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Protect Cats

Cats still make up the majority of the animals euthanized in shelters, and of the 30-40 million community cats in the U.S., only about 2 percent are sterilized. We're promoting best practices and progressive strategies for supporting and managing community (feral and stray) cats, making shelter cats happier, and keeping cats in homes by a focus on behavior.

Spotlight > Protect Cats

Managing Community Cats: A Guide for Municipal Leaders

Endorsed by the International City/County Management Association, this guide is designed for community officials and outlines humane and effective solutions for managing populations of community cats.

Concisely focused on what local leaders want and need to know, this guide offers an in-depth look at community cat management programs, addresses proactive approaches and of collaborative efforts in local communities.

Read Managing Community Cats: A Guide for Municipal Leaders

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  • Guide

    Guide to Cat Behavior Counseling

    Photo by Deirdre Rusk/iStock

    Resolving cat behavior issues to keep cats in their homes

    Advising pet owners on cat behavior issues can mean the difference between a cat keeping or losing his home. The Guide to Cat Behavior Counseling was developed to help address pet homelessness at its roots — to keep more cats in their homes. This guide provides compehensive information, giving you the confidence to advise cat owners when they call prepared to give up their pet for a behavior issue.

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  • Blog Post

    Welcome to the New Animal Sheltering Online!

    We have the power to change our communities

    For decades, The HSUS and Animal Sheltering have worked hard to bring you the latest information, newest approaches, best practices and more from our field. With the launch of our newly improved site, animalsheltering.org, we’re thrilled to share a number of new features to help you in your quest to save lives and keep pets with their families. 

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  • Magazine Article

    Good Colonies Make Good Neighbors

    Trap-neuter-return, smart caretaking practices and proactive neighborhood diplomacy are key to helping community cats coexist peacefully with the people around them.

    With diplomacy and problem-solving skills, advocates can create a harmonious relationship between community cats and the people around them

    When she got the complaint that stray cats were “using the restroom” on the sidewalk in front of a church, Renee Clark was skeptical, but she drove over to study the droppings in question. “It was pretty obvious that the poop there wasn’t cat waste; it was probably raccoon,” says Clark, an environmental biologist and feline advocate in Staunton, Va.

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  • Magazine Article

    Tapping Into the Power of People

    By engaging the community in Tree House Humane Society’s TNR program, Jenny Schlueter (right) says she likes to “imagine cats bridging the divide between people.”

    An open, inclusive approach to community cat management spurs positive results

    Jenny Schlueter, a self-professed “cat lady,” is also a people-person. You know the type—always ready with a sunny smile and genuinely happy to meet someone new. If that description doesn’t fit you to a T, you’re not alone. But Schlueter’s experiences can help even the most introverted cat advocate see the benefits of engaging with people.

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  • Magazine Article

    Worth Every Scent

    In Kentucky, working cats Vincent and Van Gogh adjust to their new surroundings, during their holding period, in a dog crate that contains a feral den in which to hide.

    Working cats send rats packing

    Back in the late 1990s, Carl Jones, maintenance manager at the Los Angeles Flower Mart, frequently heard screams from vendors and customers. It usually meant they’d spotted rats, searching the aisles for tasty carnation seeds. Staff had tried for decades to get rid of the rats, but in 1999, after just two months, four cats succeeded where they had failed.

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  • Magazine Article

    Yes, In Our Backyard

    Nikki Holladay, a staff member with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, prepares food and water for the colony of feral cats who live on the shelter's grounds.

    Turning the NIMBY attitude on its head, some shelters care for feral cat colonies onsite

    A decade ago, Lisa Tudor, executive director of IndyFeral, never imagined that she’d one day be working with Indianapolis Animal Care & Control to help save the feral cats who live around the municipal shelter.

    Her nonprofit group “had been doing TNR in the city, and we knew that there had been cats on the [shelter’s] property forever,” says Tudor. “We had tried before [to get permission to TNR the cats], but it never went anywhere.”

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