“If we support the cats in the homes they already have, there will be enough homes for them all.”

–­DR.­ KATE ­HURLEY

COMMUNITY

CATS

WHAT ARE COMMUNITY CATS?

Community cats include feral cats, stray and abandoned cats, and interdependent colonies of unowned, free-roaming cats. They occupy our porches, backyards, alleys, barns, and neighborhoods. Without a human address to call home, these “neighborhood cats” form colonies where food and shelter are available.

Feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned household pets. Raised without human contact, they avoid people. Because feral cats rarely learn to trust people, most do not make good pets. Even young feral kittens can be difficult to socialize for adoption, and are often ignored by pet rescue groups, or euthanized at animal control facilities.

The plight of feral cats has captured the hearts of animal lovers for many years, but only recently has a non-lethal option for their control become available. Called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), this humane and effective alternative involves spaying or neutering feral cats, then returning them to their colonies where they are looked after and fed by caretakers. This solution successfully decreases the population, reduces birth rates and improves the overall health of the colony. Performed on a large scale, the success of such programs is felt at animal shelters where fewer cats are admitted for euthanasia.

It Takes a Caring Community

Better Together Animal Alliances Community Cat program has been a vital part of our life-saving work and has proven to be an amazingly effective means to reduce intake numbers of cats entering the shelter. Shelters and animal welfare groups across the country are implementing community cat programs to great success. BTAA has joined that effort in addressing the cat population in our community humanely and effectively.

Our Community Cat Program exclusively deals with community cats that are brought to the shelter. Cats that have been trapped or found outside, do not have any identification (Microchip, collar, or ID tag), are of a healthy weight and good body condition are immediately scheduled for surgery, vaccinated, ear tipped and returned to the location in which they were found. Cats are notorious for their navigational skills; they have a much higher likelihood of finding their way back home if returned to the place in which they were found. If they are of a healthy weight and good body condition, it signifies that they have a good food source and capable of staying safe outdoors.

How to determine if a cat is an owned pet or is a community cat?

If a cat is found/trapped outside and DOES NOT have any identification (i.e., a collar, identification tag, or a microchip), BTAA categorizes it as a community cat. Behavior is not a determining factor, because, in a trap or shelter kennel, stress levels are high for any cat, owned/friendly or wild.

Find out about our Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program

Find out more about kittens: