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More than 3 dozen cats rescued from Springfield home now up for adoption; Animal Control warns of feral cat colonies

Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 9:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - More than three dozen cats were rescued from one Springfield home last Tuesday. Now, those cats are up for adoption.

C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue teamed up with the Springfield-Greene County Animal Control to help search, trap, and rescue the cats. The groups said there were a total of 49 cats inside the home. They initially rescued 39 of those cats and have since caught a few more.

C.A.R.E. said there are still some cats left inside the home.

“Two of them are pretty feral,” Alex Heath with C.A.R.E. described. “So we’re just trying to find a way to get them in the traps. I think one of the traps keeps getting set off, but no cats are in it. So they’ve been a little elusive with us. We’re still going to keep trying until we’re able to get them all out of the house.”

All of the rescued cats have been spayed, neutered and vaccinated.

“They’re pretty finicky themselves,” Heath said. “So it’s just making sure that those guys are staying healthy and stuff.”

More than three dozen cats are now up for adoption at the shelter, but Heath said many are still shaken up from the rescue effort.

”It’s only been a week since we’ve had them, so we’re expecting them to still be pretty scared of other people,” she said. “Once they start getting used to people, though, a lot of them have become really, really sweet and really loving and affectionate.”

Two cats have already been adopted, and a few more are already expecting new homes. The shelter said many of these cats have become co-dependent on other cats after living together for so long.

“Having another cat in the home is definitely going to be really helpful for taking them home,” Heath said. “And just giving them a lot of time and patience and not forcing them into situations where they’re going to be more stressed, letting them come up to you letting them just settle in at the new house and getting used to all new things is really going to be the biggest thing. It’s just patience really that they need.”

Heath said the animals had been living with the same owner for quite some time, which is why changing environments can be difficult.

“They’re going to get stressed out and not be as sweet and loving as they are here at first,” Heath said. “It’s probably going to take a couple weeks, maybe a couple months, once they get home to really get used to being in that environment and being around a lot of new people, a lot of new things.”

Nearly 50 cats from one home is an unusually large effort, but feral cat colonies across Springfield are not unusual at all.

”Feeding them is the beginning of the problem,” said Springfield Animal Control Supervisor Kit Baumgartner. “When you feed the cats, you need to be responsible enough to get them spayed or neuter.”

Baumgartner said feral cat colonies have been an issue for more than a decade.

”The group of cats they have that they’re feeding gets bigger,” he described. “It turns into a colony and it turns into an unhealthy group to catch.”

He said it can become more and more invasive as the size of the colony grows.

”They create noise,” Baumgartner said. “They create a terrible odor within the neighborhood. They get up on people’s cars and on their houses.”

If you run into these issues, you can reach out to Animal Control or local shelters. Animal Control says if you are feeding feral cats, spaying or neutering them is the only way to decrease the number of colonies across town.

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