Charleston man claims feral felines making quality of life ‘cat-astrophic’

Charleston man claims feral felines making quality of life 'cat-astrophic'
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 11:41 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Mike Bell said since he moved to Scenic Drive in Charleston in 1970, he has made a concerted effort to take care of his visitors -- even if they have feathers.

“I try to keep the bird feeders filled,” he said. “I would spend $65 to $70 a month on soot for the woodpeckers.”

However, he said his treasured guests have not flown by as much during the last six to eight months and he thinks he knows the reason why.

“There are several feral cats wandering around,” he explained. “They will lurk in the street and attack birds that are on my bird feeder. They wander the neighborhood looking for something to eat.”

Other neighbors told WSAZ they often have to clean up bird feathers and even hear the cats eating the birds.

Mike said he has made several inquiries to the city of Charleston and the Kanawha Charleston Humane Society during the last few weeks. However, aside from providing a trapping cage for the cats, little else had been done.

He said he does not want people to see him as anti-cat.

“I have friends with house cats. They keep them in their house; that’s wonderful,” he said. “I can go and scratch a cat and be friendly with them but when they’re outside and wild, and they’re catching birds and catching squirrels, they’re destroying the environment, then it’s a problem.”

The Humane Society said they could not provide records of any calls made due to them because of their privacy policies but in a statement described their standard protocol:

“KCHA’s intake policy is to route all healthy, adult cats through trap, neuter, release efforts.

Research shows that Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane and effective approach for community cats. TNR improves cats’ health, saves their lives when they otherwise would have been killed in shelters, addresses community concerns, stabilizes colonies, and helps cats and people coexist. – Alley Cat Allies

The City of Charleston said they provided Bell with additional resources for area Humane Officers Tuesday night.

“As far as I’m concerned, the cats need to move,” he said. “I’m not going to.”