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The Harvey County Independent
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Halstead, KS 67056

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Halstead Combats Feral Cats With Volunteer Live Trap Program

Posted 7/27/2017

By Pilar MartinTHIS cat was spotted by Sooter’s carwash on Monday evening around 9:30 p.m. THIS cat was spotted by Sooter’s carwash on Monday evening around 9:30 p.m.

HALSTEAD—Cats. Stray cats, feral cats, every town has them. In Halstead, if you drive or walk around after dark you will see cats and kittens.

City council member Sam Farmer remarked at a recent council meeting that residents have approached him with complaints of problems with feral cats in the south part of town.

Cats are harder to control than dogs. They roam around neighborhoods and are especially active after dark. There is a difference between a stray and a feral cat. At stray cat is one that has had human interaction, probably wandered away from home or is lost. A stray cat is usually friendly and is used to being fed.

A feral cat is described as a cat that has not had any human interaction. They can look for scraps of food in trashcans and on the street. Feral cats are not used to humans and will usually run away if you approach. Most feral cats cannot be domesticated.

The problem of cats has been around Halstead for years, being brought up as a problem to the city council every few years. Cats that are not neutered or spayed continue to reproduce. A female cat can have up to two litters each calendar year, with 1-8 kittens in each litter. This could mean 16 extra cats on the streets in one year, and if some of those kittens are female, the number un-domesticated cats can quickly get out of control.

There is no law that states you must have animals spayed or neutered; it is up to the individual. And it isn’t cheap. It would cost at least $100 per cat at most veterinary clinics around. Caring Hands Humane Society offers vouchers to Harvey County residents to help with the veterinary costs of getting dogs and cats fixed.

In Halstead, the animal control officer will not trap cats. Police Chief Josh Orem, said the current policy is that there is no policy on cats.

“If you call us about a cat we won’t respond, unless it’s injured or thought to be rabid,” Orem said. The city does have four or five live animal traps they can loan an individual, but you will have to set the trap and monitor it. Once something is trapped, whatever it is, you would have to take care of it yourself.

“If they put out a trap to catch a cat and a skunk ends up it the trap, they are on their own,” Orem added.