Folks, we have a problem. We don't know what to do about cats. As pet owners, we aren't very responsible and we aren't very good at meeting cats' needs. As members of our communities, we are neglecting problems with pet overpopulation and habitat destruction. Who suffers as a result? Cats AND birds.
This week's op-ed piece in the NY Times Sunday edition is titled "The Evil of the Outdoor Cat." Once again, cats are under fire for being cats, and are scapegoats for songbird decline in the United States. Songbird endangerment is a serious concern for all of us animal lovers; but it is a much more complicated problem to solve than just by killing feral cats. In fact, I would argue that humans are more to blame than anyone.
I agree with author Richard Conniff on one point. I do feel that cats who live in homes should be kept indoors exclusively (or allowed outdoors under strict supervision). It's the right thing to do, for cats and for communities. In the United States, it is estimated that around 40 million owned cats have outdoor access (and in the United Kingdom, most cats are allowed outdoors).