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There is a growing population of feral cats in the Chelan Valley, and a group of people have gotten together to work on the problem. The Chelan Valley Feral Cat Project is headed by April Leaf:

Leaf says they work with a veterinarian, who spays and neuters, as well as dealing with vaccines, rabies shots, deworming, ear infections, dental work, stitching work, and more. There's a difference between feral and stray cats; feral cats are not socialized to people and are happy living outdoors, where a stray cat is socialized to people. Leaf says she's hearing from a lot of people in the area about cats in their neighborhoods:

While it's difficult for humans to catch diseases from feral cats since they don't often come in physical contact, because feral cats can carry diseases, worms and fleas, it is possible for them to pass infections on to your domesticated pets. What's more, they can spread diseases to wild sheep and goat populations; some cats contain a parasite protozoa:

Leaf is looking for volunteers and donations, she'll be at the Chelan farmer's market that opens today at Riverwalk Park; another donation location is the Village Vet on Okanogan Street. If you want to help out or find out more, there's a Facebook page, Chelan Valley Feral Cat Project. You can also email,