Who Let the Cats Out?

Feral Cat Overpopulation Creates Problems

MESA COUNTY, Colo. - Feral cats roam the streets of Mesa County every night, because many cats were not properly spayed or neutered years ago. That has created a ripple effect meaning hundreds of kittens are born every year. If those kittens are not found and fixed, they then create even more feral cats.

Young kittens born from feral cats can be socialized and adopted, but older feral cats will never be able to form a bond with a human. Since feral cats continue to reproduce, their kittens have created a strain on the resources of the Humane Society. Housing kittens can be an expensive endeavor, according to Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

Some veterinary hospitals in town encourage residents to help spay and neuter the feral cats. "Vicious cycle, that goes around and around. And unless you can get a colony and community of feral cats under control, the problem will still be there," said April Lewis-Gies, the head veterinary technician for Tiara Rado Animal Hospital.

Those with Roice-Hurst Humane Society said they would appreciate the Grand Valley's help with tracking and trapping feral cats. "This is our community's problem at this point. And it's all of our responsibility to make sure that we can slow the reproduction of these cats so that we can get the population under control," said Anna Stout, the executive director of Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

News Channel Five looked into what local animal welfare organizations are doing about this overpopulation, and found out there is a plan in the works. Roice-Hurst Humane Society and CLAWS: Cat League & Assistance of the Western Slope are working together, along with other organizations, to create the Grand Valley Cat Coalition. This coalition will try to target and focus on the key problems associated with the feral cat overpopulation.

For more information on what organizations can help you spay or neuter a feral cat, call Roice-Hurst Humane Society at (970)434-7337.

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