Nearly 10 years ago, Community Cats of Hamilton County, an organization that addresses the problem of free-roaming cats, was created.
Community Cats of Hamilton County, created in 2014 and established as a nonprofit in 2019, catches and neuters feral cats and then releases them. The organization responds to feral cats in local areas via its Facebook page. Cats are neutered at Spay Neuter Clinic on Pleasant Street in Noblesville.
Funded through donations, Community Cats of Hamilton County has 20 volunteers who help with trapping. The organization also provides food and water for certain colonies of cats.
Celeste Brodnik is the organization’s board president. Lynn Potosky is a member of the nonprofit. Brodnik said feral cats are a people problem, not a cat problem.
“(The public) let their cats go,” she said. “They give away free cats without fixing them, and then someone takes them and then they don’t want them, or they live in an apartment, they can’t have them and they just throw them outside. Then they reproduce and you have generations of cats that just keep reproducing.”
In Noblesville, Brodnik said feral cats are most prevalent downtown.
“People don’t understand the commitment when you (get a cat),” she said. “It’s a 20-year commitment and you’ve got to provide and take care of that cat. That’s why ‘free kittens’ is the worst thing in the world. Nothing is free about a free kitten. It’s going to cost you hundreds of dollars to get it fixed and vaccinated, and if you get it from the Humane Society or (a) rescue, they do all that for you for a lot cheaper.”
Potosky and Brodnik said raising awareness for the problem is an important step in solving it.
“There needs to be a bigger push on education, just generally animal welfare,” Potosky said. “We need to be treating and caring for animals better than they (are treated) and they’re not just a disposable thing.”
For more, visit facebook.com/communitycatshc/.