OLEAN – The city has a cat problem, and it is not one that just the new contract with the Cattaraugus County SPCA can fix, according to a couple of aldermen at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Olean Common Council.

Ward 6 Alderman Nate Smith said the SPCA has done a good job in the past with problems stemming from cats and other animals roaming the neighborhoods of the city, but there is a larger problem that needs to be addressed, a problem that seems drives to the very cause of the situation.

“People feed (the cats),” he said. “People, at least in my ward, and I am sure in others as well, feed these cats on their porches. Doing this not only attracts feral cats, but also raccoons and skunks. If you are going to feed cats, please feed them indoors.”

Ward 5 Alderman James Finch agreed with Smith’s assessment and said it is something that the city has to get more strict on.

The new contract with the county SPCA is reduced from the previous two-year term to a single-year contract. Mayor Linda Witte said the contract added some safeguards to lend a bit of transparency to the procedures in the agency.

“There will be more of a paper trail and more documentation,” Witte said. “When a complaint is made, the SPCA and the city will both receive copies and will keep them on file. This way, we are able to see what is going on at all times.”

Smith said the job the SPCA does is a hard one, but it is even more difficult to do when, say, an individual on a street feed cats and “owns a cat factory.”

“Quit feeding them, and it will reduce the problem,” he said.

In other business, the members of the Council voted unanimously to enter into a contract with Cattaraugus County for mosquito spraying. “This is a larvicidal spraying,” Witte said. “We haven’t had to spray in two years. This year, we may need it. The wet weather is making it more and more likely.”