Readers Write: Responding to Mineola’s feral cats problem

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Readers Write: Responding to Mineola’s feral cats problem
Daughters of the American Revolution visit Port’s Historical Society / Photo by Robbie Lager

In response to the feral cat problem, here are a few things residents need to know:

  1.  If you are going to feed cats outside, you need to trap, spay/neuter and return or else they will multiply.  When there are many of them, they will spread infections throughout the colony.  This is bad for the neighborhood and the cats.
  2.  If your neighbors are feeding cats, they need to take responsibility and humanely trap, neuter, vaccinate and return them outside. This will decrease the number of cats and prevent disease.
  3.  These cats are basically wild animals. The kittens can be caught, socialized and adopted out. 
  4.  People need to keep their pet cats indoors, properly ID or microchip them, and most importantly spay and neuter to prevent this cycle of feral cats!
  5. Cats normally cover their feces. The feces can carry and transmit worms, so can dog feces.  Ringworm is a fungus, not a worm and is not usually transmitted by cats.
  6.  North Shore Animal League America, and their animal hospital ( located in Port Washington) has a wonderful program where for $40.00, they will spay/neuter, vaccinate and ear tip a feral cat in a trap. Then you release the cat back where you trapped it.
  7.  Tomahawk Live Trap sells the best traps for feral cats. You can buy or borrow traps to catch cats in your neighborhood. If you don’t, you won’t get rid of the problem.
  8.  Contact Alley Cat Allies, and or Alley Cat Rescue. These organizations can help with feral cat problems. Their information is online.

The Town of North Hempstead is probably understaffed and not able to handle this issue.

I originally called them 10 years ago, when I had some feral cats show up in my yard. No one got back to me.

So I did some research, got a trap, borrowed some other traps, trapped cats, took them to NSAL, released them back outside.

Sometimes they stay, sometimes they leave. A year later, someone from the town called me. I currently have three feral cats living outside. They have shelter and food in the winter. All are neutered and vaccinated. And none cause any problems. Even the birds are happy.

Maybe the town can start a program where they can reimburse residents the $40.00 spent to trap and neuter feral cats.

Just remember, if you don’t chip in and expect someone else to fix your problem, it won’t go away. 

Hope this helps.

Susan Burian

Williston Park

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