TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)--The Tupelo-Lee Humane Society and North Mississippi Spay and Neuter Clinic are beginning a year-long effort to educate the public about programs for feral cats.
They look cute, cuddly, and ready to take home, but the furry felines are not about to become pets, according to the Humane Society.
"If you catch them young you can. But, these mature cats that have never been touched, it's not a good idea," said Kirk Shumpert of the clinic.
They are known as feral cats, animals that live in the wild in colonies.
According to experts, they breed often and can present a problem to homes and businesses.
"As animal control, we're constantly contacted to come trap these wild cats that have numbers of 70 to 80 in a colony," said Debbie Hood of the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society.
Feral cats like to hang out in a lot of different areas, but they particularly like huge dumpsters near businesses.
Officials warn that you should not try to pet them, because even the young can have aggressive dispositions.
That's one reason the clinic and the humane society offered a spay and neuter discount Tuesday in Tupelo at a reasonable price.
It's all part of National Feral Cat Day.
Their goal is to at least take care of 50 cats and return them to the wild.
"If you'll contact the shelter, contact Ms. Debbie at the shelter, or contact us up here. Our number is 210-7729 or 210-SPAY. We'll loan you a trap," said Shumpert. "You trap these guys, bring them in, and we'll spay or neuter them. We'll tip their ears so that you know they've been altered."
"They've lived outdoors their whole lives. They need to get spayed or neutered so they don't reproduce and go back outdoors. They will survive for ten years or so," said Hood.
Hood says the problem often comes from cat owners moving away and leaving the pets behind.