Monday, January 16, 2012

Did You Know There Are 100 000 Stray Cats In The City? Yikes!

Feral cat populations have increased significantly across Canada.

The kitties gather around train yards, back-alley trash bins, under porches and other urban haunts, looking to score a meal.

In Toronto, it's estimated there are as many as 100,000 of the scrappy animals on the loose, and the numbers are similar in Montreal. Populations have bred to 44,000 in Edmonton, 25,000 in Windsor, Ont., and the cats are abound in Ottawa, as well.

Their rising numbers are cause for concern, experts say, since they can carry disease transferable to humans and household pets, such as rabies, cat scratch disease, tapeworm and hookworm infection and are a threat to local wildlife.

Last summer, a Winnipeg woman's hand was severely disfigured by bacterial infection after being bit by a feral cat she had attempted to take in.

"There's a serious problem in most municipalities," says Mike Cohen, a city councillor in Montreal's Cote Saint-Luc borough, "but many cities have shut their eyes to it."