Eyota taking steps to control its feral cat population

Published 2:14 pm Saturday, November 16, 2013

EYOTA — Eyota is taking steps to control the southeastern Minnesota town’s feral cat population.

The Eyota City Council voted Thursday night to contract with Camp Companion to trap, spay and neuter, and release the feral cats living in the community.

Michelle Quandt with Camp Companion told the council that sterilized feral cats tend to have a closed-herd mentality. The feral population won’t grow through births, and it won’t allow new cats to join its group.

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Other options would be to move the cats outside the city or euthanize the cats. But Quandt said euthanasia costs more than sterilization. And if the cats were moved or euthanized, rats and mice would go unchecked, she said.

The cost of the program is $60 per female cat and $40 per male cat. Council member Bryan Cornell estimates Eyota has between 20 and 40 cats.

Eyota’s problem with feral cats came to the forefront recently when a cat was picked up by animal control and eventually euthanized when it was not claimed by anyone, Cornell said.

“A lot of people were upset,” Cornell said. “So we’re taking this route now.”

The city is looking at trapping cats Nov. 29-30.