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Community Cats

Community cats are unowned cats that live outdoors in the community. They may be feral or friendly, may have been born into the wild, or may be lost or abandoned pets. Often people believe that if they see a cat outside – maybe even coming around for meals every day – they need help. Generally, they do not.

Community cats fall into different categories. Some are born in the wild and accustomed to that lifestyle. Some were once family pets, but for some reason, no longer have homes. Others, mistaken for community cats, are actually owned family pets with indoor-outdoor access and the freedom to roam and return to their homes. Unfortunately, when owned cats are captured and taken somewhere else, whether inside a home as a pet or to an animal shelter, it reduces their chances of being reunited with their family to less than 1%.

 

Our Community Cat program works to improve the lives of these cats and reduce the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, happy cats.  Our staff evaluates available community cats to decide if a cat is eligible for adoption as a Working Cat.  These cats love to spend their lives helping to control your barn, warehouse, corporate campus, plant nursery or other places with a rodent and pest population. All they ask in return is shelter, food, water, and care. Best of all, giving these cats jobs, saves the lives of homeless pets who otherwise would not be suitable for adoption!

TNR and Community Cats

It is estimated that 30 million to 80 million community cats live in the United States. Only 2% of these are spayed or neutered. This daunting number seems overwhelming to many people. Since the number of cats altered is so minuscule, the population grows and grows. One unspayed female can produce two to five kittens in a litter and can have a litter as quickly as every three or four months.

 

Merely removing cats from an area will not solve the problem. Removal creates “The Vacuum Effect.” When cats are removed, other community cats take up residence in the now empty space.  This is why the trap and euthanize or relocating methods will never result in fewer cats. 

 

The best solution is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) thus stopping the continuous cat population growth. TNR is a world-wide program where cats are humanely trapped, brought to a clinic to be spayed/neutered, ear tipped, given vaccinations, and returned to their original location where they can no longer reproduce. The ear tip is a small cut on the tip of the cat’s left ear, which is a universal sign that a cat has been spayed or neutered.

 

All people and animals benefit from TNR, and most agree TNR is for the greater good. By lessening the number of community cats, more cat lives are saved. This allows shelters to give more attention and space to domestic animals, which saves even more lives! Ultimately, with TNR, a neighborhood will eventually be free of what is often seen as a nuisance.

If you would like to learn how you can help community cats in your area, email us at shelter@vvapl.org or call us at (760) 247-2102.  We would love to guide you through the steps of TNR and help you save more kitty lives!