Staley said simply rounding up or killing all the wild cats in an area won't reduce the population, because new cats will just move in. Trap, neuter and release programs can help manage populations, she said.
Staley said the animal shelter gets three kinds of cats. Domestic cats usually can be adopted. Truly feral cats have no chance of adoption and are typically neutered and returned to the wild. And, Staley said, there are large numbers of semi-wild cats that live outside and aren't socialized, making them hard to adopt.
Staley tries to farm those cats out to rescue groups or, as a last resort, neuter them and return them to the wild.
Not everybody likes cats prowling around their homes, even sterile ones. So, Staley said, shelter staff also should be able to talk to the public about ways to keep cats away from houses and yards. Keeping cats away also was to be discussed at Monday's workshop.
"Cats hate orange peels," Staley said. "They hate coffee grounds, so if you put some in your mulch, it should keep the cats away."
Staley said inexpensive ultrasonic devices also are sold and put in place to discourage cats from entering yards. "If it hurts their ears every time they come in your yard, after a few times, they're not going to come in your yard," she said.
The Kanawha/Charleston Animal Shelter is one of five shelter organizations around the country to win a $5,000 grant from Alley Cat Allies and the help of consultants to help with trap, neuter and release programs. More workshops are planned in the future for shelter staff and the public.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.