City moving to bring feral cat population under control

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The city is moving aggressively to keep in check the population of feral cats that roam alleys, empty lots and other hidden corners of Oahu.

Under the new contract with the Hawaiian Humane Society for its Feline Fix program, the city’s focus over the next year is on controlling the more than 3,500 estimated stray cats that can carry diseases, kill wildlife and be noisy nuisances when they are seeking a mate.

The Hawaiian Humane Society’s new strategy follows a model used in other large urban areas and is expected to help decrease the city’s stray cat population. The Hawaiian Humane Society’s new community cat program coordinator will work with colony caregivers and volunteers to trap, neuter and then return sterilized cats to the colonies they came from.

Volunteers care for the cats, providing them food and water, as well as closely monitoring the size of their colonies and ensuring that every cat has been sterilized. Volunteer caregivers get to know the colonies best, as well as any new cats that may need to be separated and taken to a veterinarian.

Information and list of participating veterinary clinics can be found at HawaiianHumane.org.

“We are committed to working closely with our community partners to bring new energy and needed resources to controlling our free-roaming cat population,” said Department of Customer Services Deputy Director Randy Leong. “Through the Hawaiian Humane Society, we will be taking a more coordinated, strategic and measured approach to addressing this public-nuisance issue.”

The new approach comes on the heels of a 12-month pilot program to deal with free-roaming cats by providing low-fee sterilization services through participating veterinary clinics across Oahu. Feline Fix certificates can be purchased for $10 at all satellite city halls, as well as the Hawaiian Humane Society, which administers the program for the City and County of Honolulu. Sales of the certificates resumed this week after being temporarily halted to adjust to this new approach.

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