One city is shooting cats as a means to control population

By on June 16, 2021

There are too many feral and/or free-roaming cats in many places across the country. We’ve heard estimates of over 60,000 for Omaha. One reason the kill-rate for cats is so high in shelters across the U.S. is that there are simply too many to care for or adopt out. It’s a sad state of affairs to have to constantly think about population control, but it’s often necessary. One city has turned to allowing cats to be shot as a means of curbing numbers.

Can you imagine? It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. It’s happening, even though 8 out of 10 residents of the city disapprove.

To be clear, what’s happening doesn’t involve a bunch of assassins prowling around, shooting cats willy nilly. Animal advocates are concerned with, it seems, that the city has a couple of folks who seem to enjoy the killing. Also, capping kitties is not an effective way to control a population.

The city says it is concerned with mice and bird populations shrinking.

Here’s a news story from a TV station that reported on the shootings.

And here’s a press release from Alley Cat Allies, a leader in the global movement to protect felines:

OAKLAND, Calif. – June 15, 2021 – Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson condemned today’s decision by the East Bay Regional Park District in California to move forward with a policy that includes allowing for shooting and killing cats in the parks.

“East Bay Parks are again set to become killing fields for cats,” Robinson said. “Hunting cats has nothing to do with conservation in parks, and the claims of shooting cats ‘humanely’ is as ridiculous as it sounds. Killing has been totally discredited as a means of population control. The East Bay Parks are making a terrible mistake by turning away from nonlethal options and embracing a deadly path that is extremely opposed by the residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties.”

A poll conducted this spring revealed that 78 percent of people in the East Bay view hunting and shooting of free-roaming cats with guns – a core element of the policy now adopted by the Parks – as unacceptable in East Bay communities.

Killing cats consistently fails as a means of population control because the population rebounds as other cats move in to fill the space freed by the temporary population reduction. This phenomenon is known as the Vacuum Effect and it has been documented in studies of cats, coyotes, and other mammals.

The poll was conducted May 1 – 8, 2021, by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates of Oakland, California. Six hundred registered voters in Alameda and Contra Costa counties were interviewed, with data weighted to reflect Census demographics of adults in the two counties.


About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies is the leader of a global movement to protect cats and kittens. Now in our 31st anniversary year, we are joined by over 650,000 supporters worldwide.

Alley Cat Allies believes every cat deserves to live out his or her life to the fullest. We exposed an entrenched system in which animal control agencies and shelters have been killing millions of cats for over a century. Today, the lifesaving programs we introduced in the United States are mainstream.

To achieve our goals, we collaborate with grassroots advocates, animal shelters, municipal managers, and lawmakers to replace deadly laws and policies with ones that protect cats. We defend all cats by offering cutting edge education online, in person, and through one-on-one dialogue. We advance innovations such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR), high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter, microchipping, anti-declawing legislation, and any program that best serves the interests of cats.

Our website is, and we are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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