OVERHEARD ON THE WEB: Feral Cats

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

A recent Log story about feral cats in Destin garnered plenty of chatter on Facebook. Here's what our social media followers had to say about whether or not feral cats pose a threat.

Deborah Wells I've never felt threatened by a feral cat, they generally run away if approached.

Mike Lewis Jml Other than worrying about them carrying fleas...they usually run away whenever I get close to them. Don't really care one way or the other as long as they are being somewhat looked after. I don't have children though...

Donna Colter Set out mousetraps, won't kill cats but will deter them. They will find another place to go.

Nancy Hausbeck Jordan I LOVE cats, but as an owner who keeps cats INSIDE it is bothersome and an intrusion to have these cats encroaching on personal property and antagonizing INDOOR cats. Feeding stations for feral cats? If you are going to be responsible for a feeding station, then keep the cats inside! Feline Friends of Destin should be ashamed of themselves!

Kristy Davies TNR!!! Trap, neutralize (spay/neuter), and release. Feral and stray/outdoor cats are a nuisance to wildlife as well as other pets. They've killed fish in our outdoor pond and wild birds. Not to mention male cat spray!!

Gina Davis To stop the population growth, there should be a trap, spay/neuter , and release program available at a low cost. We cannot make these feral cats nice but we can stop the breeding!

Denise Marie Gina Davis, As aFeline friends of Destin supporter. There are dozens of donation boxes at local businesses. All of you that think our feral cat population is an issue here are very misinformed. Take a visit to Biloxi, or Orange Beach, PCB And you will get a glimpse of what feral cats that aren't cared for looks like. Every gas station dumpster is inhabited by tons of sick, and malnourished cats, kittens, and there are dead felines on roads. You rarely see that here. Please, try and take a good look at what FFOD really does!! As well as our local vets that treat, vaccinate, spay and neuter all our cats. If you are experiencing issues get a message to them and get your colony cared for. Please understand that IT TAKES A VILLAGE.

Christine Hrib Karpinski I all for spay an neutering but not in favor of feeding stations. The big problem with feeding stations is the feral cats actually serve a purpose — they eat rats and mice and they keep the snakes away. Sandestin has feeding stations and since they started feeding, Baytowne Wharf is becoming rat infested. They had the same problem with the harbor docks when they started feeding there too .

Kathleen Reed Cat poop shows up on our water quality tests (published info about our beaches), and it makes people sick, so PR wise, loose cats are counterproductive.

Becky Burton Pritchard I am an animal lover — I REALLY am. the problem I have with Destin's cat population, however, it not limited to all of our feral cats. there are ALOT of folks who allow their PET cats to roam the streets and neighborhoods at will. I own a dog who I walk twice a day, and often walk my daughter's two dogs. luckily, mine is fairly desensitized to other mammals but my daughter's? not so much. or rather, AT ALL. if there is a cat under a car or crossing the street, the CHASE IS ON, with ME on the other end of the leash. there are SO MANY in our neighborhoods, it is nearly impossible to prepare and get a good 'lock down' on the leash. the sudden jerk at the end of the leash is dangerous for ME, not to mention if I lose my grip and the dogs take off running through a busy street. so, as much as my 'live and let live' spirit WANTS to agree with feral cat feeding stations, I just don't think I can. I applaud and appreciate all that FFOD and local vets do to capture & neuter but I'm not a fan of scads of cats - or ANYTHING — cruising the 'hood. Can't say I have a better solution either, though.

Diana Tucker We are so fortunate to have Feline Friends of Destin and vets here that sponsor a TNR program. The feral cats are cared for, healthy, and are not a threat. Thank you for all you do.

Jamie Owen Dolecek Get over it. I am sure the cats are harmless. I feel sorry for them. We have been feeding stray cats at Our apartment for the last 2 years. They are so sweet. If We had a bigger place We would take them all in!! I love cats!! They protect Us more than Ya'll know.

Mike Vanacore There is nothing wrong with feral cats. I would like to see them inside pets but no one will step up to the plate. This organization is doing an excellent job in saving these cats lives. Otherwise they would end up as meat and bone meal in animal feed and pet food like the rest of the animals who only want to be loved.

Brandy Thibault First off, to those of you that "hate cats". I'm sorry. Second, it is our responsibility to fix them and de-flea them. They are helpless animals who are just trying to survive. I really believe people that hate animals can't possibly have a good heart. And those who have money and are not willing to help are way to materialistic. Step back and think about how fast the cat population grows. Google it, educate yourself on cats. Stop talking about how much you hate them or how we have a problem and FIX the problem. We need more people that care!!!

Iliana Leilani Tussey Ronne Stray cats and dogs are a problem and most of it starts with irresponsible pet owners I appreciate everything feline friends are doing

Schala Duckett Trap and euthanize

Lora Howard McAllister The homeless people living on the benches are more of a concern to me!

Todd Wilkinson They are a threat to birds, small mammals, reptiles, and other animals. Spaying/neutering/returning doesn't do much for the wildlife populations they impact.

Nancy Hausbeck Jordan I will take the health of Destin's children over a feral cat's any day!

Deanne Vaughn Outdoor cats carry all kinds of worms as they eat rodents who are infested and the cats are full of fleas and tick as you cannot keep that many feral cats free of sucking insects without major money coming from someone and as lot of feral cats will not have human interaction of any kind. Feeding stations in a populated area should not be allowed.

Lindsay Jorgensen Shropshire If we feed wild animals they lose their skills on how to survive on their own. That would include controlling the rat and mice population. How would everyone feel if we started feeding the bears? I agree with this mom. She has the right to protect her yard from cat feces. It can be deadly to pregnant woman and small children. I would catch the cats and relocate them.

Robson De Paula Well , if they pick up the feces in my grass.... would be great. I love cat, I have two on my own, but they are inside cats, If they want to protect the feral cats they should clean up after the cats too

Cheryl Rhoads The simple fix if you have a feral cat problem is to trap them and call Paws. If there is an owner, they are welcome to go pick up their straying cat from Paws. The the health threat to children are from cats doing their business in the sand - the children can get ringworms from the feces.

Dan Montgomery if they are not an indigenous species to the area then they must be removed, Feline Friends of Destin is a big supporter of spaying them and releasing them. I feel they should be trapped PAWS called and let them deal with the issue!

Sue Regan They also cause severe flea infestation. I lived in a house one time that you would get so many fleas it looked like massive freckles all up your leg. I could not let my dogs in that fenced yard, but had to take them the front door out on a leash. I could not believe the dozens of cats that passed through every day.

Lorraine Sample Two of the cats that I feed and have taken to get fixed and rabies shot, ear clipped were turned out by the owner and left to fend for themselves. Myself and my neighbor feed several last count five. All but one has been TNR, gotten rabies shots. This has been done with the help from the Animal Protection League, PAWS, myself, my neighbor, even my sister who lives out of state helped with the vet bills on one. If you are tired of seeing stray cats first off spay or neuter yours , and send a donation to one of these organizations that is trying to help.

Nancy Hausbeck Jordan Lorraine, the responsible decision would have been to take the cats to a no-kill shelter or call PAWS. You cannot make the sole decision for your entire community.

Steffy W Odel Our feral cat population is zero now because of the coyotes feeding on them. I miss seeing the wild cats.