BC SPCA begins process of taking in 200+ cats from Houston property

The BC SPCA says it has started to take in some of the more than 200 cats and kittens that have been living at a northern Interior home.

The societys says it’s found a property to triage the felines, after it received a call for help from the owner in Houston earlier this month.

“The intake of this large number of cats requires a multi-phase approach,” said Eileen Drever, senior officer, protection and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA.

“We will begin bringing in the remaining cats to the triage centre for assessment beginning sometime next week once we have all of the necessary supplies in place.”

A mother cat nurses several kittens. The cats were living at a property in Houston, B.C., with more than 200 other felines.
A mother cat nurses several kittens. The cats were living at a property in Houston, B.C., with more than 200 other felines. (Courtesy BC SPCA)

On March 22, the SPCA reported the owner told the organization people had been dumping cats on his property for the last several years.

Drever said the man started with just two cats a few years ago, with that number rapidly growing.

She told CityNews the owner has been taking care of cats but has since become extremely overwhelmed by the volume, noting he recently lost his job.

In total, it’s estimated he had over 280 cats and kittens.

“The socialization window for cats is three to seven weeks,” explained Kim Monteith, the BC SPCA’s manager of animal welfare.

“It is so important to provide kittens with good experiences during this time and to introduce them to handling, different people, as well as other animals and objects.”

Many of the older cats have missed the socialization period, Monteith says, adding, “this is where our work begins.”

“We get them physically healthy and at the same time help them to learn to trust people,” she explained. “Strangers are scary, living indoors with sounds like the TV, vacuum, and other things will also be scary for them.”

Despite the sheer number on the man’s property, Drever previously said, “this fella has been taking good care of the cats, well, as best as he can.”

“He wants what’s best for the cats,” she added.

It’s unclear how much it’ll cost for the SPCA to care for the cats and kittens. They are expected to be in the society’s care for at least 30 days, with the newborn kittens staying longer.

On March 22, the organization put out a call for help to find a space big enough to allow volunteers to triage the animals. The SPCA says “many businesses in Prince George” stepped up to offer assistance in the wake of that plea.

-With files from Maria Vinca

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