Cats Still Hanging Around West U Apartments, Unaware of Redevelopment Plans

CATS STILL HANGING AROUND WEST U APARTMENTS, UNAWARE OF REDEVELOPMENT PLANS A group of 25 or so cats still hanging around the 2-and-a-half-acre grounds of the recently vacated Courts at West University apartments at 3810 Law St. have apparently not been informed of the 5-story Alexan West University complex set to go up on their old stomping grounds. An animal advocacy group concerned that the cats may get in the way when the existing buildings are demolished early next month has sounded the alarm, requesting donations and assistance in setting up a feeding station away from the demo site, as well as finding adoptive and foster homes for the uninformed animals. [West University Examiner; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Elmo at Courts of West University: Kathy Golding

50 Comment

  • F’ing feral cats. They’re all over my neighborhood in the Heights. Complained to my CityCouncilMan and BARC and got nothing but placations, and a notice that one of the feral cat hoarders had applied for ‘Colony Manager’, ie. she get to keep her collection of feral cats – feeding them so they don’t visit any of her neighbor’s yard. As if. I say start demoing this place, and pray some of the debris falls on their habitat.

  • Cats need to be on leashes. I might run for mayor on that ticket. The “Cats on leashes” ticket. I think its a winner.

  • The statements from the animal advocacy group shows they don’t know cats. A cat (even a domesticated house cat) can adapt to living in the wild pretty easily. They don’t need to be saved. If someone picks one up and takes care of it, so be it, but a cat is an independent resourceful animal.

  • Are you kidding me? Those are feral cats, as in wild. Vermin, just like rats. They should be exterminated. NOT encouraged to thrive and breed more.

  • Bubba, don’t you know what feral cats like to eat? Get rid of the feral cats and the rat population will increase.

  • They’ll move out of the way when the noise starts…if not…well…Darwin.

  • I have never really understood the feral cat problem, they avoid people, eat rats, mice, and Grackles. As long as they don’t howl all night what is the issue?

  • You folks are correct about the feral cats liking to eat the rats. Now, all that we need to do is find something that likes to eat feral people.

  • They bring fleas and ticks into my backyard (which are then transferred to my flea and tickless dogs), they hunt native (i.e. “good”) birds at my bird feeder, the males fight and howl at all hours of the night, AND they put muddy paw prints all over the top of my clean car.

    Feeding stations actually piss me off because it greatly increases the speed and efficacy at which they reproduce. They need to be removed from the ‘hood. Spay, neuter, adopt, shoot, whatever…get them outta here!

  • Joseph- The Non-native invasive feral cats kill and eat wild birds. The cats are not supposed to be in the food chain.

  • Roy,

    A cat fight on your fence at night is a disturbing thing to wake up to and of course they poop in the same spot (my yard) which means more feces to deal with (and prevent my dog from messing with). They kill songbirds as well as rats if they’re skilled at all. Other than that, I don’t care.

    I’d put them on par with raccoons as far as annoyance level. And a smashed raccoon is hardly something to shed a tear over.

  • bubba,

    I hear grizzlies love feral people.

  • If they team up with the racoons, we’re all in big trouble!

  • Dogs are far worse about carrying fleas than cats. And somehow I doubt your precious dog would EVER hunt down rats, mice, etc. And your dog likely ***ts all over your yard, your neighbors, etc, where as even a feral cat will bury it. Just because you love your stupid dogs doesn’t make them any worse than cats, need I remind of dog fighting, mail man biting, child mauling, all of which a cat would never do.

  • Sorry Corey, but the feral felines in my neighborhood don’t bury their own sh**, they back up and spray their stink on my bushes and the occasional item on my back deck, attempt to come in my house through my doggie door, eat the local birds, breed like rabbits, live under houses, and look like hell.

  • Is this really descending into a dog vs. cat battle to complete idiocy?

    The post isn’t about dogs vs. cats. It’s about an area with feral cats.

    In regards to domestication, domesticated cats should be indoors ONLY in urban areas. You can’t fence a cat and putting cats on a leash is dumb (although it can be done). Dogs on the other hand can be kept outdoors provided the place keeps them contained on the property. Outside of the property a leash is a must.

    Any dog or cat on your property that is no yours is fair game for termination. Having a pet is a responsibility, not a village wildlife project.

    I grew up in rural place where cats are allowed to roam because they don’t become a nuisance and can be beneficial. I can’t count how many snakes, mice, bluejays, and mockingbirds she killed over the years. Of these are pests and she was very helpful.

