Community cats are unowned stray or feral (unsocialized to humans) cats who live outdoors-often without a particular home or owner. A caretaker is a person who provides food, water, and shelters for community cats. Fixing the cats through trap-neuter-return (TNR) coupled with proper feeding, shelter and ongoing health monitoring stops the breeding of the cats, improves their lives and allows the colony to diminish over time. An unaltered cat is more likely to get injured in fights with other cats, spray to mark territory, and spread diseases while mating. TNR also prevents neighborhood frustration from the constant supply of kittens. A neighbor is more willing to have the cats around if there is an eventual end to the colony.
Community Cat Care Guidelines
1. Please provide adequate food and water for the cats on a daily basis. Feed cats in the morning if possible and do not leave food out overnight so as to not attract wildlife.
2. Make reasonable attempts to TNR ALL the cats in the colony including any newcomers. The
cats need to be fixed, eartipped, receive a rabies, and returned to where they were trapped.
An eartip indicates a cat has been fixed and vaccinated and belongs to a managed colony. It is
very important to maintain 100% sterilization in your colony. One unfixed male or female will
draw in cats from miles around and the cats will reproduce.
3. Provide adequate shelter for the cats in your colony if they do not have an established shelter area.
4. Make reasonable attempts to ensure that any community cat that is sick or injured receive prompt medical treatment.
5. Maintain medical records for all your cats, especially their rabies vaccine.
6. If you are able to, make an effort to tame any feral kittens, fix them, and place them up for adoption. Fixing them before adoption is imperative!
7. Be a good steward for the cats. Help cats and people co-exist by readily addressing or
educating others regarding the concerns or conflicts they may have about the cats. Help your
cats be a good neighbor. If you can, provide a litter box area on your property. Children’s play
sand in a corner of your yard makes a good place for the cats to potty. Neighbors do not like
their flower bed being used as a litter box and is a big complaint.
FERAL FACTS! There are an estimated 80 million free-roaming community cats living in the U.S. Less than 3% of those has been spayed or neutered. This is the reason for shelter overcrowding. About 72% of all cats and kittens that enter our nation’s shelter systems are euthanized because there are not enough homes for all of them or they are feral and unadoptable. TNR is the most cost effective, humane solution to dealing with community cats. A successful TNR effort will help our community control the cat population and decrease shelter euthanasia. THANK YOU for caring for these cats and being a part of the solution.
Cat shelter and feeding station ideas.