Cedar Rapids shelters inundated with cats - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids shelters inundated with cats

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The Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control shelter has been inundated with cats and kittens over the last few weeks. 

Last week alone, the shelter took in 86 cats/kittens with more are being brought into the shelter.

“We are currently housing more than 200 cats and kittens at the shelter, and there are more in foster homes,” said Diane Webber, Program Manager for the shelter. 

Probably due to the fairly mild winter, shelters everywhere are overrun with felines.  “Communities are at their wits end dealing with feral and stray populations. 

Cedar Rapids is no different,” said Webber.  

Shelter staff is having a difficult time keeping up, and is asking for the community’s support and understanding.  “We’re asking that citizens consider all possible options and alternatives before bringing an unwanted feline companion to the shelter.  We simply aren’t able to help them all,” said Webber.  

Here are a few things you can do before making the decision to bring a cat or kitten(s) to the shelter:

•    Cat owners who want to surrender a pet to the shelter due to behavioral issues, should first call our Cat Help hotline number at 319-777-4250 or email crcathelp@yahoo.com.  Our Cat Help team can advise you on all sorts of behavioral issues from litter box problems to inappropriate scratching and territorial conflicts.
•    Please don’t feed stray cats.  Feeding stray cats only attracts more cats, as well as raccoons and other wildlife, which not only will cause animal confrontations but spread disease.  And you neighbors won’t be happy about the noise, the torn up flower beds and the unpleasant odor that comes with it.
•    Leave baby kittens alone.  It’s not unusual to discover unattended kittens or a single kitten seemingly abandoned by the mother.  Wait and watch first.  Mom is usually lurking in the shadows waiting for you to leave.  It may take several hours before she feels it’s safe enough to return for her kittens.  Mother’s milk is the best food for the kittens, so keeping them together is going to be the best solution for all.  Only remove the kittens if you feel they are in immediate danger.

If you must surrender an animal to the shelter, please call first to make sure we have space available.  “We want to help as many animals as possible, but our resources are limited.  So please work with us,” said Webber.

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