COMMUNITIES COMBAT GROWING STRAY CAT POPULATION

Pets Cat

By WVUA 23 Web Writer Marcelle Peters

Feral cats are a growing concern in Tuscaloosa and Northport communities but local organizations and government are working together to combat the issue.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and Northport Mayor Donna Aaron declared this week, April 16-22, Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Week. They’re hoping the designation will spread awareness of the resources available for handling strays and the problems they bring.

“There are about 6,000 feral cats that have never been owned, or cats that have been abandoned or abused and now live on the streets, and those street cats won’t make good pets.” said Dr. Jeffrey Parker, coordinator of TNR Week.

Although street cats can be an annoyance to residents, there are humane ways to treat the population problem. Organizations like the Tuscaloosa Spay and Neuter Incentive Program, work with the community to find feral cat colonies and treat them.

“We trap those cats, spay and neuter them, then we release them to where they are and by doing so we make them better neighbors, treat them more humanely, and actually control the population.” Parker said.

While most feral cats are born on the street, college students abandoning their pets have added to the growing population of stray cats in residential areas.

“One of the things university students do is they get kind of enamored by the idea of adopting a pet, and they get a cat and for a while it’s a lot of fun for them but then there are the realities of being a college student, being gone, and traveling and graduating,” Parker said.

Even though University of Alabama students are a part of the problem, they can also be a part of the solution.

To learn more about the Tuscaloosa Spay and Neuter Incentive Program, visit their website.

If you see a stray cat colony, call the T-SNIP Hotline to alert rescuers at 205=349-8111

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