Recently the Village has received multiple complaints on feral and free roaming cats in the village. Unfortunately, the Village has no regulations regarding the feeding or sheltering of feral cats.
Feral cats differ from household pets in that they do not have collars, are typically skittish around people and breed frequently.
Feeding and sheltering stray cats make some people feel like they are doing a good deed but it should be done responsibly. The following tips, borrowed from the City of Hilliard, list several steps that can be taken to assure that the stray/feral cats are cared for in a responsible way:
FEEDING AND CARE
- Choose one place to feed and keep it clean. Create a ” feeding station” for all food dishes.
- Remove any uneaten food within 30 minutes. Leaving food overnight can attract insects and other wildlife. Keep food stations clean.
- Provide fresh water, especially in the summer. In the winter, wider and deeper bowls will not freeze as quickly.
COMMON SENSE/GOOD NEIGHBOR STEPS
- Consider Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for all cats in the colony to reduce feral populations and keep existing cats healthier. Be sure to discuss TNR plans with neighbors to avoid confusion and concern.
- Keep everything clean to reduce unpleasant smells and avoid attracting insects and other animals.
- Create litter areas, such as a sandbox, in a quiet, sheltered place and clean it regularly. This will help keep cats from relieving themselves in neighborhood gardens and properties.
Humane Ohio on Alexis Road in the City of Toledo does have a TNR Program available. More information on how to borrow a live trap and schedule appointments is available on their website. This program works to spay/neuter, vaccinate, and ear tip healthy outdoor cats. Ear tipping (snipping off the tip of the left ear while the cat is under anesthetic) is a universal sign that the cat has been spayed/neutered.
It will take time to completely sterilize all the stray cats in an area. By being conscious of above tips, reducing the nuisance of stray and feral cats can be achieved.