A growing community of feral cats can become a nuisance over time. What's more, the cats can pose the potential to cause harm to nearby residents or their pets.
Such a problem has led residents on Bristol Street to join forces with Windsor Animal Control Officer Brian Davis, Friends of Windsor Animal Care & Control and Our Companions of Bloomfield in an effort to control a growing community of feral cats in the Wilson neighborhood.
The problem with having them in the neighborhood, Davis says, is that the felines are wild, likely not vaccinated, unapproachable, and could bite local animals or residents and infect them with a disease they may be carrying.
It's likely they are not spayed or neutered as well, which has contributed to the Bristol Street community of cats' growth in numbers.
In accordance, Davis and the local animal-rights organizations plan to begin a series of trapping, vaccinating, spaying and freeing the animals on Sun., March 18.
With the help of Our Companions, the initiative will not only benefit the health and safety of the wild cats and local residents, but it will be financially sound, as well, Davis says.
"If the town were to do this on its own, neutering and spaying and vaccinating would be very expensive," says Davis. "But Our Companions (a Bloomfield-based domestic animal sanctuary) has given us vouchers."
The vouchers will defray the cost of ensuring the animals are disease free and will be unable to reproduce.
What's contributed to the problem on Bristol Street is that many residents were feeding the wild cats, according to Davis.
So, Sunday's initiative will begin with the setting up of feeding stations with the help of a few Bristol Street residents who have volunteered to help out.
The cats must develop a routine of coming to the feeding stations over the next few days.
Eventually, humane traps will be placed at the feeding stations, and the cats will be captured, one-by-one, and taken for vaccination and neutering or spaying.
Feral cat communities are a "regular problem throughout town," according to Davis, who received the help of Our Companions a couple of years ago to control a wild cat community on Capen Street.
In every situation, the cats are returned to the neighborhood in which they were trapped after vaccination and spaying or neutering.
Their ears are also clipped, Davis says, so one is able to tell if a cat wandering around the neighborhood has been vaccinated or not.
The hope is that, over time, the population will decrease, and the nuisance and potential danger will no longer exist.