POLL: Should Hawaii’s feral cats be killed to protect indigenous species?

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It is estimated that there are several HUNDRED THOUSAND cats on the island of Oahu alone.

FERAL discusses the overpopulation of in .

Lanai Cat Sanctuary, a home for feral cats on the island of Lanai, Hawaii

The film highlights:

1) The various reasons as to why this is a MAJOR problem:

  • the health and well being of the cats
  • predation on
  • a strange parasite spread by cats linked to the deaths of endangered Hawaiian monk seals and spinner dolphins.

2) The various methodologies attempting to help mitigate this issue:

  • trap, neuter, return (sterilization)
  • humane
  • cat sanctuaries

3) The intense CONFLICT surrounding the debate over these methodologies.


The film attempts to provide an objective lens through which to view this complex issue, which will require complex, COOPERATIVE solutions.

The documentary, FERAL, is by Escape the Zoo.

We invite you to share your opinion whether Hawaii’s feral cats should be killed to protect indigenous species? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should Hawaii's feral cats be killed to protect indigenous species?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Christine Hunter

No but they should be caught and spayed/neutered.

Miku Sinha

Ask Pele

Miku Sinha

But seriously neutering along with some culling should suffice
But do you want to see an end to the Hawaiian Tigers

Bernard Scott

Yes they kill the most birds around the world mass sterilisation doesn’t work

Connie Wessel

There would be no need it only they had been proactive and practiced TNR.

Michelle Switzeree

No kill

Yvretta Carus
Yvretta Carus

Don’t let cats kill birds. Keep all cats inside human homes.


In order to protect and maintain the many endangered and endemic species on the islands, the only two logical solutions to uncontained cats are euthanasia or enclosing them in large, fully-enclosed pens that are escape proof. TNR (trap neuter return) does NOT prevent cats from decimating wildlife. Whether they are fed or not, the cats WILL kill wildlife and spread harmful disease. There is no reason to maintain colonies–they’re no good for pest control, and they are a harmful, invasive species. Cats are not native anywhere including the Hawaiian islands. Don’t let Hawaii’s endangered wildife become another statistic brought on… Read more »

george mira

Having lived on three of hawaii’s islands, I can testify as to the presence of high numbers of feral cats for several decades. Because feral cats are smaller in size than the domestics you’re used to, their presence never really made a dent in the destructive rats originally brought by Hawaiian canoes a thousand years ago. Those rats were probably part of the oceangoers’ food supply, but , even more than the human lust for colorful feather capes for Alii – dominant class – the rats destroyed so many native birds not adapted to mammalian predators, that most of Hawaii’s… Read more »

Mikal Deese

Of course humans, not the cats, are responsible for the problem. We are also responsible for the solution. These are domestic cats that no one wants. Allowing/supporting the cats is merely transferring the killing to many more wild individuals instead. TNR is not “saving lives”, it is selecting an invasive predator’s life over the lives of native species And then you plan to kill more creatures in order to feed the unwanted cats? That makes no more sense than setting up feeding stations for colonies of pythons in the Florida Everglades!

Andrew Phillips

Yes yes yes……change C to R and we would not even be discussing it.

Roy Ravioli Buxton

Needs must. This isn’t about being warm and fuzzy. There are not enough foster homes on the planet to take in all the feral cats. They are apex predators that out-compete rivals and prey wholesale. Humane control is the way. Nobody would object if the C was changed to an R.

Deborah Irish Cornaire

No no no no no >:(

Mira Eleonora Pantazopol Iordanescu

One would expect that in advanced countries people spay/neuter their pets and do not let them reproduce until their numbers become overwhelming….BUT, in New Zealand they organize competitions to kill the stray cats ( trophy hunting of stray cats….) Why on earth don’t they organize mass sterilization campaigns? These are supposed to be civilized countries yet they decide to KILL…Take a look at this website from New Zealand….they also organize ” trophy hunting” of stray cats maybe they should also be exposed. https://www.thewild.co.nz/the-morgan-score/ ( for them wild cats means stray cats )

Tami Miller

Exactly!! All those ferals are because they did not step up and get them spayed or neutered, now they are going to become murders. The number of cats is not the cats fault, it is the humans fault. Why are the cats paying the price???????

Tonia Vassila


Murray A. Palmer
Murray A. Palmer

This is not an exercise in laying blame. We must, however, stop the killing of native wildlife by methods other than the ineffective practice of trapping and neutering cats. The loss of 95 species out of 142 in Hawaii is shameful of government agencies for failing to eliminate cats which are acting as invasive species that reduce biodiversity and the health and stability of ecosystems. Cat lovers know this, but do nothing to help. The analogy of cats behaving like rats is sound. Show how much you care and help. Cats are not going extinct.