SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Animal control officers in Seaside Heights say a rise in the number of feral cats in the area is an unexpected side effect of Sandy.

As many as 80 homeless cats are living at the boardwalk in several colonies.

The number shot up after the storm when some were left behind to fend for themselves.

The Seaside Heights Animal Welfare Group is feeding them, but it just received a donation from a national animal group to pay to capture, spay and neuter the animals.

Ruth Drake, of Seaside Heights Animal Welfare Group, says the population increased because of unfixed domesticated cats left behind after Sandy. "They were not neutered or spayed,” she says. “So they were left behind and reproduced and so now we have a kitten explosion."