Feral Cat Problem

Then I Will

8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
Annville, Pennsylvania
Hi everyone,

I have more of a family issue problem than an actual animal problem, because I could take care of the animals if I was allowed. See, we have several dozen feral cats running around my neighborhood spraying and procreating everywhere. I have asked animal control about cats but they are so swamped they cannot even lease out any more traps and go out only for dogs. I bought a trap to catch my own critters with and started taking cats to the shelter. I even caught a cat that had taken three of my birds!!

Well, after four trips and four cats my dad says "No more! The gas is too expensive." And it is- but I wanted to shoot them in the first place and he wouldn't let me. He was the one that told me to take them to the shelter. So he's given me options, I can pay for the gas to take them to the shelter myself $3.22 a trip, or drop them off in another neighborhood.

I'm crushed, because nobody can make me do that to someone else. I can only think of how I feel when people drop their animals off in my neighborhood. It's criminal. The animal will only populate that neighborhood as well. I am going to call animal control one more time and try to file a complaint. If they will do nothing, I will trap the animals myself, and kill them without anyone knowing. It is a hard thing to do and I do not want to, but we are overrun and nobody will do anything but transport these populating wild creatures to other neighborhoods.

I feel like I am the only sensible responsible one around my place and I am being called crazy and in need of mental help because I am a girl who "doesn't like cats". I LOVE cats. But I can't get people to understand - or even go to the shelter themselves to see for themselves, just how overrun our county is. My chickens are constantly in danger, being stalked by these large mangy feral felines and at this point the cats howl under my window at night. I wish they would howl under my dad's window. He is a very hard man to talk to, please help me think of reasonable and rational things to say that will give me a without doubt winning argument for my situation.

As it is, my hands are being tied behind my back. I cannot shoot them, I cannot take them to the shelter, I cannot possibly spend my own money to get rid of them. Nobody else will do anything.
Also, if I were to take my Daisy and use pellets...would a good shot to the head be fairly humane? Thanks,


Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
I am sorry you have found yourself in this situation. Unfortunately, I would not depend on a pellet gun to euthanize the cats. I have my doubts about its efficacy in this situation, and you don't want to find out the hard way that it is ineffective.

I have no words that can sway your father who seems to be taking a stance on this matter. He is probably viewing this as not his problem. Unfortunately, he is only part right. It has become his problem because you are so involved in it. Feral cats are a menace on many levels, and if their population is left unchecked it is an issue that just keeps growing and spreading.

Can you get any help at all from AC? Perhaps they would be willing to do euthanizations if you provide the cats to them? Do they have a method of euthanization that they can recommend that is cost effective for you? Can the shelter you have been dealing with offer any assistance? Maybe you have a neighbor that can make drop-offs for you?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
Watkinsville, GA
There is a hormone called ovaban that supresses the heat cycle in female cats but it's kind of expensive. You'd have to get it from a vet.
The only other things that biologists use to eliminate cats is trapping or baiting with poisons (which is far more cruel than a bullet to the head). I think you should contact a humane society or rescue nearest you that can try to come up with more options for you than the local state-run animal control. Even if they can't help they may have resources that can. What you really need are some coyotes, but then you'd have chicken losses too.

You're not crazy. I am a cat lover too and have 3 cats, but they are invasive pests that are a major cause of wildlife (especially bird) declines all over the world.


Flock Mistress
14 Years
Jan 12, 2007
Land of Lincoln
We have a problem with feral cats here too!

There is a place they would spay for free and they will cut a notch off from the cat's ear and tells you that the feral cat is spayed/neutered and no further reproduction will happen. That would stablize the population a bit because cats are territorial and whenever you eliminate the cats in your area, more will come in (like raccoons).

Or get a dog for the backyard LOL!

Or a .22 (that is what we had to do when we lived on the farm. Feral cats everywhere!)

In my case, I have a trap and have to take it to the animal shelter and I haven't had to take anymore in. Either someone got the hint that I trap cats (no matter how friendly it is, its going!) or they just been taken as well.


8 Years
Sep 27, 2011
Our neighbor up the lane feeds feral cats and it drives me insane. Every evening I see them swarming around her house when I walk up to get the mail and whenever I see one with a particularly low-hanging belly, I just cringe knowing it's yet another litter of kittens on the way. I grew up with a cat but won't have one again unless it lives in the barn full-time. People don't seem to grasp that feral cats are vectors for disease, destroy wild bird populations, and attract more dangerous predators like coyotes. We're already having problems in our county and the next with coyotes, so why provide them with a ready source of food? We've trapped and shot a few of the cats then quietly disposed of the remains in our brush pile to be burned.

My line of thinking is that if the cats are prowling around my chicken coop and garden, they are fair game. I can't tell you how many times I've almost thrown up while working in the garden because I find a fresh cat turd amongst my vegetables. Like the original poster, our animal shelter is jam-packed with cats and animal control is dealing with all the abandoned hunting hounds from deer season. I wish people would STOP feeding feral cats or just bite the bullet and flat-out adopt the cats and keep them confined.

Velvet Hairpiece

8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
Louisville, KY
Have you considered contacting www.alleycatallies.org? They have programs and resources that allow them to help people like you. They also have a lot of educational resources on their site. Like one of the posters above mentioned the spaying of the cat and ear clipping indicates that the cat has been sterilized and will continue to live out its life without procreating and adding to the problem. Taking a feral cat to a shelter is a death sentence anyway, and TNR (trap neuter return) has been a proven method of maintaining feral cat populations.

There are a lot of rescue groups out there that may be able to help you, without killing it because it exists.

Then I Will

8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
Annville, Pennsylvania
Yes, my father doesn't seem to find the cats a problem at all. He would not own a dog either. The AC asks that we bring the cats, and unless I want to pay for the gas to take them myself, my dad wont let me do that either. Fixing them wont work in my case, because they will still be around to stalk my birds- which I caught one doing just today. I need a depopulation option. And since I don't have a .22- paying the gas money to run the 18 miles round trip to the shelter twenty more times is probably the cheapest option.

I live in a neighborhood with a neighbor who does feed them but nobody around my neighborhood is willing to do such a thing. Further, they are all poor, elderly, and hardly ever home. I could not shoot the cat unless it was in a cage, because there are houses in close proximity. Before I whip out the gun, however, I will pester AC for alternatives.


11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
On the MN prairie.
Or, you could get a job, do some babysitting or chores for neighbors to earn the money to buy the gas to take the cats in. Is it legal for you to shoot a gun in your residential area?


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