Oakland Coliseum under ‘cat invasion’ as A’s begin 2022 season

Fans take to the field to watch fireworks following the game of the Oakland A‘s against the B ...

OAKLAND, Calif. — As the Oakland Athletics continue their quest for a new ballpark in either Las Vegas or the Bay Area, some felines are making themselves right at home at RingCentral Coliseum.

Dozens of feral cats have taken to the Coliseum, current home of the A’s and former stomping grounds of the Raiders. The takeover by the cats was enough to be included in last week’s Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority board meeting, under the agenda topic “cats invasion.”

The agenda background for the item stated the cat population had exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic began and that the “kittens are running wild.”

The growing population of Coliseum cats isn’t a bad thing, according to Henry Gardner, Coliseum Authority board executive director. Although they pose their own issues, the felines are eradicating another known nuisance at the East Oakland ballpark: rats.

“We need to celebrate and honor these cats,” Gardner said during Friday’s meeting. “While they have created somewhat of a nuisance for us, they have done a superior job of getting rid of all the rodents… Our feral cats have been working very hard and have been very successful.”

The authority board is working with area officials and animal control to figure out a humane way to address the cat issue. One option to have adoption drives for the kittens; the adult feral cats are already set in their behaviors, making them not the best candidates for adoption. The A’s have offered to help the board with any adoption initiative.

“If there is any communication that we can share during games, please let us know,” said Colette Lucas-Conwell, senior coordinator, operations for the A’s. “As long as the cats are adoptable, we’re happy to work with the JPA (Coliseum Authority) and local non-profits to host some kind of Coliseum kittens adoption drive.”

For the adult cats who aren’t ideal adoption candidates, officials would look to spay and neuter those to keep the population in check. Additionally, crews at the coliseum will look to keep dumpster areas more secure to keep the cats out of the garbage.

“We think we can get this under control,” Gardner said. “We can live with the cats. They do good work, but we need to deactivate some of them. We don’t need quite as many as we’ve got on duty right now. Early in the morning we sometimes find them sitting in the go-carts, in the driver’s seat, like they’re ready to go on rodent patrol.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.