Last Modified: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 1:28 PM
KINDER — Mandy Richard told Town Council members Monday that she is fed up with stray cats roaming her neighborhood.
“I live on Sixth Street, and there is quite a huge cat problem,” Richard said.
She said 20-30 cats, many of them sickly looking, have been running around her neighborhood since she moved to Kinder in the spring. The felines include nearly a dozen kittens, she said.
The cats are a nuisance and a health hazard for her own pets because they appear sick and leave feces and urine in the yard, making it a breeding ground for disease, Richard said.
“I have show dogs that I have to treat for fleas and heartworm, but these cats are sickly looking,” Richard said. “I worry that something will be transmitted.”
She said many of the cats are feral, thin and have only patchy hair. “At that point they become a danger to my animals,” Richard said.
The cats tend to stay around her house both day and night because her neighbor feeds and waters them, she said. “You drive in at night and half the time they don’t move out of the way,” she said.
Mayor Estes LeDoux said the problem with stray cats is not limited to Kinder. He said he is aware of the problem, but said the town doesn’t have the facilities or the manpower to properly address it.
Many residents feed and care for the cats, exacerbating the problem, he said. “You can ride around town and every street has cats running wild, but people are not going to claim ownership of the cats,” LeDoux said.
He said the town of Gueydan has a measure governing the problem of cats running at large on public property by providing for notification of owners by the police chief. The cats are returned to the owner, he said.
Cats without owners, along with repeat offenders, are to be killed under orders of the police chief, LeDoux said. Owners can be charged with willful neglect. “Our police department is not going and shooting cats,” LeDoux said. “I will not allow that.”
He said that catching the cats can be expensive for the town, including the cost to house and to spay or neuter them. “There’s a lot of expenses to this,” he said. “I wish we could figure something out that wouldn’t be so expensive.”
Councilwoman Susan Doumite suggested setting traps for the cats and turning them loose in the woods, but LeDoux said the cats would likely find their way back.
After a lengthy discussion, LeDoux said the town will take the problem under advisement “to see what we can and can’t do.”