New Orleans has one of the largest feral cat populations in the United States with approximately 350,000 cats living on the streets. A litter of kittens usually ranges between two to five kittens, so it is easy for feral cat populations to increase if actions are not taken into place to reduce the amount of litters. Feral cats can be problematic to communities. One reason feral cats can be dangerous is because they can spread diseases. Although there is only a small risk of a cat carrying rabies or tapeworm, the issue must still be addressed. A more common disease from a feral cat is cat scratch fever, which is an infection caused from a stray cat. Another problem that people living near a large population of feral cats face is the loud noises the cats make when they are fighting. Lastly, people who have pets that live outdoors often have flea infestations, which can be harmful to their pets. In order to reduce the amount of feral cats in New Orleans, the people of New Orleans need to work together to combat this issue.
If people were to spay and neuter their cats, then the overpopulation would go down drastically. Many people do not know that most animal shelters offer spay and neuter programs where they will preform the small operation on a stray or feral animal for only twenty-five dollars. While they are operating on the cat, they also clip its ear. This allows people to know that the animal is already spayed/neutered, and prevents an unnecessary surgery. Another way people can help reduce the amount of feral cats is by calling animal control. If someone notices a feral cat, especially a kitten, they should call their local animal shelter to retrieve the animal. Taking action against these problems would reduce the risk of feral cats because they would no longer be able to reproduce.
Spaying or neutering cats would reduce the population of feral animals and would fix the problems that affect communities. The first way it can fix community problems is by lowering the risk of disease. When a cat is spayed/neutered, it also receives a rabies vaccine. Having a cat vaccinated reduces its risk to other animals that live in the community. Another advantage of having a cat spayed/neutered is it reduces the loud noises of fighting or mating. Since female cats no longer go into heat once they are spayed, they attract less male cats that fight over her. As well as reducing the disturbances made by catfights, spaying/ neutering a cat reduces the amount of fleas in a community. New Orleans’ climate is the perfect breeding ground for fleas, so fleas are a huge problem for pet owners. Many people buy expensive medicines to ensure that their home is not infested with fleas. If there were fewer cats in the community, then the flea population would be decrease, and pet owners would not have to worry about their cat or dog becoming a breading ground for a pest. Calling an animal shelter is also an effective way of combating this issue. Most likely, animal control will trap the cat and bring it to a shelter that has room. At an animal shelter the cat will be vaccinated and spayed/neutered. It will also be put up for adoption and will hopefully receive a loving home. Overall spaying/neutering is a great way to combat the issue of the feral cat population in New Orleans. It helps the community by reducing the risk of disease and lessening the amount of irritating noise created by catfights. Calling an animal shelter also helps to get feral animals off of the streets and into loving homes. If people in New Orleans were to spay and neuter their cats or call an animal shelter when they noticed a stray animal then the amount of feral cats would be lessened, and more animals would have loving homes.