Mt. Pleasant Residents Working to Fix Feral Cat Problems
Cat colonies have become an issue in Mt. Pleasant for several years now.
The Mt. Pleasant City Council voted last year to make changes to its nuisance animal ordinance, targeting people who provide shelter and food to community cats.
Residents say that is not enough and are coming together to fix the problem.
“Not feeding the cats isn’t going to make them go away. It’s just going to make them move. These cats are not leaving Mt. Pleasant,” said Desiree Bigard, a Mt. Pleasant resident. “We aren’t managing the problem. We’re just moving the problem down the road.”
That’s what more than 15 people in Mt. Pleasant are trying to do: manage the feral cat population.
“One cat can start breeding and create kitten litters at four months old. So if you have one cat that’s breeding at four months old, say she has three litters in a year, those kittens then don’t get fixed, and then those kittens go into heat when they’re four months old,” said Bigard. “Now you have an explosion of the cat population.”
The group wants to create a non-profit to trap, neuter and return the cats.
“It’s really the most humane way to deal with feral cats,” said Mystye Beckwith, Owner of Karma Kat Café.
“Trap, neuter and return has been very successful in larger organizations and larger cities and what that does is keep cats from reproducing,” said Bigard. “They’re not necessarily going to go away right now, but ten years down the road, we will have eliminated 50 to 60% of the unwanted cat population.”
Once a cat is fixed, one of the cat’s ears will have an ear tip.
“I know it upsets some people, but that is the only way, especially with feral cats. You are not wasting your resources by catching the same cats over and over,” said Mystye.
The group is working on getting registered as a non-profit to collect donations and apply for grants to pay to get the cats fixed.