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Stray cats are littering city
What is the difference between a feral cat, stray cat and a domestic cat?
That question and more were answered during Tuesday evening's City Council meeting during a discussion on possible solutions to the feral cat issue in Corning.
The council learned a feral cat is one born and raised in the wild with no exposure to human contact; a stray cat is one lost or abandoned that is used to human contact; and domestic cats live with, and rely on humans.
It is the feral cat population the city has a growing concern about.
"Every community has this a feral cat problem," said police Chief Tony Cardenas. "And there are a lot of varying viewpoints on how to deal with the problem and how to pay for dealing with the problem."
He said locally there are two distinct opposing viewpoints: Those in favor of the trapping, neutering and releasing the cats, and those who support euthanasia.
Trap/neuter/release proponents believe all living creatures have value and feral cats should not be euthanized to control the population, according to the report.
Supporters of euthanasia do not believe the trap program has been effective in reducing the feral cat population.
The report states there are 60 million feral cats in the United States.
Corning's population can be seen roaming the streets, mostly at night. They can spread parasites and disease among the stray and domestic cat population.
Feral cats are also considered a serious threat to the wildlife.
Cardenas pointed out the Tehama County Animal Services facility takes in up to 800 cats a year and most of them have to be euthanized.
"Many of the cats brought into the shelter are feral and diseased," he said.
Corning Animal Services does have a facility for stray, abandoned and surrendered dogs, but not cats due to costs and lack of facilities.
"Tehama County Animal Control estimates the cost to house an involuntarily impounded cat, including medical and labor costs, is $97.74," Cardenas explained in the report.
The city does have traps that it loans to residents who request them.
"But they must make their own arrangements at their own expense, for altering of trapped animals," the chief said.
That would also include euthanasia costs.
Second Chance Pet Rescue, located in Corning, is working with area veterinarians to help individuals with the cost of spaying and neutering cats.
In coordination with Second Chance Pet Rescue, Friends of Felines Spay/Neuter Project held a "Fur Bowl" on Sunday at Java Lanes in Corning, to raise funds to assist area residents with those costs.
City staff recommended to the City Council to elicit community participation and further research be conducted to determine what programs are available and what would best meet the needs of the city.