Today we are urging public health workers in Santa Ana, California to stop trapping and killing cats in a misguided effort to eradicate flea-born typhus.

This trapping ignores the basic scientific fact that typhus is not spread by cats—it is caused by a bacteria spread by fleas. Killing cats is cruel and is not a solution. Fleas are versatile parasites and will simply find another host, as dogs, raccoons, opossums, mice and all mammals as well as birds are potential hosts for fleas. Outbreaks of the disease are rare.

We advise officials in Santa Ana to follow the example of other areas with typhus cases by focusing their efforts on controlling the source of typhus—fleas. Instead of killing feral cats, who avoid people by nature, Santa Ana officials should provide community resources for residents to treat and protect their pets, whom they come in contact with every day.

Read the Press Release.
Learn why cats are safe members of our communities.