    Living in the city, I have a dog. A much easier urban dweller since they demand control and have no problem being leashed and dominated. You can’t dominate a cat.

  • @corey – Thanks for bringing this conversation down into a petty bitch fest about dogs vs. cats. I’m sure your passionate arguments will convince many like me to turn out our dogs and switch to cats as soon as we get home from work today.

    And for the record…my dogs do not carry fleas because I medicate them and spray my yard (like a responsible pet owner), which means any fleas that show up on them were brought in from somewhere else, like the many feral cats running around my hood. One of my dogs does kill rats – just got one last week, and a baby possum a few weeks before that. Also, my dogs do not bite and do not have the opportunity to because I keep them secured, unlike the feral cats running around. Plus, they are well adjusted, trained, and non-aggressive.

    This article and conversation has nothing to do with which type of pet is superior – rather it is about a problem in need of a solution – stray animals creating a nuisance and health issues.

  • This article and conversation has nothing to do with which type of pet is superior – rather it is about a problem in need of a solution – stray animals creating a nuisance and health issues.

    Indeed. Stop feeding stray animals. Promoting it only causes more problems. Whether its cats, dogs, mice, possums, turtles, mold, yeast, etc, its not the right solution.

  • Ah, feral cats. One of the most irritating aspects of urban living. We have a couple of well-meaning but ignorant neighbors who insist on feeding them, and for awhile, it was an absolute disaster. We had litters of kittens springing up every few weeks. They gave our dog fleas, crapped in our yard on a regular basis, killed song birds, got into noisy fights in the middle of the night, and worst of all, killed one of our neighbor’s cats. Our Montrose-area civic association is essentially powerless, but fortunately, the former president put my husband and me in touch with a neighbor who works in animal rescue. She has been able to catch nearly all the females and either had them spayed or euthanized. Spaying them isn’t the perfect solution, but if they’re spayed, then it keeps the tom cats away and thus helps control the population. So Corey and animal advocacy groups, for the love of God, DO NOT FEED FERAL CATS! They are wild cats and perfectly capable of sustaining themselves by roaming for prey. You only make the problem worse when you feed them.

  • All this hissing and barking, cats vs. dog, and not ONE comment from any of you proposing a solution to the problem at hand.

    The rescue groups feed the cats to gain their trust and eventually capture and spay/neuter them. They try to find them homes or foster care. They will also make a sincere attempt to find the mother cats with kittens and collect entire litters, sparing the littlest ones from an early demise from fire ants, heat or demolition teams. It doesn’t sound to me as if anyone is trying to keep a pack of feral cats in place, or bring them to YOUR yards.

  • This story is about West U so what our neighborhood has done may not apply.

    In the east end, BARC/SNAP has had an ongoing program for our zip code and one other whereby one weekend a month for at least the last year, SNAP will provide the cages, resident must catch the cats and transport them to a mobile facility where they are neutered. Free of charge. Resident then picks them up that afternoon, transports them back to the ‘hood (or wherever?) and releases and the cats no longer reproduce.

    We have had great success with this program. Sure, most of the cats are still around but the folks that want to feed them can continue doing so and those of us who don’t, are happy that there are no kittens. Some of the cats on our street have already disappeared, probably being killed by dogs.

    There is still the problem with the cat crap but the ones “we” have generally do their bidness in the yards of the feeders.

    Once the males are neutered, they no longer spray although they may still fight. They don’t howl nor do the females.

    Neutering does work for ferals. 77023 is proof. Contact SNAP to see about setting up a program.

  • Claire de Lune,

    The humane way of dealing with this is to euthanize the cats. It’s not just fact that they reproduce, but these cats are typically have diseases and aren’t necessarily homeless cats. They can be from long line of feral cats which brings then to the point of not being able to be pets again.

    There a point where feral cats are no different than large rats, racoons, etc. where elimination is necessary. They aren’t cute and cuddly and trainable again. They can also be a physical danger to small kids.

  • Claire,

    I posted a very good solution. Stop feeding wild animals.

  • After reading 80% of the posts on this thread, it may be the people that need neutering…Feral cats didn’t get here naturally. They got here because a certain % of HUMANS suck.

  • PYEWACKET: I got my male and female cats neutered and spayed at SNAP. They are a wonderful organization. Better to spay or neuter a cat and prevent unwanted kittens from being born than leaving the kittens to the elements without proper care.

