City of Wichita surveying public about feral cats

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Are there too many feral cats in Wichita?

That’s the question the city of Wichita wants the public to answer.

Monday morning, a survey went out to gather data from citizens about the issue.

By about 5 p.m., it already had over 800 responses from the community.

Janet Johnson, a supervisor with the Office of Community Services for the city says it is an issue that people are interested in.

“It’s a fairly emotional charged issue with people on both sides having very strong feelings,” said Johnson.

The 23 question survey got a lot of different comments from the community after it was posted on Nextdoor.

“Feral cats provide a service to our environment, they help to keep the rodent population in balance, as well as birds and even insects,” said Polly Brown.

Others who commented, like Eric Meitner, feel feral cats pose a problem for the community.

“We have a serious problem with cats in the Riverside area, they need to be removed and put down,” said Meitner.

Johnson explained the reasoning behind the survey.

“The Animal Services Advisory Board has as sub committee that is studying trap, neuter and release and the viability of implementing that in the Wichita community,” said Johnson.

Right now, Johnson says, the city ordinance says abandoned or feral cats found within the city limits are declared a nuisance.

“Because harboring cats isn’t legal and basically what that is feeding cats outside, that become a real nuisance,” said Johnson.

Johnson is hopeful that community members will continue to voice their thoughts and opinions on feral cats.

“My hope is that we can get enough data that the board can make a sound recommendation either way,” said Johnson.

Johnson is hopeful there will be enough data collected by the time the Animal Services Advisory Board meets next.

The board, made up of eight people appointed by the Mayor and city council, is slated to meet on April 12th.

The ultimate decision on whether a change in the current city ordinance would be made would be up to the city council.


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