Want to welcome a cuddly kitten into your home?

The effort to control farrow cats in Newton has produced a cluster of kittens eligible for foster homes, Angie Martin told Newton City Council members during its July 21 meeting. In addition, the effort to trap and sterilize mature cats has produced some feline adoptions. Of course, not all farrow cats make good pets.

"Not every animal can be rehomed," Martin cautioned. She said a partnership with area veterinarian clinics has produced spa or neutering for 240 cats so far in the community over the past year, which could put a brake on the cat population boom.

When first proposed last year, the farrow cat program was mistaken for a cat killing program. Martin said a year later, the community is accepting of the effort since it is a humane way to control the cat population.

Newton Mayor Mark Bolander mentioned the issue of residents feeding the stray cats that adds to the cat count. Martin said leaving out a bowls or food or water is reasonable but dumping out piles of food in yards produces a double-edged problem. For one, it turns stray cats away from killing or chasing away rodents, and the overabundance of food outside can draw wild animals, including vermin.

Another problem adding to the cat populations is dumping of unwanted cats in town. That produces more stray kittens and the farrow cat cycle continues with more meows in neighborhoods. Martin said that and other factors are why the farrow cat effort will continue in Newton.