St. Edward’s Feral Cat Program currently in transitional period


Staff Writer

Students may have noticed a trap placed outside of the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center-South  building (JBWS) drains last week.  This trap, one of many, has been used various times to trap cats on campus.

These cats are born outside and have never known a home, besides the drains on campus. This group of kittens and their mother were first found over near Basil Moreau living in a drain, according to Physical Plant.

“We tried to catch them to have them rehabilitated, fixed and given any shots they may need,” Willi Chavez, grounds supervisor, said

What St. Edward’s University students and staff may not know though, is that St. Edward’s has had a feral cat program on campus for the last 17 years, according to Pam McGrew, a copy center employee and volunteer.  McGrew has been working with the program since it began.

The St. Edward’s Feral Cat Program is dedicated to “humanely reduce the number of homeless cats and kittens at St. Ed’s, and to improve the quality of life for the cats living on campus,” according to their pamphlet. 

The program does this by feeding, trapping, neutering or spaying and vaccinating cats and kittens on campus.

The domesticated cats or feral kittens are then socialized with humans and adopted out. Since 2004, the program has worked with over 112 cats and kittens and over 70 percent of them were adopted. The program was working with the Humane Society for discounted spaying and neutering programs, but the program does not always have volunteers with schedules that allow for this.

The program has been slowly falling off, including its amount of volunteers. McGrew is the last remaining volunteer to trap and release the cats on campus, while other volunteers help in different ways. 

“We have wonderful cat feeders that go and feed the remaining station,” McGrew said. 

But it is a difficult job for a limited amount of volunteers to handle.

“The sad fact is that we cannot help all the needy cats on campus—it is too large of a job,” according to the program’s pamphlet.

McGrew said that she is stepping away from the program after she finishes rehabilitating the last cat. 

There is an attempt to get the university to back the program and leave it in their hands. A proposal has not been finished yet, but is expected in the future.

Physical Plant was unsuccessful in catching the kittens in JBWS before the rainstorm last weekend; however, the cats have relocated themselves.