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Tempe Expands Program To Manage City's Feral Cat Population

The city of Tempe will begin to trap, neuter and release (TNR) 50 feral cats Wednesday night. The goal is to reduce the number of feral cats in city neighborhoods and keep existing animals safe and healthy.

It’s an expansion of the city’s current TNR program.

The city’s original program was designed to help residents with the cost of TNR, but those funds were quickly depleted.

Tempe Councilmember Lauren Kuby said there are feral cats in nearly every neighborhood in Tempe and residents are struggling to keep up with the population growth.

“We have so many kind-hearted residents and they’re exhausted from caring for the cats and they’re exhausting their own money for TNR,” Kuby said. “Other residents are upset about the scent of cat spray from the larger colonies. They’re upset about the noise and the feces. It’s just creating conflict in our neighborhoods.”

Other residents will soon be able to sign up for similar events in their neighborhoods due in part to a $10,000 donation and matching funds from the Tempe City Council.

“[Residents] find people within their own neighborhood who are interested in working with the cats, and there’s a whole curriculum — a cat colony curriculum — that we’ve developed to manage cat colonies more efficiently,” Kuby said.

The city built a support network of caregivers who communicate with those negatively affected by feral cat colonies.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.