Feral cats taking over Tuscaloosa - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Feral cats taking over Tuscaloosa

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

   Some people fear 'wild cats' commonly referred to as feral are taking over downtown Tuscaloosa.

   In just one alley behind Capstone Bank -- we found at-least four cats seemed highly feral comfortable near dumpsters as if it were home to them.

   Amy Nees lives just across the alley.  She's extremely frustrated because she says the cats frequent her balcony and jump down, terribly scratching her vehicles below.

  Nee's is somewhat angered that neighbors such as a worker at the bank, James Reynolds helps to keep the cats fed.  In fact, they get a free course meal with disposal food dishes that Reynolds has set up.  But, he says he's trying to help.  "Try to trap the cats occasionally, have them spade and neutered  and then try to adopt them out," Reynolds insists.

  However -- very few feral cats can be home trained  or adopted.  Tuscaloosa's Metro Animal Shelter says they take in a lot of cats.  About half daily are wild.  Almost all are put down.  Jennifer Earp says people feeding the cats is just the same as breeding them.  "They're not going to go anywhere as long as they know food is there and if its a comfortable place, they'll just keep on breeding."

   Nees has even installed the silent sonar devices to try and keep the cats away...but, the devices hardly work.  "About 15 percent of the time, they get use to them, no longer afraid and jump over them...it's frustrating." 

  Reynolds says most of the problem is that most spade and neutering programs in the area are far too expenses.  The cats he's trying to tame behind Capstone, he takes to Birmingham to have fixed at his own expenses.

  Right now, Tuscaloosa's Animal Control -- says they estimate about 100 feral cats downtown.  They believe  people feeding the cats have helped create the problem.