Caring for Community Cats

I have a stray/feral cat on my property. What should I do?

First, you will want to take note if the cat is healthy. Additionally, look for a tipped-ear or a collar. If a cat has either of these and it appears healthy, this cat is being cared for and should be left alone.

Second, if the cat is not causing a nuisance* and it appears healthy, it is best to leave the cat alone, or if you think it needs spayed/neutered, rent a trap from the shelter and check out our spay/neuter resource pages.

Ultimately, if a cat seems safe and healthy, the best option is to get it spayed/neutered and return it to where you found it. The shelter should be the absolute last resort for any animal.

*if a cat is causing a nuisance, contact the shelter to discuss mitigation practices. The vast majority of the time, once a cat is spayed/neutered, nuisance behavior will stop.

Stray/Feral cat causing a nuisance

Majority of the time, if an outdoor cat is causing any kind of nuisance (e.g. spraying, yowling, fighting other cats, urinating/defecating on your property, etc.) it is because they are not spayed or neutered.

Most outdoor cats are being cared for by someone in the community. Unfortunately, if spaying and neutering is not part of that care, more cats will continue to populate the location, causing more problems and possibly spread disease.

Bringing stray/feral cats to the shelter does not solve the problem. It, instead, creates a vacuum effect that encourages more cats to move into the area and continue breeding. Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return is the best way to mitigate these issues.

If you are still having nuisance problems once the cats have been altered, there are several other deterrents available to help prevent cats from coming onto your property. Take a look at this video here to learn more about effective deterrents.

For more information, please click here to view resources from the Best Friends Animal Society.