We commend Payson Friends of Ferals for seeking humane means of coping with the area's feral cat problem, but we hope they will consider that while trapping, sterilizing and releasing feral cats will prevent future generations of cats from suffering, it does nothing to prevent the miserable fates cats currently living on the streets all too often endure ("Humans are at root of feral cat problem" -- Sept. 30 Roundup).
Unless they are located in a temperate climate in an area isolated from roads, people and other animals, and are provided with food, water and veterinary care, feral cats struggle to survive -- they don't die of old age. Many suffer terribly from contagious diseases like rhinotrachitis, feline AIDS, and rabies. Others sustain puncture wounds, broken bones, brain damage, or lose eyes or limbs after being attacked by other animals, abused by cruel people or hit by cars.
Given these gruesome fates, and until the cat overpopulation is stemmed through spaying and neutering, euthanasia is often the most humane option for feral cats, just as it is for homeless domestic cats.
PETA offers a free brochure on helping feral cats at (the Web site) HelpingAnimals.com.
Lindsay Pollard-Post, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk Va.