Colonies of feral cats are taking over Mentor-on-the-Lake. The city's leaders are now considering steps to control them.
At first, the city council drafted an ordinance to control not just cats, but also other animals, such as birds and squirrels. But that plan upset animal lovers.
More recently, the committee chairman said the proposal will be re-drafted, just to include feral cats.
According to City Council Member Jim Lunder, some residents have complained about people in their neighborhood feeding approximately 20 cats, which are all feral.
“They were feeding the cats out in front of the house, they had approximately three or four of those igloo huts,” said Lunder.
At one of the reported properties, near North Chagrin Drive, some of the neighbors, like Rena Martin, said they don't mind the cats at all.
“I think it's a great thing,” she said, “A few of us feed them and other animals in the neighborhood. It's nothing of a nuisance or anything.”
However, not everyone agrees. One neighbor didn't want his face shown on camera, but he said the cats are everywhere.
“Like I’ve been invaded, it is a nuisance,” he said. “I caught them on my cars, come on, I mean I’m paying a lot of money for my cars, and they sleep on top of them.”
As for his yard, he said the animals use it like a litter box.
“I mean I've got to rake every other week, just to get rid of the smell,” he said.
Councilman Jim Lunder said the city wants to keep everyone happy and is taking action.
“I just don't want anyone to be upset about it,” he said, “We are not against animals.”
Under a proposed ordinance, the city will work with an animal welfare organization to police the feeders of these cat colonies and to register the animals into the system, as part of a trap, neuter and return program.
He says the cats' left ears will be clipped, so people can tell if they've been neutered. The city council plans on meeting Tuesday to discuss the revised draft.
The woman, who feeds those stray cats, also didn't want to go on camera. She said she is already taking part in a trap and release program, because it's a humane way to control the population.
She added that the cat problem does not just go away, if you don't feed.