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Managing community cats

Tools, training and information to help reduce cat populations and nuisances, improve welfare, further public health and safety and mitigate the real impact of cats on wildlife

“Community cats” are typically un-owned or semi-owned cats, comprised of both strays (lost and abandoned former pets who may be suitable for home environments) and ferals (extremely fearful of people and not welcoming of human attention, making them unsuitable for home environments), who are the offspring of other feral or stray cats. Some community cats can be considered loosely owned, meaning that concerned residents feed them and may provide some form of shelter in their own homes or on their own property, but do not always identify the cats as their own personal pets.

The issue of managing community cats can create unnecessary conflict. Dissent often arises among neighbors; between cat advocates and wildlife advocates; and among animal care and control leaders, local government leaders, and their constituents. Here you'll find support to get ahead of that conflict, increase TNR efforts, collaborate with wildlife conservationists and more.

  • Managing Community Cats: A Guide for Municipal Leaders: Focused on what local leaders want and need to know, this guide offers an in-depth look at community cat management programs and addresses proactive approaches and collaborative efforts in local communities to humanely reduce the unowned cat population.
  • Where to Find Help for Community Cats—Add Yourself to the ListTo make it easier for you to help community cats, we have compiled a comprehensive list of resources, including community cat organizations, shelters, rescue groups, veterinary clinics and spay/neuter clinics. Find a group near you, or add a new group to the list.
  • Supporting Community Cat Webinar Series: This series of 20 + webinars will take you from a community cat novice to expert, offering tips, tricks, and strategies to help you boost effectiveness.  Everything from targeted TNR to colony care to grassroots mobilization is covered, to help you best address the needs of the community cats in your neighborhood and beyond.
  • Trap-Neuter-Return: How to Manage a Community Cat Colony, Online Course: Brought to you by experts from Neighborhood Cats and The Humane Society of the United States, this self-paced course is geared towards caregivers and folks new to the world of humane cat management. Through our multimedia platform, you can transform your knowledge of TNR from zero to hero at your own pace an in your own home! 
  • Cats and public health: Learn the real scoop on zoonotic diseases that cats can transfer to people, and why public health departments across the country and supporting and engaging in the conversation on trap/neuter/return programs.