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When you think of Maryville having an over abundance of one animal, most think about the colony of squirrels we have on campus.

 There are hundreds, always startling the students on campus with how comfortable they are with a close human presence. But let’s take a look at how many cats are in the town of Maryville. Not house cats, but the feral cats that are constantly roaming the streets of Maryville and reproducing as if they are rabbits.  

The term feral is defined as in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication.

Many think feral cats just fend for themselves without really harming the town. The truth is these cats can be a huge economic burden for the people and businesses of Maryville.

The New Nodaway Humane Society located on South Depot Street, takes the biggest financial hit when it comes to these stray felines. 

When speaking with the manger, Jennifer, she tells us that “We receive roughly 350-400 feral cats a year.” This is a massive number, considering each of these cats could be costing the shelter thirty dollars for each cat. 

These stray cats come to the shelter usually with medical issues, that require urgent treatment, are at the expense of the Humane Society. This is wonderful for the cats, but if they are not immediately adopted, they will usually just be given to local farmers as farm cats.  

The company won’t even break even, causing a financial strain for the shelter. New Nodaway Humane Society does, however make profit off of the fixed, domestic cats that are brought in and not to mention the other animals. 

 You can see how this would be an issue for the town, implementing a financial strain. Most of the locals aren’t directly effected by these feral cats, but in some cases can be.

Zachary Callahan, a local resident, says his interactions with the cats are not the friendliest.

“They are always digging through my trash and making a mess on my driveway. This occurrence happens multiple times a week, I wish the town would do something about all these feral cats.” stated Callahan.

Another local, Allison Geringer, tells about her disturbing experience: 

“Sometimes they effect my driving, because they are running in the middle of the road and I have to swerve. There was a very instance when I dodged a cat and then hit a curb and it popped my tire, all because of a cat. I was not a fan of spending money on a new tire just because of a feline.”

These cats have an impact on this town and economically making it difficult for local businesses and residents.

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(2) comments

Al-Hajji Frederick Minshall

Errors in my post below:

(1) 400 people a year are not exposed to cat-vectored rabies--13,000 people a year are exposed to cat-vectored rabies, more than one-third of all rabies exposures from all species in the US

(3) Prophylactic inoculation costs from $3,000.00 to $26,000.00 per person.

Al-Hajji Frederick Minshall

Before the cat-nutters show up and begin shrieking and flailing about how 'it's not the cats' fault!", "euthanizing cats is cruel!", "cats control rodents!" and the other several dozen lies they'll tell to defend their deluded "entitlement" to feed and hoard cats outdoors, I'll add some REAL costs to communities which allow themselves to be overrun by free-roaming, invasive felines:

(1) About 400 people a year are exposed to cat-vectored rabies.
(2) Untreated rabies is nearly always fatal.
(3) Prophylactic inoculation series for rabies costs at least $3,000.00 per person.
(4) Raccoons are the most common wild rabies-vector; cat-feeders attract them; that's why cats are now the most common domesticated rabies vector.
(5) 4,500 people a year are hospitalized due to infection by a single cat-vectored parasite--Toxoplasma gondii
(6) 325 people a year die from it.
(7) Toxoplasmosis kills more people than any other pathogen in our food chain
except Salmonella.
(8) Toxoplasmosis-induced ocular lesions blind 70 people--mostly children--annually.
(9) Toxoplasmosis causes between 400 and 4,000 stillbirths and serious birth defects each year--'serious' meaning those which will require lifelong care.
(10) T. gondii oocytes are becoming ubiquitous in our environment--they contaminate vegetable gardens, row-crop soils, pastures, food animal pens, poultry runs, fresh and salt water.
(11) The oocytes reproduce exclusively in feline digestive tracts and are shed with the infected cats' feces. And they persist in the environment for eighteen months.
(12) It takes but a single oocyte to blind a child, or afflict one with life-threatening illness.
(13) Toxoplasmosis can kill any mammal or bird, including humans.
(14) Rabies and toxoplasmosis are only two of more than thirty potentially fatal diseases which cats can transmit to humans--others are bartonellosis, tularemia, MRSA and plague.
(15) Free-roaming cats, even well-fed ones, torture and destroy 96 mammals, 60 birds and 68 reptiles per cat/per year. 67% of the mammals, 95% of the birds and 100% of the reptiles will be native, not 'pest' species.
(16) The US feral cat population is about 72.5 million, with an equal number of free-roaming "owned" or "pet" cats.

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