A recently published paper describing free-roaming cats as “a significant public health threat” fails to deliver convincing evidence. In fact, the very work the authors cite undermines, time and time again, their claims.
“Domestic cats are a potential source of numerous infectious disease agents,” write Rick Gerhold and David Jessup, in their paper, “Zoonotic Diseases Associated with Free-Roaming Cats,” published online in July by the journal Zoonoses Public Health (and to be included in an upcoming print edition).
“However, many of these diseases are controlled in cats belonging to responsible owners through routine veterinary care, proper vaccination regimens and parasite chemotherapy. Free-roaming cats often lack the necessary preventative care to control these diseases and consequently pose a potential health threat to other domestic animals, wildlife and humans.” 
Just how much of a threat do these cats pose?
Gerhold and Jessup would have us believe that the risks are high and the consequences dire. A careful reading of their paper, however, reveals the authors’ tendency to cherry-pick some studies and misrepresent others. And, occasionally, simply get their facts wrong.*
All of which raises serious questions about Gerhold and Jessup’s case against free-roaming cats. Read more