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Stray cat strut in Picture Butte

Posted on April 1, 2014 by Sunny South News

Is there a stray cat crisis in Picture Butte?

No, but stray cats have been an issue over the last few years, according to Town of Picture Butte Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mike Derricott.

“There are some residents who want to care for a cat population that some would call ‘stray cats,’ by placing food out. That can cause a nuisance for neighbours and other people when there’s a high number of cats hanging around and digging in flower beds or gardens,” said the CAO, adding neighbours sometimes don’t appreciate that.

Simply put, the town asks residents not to feed cats they don’t own or wouldn’t consider their pets.

Derricott noted he understands some people are trying to help animals in need but in the long run he believes that causes more of a stray cat problem, as opposed to helping.

“We certainly would prefer for people not to be feeding a large number of animals in that way,” he said.

Currently, there are no bylaw regulations geared towards cats in Picture Butte. The town presently deals with cat issues on a case-by-case basis.

“Cat bylaws are notoriously difficult to enforce because of the mobility of the animals and registration is a lot more difficult,” said Derricott.

When it comes to the act of trapping cats, Derricott said, how do does a person know which cat is a stray cat or which cat is someone’s beloved pet.

“There are a lot of difficulties that come along with that so we prefer to go the educational route — both for those who are supporting large numbers of cats, as well as those who are dealing with it. There are things that people can do,” said Derricott, adding alternatives such as putting deterrents in flowerbeds and gardens to discourage unwanted cats on a person’s property.

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