"The feral cats aren't the problem," Lauren Whitson said. "It's the people who are feeding them."


DALLAS -- During the heat of the day, they hide in the shade and underneath trees, but at other times, they seem to be everywhere on the Katy Trail.

Seth Hale said he sometimes sees cats running around all over the popular paved pathway.

"I notice the cats in the morning and the evening time," he said.

Over the past year, the number of cats has grown... and so have complaints from joggers, bikers, and people walking their dogs. But this isn't a dog-people-versus-cat-people issue.

"The feral cats aren't the problem," Lauren Whitson said. "It's the people who are feeding them."

Whitson is the membership and marketing director for Friends of the Katy Trail. She showed News 8 where food containers for the cats are scattered. She said joggers worry about tripping on containers or trails of cat food that are often placed right on the pavement.

Then there's another problem: The cat food draws other critters — like possums and raccoons — out of the woods.

Last week, the organization posted signs asking people not to feed the feral cats. The group also teamed up with the Feral Friends Community Cat Alliance and Dallas Animal Services.

"Right now we are working to trap the cats," Whitson said. "Then we spay and neuter them, vaccinate them, and then release them back."

Whitson said so far they've spayed around 42 cats and re-released them back into the wild. She said the signs were also posted in hopes they might hear from some of the cat feeders and come to some sort of compromise.

"If we can actually get in touch with the people who are feeding the cats, then we could work out a schedule and get everyone on the same page and really put our plan into action," she said.

And then everyone can enjoy the trail without complaints.

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