Michael Cressin [letters, Feb. 11] loves cats, which is commendable, but he does not appear to see harm in the fact that cats allowed to roam out of doors kill billions of birds annually. Yes, it is in the nature of cats to hunt and kill, and for that reason they must not be allowed out of the house. Mr. Cressin noted correctly that man is the most efficient destroyer of nature, but in this instance the instrument of man’s despoiling of the natural world is the improper keeping of an efficient hunter that has no predator itself: the feral cat.

In the 25 years in which I have been an enthusiastic bird watcher, I have seen a decline in bird populations in this area, especially in the past five years. It’s not uncommon now to hike our parks and hardly see any birds at all.

Feral cats should be caught and destroyed. “Neuter and release” is just insufficient. The loss of more than 2 billion birds a year gives a whole new meaning to “Silent Spring.”

Richard H. Pollen, Kensington