    Like I said, I have two cats. Mine stay inside. They were strays that managed to work their way into our household. Once we brought them in, they stayed inside. Only time they leave the apartment is in the cat carrier for a trip to the vet. We do have feral cats where I live, and if I had the funds I would take them to SNAP and get them fixed and vaccinated.

  • Okay, I have been dealing with ferals for about 3 years, ever since moving to Hyde Park. They drive me nuts, but you can get the population reduced by spaying all the females. If you neuter or remove a male, another will come in. I still have problems with neighbors who don’t completely understand the gravity of the situation – ie, they mean well, but they don’t help. I have worked extensively with a neighborhood friend to help reduce the numbers and have been very successful. And for those who don’t think ferals are a problem: 1) They crap EVERYWHERE and are a potential source of disease. 2) Toms are aggressive towards our dog and us. 3) They kill songbirds, A LOT of them. 4) They get run over on a regular basis – perhaps Darwinism at work, but a potential serious accident waiting to happen for those trying to avoid hitting them, and a nasty mess in the street when they die. 5) They come into your yard and are aggressive to your cats who have every reasonable right to be in your yard. 6) They are a nuisance. Sure, kittens are cute, but they can have a litter of 4 in about a year. Guess how many cats can be produced in just 7 years from one pregnant female and her offspring? 370,000. Staggering. Of course, you aren’t realistically going to see those numbers, but you get the idea. If you can trap them – trap them humanely. Take them to the SPCA, or to BARC. If you can afford to get them spayed or neutered, do so and get them back in the same neighborhood. I know this sounds silly, but even if you got rid of 99% of a colony in your neighborhood, you will wind up with them being replaced. If you spay or neuter, it seems to stabilize. And trust me, doing that is easier than convincing some neighbors to help stop the cycle.

  • Oh, and as my wife Courtney commented – yes, even with extensive flea medication, our dog got fleas after being flea-free, killed at least one neighbor’s cat, and wake us up with terrifying fights from time to time. Feeding should only be done through Trained Colony Managers, people who just put out food attract more pests and more ferals, make trapping more difficult, and increase the population. PLEASE, if someone is trying to manage the colony, or if you see someone else putting out food – STOP putting out food yourself. I know you think you are helping. But you are not. If you really want to help, please try and trap/spay/neuter these cats. Please do so humanely. If you would rather not pay, you can always take them to BARC to release directly to them. But please, unless you are really working to manage a colony – STOP FEEDING THEM.

  • The City allows people to let their cats roam free outdoors but if your dog gets loose, isn’t microchipped or picked up in time, BARC will send him to the gas chamber. As long as there is a double standard for cats and dogs there will be a feral cat problem. Spay/neuter is very important. But cats should not be kept outside. It is too dangerous (cars, dogs, other cats, opossum, raccons, disease, fleas etc). But as long as municipalities let people do it, cats will get out, breed and become feral. Residents get cat poo in their container gardens and get woken up at 2 am for cat v opossum cage matches to see who gets to spend the night under the house.

  • C.L.”F’ing feral cats. They’re all over my neighborhood in the Heights. Complained to my CityCouncilMan and BARC and got nothing but placation”
    I’m curious what you expect the city to do about it? (honest question).

  • I’m so sick of this law being broken. There is a woman who drives in from Galveston into my Montrose neighborhood to feed the sidewalk crappers. Maybe I should go dump on her porch?

    “Houston, Texas – Code of Ordinances

    Article 1. Chapter 6. Animal and Fowl
    Sec. 6-22. – Congregations of unconfined and unlicensed stray cats and dogs.
    It shall be unlawful for any person intentionally to cause, suffer or permit the maintenance of an attractive environment for the assembly of a congregation of unconfined and unlicensed stray cats or dogs by the placement of dog food or cat food.”

  • I think the best comment was submitted by “doofus” I submitted this story because I thought people might actually read it instead of just giving their 2 cents on cats and dogs.

  • @Old School — the City of Houston ordinance regarding keeping your animals on leashes and cleaning up your animal’s feces from public/others’ property applies to cats as well as dogs. Most people apparently don’t know that.
    Also follow the links to where you will find the ordinance in its entirety.

  • I’m surprised no-one has brought up target practice yet…

    If these cats are truly a nuisance and are in the numbers that are being mentioned here, spaying an neutering is a long process that won’t take care of the problem.

    The city isn’t not going to EVER prioritize this. It’s just not a big issues politically.

    The true solution is the one no one will admit too but is used by some. Just kill the cats. It’s simple. If these were rats, that’s what our solution would be. Some how cats get the luxury of just getting spayed or neutered which doesn’t handle the disease or aggressive behavior towards domesticated pets. If these were wild dogs attacking kids, we would shoot them also.

