650 cats fixed by Cape Breton volunteer group in first year
Feral cat population continues to expand despite efforts by the Feral and Abandoned Cat Society
The Feral and Abandoned Cat Society in Cape Breton has spayed and neutered 650 feral cats around the Cape Breton Regional Municipality in the first year of the society's existence.
Jack Coffey, a member of the society, said it's hard to keep up with the growing number of feral cats.
"People keep leaving cats at feral colonies thinking they'll be fed, but he won't be fine," said Coffey.
"He's going to be attacked and lose eyes and have terrible infections from these cuts, be cold, freeze to death, starve to death. It's happening every day in every community."
Coffey said he believes it will take several years to notice any difference in the feral cat population, which is currently in the thousands in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Jackie Hindle, who volunteers with the society, is living on a pension and trying to feed more than a dozen cats abandoned near her rural home.
"I bought two bags of cat food and they cost me just about $22. How long will they last? Maybe five or six days for a bag," she said.
"It's hard for anybody, but what do I do?"
Hindle said she continues to see cats suffer in feral colonies.
"Some of those cats were so thin. I don't know how long they were on their own," she said.
"They just drop them. They just throw them out. Right now at my house there's over 20 to 25."
The issue of stray cats has been in the forefront since the Nova Scotia SPCA announced last year it would no longer accept cats at its shelter in Sydney. The shelter says it is at capacity and that isn't expected to change anytime soon.
The Sydney branch has said 900 people are waiting to give their cats to the shelter.
Cape Breton regional council is scheduled to meet with the Feral and Abandoned Cat Society on Tuesday to discuss its efforts to control the feral cat population and provide a report with details on how it spent $25,000 provided by the municipality.