The City of Youngstown is trying to lower the number of feral cats. 

At Thursday’s safety committee meeting, members discussed hiring a trap, neuter and release company to try and control the stray cat population. 

The unnamed company would travel around the city in a van and catch cats that roam the streets. A veterinarian would test, fix and release them back into the city. If the cats test positive for a disease committee members did not know exactly what would happen to the cats. The goal is to have the cats stop reproducing, eventually leading to less strays. 

However, the city has an ordinance that prohibits people from feeding stray cats - which prevents the company from coming.  

Members requested to change the language or repeal the ordinance for a short time to allow the company to come since it’s such a big issue.

“Particularly in certain neighborhoods it would be one house that feeds all the cats so the cat gathers at that one house. Those cats then become a nuisance for the entire neighborhood. One house there’s 30 cats, another house there's 50 cats,” Julius Oliver, 1st Ward Councilman for the City of Youngstown said. 

5th Ward Councilman Patrick Kelly did not know the exact cost of the company but said it could be around $10,000. Councilman Oliver said the funds to pay the group would not come out of the city’s general fund. 

The committee tabled the idea until the legal department advised them about changing the ordinance.