ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Neighbors in Elk Grove say one man is taking care of dozens of cats, and now the cats are taking over the neighborhood.

The problem has been happening for years. The cats are littering their lawns in this neighborhood with feces, leaving behind a lingering smell. After years of complaining to the city, and nothing is being done, some say they’re fed up.

Now some neighbors are trying to sell their homes and leave once and for all.

“It’s a bad smell, it’s disgusting, and I can’t play in my backyard,” said Kaitlyn Nguyen.

Nguyen says she’s lived with this cat problem off of Grasshopper Court for years. Now her family is moving to another neighborhood in town.

“Because the cats poop all over the place,’ she said. It’s something we saw first hand in their backyard, in places Kaitlyn and her sister would otherwise play.

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It’s the same story across the street for Ben Dang and his family. He calls it a “health concern” for his two young kids.

“I can’t stand it anymore, I lose patience,” he said.

Dang says his next-door neighbor has been feeding about 30 cats for five years. Some CBS13 saw outside and around the neighborhood.

CBS13 also saw someone picking up cat droppings throughout the neighborhood. Neighbors say the owner hires another person to do the dirty job.

“If you have that many cats, you create a problem for your neighbor,” Dang said.

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He says the cats eat the vegetables in his garden and the fish in his Koi pond. They also leave plenty of surprises behind.

“Even with a barrier, they go and poop everywhere,” he said.

CBS13 tried speaking with the homeowner, but he did not answer the door. Elk Grove Animal Control says keeping this many cats on your property is legal. They say this property owner is what’s called a ‘Feral Cat Colony Caretaker,’ a volunteer who traps cats and brings them to the city to get them spayed.

The city says you don’t need any registration or a license and the volunteers aren’t monitored.

It’s something neighbors aren’t happy to hear about.

Dang said, “we try to live freely but we can’t.”

There are several of these volunteers throughout the city. The city says the goal is to cut down on the feral cat population.