Overpopulation of feral cats in a local neighborhood alerts mayor


Reporter - Mychaela Bruner
Photographer - Mike Spissinger

GRAVES COUNTY, Ky. - Feral cats are on the prowl in a local town. People living in the community say the growing numbers are a problem. The mayor says there are leash laws for dogs, but you can not put a leash on a cat. One local neighbor says although she does not mind the cats, she realizes it is a growing problem in her community.

Tina Patterson rescued her dog Scooby a year ago and considers herself an animal lover. Even though she would love to rescue the cats in her backyard, she realizes she can not rescue them all.

Patterson said there are at least 25 stray cats in her neighborhood and although she does not mind, she says it is a growing problem. "People are releasing their female cats and tom cats and not taking care of them, they are running wild, mating and reproducing," said Patterson.

Mayfield Mayor Teresa Cantrell said, "We have a group in town that's working on a grant project and this grant project is called TNR, involving trap, neuter and release program."

Mayor Cantrell said this program is a small step in the right direction. "The cats would not be harmed in anything we're doing. They would just be trapped. The grant pays for the traps, pays for the cost of the neutering and then we'd release them again," said Cantrell.

The problem is, they are releasing the cats where they originally found them. Mayor Cantrell said, "It's not a total answer to the problem, but I think it will definitely cut down."

Patterson said she hopes the program will help these kittens live a better life. She said, "I love animals, I don't like to see any of them starving...They're like family."

High street is not the only street where there have been a large number of stray cats reported. People have called in about a large population of cats on streets including Lochridge, Housman and North and 9th Street.

Mayfield is currently collecting data for the grant that will fund the TNR program. The mayor said she believes the city will certainly qualify for this grant with the large amount of phone calls she has received. Mayor Cantrell is asking for your help to gather information on the feral cat population. Anyone wanting to report stray cats in their neighborhood should call the Mayfield Mayor's Office with the cat's location.