City steps up approach to control feral cat population

| February 4, 2019 | 2 Comments

FORT SHAFTER — Dr. Paul Smith, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii biologist, and Dianne Stewart, lead coordinator for a feral cat organization, place an authorized “feeding shelter” for stray and feral cats at Fort Shafter. Under a pilot program authorized by USAG-HI, the organization has begun a trap, neuter, release and manage program for stray and feral cats at Fort Shafter. They will feed the cats at designated areas using these feeding stations.

City and County of Honolulu
News Release 

HONOLULU — The city is moving aggressively to keep in check the population of feral cats that roam alleys, empty lots and other hidden corners of O‘ahu.

Under the new contract with the Hawaiian Humane Society for its Feline Fix program, the city’s focus over the next year is on controlling the more than 3,500 estimated stray cats that can carry diseases, kill wildlife and be noisy nuisances when they are seeking a mate.

The Hawaiian Humane Society’s new strategy follows a model used in other large urban areas and is expected to help decrease the city’s stray cat population. The Hawaiian Humane Society’s new community cat program coordinator will work with colony caregivers and volunteers to trap, neuter and then return sterilized cats to the colonies they came from.

Volunteers care for the cats, providing them food and water, as well as closely monitoring the size of their colonies and ensuring that every cat has been sterilized. Volunteer caregivers get to know the colonies best, as well as any new cats that may need to be separated and taken to a veterinarian. Information and list of participating veterinary clinics can be found at HawaiianHumane.org.

“We are committed to working closely with our community partners to bring new energy and needed resources to controlling our free-roaming cat population,” said Department of Customer Services Deputy Director Randy Leong. “Through the Hawaiian Humane Society, we will be taking a more coordinated, strategic and measured approach to addressing this public-nuisance issue.”

The new approach comes on the heels of a 12-month pilot program to deal with free-roaming cats by providing low-fee sterilization services through participating veterinary clinics across O‘ahu. Feline Fix certificates can be purchased for $10 at all satellite city halls, as well as the Hawaiian Humane Society, which administers the program for the City and County of Honolulu. Sales of the certificates resumed this week after being temporarily halted to adjust to this new approach.

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Category: Community, Safety

Comments (2)

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  1. Neuter release programs actually end up attracting more dumping of cats in the area and is negatively impacting the public health and wildlife health in the area. I have a medical doctorate (MD) from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in medical microbiology. I can assure you 100% that neutered cats still spread dangerous parasites in the watersheds, including the cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii (Tg). The parasite is spread in the cat feces, NOT by the gonads. Removing gonads makes not one bit of difference to preventing the Tg parasite spread. NOAA recommends NOT feeding cats and keep them contained. The is not even remotely the same thing as, feed and release feral cats to continue to do more damage. I am also producing a documentary that includes information about the catastrophic consequences of even one cat predating seabirds colonies. The doc is focused on Kauai, but it is a problem in all the islands https://vimeo.com/manage/299261767/general

  2. JJ McKibbin says:

    If there are more than 3,500 cats there, as stated in the article, and they want to decrease the population through trap-neuter-release, they will need to neuter over 3,325 cats within a year’s time. Just to keep the population from growing will require neutering a bare minimum of 2,485 (more if there are more than 3,500 cats) within a year’s time.

    They will not come anywhere close to neutering this many cats. The population will continue to grow and the cats will continue to kill native birds, destroy private property, and spread disease to monk seals, nene, Hawaiian crows, spinner dolphins and humans. Trap-neuter-return simply can’t work to reduce feral cat populations because the cats breed too fast. Removal is the only solution with a chance of working.

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