Feral cat numbers could go down

Bianca Rae, KESQ News Channel 3 Reporter, brae@kesq.com
POSTED: 04:58 PM PDT Oct 16, 2012    UPDATED: 05:26 PM PDT Oct 16, 2012 
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Tanya Petrovna doesn't mind when friends call her the crazy cat lady. She loves cats. She doesn't love what could happen if they're not taken care of.  

"There is almost 100 percent kill rate for feral cats in all shelters across the country. Usually they're just brought in and killed. We're trying to make killing less of an option," Petrovna said.

This is done through TNR, the trap, neuter, release program. CAT -- Cat Action Team -- volunteers humanely trap feral cats, get them spayed or neutered, then release them to avoid the vacuum affect.

"The vacuum affect is these cats form territories, and when you take them out, others come in. So you never solve the problem," Petrovna said.
     
The newly released spayed and neutered cats can't reproduce, so the number of feral cat can't grow. Petrovna says feral cats are not a problem -- right now.

The Cat Action Team believes feral cats have a positive impact on communities. They say not only do some people enjoy seeing them in gardens, they also help with the rodent problem.

"You will see, where there are feral cats, you won't have all those rats that have been importing and have been a problem," Petrovna said.

If not taken care of, feral cats could someday pose a problem, though.

"Every cat has the potential to have a thousand offspring within a year, based on all its offspring having babies.  So I like to say one is a thousand. So for one that's spayed and neutered, we're saving a thousand cats being born," Petrovna said.

Petrovna, the crazy cat lady, hopes the only thing crazy about cats will someday be the thought of not treating them humanely.

For more information on what to do if you see feral cats in your area, call 1-760-820-CAT1.