Stray cats: Let them eat rats 2014.06.25

Another city council meeting, another complaint about cats—or make that three or four complaints.

Cats spraying on a neighbor’s house. Cats tearing up a garden. Cats using a garden as a litter box. The complaints keep coming in.

Some parts of Morenci seem to be experiencing a problem with stray cats that’s unmatched in the past. Whether belonging to someone or out living on their own, the number of cats seems to be growing.

Morenci is certainly not unique in its cat problem and it’s certainly not unique in hitting a dead end when trying to come up with a solution.

A partial solution is offered by local veterinarian Sharilyn Shoemaker (see page 5 of this week’s Observer). Her clinic offers a program for strays if they’re in a group of three or more—a program that requires some commitment from residents to make it work. 

For the occasional stray that many people are experiencing, it’s back to city council meetings asking if there’s anything that can be done. If property damage can be proven, then the cat owner could expect a visit from a police officer. In many cases, however, ownership isn’t known and a call to the police isn’t going to help.

Morenci’s planning commission intends to discuss the issue, but reports from other communities indicate that a solution might not be found. Dr. Shoemaker advises people against feeding stray cats. It may seem heartless, but it’s only going to make the situation worse. 

Meanwhile, try to maintain a sense of humor and consider Cecil Schoonover’s idea. He’s learned that parts of Toledo are being overrun by rats. What’s needed for that problem is a shipment of Morenci’s stray cats.