My biological field research project on free roaming feral house cats is almost 1.5 years (it started last July) old and I was just updating my records when I decided to give you an update on the project.
First, the starting female I named Alice, after my late mother and named the starting male Rip, after my late father's nick name. Alice has only been having two litters per year with four to five kittens per litter. She had had one litter of 5 (at the first of last year, 2014, certainly her first litter) and a litter of 4 (2 males and 2 females) in August before she moved onto my property last fall. I quickly gained her trust so she moved her second litter here when they were about 4 to 5 weeks old with 4 of the first litter of 5 following her (they were less than 9 months old).
Alice's first litter started hunting out of the yard in the desert across the road from me by late fall with the second litter starting hunting in the desert by March of 2015. By that time, most, but not all, of the smaller things like bugs and rodents in my yard had disappeared and they needed to expand their hunting.
Two of Alice's first litter went missing over a period of months leaving only two females I named Bobbie and Gray. In February Alice had a third litter of 4 (1 female, 3 males) with both Bobbie and Gray (both about 1 year old, which is normal) having litters of 4 (2 females, 2 males) and 5 (all males) respectively in March. In late April and early May the two females from Alice's second litter had litters at the very young age of about 10 months old.
Cocoa was only 8 months old when she got pregnant, was very small, and she had 7 kittens (2 females, 5 males), which I am amazed she kept them all alive. She simply didn't have enough biomass to produce enough milk for that many kittens. When she finally brought them out where I could see and help feed them, they were a bit scrawny from being under fed.
Annie had 6 kittens about a month later and went missing when they were 2.5 weeks old so I had to take over and bottle feed these kittens. The bottle feeding was the easy but very expensive part with keeping them clean being extremely difficult because they kept defecating and urinating on each other. After a few days of fighting this, I got some baby shampoo (regular cat shampoo has poisons in it for fleas) and got them all clean. At this time, by the grace of God, an older female I have in the house, who has never had kittens, adopted the now clean kittens and took over the cleaning job. Between the two of us, we raised these kittens up to being very healthy but it was no easy task.
A few weeks after Annie went missing,Cocoa also went missing so I found myself raising another 7 kittens but they were already eating mostly solid foods so I only had to give them replacement milk every few days. After just about 4 or 5 days, I started letting these kittens return to the outside, where they had been raised and, to my surprise, their aunts and uncles took them under wing and raised them. Whew, that cut my work in half. Try raising 13 kittens in your house.
After Annie's kittens got to where they could see and walk a little, I started taking them outside for a few hours at a time and their aunts and uncles began to take them under wing until they are now freely spending nights out side.
By the time of the last litters in April and May, I was getting just a wee bit concerned about the population density because I had only lost a few cats but now I am more concerned about the population surviving. In May, I started losing cats who were going into the desert to hunt. Since May 2015, I have lost 13 cats, the average life expectancy for free roaming feral cats seems to be about 7 to 8 months old and they tend to start hunting in the desert at about 6 to 7 months old. Only 3 have lived to be one year old or older and I just lost one of those, which was why I was updating the records.
Of Alice's first 3 litters totalling 13 cats, all but 4 are gone with one litter having just been completely wiped out in the last year. Gray's first litter of five has been completely wiped out and Bobbies first litter of four has already lost one cat. The mortality rate for free roaming feral cats is extremely high and I am down to 4 adult cats, 3 females and 1 male with only 2 females being more than 9 months old and reproducing. All of the rest are less than 8 months old with 6 of those already having gone missing.
If my two reproducing females get killed while hunting before another female starts reproducing, the entire cat population could be wiped out very quickly. Free roaming feral cat populations are very fragile, contrary to what we are being taught.
Also, a few months ago, I met a woman who lives in the mountains and she told me they got 17 feral cats to hunt the rodents and snakes out of their barn and, within just two weeks, the coyotes, mountain lions, and bears had killed all 17 cats.
There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY what PBS and the conservationists are telling us about free roaming house cats devastating ecosystems could possibly be right. NONE, ZERO, ZILCH, KEINEN, NADDA!!! It is all lies, misinformation, and propaganda to promote them using the government to steal land to control the people.
You add to this that I keep finding things like live lizards, geckos, birds and other organisms in my yard and occasionally finding the remains of a small rodent. About 4 months ago, I had to take a garter snake back out into the desert to prevent a conflict between it and my cats because I want both of them killing bugs, rodents, and rattlesnakes instead of each other.
You see, the area the cats hunt is very small compared to the total area of the surrounding desert. When the cats kill something in their hunting area, the population density stress from the surrounding area causes others to migrate into the cat hunting area, quickly replacing the killed prey. Even without the predation on the cats, the cats keeping the bugs, rodents, and rattlesnakes away from my house is a constant on-going battle because organisms can move into this area faster than even a bunch of cats can kill them.
Let me give you an idea of how huge this problem is. If we take the entire city of Alamogordo, New Mexico, which is about 36 square miles, and compare it to the desert we live in, which is about 30+ miles by 100+ miles or more than 3,000 square miles, there is no chance the cats can do more than make a temporary dent in that ecosystem and that dent will fill back in every day and night because of the population density stress in the surrounding area.
As with all things, you are being lied to by the liberals about the hazard of free roaming feral cats. The best cats can do is carve out a niche in the ecosystem and survive, you know, just like all other organisms.
I have become convince over the years that PBS stands for Propaganda and Bull S**t. You can't believe anything they tell you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.