Israel is home to about two million cats, who are sustaining because of few generous feeders and warm Israeli atmosphere. America has the highest cat population followed by China and Russia respectively. However, Israel has fairly more cats to human ratio compared to any other country.
The Current Status of Israeli Cats
Cat population before the early 1930’s was not a concern for Israel. After that, tons of British cats were brought on to Israeli lands to minimize the rat epidemic. Although, the rat epidemic ended the concurrent threat encircles Israel with no efficient solution to it. Cat Population Explosion is indeed Israel’s concern now!
Adding to the fact, only 32% of Israeli own pet or pets out of which only ten percent are cat parents.
Israel’s population of total 8.5 million and an estimated mass of two million untamed cats often have close encounters. Cats are everywhere, you will see them in the narrow alleys and the wide open roadside too.
It is not a strange thing to learn that a nation having the highest vegan population cares so much for the stray cats. In fact, the only difference between the pet and stray cats of Israel is the previous ones are trained to sleep in the cat beds and the latter ones keep up all night meowing, hissing, purring, and ultimately fighting.
Why Cat Population Outburst is not Good
Cats are cute, hilarious, playful kind of animal, right? Then why is does an increase in cat population concern humans?
The simple answers to these type of questions are given below:
Cats Pose Risks for Smaller Animals
Since cats feed on the food when people provide them. However, that does not mean a cat will not hunt with a filled stomach.
Generally, their instincts compel them to kill. If not for starvation, hunting can be a sort of sport for the cats due to neuroticism and impulsiveness.
Adding to the fact, increase in a number of cats pose a direct threat to the smaller animals such as birds, lizards, chameleon, snakes, rats, etc.
Eliminating a Food Chain Link
This section is indirectly related to the increase in cats’ population. Cats feeding on smaller animals can eventually eliminate that link from the food chain causing an imbalance.
Therefore, the creatures on which the smaller animals used to feed will experience a population rise. Eventually, aggravating the human dwelling areas.
A Threat To Passers-By
Cats living in alleys will start attacking humans due to one of many reasons i.e. food, dominance, rabies, defending territory, etc. It is not a new notion that feeding the animals encourage them to either chase or attack the passerby.
Apart from food issue, similar to the wild cats, the domestic cats are neurotic and unpredictable too. In fact, the cats can attack a person for no certainties.
Rabies in Cats
Israel does not fear cats, because so far extremities of rabid cats have not been reported. On the contrary, the rabid coyote’s news shook many Israelis last year when some cases were reported of them biting the humans.
Moreover, cats in the cities will never reach the jackal’s territory but the suburban or village cats might. Thus, cats too pose a probable threat to other beings in spreading the rabies virus.
Cats Bothering the Residents
Like the article states, there are two types of people i.e. cat lovers and haters. Moreover, people expect to reduce the nuisance of cats and solution according to them is stopping people who feed them. On the other hand, the cat feeders argue believing that humans shall not turn their backs on the helpless animals(cats).
Not to mention that apparently, many cat feeders face resistance from the neighborhood residents who don’t like the whole act of feeding. Also, sometimes these two types of people have heated arguments on the streets and sometimes the quarrels reach to the law enforcement.
Future of the Cats in Israel
With a humongous feline population loitering about the Israeli streets, it becomes very difficult to control the population outburst. On one hand, some organizations believe and individuals that stopping to feed these cats is not a solution but TNR(trap-neuter-return) is.
On the other hand, some organizations and individuals believe that TNR is not a solution either. Also, in a country like Israel where we have other serious burning issues, it is difficult to deploy a huge budget for TNR. In fact, TNR is impossible to succeed if only a partial cat population is treated.
Thus, Israel is stuck with many intricacies while controlling the feline population.
Firstly, the cat feeding individuals or NPOs’ oppose the act where cats are inhumanely handled. Additionally, stopping to feed cats will not drive them away.
Secondly, major funds cannot be deployed for neutering/spaying each cat of a gender especially looking at the burning concerns of Israel.
However, assuming if the municipalities manage to neuter most of the cats then it will deteriorate the DNA gene pool and worsen the current situation.
Thus, the only option Israel is left with is deporting the cats of single-gender to a country willing to accept. However, this proposal didn’t see the Sun back in 2015, expecting it to work now would be a mistake. Thus, a probable solution to the problem will be adopting the cats for the greater good. Because adopting the cats will encourage people to TNR by themselves.
Because if not by adoption, cats are depending on humans anyway and no one has a solution to the problem yet!
While discussing the clashes between individuals or organization regarding cat feeding activities, we learned changing the current scenario will be next to impossible. So does that mean, we are left with the only option to prepare an accommodation for cats? Will the cat adoption improve the concurrent conditions?