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Connecticut's Cities Have A Pandemic Stray Cat Problem

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Courtesy: Stacey Attenberg
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Volunteers caring for animals say the pandemic has greatly increased the number of stray cats in cities like New Haven.

“The numbers this year are off the charts as far as the amount of cats outside,” said Stacey Attenberg, who spends four hours a day tending to strays and feral cats.

Attenberg learned how to humanely trap and care for feral cats 10 years ago while volunteering for a nonprofit. She said that since the start of COVID-19, she’s devoted more of her time to the cause. She now takes care of 10 colonies of cats, feeding them and digging out shelters when it snows.

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Credit Courtesy: Stacey Attenberg
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Stacey Attenberg with her feral cat shelters

“I think what’s going on with COVID, people that have ... good intentions bringing cats indoors but didn’t spay and neuter and end up with these crazy populations in their houses, otherwise known as hoarding,” said Attenberg. “They don’t have the financial means to feed them properly, take care them and get them vetted.”

Attenberg said nonprofits and donations help feed the cats she’s caring for. She said a longer-term solution would be to provide pet owners with more information about low-cost ways to get their animals spayed and neutered. 

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