NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - It's no secret the rat population in New York City is out of control. But you may be surprised to learn the number of cats living on the streets is multiplying at alarming rates. Now some very dedicated New Yorkers are doing their best to make a dent in the population.
It's a Thursday afternoon and Courtney Chandel and Lisa Winters are spending their lunch hours trying to trap cats in a parking lot in the South Bronx. Together they make up the animal rescue team of Little Wanderers NYC. Little Wanderers specialize in what's known as "TNR" -- trap, neuter, return. It is a way to cut down on the number of kittens born by ensuring the cats aren't breeding but without euthanizing the animals. And that takes a lot of sacrifice.
We caught up with Lisa trying to trap a cat in Harlem on one of the coldest days of the year. This colony has only one cat left to get neutered so Lisa goes to work. All that work, and no cat ventured into the trap on that freezing cold day. And while trapping cats can be time consuming it can also be expensive.
The expenses can add up. After a cat is trapped and they can't bear to carry out the "return" part of TNR. This cat is currently living with Lisa. She is fostering it until she can find a permanent home.
And before you think this kid of work is only for "cat ladies" think again. Meet: Paul the Cat Guy. His real name is Paul Santell. He got the nick name because for the past few years he has been going around his Queens neighborhood trapping, neutering and rescuing hundreds of cats. It started with a few cats near his home. Now he spends up to 30 hours a week helping cats. And his car is always ready for rescue.
He says he has helped more than 400 cats and now he's known as "Paul the Cat Guy" on Facebook and Instagram. People reach out him for help with feral cats, and he uses it as a tool for fundraising and gathering supplies.
If you're wondering why the cat population is booming, well a female can get pregnant as young as 4 months old. And cats give birth after only nine weeks. And then those kittens have kittens and those kittens have kittens. And so on and so on.
If you want to learn more about TNR our how to help out any of these rescue groups, see: