While the number of stray cats is reportedly down in Ingham County, there is still a problem. With a spring increase expected, there are suggestions about how to reduce the number.
“My numbers for cats have been fairly steadily, if not steadily declining over the last couple of years,” said Kate Turner of Ingham County Animal Control. “We average about 3,000 animals brought into the shelter every year. Depending on the time of year, the cat numbers definitely increase in the last spring and summer, for what we call ‘kitten season’.”
A feral cat is a wild-living domestic cat that often avoids human contact, meaning the gesture of being touched or handled is non-existent. They often remain invisible, avoiding humans entirely.
While Turner said that the numbers have been decreasing over the past few years, there is still a large number of stray cats on the streets.
“We definitely recommend, if you have pet cats, keeping them indoors as much as possible,” Turner said. “I know some cats are forcefully going to make themselves outside pets. We advocate for spaying and neutering and keeping the pets up to date on vaccinations because, if they are outside, they are going to be at risk for diseases.”
The Capital Area Humane Society, 5919 South Cedar St. in Lansing, has a program called the Community Cats Fund to reduce the overpopulation of stray cats.
“We started our Community Cats Fund in 2018. In 2018, we did just over 1,200 surgeries on feral, stray, free-roaming cats in the area. Our community cat program includes spay and neuter, vaccines and mandatory ear tipping, all at no cost,” said Spay and Neuter Clinic Director Holly Thoms. “We feel that every cat fixed helps to make a dent in the pet overpopulation problem.”