"If they're going to have a pet, I think they need to be responsible," Magaha said. "I don't blame anyone except for the people who own the animals."
Baltimore County's one public animal shelter, in Baldwin, takes in about 2,800 stray cats each year, said Dr. Gregory William Branch, county director of health and human services.
"Clearly, we have an issue with stray cats," Branch said.
The county department of animal control department doesn't track the numbers of calls it receives regarding strays.
Between June and October 23, the time that the county began tracking such data, the county euthanized 215 feral cats, according to Monique Lyle, public information officer for the county department of health and human services.
Beyond being a nuisance, the unwanted animals are a public health concern, Branch said.
"It is definitely a public health issue," Branch said. "Stray cats can increase the possibility of the human population being exposed to rabies."
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It can be contracted through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Cats, dogs, raccoons, skunks and livestock can carry the disease if they are not vaccinated. Rabid animals may display unusual behavior such as frothing at the mouth, aggression or convulsions.
Baltimore County Animal Services will spay or neuter dogs for $65 and cats for $50. The cost includes: a license, rabies immunization and microchip, said county information. Qualified military veterans who live in the county can get the service for 50 percent of the normal cost.
Microchipping involves putting a small chip between the animal's shoulder blades that acts as a tracking device, should an animal become lost or stolen. The process costs $25.
All adult cats adopted from the county shelter must be spayed or neutered before being adopted, said Amanda Knittle, public information officer for the county department of health and human services.
"These kittens in my yard now — they're all capable of getting pregnant again," Morris said. "If people would be more responsible, it would help the situation."