Saving stray cats may not keep them off the streets

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Do you know what happens when you bring a stray cat to the humane society? Well, those cats might end up right back in your community.

People living around 80910, in the southeast part of the springs, started seeing more and more stray cats. The humane society tries to control that population by encouraging people to bring in stray cats, but what they do with the cats might surprise you.

First, they determine what category the cat fits into, stray, feral or community, then based off of that decision, they decide what they will do with them.

“A stray cat is just one that is perhaps lost, maybe missing it’s family and needs to get back to his family, maybe it’s an unowned cat that has been abandoned by its family,” said Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region Spokeswoman Gretchen Pressley.

If it doesn’t have a family and is social, it’s considered a community cat. If not, it’s feral.

“These are cats that, again, have lived their entire lives outdoors, they are not socialized to humans, they are mostly scared of humans, in fact, and try to stay away from them,” Pressley said.

A behavior test determines what category cats fall in to.

“We look at how well they behave around other humans, if they’re very social, if they enjoy attention, if their maybe a little more frightened or a shy variety of cat, or if they absolutely don’t want any attention by humans what so ever,” Pressley said.

Bringing a cat in doesn’t mean it will be adopted.

“We have the right do what we feel is right for that cat, whether that be adoption, rescue, or returning them to the community,” Pressley said.

Sending them back to the community isn’t the worst thing.

“A spayed and neutered set of cats won’t have the crying that you hear at night from cats wanting to mate. They usually don’t spray as much, those toms that are neutered, and generally they tend to be a little more docile if they’re spayed or neutered, so it really clears up a lot of those cat behaviors,” Pressley said.

The humane society does this as part of their trap, neuter, and release program. It makes sure the cat population doesn’t explode, and still allows un-adoptable cats to live, instead of being put down.

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