This letter was submitted in response to this article:

To the editor:

Matthew Rozsa’s story about the Herrera paper on the relationship between cats and birds leaves out critical context and common sense while including misinformation about cats who live outdoors.

The missing context comes from the conveniently ignored information that weakens Mr. Herrera’s arguments. For example, the dubious claim from a researcher about cats killing 2.4 billion birds per year

The missing common sense is that cats have always lived long and healthy lives outdoors. Yes, that includes the centuries before they came inside to share our homes with us. In fact, a significant number of cats living exclusively indoors only came about with the invention of

If the research was “driven by a desire to inform effective and humane population management practices for outdoor cats,” as the author stated, we already know what that is: Trap-Neuter-Return. It’s the only non-lethal, humane approach.

Leading biologists agree that climate change, development and habitat destruction are the top causes of species loss, an especially important fact in D.C., where 78 percent of the city is developed land. We share a common goal of wanting to protect wildlife, but blaming cats leads to policies that kill cats, which the public will never tolerate. On the contrary, humane approaches and compassionate conservation are not only the scientifically sound direction to take, but also what the public supports.

Coryn Julien
Director of Communications
Alley Cat Allies