How the war on cats is spurred on by deliberate misinformation
If you follow any of the seemingly never-ending back and forth between advocates who promote trap-neuter-return (TNR) as the only humane solution to reduce the number of free-roaming cats and those who, well, don’t have a solution other than to say that cats are one of the greatest problems facing humanity, then you probably caught the news of the release of a new book on the topic. Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, published by Princeton University Press on September 13, makes a plethora of ridiculous claims about cats, but what shocked me, and many others, was the suggestion that cats should be removed “by any means necessary.” Such a statement is a dangerous dog whistle to anyone who has bought into the idea that cats are evil, and that they should do whatever it takes to “get rid” of cats, whether that’s using poison, rifles or anything else.
Shortly after its release of the book, Princeton University Press posted a document online outlining “summary points” from Cat Wars authors Peter Marra and Chris Santella. In it, the authors attempt to soften their call for killing while reiterating their rationale for it. And, like so many claims in the book itself, their summary points fail to stand up to even modest scrutiny.
With the help of the Best Friends Cat Advocacy Team, a group of dedicated attorneys and analysts who know this issue and the science behind it, we have put together this piece that fact-checks the claims made by the publishers and authors of this book. The claims come from them; we present you with the facts.