The Cat Action Team in P.E.I. hopes to make big strides in keeping the feral cat population under control thanks to new funding.

The group, which works to get stray and feral cats sterilized, has received a PetSmart Charities of Canada grant worth $20,500.

This grant will go towards caring for cats in the western part of the Island.

"From Miscouche to North Cape, I probably have 300 cats," said Gayle Adams, secretary of the Cat Action Team. 

Adams said the money should cover operations for at least half of those cats.

Gayle

Gayle Adams tries to organize a spay and neuter day for homeless cats every month. (Submitted by Gayle Adams)

Challenging job

Adams is a retired Licensed Practical Nurse who goes out and traps cats along with other volunteers. 

The animals are then brought into a local vet clinic, usually the same day.

Volunteers also try to keep them safe and warm after surgery for a few days.

Since the cats are wild, it can be challenging work, said Adams.

"They terrified to death, a lot of them," she said. "They're wild."

Cat Action Team

Because the cats are feral, trapping them can be challenging. (Submitted by Gayle Adams)

She remembered one feisty tom cat who got away before surgery as they were placing him in a truck.

"We had one one time … he did head butt towards the front [of the cage], the trap went completely off the tail gate of the truck and opened up and he went. We never found him yet," she said. 

'They reproduce quickly'

Adams has had up to eight cats in traps in her car at once, and estimated she's personally helped 600 cats over the years.

This time of year the team focuses more on females when possible. 

"One female cat, they have five kittens each time, they reproduce quickly," she said

Cat Action Team

Gayle Adams has had up to eight cats in traps in her car at once. (Submitted by Gayle Adams)

Numbers improving

The Cat Action Team formed in 2001, and Adams said she has seen an improvement since they began neutering and spaying.

"At one time it was so overwhelming," she said. "It just seemed like you couldn't get caught up at all." 

She said it feels good to see lives of local cats are getting better.  

"It's gradually improving."

CAT Action Team

Volunteers from the Cat Action Team trap stray and feral cats to spay and neuter. (Cat Action Team)