WHAT ARE COMMUNITY CATS?
Community cats live among us occupying our porches, backyards, alleys, barns, and neighborhoods. They live solo and in various sized groups with varied levels of human interaction and sociability. Without a human address to call home, these “neighborhood cats” live comfortably where food and shelter are available.
Truly feral cats are raised without human contact and they avoid people. Because feral cats rarely learn to trust people, they do not make good pets. Even young feral kittens can be difficult to socialize for adoption, and are often euthanized at animal service facilities.
The plight of community cats has captured the hearts of animal lovers for many years, but only recently has a non-lethal option for their management become available. Called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), this humane and effective alternative involves spaying or neutering community cats, then returning them to their “homes” where they are looked after and fed by a caretaker. This solution successfully stabilizes the population, reduces birth rates and improves the overall health of the cats. Performed on a large scale, the success of such programs is felt at animal shelters where fewer cats are admitted for euthanasia and fewer nuisance calls are received, both indicators that TNR supports neighborhoods where cats live healthy lives successfully cohabitating with people.
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: