Volunteers Battle Nashville’s Growing Feral Cat Population
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A group of dedicated volunteers has been spending their time tackling the overpopulation of feral cats wandering the streets in Nashville.
Jourdan Parenteau's garage is more like a temporary transfer station for feral cats . A feral cat is simply a cat without an owner and many can be found around dumpsters in alleyways across the city.
"They are cats that community cats or strays. They aren't sociable, so if you were to walk up to it and say ‘Here kitty' it's probably going to run away," Parenteau explained.
The cats in Parenteau's garage and thousands more just like them have been roaming everywhere around town.
"The problem isn't with them roaming around, it's with them reproducing," said Parenteau.
Which is why Jourdan has traps like to catch the Once caught the cats are spayed or neutered then carefully transferred into another cage to be taken back to where they came from. The cats are still wild, so they can scratch or bite if scared, but the volunteers said the risk is worth it.
"We are never going to beat this problem of overpopulation until we start getting the cats that nobody's claiming spayed or neutered," she said.
Volunteers said catching the cats keeps them from being killed at shelters or clinics.
"Sometimes we feel like we're pouring water in a bucket with a hole in the bottom of it. But to see the people who call us to say I've had no kitten this year and I can't tell you how glad I am to not see kittens die, that's what make it worth it," said local volunteer Beth DeMonbreun.
After being caught, spayed and neutered the cats are released back into the wild to roam, but not reproduce- trimming the overpopulation problem one feline at a time.
More than 100 of the feral cats that have been captured will be spayed or neutered this Sunday at the Value Vet clinic in East Nashville. For more information about the feral cat volunteer program visit The Pet Community Center.