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Residents fight to feed feral cats

Residents in Portland, Texas, are fighting over whether feeding feral cats near Sunset Lake Park should be banned. While some animal rights activists say that feeding the stray cats is a "moral obligation," birders say that having the cats in the area is threatening native species, KZTV10 News reports.

A large group of feral cat supporters met with parks and recreation officials at city hall recently to discuss the issue. The cat supporters left the meeting happy, though there is currently no solution as to whether people will be allowed to feed the animals, the news source reports.

"We're working with the city as well as with the residents for some sort of long-term solution," Kristin Connor, an official from the Portland Parks and Recreation Department, told the news source. "Unfortunately people are dumping cats out there sometimes."

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports that an estimated 4 million cats - feral, stray or owned - enter shelters each year, contributing to the issue of overcrowding and often put down as a result. It reports that feeding bans generally do not work, bringing cats closer to homes and other food sources rather than further away. The HSUS recommends a system of Trap-Neuter-Return to help control the breeding of wild domestic cats.
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