A HORSHAM ranger believes the rural city is battling a cat problem with more than a dozen cats being cared for by the pound and foster families.
Relieving ranger Wayne Lane said despite rehousing 27 cats between October and December last year, the pound was overwhelmed by the number being surrendered.
He said the number of cats surrendered in that three-month period was more than half of that amount in the 2011-12 financial year.
"It is a big problem and it is a problem that everyone has to battle," he said.
"There is a multitude of excuses for people surrendering cats; they can't have it in the house they are going to, they can't afford to feed it, they have bitten something and the list goes on.
"Not enough people think through getting a pet because they look at a kitten or puppy and think it is the most wonderful thing but the animals grow up."
Mr Lane said stray cats also caused problems within the municipality and posed a threat to wildlife, particularly birds.
"Cats just breed and breed so the more desexed animals we can get out there the better it will be," he said.
"The trouble with a lot of people is that if there is a cat hanging around they will feed it which is not the answer.
"We always have problems with diseases and cat bites are particularly nasty."
Horsham People for Animal Welfare president Lydia Ward said healthy cats faced death if they could not be rehoused.
"The high number of cats has put a lot of pressure on our foster carers," she said.
"We think that if people are really animal lovers and if they could see the end result of unwanted litters they would understand the importance of desexing their cat.
"When the pound is full of cats despite a very high adoption rate, I would say that we have definitely got an over-population problem."
Mrs Ward said cats for adoption were at Petstock and Horsham Veterinary Hospital.
"If people don't want to meet a cat at the pound, they can go to these less daunting environments to see cats and kittens," she said.