Feline Trouble
Feline Trouble
  • Reporter Jung Han-kyu
  • 승인 2011.09.06 13:01
  • 댓글 0
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Cats, Not So Cute Anymore

Meow. Cats are widely loved and often adopted as pets. They are adorable and cuddly. Would they still look so cute when their population multiplies uncontrollably, though?

Recently a discussion about the proliferating population of cats in the dormitory area heated the student community board PosB. Many people expressed their unpleasant feelings that the number of cats seems to have increased in a short period of time.

One group strongly resents people who, out of pity, provide food for the cats in the wild. The argument is that such acts only help the cat population to grow at an atypical rate. An increased population of any one group is often not a good thing in the food chain, thus population control is necessary to a certain extent. However, the opposing group argues that they have a right to do what they want, and that neglecting the cats would be morally wrong.

While the debate was still ongoing, more students reported complaints. In response, POSTECH poached some of these ‘Poscats’ with help from the city of Pohang. However, this is just a temporary aid, not a solution. When The Postech Times contacted the responsible city department and consulted them about the situation, it was relayed that the scope of this feline trouble is not local, but national.

Cats’ Evil Plan

The situation is wider and graver than expected. The Agriculture & Stockbreeding Division of Pohang estimates that there are about 9,000 cats in the wild just in Pohang. Despite the counter effort to repress the speedy growth, the number is increasing nationwide, every year.

What could be the reason, and is there a solution to this problem? One of the contributing reasons for such a rapid growth is the frequency of estrus of cats. While the dogs typically mate once in six months, the cats mate once every month. Also, the cats give birth to about 40 to 50 kittens each time they reproduce.

The population could be controlled naturally by competition if the cats were completely on their own in the wild. The experts calculate that only about 20% of kittens would survive if they were to compete against each other for food.

Humans can also be partially to blame for the population explosion. Because it is heartbreaking for some kindhearted people to see cats digging in trash for food, they provide food for the cats in the streets. Their intention maybe for good, but it may be part of the problem.

Even if the survival rate for the cats is 50% at the lowest estimate, there is no need to do an exact calculation to see why there are so many cats in the wild. It is as though cats are using their cuteness to implement their evil plan to survive.

What Can Be Done Locally?

Indeed cats are cute, and giving them food is a kind thing to do. However, people must refrain from feeding them in order to help stop the already-uncontrolled cat population growth.

Even if people stop feeding them, the cats feed on leftover food from the delivery plates. If both dormitory residents and the school take extra care, the population explosion could be curbed at least on campus. For instance, the students could take an extra second to secure the delivery plates after they are finished eating.

The bottom line is that there are too many cats to feel sympathy. It is time to harden our stance, no matter how heartbreaking it is to see cute cats meowing in hunger. I’m sorry cat-lovers, but this is necessary for other animals’ sakes, too.

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