Who let the cat out of the bag? Chris Cook said the feral cat situation on Texas Tech campus has reached the point of having to relocate the furry felines.
“We collaborated with the TTU Feral Cat Program and contacted the humane society of West Texas, city of Lubbock animal shelter, with the understanding that we did not want the cats to be euthanized,” Cook said. “Once they’re removed they would be spayed and neutered and then we plan to find a place for them.”
Cook, managing director of the office of communications and marketing for Tech, said the TTU Feral Cat Program has had approved feeding stations for the feral cats around Tech for a while now. He said the program includes Tech faculty and staff who willingly volunteer to feed the cats. But, Cook said the current feral cat population has become so vast that health issues are being questioned along with other reported incidents.
He said there have been reports of students being bitten by the cats and the other concerns regarding health includes the safety of children on campus along with people who might be allergic to cats.
Cook said he sent out a campus-wide Tech Announce to bring the Tech community’s attention to the issue. He said there have been some responses of outreach and concern from students about further clarification as to where the cats will be relocated and how. Cook also said he has received responses in regards to the announcement that seemed less than thrilled about moving the cats off campus.
“There may have been two or three that were a little irate, but we responded to them,” he said. “Others were concerned but comforted when they heard that the cats wouldn’t be harmed. We’ve had responses across the board.”
Cook said there is no guarantee all of the cats will be removed from campus. In fact, he said there are no specific ways to even track the cats. Cook said it is hard to finalize and keep track of them, but he said they are only continuing to breed and be an issue for the campus.
Cook said another important thing to know is unapproved feeding stations are not allowed on campus any longer. He said he has heard of students leaving food outside of their dorm buildings for the cats, but it can cause problems. Cook said by doing this, this makes the feral cat population spread all across the university, which is the opposite of what they are trying to do.
“There will still be designated feeding stations,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure where they are but our main objective is to keep the feral cat population on campus contained.