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Surrey's feral cat-astrophe

An explosion in the population of feral cats in Surrey is reaching cat-astrophic proportions.

As many as 34,000 may be running wild in the Lower Mainland city, according to the Surrey Community Cat Coalition. And it warns that number will grow as kitten season approaches this spring.

“With more people, comes more cats,” coalition manager Lubna Ekramoddoullah told CTV. “There’s also a lack of pet-friendly housing so as people are moving into these places, they’re abandoning their cats on the street.”

Volunteers have begun trapping the cats, spaying or neutering them, and releasing them again, but say they are facing a massive task and need the city’s help.

Bylaw business operations manager Kim Marosevich said the city needs a plan before it can commit funding.

“We need to know what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, and then we can talk about paying for it,” Marosevich told CTV.

The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association has already tackled a similar problem in Vancouver and Burnaby. It says there are now fewer than 200 feral cats there, compared to "thousands" six years ago.

The coalition says cat owners must be encouraged to spay or neuter their pets to help solve the problem.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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