Animal Rescue League Seeing Increase In Stray Cats In Boston Area

Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Stray cats are starting to become a more common site in Boston, which is causing concerns for the rescue groups that are trying to help them.

The American Rescue League of Boston is one of those groups, and so far in 2022, it has taken in nearly 100 stray cats and kittens. Last year the ARL brought in nearly 900 cats, which was a 175 percent increase from the number in 2020.

Mike Defina of ARL Boston said the organization is preparing for another record-breaking year, after the mild weather in the fall and winter months may have thrown off when cats mate. He added they normally see more kittens being born from May through October, but this has not been the case.

"The cycle of homelessness among them is really why we're in the situation we're in today," Defina said.

The ARL estimates there are around 700,000 stray cats living in Massachusetts, 70,000 of which are just in Boston. In a statement, the ARL said while strays are often resilient, it is difficult for kittens born out in the wild.

"Kittens born outdoors are extremely vulnerable to fluctuating weather conditions, predators, illness, among others, and sadly many don’t survive," the statement reads.

The ARL is advising people all across the Commonwealth to keep their eyes open for strays, adding that they can be found in any place where a mother cat could keep her kittens warm like the area under decks, in basements, woodpiles, or doghouse.

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Anyone who sees a stray cat or kitten is urged to contact the ARL at 617-426-9170 to report their location. Once rescued, the ARL will provide veterinary care, including vaccinations and spay or neuter surgeries, and give a behavioral assessment to make sure the cats are able to be adopted. The ARL also urged those considering a new pet to adopt some of their rescues.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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