Bobcats & Feral Cats, Part 1

Less than a week into moving into my new place, I saw a orange and white cat lunge and emerge with a flopping feathered mass in its mouth. Starlings flocked over to see what the commotion was. While I’m not particularly heart-broken about the loss of a starling–beautiful birds but devastating invaders–I am livid about seeing domestic cats outside.

In this spirit, I finally forced myself to listen to a Reveal podcast. I had to force myself not  because Reveal is a bad podcast, but because the feral cat situation pisses me off and the people who prefer ecological devastation to eliminating the feral cat population piss me off even more.

I will have to see if my opinions are revised after listening to second half of the podcast. For the first half, they focus on bobcat trapping. I didn’t even know that was a thing, being an ignorant East Coaster. The main issue for the trapping is the cruelty of the traps, though I take personal issue with the guise of ‘population control,’ which was summed up by a guy in power stating that they believe there are too many bobcats. No evidence or data to back up the claim that this native predator is overpopulated.

The ethics of sustainable trapping and hunting is a topic I will delve into for future work; for now it will have to suffice that the wildlife trade is largely unsustainable and insanely profitable across the globe.

Current bobcat population estimates are at one million, which is “quite large” in the words of National Geographic.

What would they say about the population of invasive, destructive feral cats then? Ranging from estimates of 60 million to over 80 million, feral cats wreak ecological havoc. This in a world already brimming with windows, roads, drought, and the specter of climate change.



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