MARQUETTE — In a town of 600 people, a population of more than 100 stray cats can be a little overwhelming.

"I mow in an area in town and there's always a bunch of cat crap. When I take the mower home and put it back in my garage, the mower doesn't smell very good," said Rusty Young, mayor of Marquette.

The stray cat population began to escalate around four months ago on the southeast side of town and has since grown to other parts as well.

The city has discussed implementing a trapping program, where residents can pay a small deposit to use one of the city’s live animal traps on their property. Strays caught would be relocated to interested farms in the area. Rumors then began to spread that the city was trapping and killing cats, which are false.

"The city doesn't have anything to do with it," Rusty noted. "We don't have the personnel to be doing that."

The city council will discuss the issue and possible solutions at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 at the city hall in Marquette during the public input session.

“If you have concerns about the cats, you better come to the meeting, otherwise don’t gripe. It might be an interesting night,” Young laughed.

This isn't the only time the city has seen issues with stray felines.

"There was cat trouble when I first moved to Marquette," Young said.

Young explained that residents are worried that indoor pet cats will also be caught and taken away if they are outside, but said they are only focusing on strays that will be relocated to farms.

"If they catch a cat with a collar on, we will let it go. If it doesn't have a collar on it, we have farmers that want cats," he said.

Young is also concerned with the high population of strays carrying diseases, as most of them haven't been vaccinated.

"If you keep them in town and you have one that's sick then you have a mess — cats carry a lot of diseases," Young added.

For more information, call the city offices at 785-546-2205.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.