Shelters work to reduce feral cat overpopulation

One pair of cats and their subsequent litters can produce as many as 420,000 cats in the span of just seven years, according to some studies.

So Tanya Jordan figures if she can stop just 50 cats from breeding, she’ll make quite a dent in the overpopulation of feral cats on the streets of Clark County.

“The cats that we work with are either ferals or thrown away cats or what we refer to as ‘loosely owned,’” she said. “If we can get 50 cats (spayed) or neutered, that will make a huge difference in just one area of Springfield.”

His Hands Extended Sanctuary, a St. Paris-based non-profit where Jordan is executive director, along with CALICO TNR teamed up Friday to humanely trap cats in Springfield parks and neighborhoods as part of their spay/neuter and release program.

Volunteers set up traps stocked with foods in areas known to have strays. Then the animals were loaded into carriers and brought to the sanctuary, where staff veterinarians spayed and neutered them. A small clip is also put on their ears, known as “ear-tipping,” to indicate that the cats have been sterilized.

About 22 cats went through the program Friday, with additional cats coming in next week. Assistance from the sanctuary and its Facebook followers helped make it happen, Jordan said.

After a few days of medical care, the cats will be released where they were found. Jordan said it’s heart-breaking she can’t find homes for all of them.

“There’s just so many cats and so few homes that some of them have to go back. Cats are the No. 1 animal killed in the shelter simply because they’re such prolific breeders,” she said. “This makes a difference.”

Additional donations will allow CALICO to trap more cats this summer to be spayed and neutered. For more information on the programs, visit or

Every cat that goes through the program reduces the overpopulation problem, said CALICO co-founder Debra Smith.

“There’s things you can do. One person can make a difference. One cat can make a difference,” Smith said.