    So get your cat’s chipped and tagged and the rest can get culled from the cities’ cat population.

  • The reason the city doesn’t treat feral cats and dogs the same is that feral dogs, or even dogs just not on leashes bite and attack people while cats generally avoid them. It is the same reason the city doesn’t round up Oppossums, or squirrels, or even the grackles that keep car washes in business.

  • @kjb, killing the cats outright might be a temporary solution, but if people keep putting out the food the problem will persist. Regardless, even though they are a nuisance, I can’t say I agree with this approach. I believe they should be humanely dealt with, and euthanized in a proper manner if necessary. A stabilized population (assuming one has already taken root) seems to be the best approach. Also, please be aware that killing them outright might also qualify as a crime… so please don’t.

  • @GoogleMaster,

    “Running at Large” only applies to owned animals. Ferals are not owned, per se, so nobody would typically be fined. Feeding them doesn’t necessarily qualify one for ownership. Also, the city has never come out to pick up stray cats to my knowledge, and I don’t think they will start now. If you trap them they will (via BARC); however, if they are just running free, they won’t.

  • Bruce I agree. I don’t expect grandpa to start shooting from the front porch at cats.

    You are right about the feeding. That is the BIGGEST contributor to the problem. The second step is spaying the females. You can leave the males alone.

  • @ Roy – please – leave the grackles out of this

  • kjb- The first step and only step should be to remove any and all feral cats by trapping to be euthanized. They aren’t supposed to be in the food chain, period. It’s a sad reality.

  • @ 36,kjb

    If you want to stop the stinky spraying, you need to neuter the males. Feral or not.

  • Kjb,

    Oh yes the natural food chain of the unspoilt wilderness just south of Westpark. I suspect cats have been part of that food chain as long as it has existed. Or are you interested in bring back coyotes, deer, bobcats, and bison? Being the cat lover you are, I am sure you also look forward to the occassional jaguar or cougar

    While I would certainly enjoy reverting West U to its natural state, I don’t see how it is possible. Honestly this is the stupidest argument I can imagine.

  • Roy,

    I said nothing about food chain…get your comment responses straight.

  • Funny how I see more stray dogs wandering the streets than I do cats, in north montrose most of the outdoor cats are people’s pets. And I’ve not once caught a cat and their dumb@ss owner taking a crap in my front yard. Yeah I agree male cats are annoying, and tend to piss on everything but sure beats being woken up by someone’s dog randomly barking whilst defecating on my front yard. Dog owners are control freaks who expect blind devotion from their pets, probably why they’re so domineering and not open to any frame of thought outside of their own. Dogs love everyone indiscriminately, sorry the thought of dog slobber, constant barking, and going outside to crap in someone’s yard doesn’t appeal to me one bit nor does your mindless rhetoric.

  • @Corey – this isn’t an argument about cats vs. dogs or cat people v dog people, except in the fact that you turned it into that argument. But it appears you really don’t understand the issue, nor are you willing to actually maintain any line of civility. If there were stray dogs wandering around, I’m pretty sure everyone posting here would want them taken care of too. Most civil people also clean up after their dog and try and keep them from barking. If that is an issue, then take it up with those people or the city. But calling all dog owners “control freaks” instead of actually addressing the issue seems to mean you don’t really want to discuss the problem.

  • LOL,

    Bruce, funny you mention dogs. There was a Swamplot post that blew up in to a long comment session like this one regarding dogs roaming around the Heights. I seem to remember that it really got going on the topic of shooting the stray dogs.

  • The topic of shooting the stray dogs gets a pass but talk of doing the same to some stray cats gets moderated?

  • From kjb434: “The second step is spaying the females. You can leave the males alone.” This feline-slut shaming has got to stop! Those male cats are just as responsible!

  • Duly noted and my apologies to anyone offended. Most cats you see around your neighborhood (depending where you live are people’s pets with collars, chips, etc). My point is that cat’s generally are not a nuisance and by comparison to dogs (more so their owners)are far more problematic.

  • Corey- Texas native wild birds would disagree with you. Cheers.

  • the amount of absolute ignorance on this thread is quite astounding. PYEWACKET’s one of the few who’s got it right. unless YOU have ever actually dealt with a feral colony, first hand, please stfu.

    (…and by “first hand” I mean capturing and spaying/neutering the entire feral colony on your own dollar… a colony that began by an irresponsible owner not spaying/neutering their “pet” in the first place.)