You may not have noticed while walking around campus, but there are a number of stray cats that make their homes here at ARC.
These cats are taken care of by The Kitty Committee, a subcommittee of the ARC Buildings, Grounds, and Safety Committee (BGS). The Kitty Committee was founded in March of 2013 as a way to control the stray cat population in and around ARC. These cats are the wild offspring of domesticated cats whose owners failed to spay or neuter them.
Once trapped and treated, all kittens are adopted out to animal shelters in the area. The adults are kept around, but are not adopted out because they are considered feral.
The cats kept here also have a responsibility to keep the rodent population in check, according to Preston Harris, Maintenance Supervisor at ARC. “ The cats do a good job of containing the rodent population,” said Harris “When I arrived here, there was an infestation of rodents in the warehouse (across form maintenance services) that is no longer there because of the cats,” continued Harris.
Harris said that the school could have called in an exterminator, but opted to use the cats, preferring to use a more natural solution. “It’s best for those creatures in nature to handle nature.”
According to their website, the committee “Uses the Trap-Neuter-Return method, cats are humanely trapped, tested for infectious diseases, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and returned to campus.”
Volunteers are responsible for feeding and monitoring the cats daily. “Any time we feed, we have to observe for new kittens. Any new ones have to be dealt with,” said Harris.
According to the Kitty Committee website, “Educating students and community about low cost spay/neuter and humane solutions to pet overpopulation benefits students by providing an environment free of diseased animals, and promotes campus and community awareness of pet overpopulation and humane treatment of animals.”
The cats are dispersed throughout the campus in hidden areas, and hide during the day, but come out at night. The Committee currently houses about seven cats, according to Harris.
The Kitty Committee is volunteer only, and relies on donations made by staff members, and is in need of cat food donations. If you can donate cat food, please email [email protected] or contact them by phone at 916-307-2261. If you would like your donations to be tax deductible, make checks payable to SaKrescue memo ARC Kitty Workforce.