The stray cat population has brought the Florida animal overpopulation issue to the University of South Florida.
There are approximately 200,000 feral or stray cats in the Tampa area, according to Linda Hamilton, executive director of the Animal Coalition of Tampa.
No exact figures for the cat population on campus exist, but they are noticeable.
“I see them pretty often. It’s pretty sad that some people don’t spay or neuter their pets,” said Geoffrey Gray, a senior at USF.
Some cats are on campus due to owners abandoning them.
Feral cats are born in the wild or have lived in the wild for a long time without human contact. They often live in colonies in an area that has a food source, such as dumpsters. If not spayed or neutered, they can have several litters of kittens in one year.
In Florida, all adopted cats and dogs must be spayed or neutered. While feral cats are not adoptable, some feral have been spayed or neutered, which helps control the animal population.
The cats on the USF campus can be seen around Cooper Hall and the residence areas on the north side of campus.
“It’s unfortunate that they don’t have a place to live and it’d be cool if they started a program to take care of the cats on campus,” said Andie Cunniffe, senior at USF.