Cats on campus: A time for caring or concern

Published 6:47 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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Outdoor cats are nothing new.

They have existed alongside people since the time of the pyramids, 10,000 years ago.

So, what’s all the hoopla about cats on campus?

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Kayleigh White, the leader of the TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) group on the campus of Troy University, was a guest at the Tuesday night meeting of the Humane Society of Pike County.

White explained that no matter the word used to describe the 45 cats that have homesteaded at Troy University — the feral cats, the community cats, the colony cats, the stray cats or the campus cats “mistreated” should not be among them.

White said the cats have been vaccinated, spayed/neutered and a kitten has not been born on campus since September 2021.

“There is a group of students who feed the cats each day and we check on them day and night and around midnight,” White said. “We don’t want the cats to be trapped and then … What happens to trapped animals? We all know the answer to that.

White said the goal of the students, and many campus and community supporters of the efforts to provide a health and humane space for the cats, is a TNR program at Troy University, whether it’s official or unofficial, and then the university pull the policy and make a new one surrounding a TNR program.”

Donna Brockman, HSPC president, said, regarding the cats on campus, the university has expressed concern for the health and safety of the students. 

“The cats have been vaccinated and rabies in humans is primarily from bats and dogs,” Brockmann said. “Cats keep rats, snakes and other undesirable critters away. And, to say, no feeding the cats on campus, is absurd. What do we do, let them starve?””

Brockman said the students are doing a humane thing. They are caring for the cats and making sure they are not trapped and…..?

“We have just gone through the kitten season and there has not been a kitten born on campus in eight months. That’s incredible,” she said. “All the students and their supporters are asking is that they be allowed to continue doing what they are doing…treating animals humanely. Is that too much to ask?”