cat population in Dunedin is booming and the Dunedin City
Council needs to help before the situation becomes
uncontrollable, SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie
The shelter was under-resourced to deal with expanding cat
numbers in Dunedin.
The population boom was a mix of domestic, abandoned and
feral cats, she said.
She had approached the council and it had not acted on her
plea for help.
''This is a massive problem and no-one will help.''
The council needed to support the organisations trying to
tackle issue, she said.
''One organisation is not going to be able to do it on their
own and it's only going to get worse and the cat population
is going to grow and grow.''
SPCA Otago animal manager Grace Hepburn said she wanted a
Dunedin City Council bylaw restricting the number of cats a
person could have.
Otago SPCA inspectors were called last week to trap and
remove 20 cats from a Dunedin woman, Ms Hepburn said.
The woman had not given the cats any attention so they were
not used to people, she said.
The shelter was looking for volunteers to come to the shelter
to spend time with the ''scared'' cats to try to make them
''They're nice and they're not going to hurt anyone but they
need that human interaction.''
Ms McSkimming said 20 cats was a small number compared with
some cases reported to the shelter.
A Hampden man called the shelter recently panicking he could
not control his growing clowder of 40 cats.
Council environmental health manager Ros MacGill said there
were no council bylaws relating to cats and no bylaw was
But if a cat was deemed a ''health nuisance'' the council
could take action under the Health Act.