Volunteer Christy Moschopedis (pictured) and Jill Robertson have caught 59 cats from a feral cat colony on one cul-de-sac in Chilliwack. The cats are then neutered and either adopted out or, if too wild, returned to the spot. (Darren McDonald photo)

LETTER: It’s time for a cat bylaw in Chilliwack

The life of a feral cat is not a good one

Like most people who have animals as pets, I love my indoor cats.

At one time, I didn’t give much thought to the cats that I would see wandering my neighbourhood, except to hope that they would be safe from predators and cars.

I did not know that there was a feral cat problem in Chilliwack or that every year so many tiny kittens are born and then die. Last year, something happened to change all that. A feral female cat brought not one but two litters of kittens to our backyard. Within a period of five months, this one female cat had 10 kittens. Each one of the female kittens, if they survived outdoors, would have continued to create three to four litters a year.

This is how the feral cat population grows.

Imagine your own family pet filthy, hungry, sick and injured. This is the life of an uncared for feral cat. We as caring humans are responsible to care for these beautiful animals that we have domesticated, and that are no longer being cared for within our community.

I am writing to support a request being made to Chilliwack City Council for a cat bylaw in our community. Concerned citizens and local groups such as FCM Community Cat Trappers are asking that all pet owners spay and neuter their cats and have them identifiable with a tattoo and/or microchip. There are health benefits for spay and neutered cats which include the prevention of pregnancy especially for cats who are given outdoor access. By tattooing/microchipping your pet, you increase the likelihood of having your cat safely returned home if they escape or are found injured.

For a copy of a pre-written bylaw letter that you can email or mail to the City of Chilliwack office, visit the FCM Community Cat Trappers Facebook page or email your own request for a cat bylaw to council@chilliwack.com.

Jennifer Thomson

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