Humane Society of Cascade County

Low-cost Spay and Neuter services for pet parents in need

community cats

What is a Community Cat?


No matter where you are, community cats probably live among you. Community cats are unowned cats who live outdoors in virtually every landscape on every continent where people live. Like pet cats, they belong to the domestic cat species (Felis catus). However, community cats, also called feral cats, are generally not socialized—or friendly—to people. 

They live full, healthy lives with their feline families (called colonies) in their outdoor homes. Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane, effective approach to community cats, and it helps them and the communities where they live.

Source: Alley Cat Allies

What is TNR?


TNR Helps Cats and the Community 

In a Trap-Neuter-Return program, community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal sign that a cat has been part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes. 

TNR helps community cats by relieving them of the stresses of mating and breeding, and protecting them from diseases. Communities benefit from TNR because it reduces and stabilizes community cat populations, saves tax-payers’ dollars, helps shelters focus on adoptions, and provides a humane and collaborative way to address concerns and coexist with cats. 

Learn more about Trap-Neuter-Return.

We LOVE Cats


Do you love cats, too? 

Have you been concerned when you see what you believe are un-owned, stray, or feral cats in your neighborhood? There are many ways YOU can help. 

We advocate TNR if the cat is feral (not socialized to humans). If a feral cat is taken to a shelter, it will not survive because it cannot be adopted.

You care about cats, but  may be concerned about the cost to provide TNR for one or several community cats. We will help with low-cost options. Just call us. Helping the cats is our number-one priority.

Humane Trapping


We have traps to loan. We can teach you how to use them effectively so that you can help get more cats fixed.

We don't typically do TNR in the dead of winter, because cats cannot be exposed to extreme temperatures post-surgery.

If you know of a community cat that has a severe medical issue or injury, trapping it so that it can receive veterinary care might be necessary. Call us to discuss the options.

 Learn more about Trap-Neuter-Return.

I Found a Kitten


Do you suspect a community cat has  a litter of kittens? Watch the momma cat and see where she goes. Cats are good at hiding their litters so they are safe. Outdoor kittens are best left with their mothers until they are weaned at about 8 weeks. For the kittens to become adoptable cats, you'll have the best chance to socialize them if rescued before they are 3 months old.

Read more about outdoor kittens and when you should or shouldn't try to rescue them on these Alley Cat Allies pages: Finding Kittens Outdoors, Socializing Kittens, Kitten Socialization Equipment

Provide Shelter


In our cold winter months, shelters for community cats make life more bearable in the most extreme weather. There are many resources for creating low-cost shelters yourself. 

Check out these suggestions from Alley Cat Allies:

Additionally, if you want something that looks nice and fits in with your landscape and home, there are options for that, too. 

Best Outdoor Cat Shelters

Other ways to support outdoor cats:

Help Outdoor Cats in Winter: Top 10 Tips