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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – More than three dozen cats were rescued from a Springfield home last Tuesday. Now these cats are up for adoption.

CARE Animal Rescue has partnered with Springfield-Greene County Animal Control to help find, trap and rescue cats. The groups said there were a total of 49 cats inside the house. They first rescued 39 of these cats and have since caught a few more.

CARE said there were still cats inside the house.

“Two of them are pretty wild,” described CARE’s Alex Heath. “So we’re just trying to find a way to get them to fall into the traps. I think one of the traps keeps tripping, but there’s no cat in it. So they were a bit elusive with us. We’ll keep trying until we can get them all out of the house.

All rescued cats were neutered, neutered and vaccinated.

“They’re quite temperamental themselves,” Heath said. “So it’s just about making sure these guys stay healthy and everything.”

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

“We’ve only had them for a week, so we expect them to still be quite scared of other people,” she said. “Once they started getting used to people, a lot of them became really, really nice and really loving and affectionate.”

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

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

Heath said the animals have been living with the same owner for a while, so changing environments can be difficult.

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

Nearly 50 cats from a home is an unusually large effort, but colonies of feral cats across Springfield are by no means unusual.

“Feeding them is the beginning of the problem,” said Springfield animal control supervisor Kit Baumgartner. “When you feed cats, you have to be responsible enough to have them spayed or neutered.”

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

“The group of cats they have and feed is getting bigger,” he described. “It’s turning into a colony and it’s turning into an unhealthy group to catch.”

He said it can become increasingly invasive as the colony size increases.

“They create noise,” Baumgartner said. “They create an awful smell in the neighborhood. They ride on people’s cars and on their houses.

If you experience these issues, you can contact Animal Control or local shelters. Animal Control says that if you’re feeding feral cats, spaying or neutering them is the only way to reduce the number of colonies across town.

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