If you’re going to do the job, do it right. Don’t add to the problem by trying to get rid of them just as irresponsibly as TNR advocates are doing..

  12. By the way people, WOODSMAN IS A LARGE SCALE PROPAGANDA OPERATION. You’ll find his EXACT comments posted on hundreds of instances of this article. You must work for some organization with a financial interest in this. Who are you and what exactly is your agenda? Truth is, there is no panacea to the problem but TNR definitely helps. People like “woodsman” advocate killing ALL wild animals as a convenience to their financial bottom lines or livestock. All of his arguments are fabricated, distorted or exaggerated. . There’s a lot of youtube videos of happy endings with for feral cats (an example: ). If the goal is to eliminate suffering, TNR helps. If the goal is for redneck farmers to be able to legally shoot cats on their property, sorry ‘Woodsman’

  13. That is freaking awesome! I laughed so hard at that quote… “When a cat comes into my yard, he’s a goner” and to put a cherry on top “Please hold you applause until later”. I almost pissed myself laughing… but seriously, I am sick of outdoor and feral cats. I moved to Fort Worth in 98 and have lived in the same house since then, a new neighborhood at the time. About 5 years later the cat population when from 0 to about 15-20. They sprayed my furnature to hell, scratched the crap out of my damn patio furnature, and have tried to fight my mini doberman when I let him in my back yard. I went ahead and trapped about 5 of them, covered the cage in fabric, and buried all of them in the back yard about 2 feet down. It was that or blowing their brains out. I thought it would be more humane that they die by slowly falling asleep from lack of oxygen.

  14. I am not an animal or cat hater. This is my story: A frail stray cat showed up in my backyard. I gave her water and food, now the number has grown to nine. I didn’t realize this was a feral cat. I love birds so, I had several bird feeders, the cats started killing my birds, and now the birds doesn’t come anymore.

    I didn’t realize that animal control doesn’t catch cats anymore. They are now in my neighbors yards and they are upset( can’t blame them). I can’t afford a trapping service, nor the traps SPCA rents. I can’t imagine watching them die slowly from poisoning.
    Any affordable ideas?

  15. Feral cats need to be eliminated. They spread diseases and kill native wildlife. We’ll never eliminate them entirely, but the population needs to be controlled through killing off animals that can’t be re-homed. Any other position is inhumane and irrational.

  16. Pet owners should spay and neuter their pets. Pet owners should not simply dump their un-neutered cats when they grow tired of them.

    Cats that, sadly, have been abandoned by their idiot owners do not deserve to be shot or poisoned or buried alive simply because humans have failed them. TNR is not the ultimate “solution” but it does prevent the cats from breeding and producing more unwanted cats.

    I’ve adopted several feral cats over the years (one was six years old when I took him in) and they turned out to be very affectionate and grateful to finally have a home. The idea that feral cats cannot become inside-only companion cats is bunk.

    Woodsman rattles on about how TNR’d cats are forced to die horrible extended deaths is bunk as well. For some reason, he declined to mention that any native species are also forced to die those horrible extended deaths he described. It would seem only logical that he should kill any creature that moves so that they will not have to suffer starvation or predator attacks or being hit by cars (just think of the number of deer carcasses you find on the side of the highway.) Why doesn’t he advocate the killing of every living creature everywhere to spare them the horrors of living in the wild? Guess he just doesn’t understand the definition of hypocrisy, perhaps?