MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The city of Minneapolis is trying to decide how to deal with the growing problem of stray and feral cats.

A city council committee discussed a plan on Wednesday to reduce the number of free-roaming felines. Currently, animal control officers try to catch them and then put them down.

But the proposed ordinance would enable trained volunteers to take strays in, and care for them until they can be neutered and vaccinated by a vet, and then released back into the area they were picked up.

The ordinance did end up passing in committee unanimously, and will be addressed by the full Minneapolis City Council in about two weeks.

“With male cats, the behavior changes — they won’t be as aggressive, won’t fight,” Pet Project Rescue’s Christine Hinrichs said. “With females, they won’t go into heat, which causes the fighting.”

The city council chambers were filled on Wednesday with people who love cats, but who have opposing views on how to handle the feral cat problem. Chris Smith said trapping, neutering and releasing isn’t humane for the cat.

“Many people fail to understand the hardships free-roaming cats have,” he said.

Ron Person said the population has dropped dramatically in his Inver Grove Heights neighborhood.

“It’s a miracle what has happened in the two years we have trapped and neutered,” he said.

Minneapolis animal control officers have killed about 2,500 stray and feral cats in the last two years alone.

Outside of Minneapolis, about eight other cities have a similar plan.