Yass Valley Cat Rescue is selling calendars to raise funds and awareness about Yass’ stray cat problem.

The charity began early last year and recently became officially incorporated allowing residents to report stray cats so they can be trapped, neutered, domesticated and eventually adopted.

Unbeknownst to some, Yass has a large stray cat problem that only seems to become bigger the more you dive into it.

There are several colonies throughout the town such as the creek area in Miles Franklin Park and Nicholls Drive in South Yass.

Yass Cat Rescue volunteer Karen Visser said the group wanted to find a way to both raise awareness and engage with people who were already involved with cat rescues or had fostered a cat.

“The main goal was fundraising, but we thought we would like to do fundraising in a way that also acknowledged people that had aided us that year.”

The calendars can be purchased at the Yass Bookstore on Comur Street, or you can send a message through to Yass Valley Cat Rescue’s Facebook Page.

Karen said the group can’t keep up with the demand. One of the group’s volunteers lives near the creek that runs through Miles Franklin Park and for years she has taken cats on from the area and had some desexed and rehomed.

“Now that the organisation has grown, we’re trying to help her do more of that,” Karen said.

“She’s currently got between 10 or 13 kittens in care around her place and various mothers that she’s trying to domesticate as well.”

Karen said the group needs to take in both adult cats and kittens to stop the breeding cycle.

Yass Cat Rescue has already trapped several cats at Nicholls Drive but locals have reported more stray cats in the area.

“There’s more that we just don’t have space for at the moment,” Karen said. “We just have too many kittens in care.”

The organisation also accepts surrendered cats if people’s circumstances change, and they can no longer care for their pet.

If you would like to report a stray cat or are interested in adopting or fostering, then send a message to the Yass Valley Cat Rescue Facebook Page.

The group often doesn’t have the capacity to take on more strays but instead they can lend a microchip reader to check the cat is indeed a stray, a trap so the people themselves can take the cat to the vet, or a cage to contain kittens so they don’t wander into the bush again.

“We have to take the attitude that every case that we manage is a good thing and that we’re making a difference.”

“Hopefully we’ll grow, we’ll get more funding and we will be able to do more.”

Karen said even people who don’t like cats are interested in the organisations work because they are trying to reduce feral cats and the impact on the environment.

“We’re trying to send a message about responsible pet ownership because it all comes down to people,” she said. “If people were responsible, we wouldn’t have this problem.”

By Brianna O’Rourke