The Hawaiian Humane Society estimates there are at least 300,000 feral cats in Oahu alone.
Steve Geimer is among those who feed the feral cats at the Hawaii Kai Park-and-Ride. He said animal abandonment is one reason the cat population is growing.
“We had one person who was going to abandon four kittens and two pregnant cats. We were able to stop that, but we’re not down there all the time,” said Geimer.
Jennifer Kishimori, of the nonprofit group Cat Friends, sterilizes cat for free.
“Cat Friends does over 3,100 cats a year and it’s still not enough. The cat population grows so quickly, it’s hard to keep up,” said Kishimori.
Organizers said Saturday’s packed conference on feral cats is the first step toward creating a united effort to trap, neuter, return and manage the problem. It’s what the Hawaiian Humane Society said is the only humane solution to deal with the problem.
“This is a chance for animal lovers to come together and say, ‘Hey, what can we do together,’” said Jacque LaBlanc, communications director with the Hawaiian Humane Society.
According to the Humane Society, neighborhoods with the worst feral cat problem include Kalihi, Moanalua, Pearl Harbor and Salt Lake.
The organization said the only way to keep the cat problem under control will take a commitment from the community.
“That’s a huge commitment. It’s a commitment for the life of the colony and the life of the animal,” said LaBlanc.
Until the feral cat numbers drop, the Humane Society said it will likely hold more meetings in the future.