Halifax Regional Council will debate the merits of financing a spay and neuter clinic for feral cats and low income cat owners on Tuesday.

The SPCA wants to run the clinic, but it needs a $40,000 grant to help build the surgical unit.

The group spays and neuters nearly 60 cats and dogs a week at a nearby veterinary clinic. They’re hoping to double that number if the surgical unit opens.

Hugh Chisholm, a retired veterinarian who tried to give this issue a higher profile by running his cat Tuxedo Stan in the mayoralty race, is rooting for the grant..

"I think they've ignored it for too long and really if you look at it $40,000 in the big picture for this city is a drop in the bucket," he said.

"It’s an investment in something that’s going to be there for a long, long time doing a lot of good. In my opinion its money well spent."

Coun. Gloria McCluskey said she knows about a cat colony in the Woodside area of Dartmouth and another one in the north end.

She said she supports the idea of a onetime grant to the SPCA. 

"I know when I campaigned there was a bunch of kittens on the street and there'll be more kittens.  The longer we wait the worse it’s going to be," McCluskey said.

Chisholm said there could be as many as 100,000 feral cats in the Halifax region.

The Nova Scotia SPCA would be the only shelter in Atlantic Canada to have a surgical unit.