'Humane approach' to dealing with thousands of stray cats

1:30 pm on 5 December 2017

Long-term thinking is needed to address problems caused by tens of thousands of stray cats roaming around Wellington, says a city councillor.

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Photo: ekarin/123RF

It is estimated between 10,000 and 30,000 stray cats live in Wellington, although the total number is not known.

The council is currently working on a new animal policy and public feedback will be discussed on Thursday.

Paul Gilberd, the chair of the environment subcommittee, said long-term plans - like owners microchipping and de-sexing their cats - were the best strategy.

He said re-homing strays was preferable to euthanising them, but hiring an animal control officer would help identify the scale of the problem.

"We are taking a humane approach. We don't believe in euthanasia and exterminating cats. We think cats should be respected and re-housed where possible.

"If we put somebody on the ground to do the hard work, we will get a much better feel for how many stray cats there are."

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