This Happened

Cats’ Rights Group Attacks ‘Anti-Cat’ Propaganda in New York Times

"We cannot stand for cats to be scapegoats."
(Photo: Alley Cat Allies)

(Photo: Alley Cat Allies)

A group of cats rights activists are decidedly not amused by the recent backlash against the Internet’s favorite mascot. Last week, the New York Times ran a story called “That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think” based on a Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute report, which set off a firestorm of “Cats are killers!” stories–angering cat ladies everywhere.

Cat advocates refuse to stand for this breed of anti-cat propaganda, and they intend to do something about. In a newsletter sent out by the Maryland-based cat charity Alley Cat Allies, the Times and its ilk are taken to task for publishing “junk science” that was “authored by researchers with an anti-cat track record.” They maaaaad, bro.

Alley Cat Allies relies on a system called “Trap-Neuter-Return,” which they say has lead to a reduced number of feral cats being trapped and sent to kill shelters. The group claims the recent stories decrying murderous felines are based on “biased research that could lead to more outdoor cats being rounded up and killed.” They also claim the study cites a researcher who was “convicted and fired for trying to poison cats.” Yikes.

“We cannot stand for cats to be scapegoats,” reads the outraged newsletter, which directs readers to a link where they can sign a petition asking the Smithsonian to disavow the study. Hey now, let’s not bring the goat lobby into this.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com