The Town of Fort Macleod is experiencing a spike in cat complaints.
Now officials are looking into the issue, in hopes of grabbing the problem by the tail and stopping it in its tracks.
“Complaints have stepped up a little bit about roaming cats and the amount of cats in town,” Liisa Gillingham, director of community and protective services with Fort Macleod said.
“Our goal is to present the council with some information on options that are available to us to see if we can mitigate the problem.”
At this time, Gillingham said it’s not known how many feral or roaming cats are residing in the town, or if they’re simply pets.
But, with no local humane society or cat licensing program in the area to help track the numbers, Gillingham added that public engagement is the best way to move forward at this time.
“One of the first pieces of the public engagement that we will be holding is to find out what the public perception of this is,” she said.
“Do we have a wild cat and feral problem? Or is it a community cat problem?”
Gillingham hopes through this consultation, community members will volunteer to help with cat counts to determine if a “Trap Neuter Return cat program” is needed.
“It really helps mitigate the population, and also it allows the cat to have some vet care and then they are just returned humanely to their own environment,” she said.
Gillingham said if this is a wild cat issue, then the problem could quickly escalate, and with no intervention, she added that 12 cats can spiral into more than 11 million in just nine years.
“If you have 15 female cats that are wandering about, then that’s 15 litters and you’re looking at five to nine kittens every litter,” she said.
No date has been confirmed for the public consultation yet.
Fort Macleod is located about 50 km west of Lethbridge.