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Cat control methods

For decades, cats have been killed by various methods, such as trapping, poisoning and shooting. Such methods may not only cause suffering to the cats, but in the case of lactating females leaves kittens to slowly starve to death. In addition, these methods have not been effective in achieving a lasting population reduction.

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Several authors have noted that conventional baiting is not effective because cats are not attracted to carrion (baits) when prey is plentiful (1, 2). Steel-jaw traps are inhumane, broadacre live trapping is impractical, and shooting where there is cover is extremely time consuming (2).

Death rate is only one factor determining population size - other factors include birth rate and immigration/emigration. When some cats are killed, those remaining continue to breed. Because there are now more vacant territories, and fewer cats hunting easily available prey, more juveniles are likely to survive and become established. They in turn will breed, and so the population returns to where it was before killing started.