Feral Cat Frenzy In Coatesville

Feral Cat Frenzy In Coatesville

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COATESVILLE, Pa. -

Officials in Coatesville, Chester County are looking for the purrr-fect response to a feline frenzy in their city. Feral cats have invaded Coatesville, and are making life miserable for homeowners!

Coatesville officials are begging their residents tonight: don't feed these feral cats; let animal control safely trap them, so they can start getting a handle on this budding cat-astrophy.

Life is hard for a feral cat. In fact, three of the feral kittens captured had surgery to remove a badly infected eye. They are among more than a hundred wild felines already humanely trapped in Coatesville, then neutered or spayed by a group called "Forgotten Cats."

They're working with officials in a city where, when the sun goes down, the cats come out, a thousand or more strong, and they take over the streets.

Maritza Ortiz keeps her house cats, Johnny and Yankee, inside, and away from the roaming troublemakers.

"Oh, my God! They're all over! They go into abandoned buildings, you see them running. I wake up and go out on my porch: there's like five or six cats there. They spray everywhere. And the poor little kittens are doing nothing but running around, starving and looking for food," says Ortiz.

There are cat traps, baited with food and sheltered from the heat with towels or rags, set up all over town. It's the only way to catch the wild felines and then surgically stop them from reproducing.

"If you tried to catch one, they would do some damage to you," says Chris Small, who's a member of the Coatesville Code Enforcement. "They're not nice. They're not friendly[,] they are wild animals and they're a nuisance."

These cats are getting into garbage, tearing up flower beds, making a racquet with their mating and marking their territory by urinating on everything in sight!

"We're going to win," says Coatesville City Manager Kirby Hudson.

Winning won't come fast, or easily. The folks at "Forgotten Cats" say that spaying and neutering will end a lot of the nuisance behavior. But for legal and moral reasons, the trapped cats cannot be killed. They are returned to the streets, albeit without the ability to reproduce, but the numbers could still be a problem for a while.

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