Bonner Springs tries to tackle feral cat problem - KCTV5

Bonner Springs tries to tackle feral cat problem

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(Courtesy: Bonner Animal Rescue) (Courtesy: Bonner Animal Rescue)

The city of Bonner Springs is trying to tackle a feral cat problem with limited resources.

It was last fall when a passer-by noticed about 50 cats and kittens at a rural home on the southern edge of the city. Neither police nor the rescue group would tell us exactly where the home is. The woman had hit and killed a kitten and went to the nearest home to pass on the bad news. That's when she saw the swarm of cats, extending all the way to the roof, and called police.

"Because of the number of cats, we just didn't have the resources to deal with them all at once," said police Lt. Rick Schubert, "so we've been doing it in increments."

The city considered many options, including what some cities do: trap, spay/neuter and release. But that would only keep 50 cats from becoming 100. It wouldn't solve the situation of 50 wild cats.

Bonner Animal Rescue offered to house a handful at a time, work to socialize them, then put them up for adoption. Darla Hicks began working with one kitten, Satin, three weeks ago.

"I talk to her baby talk and when I'm feeding her I reach in and pet her," Hicks said.

Now Satin is calm enough that Hicks holds her often, and Satin actually seems to like it, purring and issuing a "meow" from time to time.

"And she's very cute when she meows," Hicks added. "She sticks out her tongue."

Satin is one of three kittens currently in foster homes, learning how to be around people. Ten other kittens have already adapted and been adopted.

The adult cats are trickier. They are harder to catch, harder to tame and more likely to be diseased because they have been in the wild for a longer period of time.

The rescue group has already euthanized some of the adults due to extremely poor health. But the group is hoping to find homes for the ones in good health, homes like barns and sheds. Just because they can't be house pets, Hicks said, they can still be pets.

"We want people that will not just let them be barn cats to fend for themselves," Hicks said, "but we want somebody that is going to feed and water them and give them attention as well."

The city and rescue group are trying to capture all of them before it warms up and they start breeding again.

To contact Bonner Animal Rescue, call 913-449-7328.

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