The city of Minneapolis is considering a new way of dealing with stray cats.
Later this spring, City Council Member Cam Gordon will introduce an ordinance allowing the cats to be sterilized rather than euthanized.
Gordon said killing feral cats has proved ineffective in controlling their population.
"But if you return them, sterilized, into the environment, the colony can't grow any larger, because there's a limited number of cats that live in these colonies," Gordon said. "And then they ... also can't reproduce. So over the generations, this is actually a way to eliminate the feral cats problem as well."
Gordon said feral cats cannot be adopted because they fear and attack humans.
In 2012, Minneapolis Animal Care & Control euthanized 270 cats it deemed unsuitable for adoption. Many were feral.
St. Paul passed an ordinance in 2007 allowing feral cats to be sterilized and released. It still has to euthanize hundreds of stray cats every year.
The St. Paul sterilizations are handled by independent groups, an approach Minneapolis is considering as well.