Cat Update

Cat Update

Thank you for your concern about the cats. Administration recognizes that more context, information, and sensitivity regarding the cat posts on social media would have mitigated the communication gap we are all experiencing. Thank you to everyone who has engaged with our staff respectfully and rationally. We owe you the courtesy to do the same and hope this statement clarifies any misinformation circulating on this platform and within the community.

First and foremost, the facts.

1. Cat #1 is resting comfortably in our heated pound and has food, water, bedding, and someone checking on them regularly. He is awaiting a vetrinary assessment. The owner of cat #2 claimed him on Thursday, March 21. The Town employees and Council care deeply about the health and well-being of animals; most of us are pet owners. Animal control is a difficult topic for everyone involved in this matter.*

2. Roaming and feral cats are a known concern in the Town of Gravelbourg, as they are in many small towns. Administration and members of Council receive consistent verbal and written concerns from residents regarding multiple outdoor cat feeding stations, property damage due to urination and spraying, the destruction of gardens from cat feces, and garbage scattering. The council discussed these concerns during the January and February council meetings.

3. The Town of Gravelbourg has an animal control bylaw consistent with those of surrounding municipalities. You may read the Bylaw in its entirety here:

4. The Town is not trapping cats. The cats in question were trapped by residents and relinquished to the Town. Once a cat is in Town custody and control, we have a responsibility to care for them humanely.

5. We contacted the nearest Humane Society who informed us that they do not accept animals outside their jurisdiction. Yes, the Town is aware of Gravelbourg TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) and provided a financial contribution and the in-kind use of Town traps to the program in 2023. Administration attempted contact with Gravelbourg TNR on several occasions but unfortunately received no response until this recent cat matter. We are happy to see the increased awareness of this program and its potential to address resident complaints about the growing cat population.

6. Regarding the orange cat impounded on March 19, Administration consulted with two local veterinarians, and both advised against releasing the cat without medical treatment as it may be contagious. One of the individuals who contacted us advised that the cat has looked sick for a long time. Now that the cat is in the care of the Town, we cannot simply release it without a veterinary assessment as it could pose a health threat to our domestic and stray cat population.

7. Many people are contacting the Town regarding the rehoming of the impounded cats. This is wonderful! We must wait at least 3 days before taking any action to give the possible owner the chance to claim their pet. We are also keeping a list of local farmers willing to take in unclaimed cats.

8. We recognize that residents who feed roaming, stray, and feral cats have an abundance of compassion and good intentions. Establishing feeding stations or leaving cat, dog, or human food outdoors attracts not only cats but also wild animals such as foxes, skunks, rats, mice, raccoons, and coyotes. Several residents have reported increased fox and coyote sightings.

9. Finally, we often turn off the comments on Facebook posts because social media is not a productive way to resolve or express concerns of a complex or emotional nature. The Town of Gravelbourg Facebook page is a communications platform used to inform the residents of local events, promote local tourism and business, share news of relevance to the community, inform residents of emergencies, and inform the public of bylaw enforcement. It is not an appropriate use of our time to regularly monitor and respond to Facebook comments and messages, many of which serve no purpose other than to stir up emotions and cloud rational thought. If you have a concern, suggestion, or matter you would like to communicate you are welcome to email Administration.

Finally, we thank you for your patience in this matter. Please understand that everyone in our organization is doing their best. We are your friends and neighbours, not a faceless corporation. We hope you will keep this in mind when commenting on this matter within the community and on social media.


*The statement was published orignially to the Town of Gravelbourg Facbook page on March 21.  2024. Infromation in italics updated on March 25. 2024.