Anybody who opens doors to allow domestic cats access to the outdoors, while acknowledging that cats are “on the Global Invasive Species Database list of 100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species,” as columnist Dana Wilde does, should not call himself a naturalist (“600 milion cats,” Nov. 28). He is a willing participant in the annihilation of endangered species.

Toxoplasma oocysts are only found in the run-off from felid feces because felids are the only species capable of sexually reproducing this brain-invading parasite — and they are killing marine mammals as well as infecting numerous land mammals, including the livestock and game that we eat. Toxoplasma in humans has been linked to fetal deformity, blindness, dementia, road rage and schizophrenia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges that presently four times as many post-exposure rabies shots are given to humans due to cat exposure than from dog exposure — partially because outdoor cats interact so much with wildlife. Recent University of Georgia research has shown that most of the rodents killed by cats are the smaller field mice, chipmunks, etc.; rarely do cats choose to pursue the larger, tougher Norway rats.

Outdoor cats are becoming more invasive each year as they are being artificially supported with food by folks who think that the life of one cat trumps the lives of people and wildlife. These same people have convinced themselves that humane euthanasia, a gift that responsible pet owners give to their beloved pets, is crueler than a life on the street, which usually ends brutally from trauma, predation, untreated disease or infection, poison, inclement weather, or the cruelty of humans who use cats for target practice or for fighting dog bait.

A naturalist should know better.

Page Williams

Houston, Texas

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