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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 with a focus on behavior.

  • Don’t push the panic button on toxoplasmosis

    Decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for pregnant women to hear that they needed to give up their pet cats to reduce their risk of contracting toxoplasmosis. More recently, detractors of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs have capitalized on the misunderstandings surrounding toxoplasmosis to foster opposition to community cat spay/neuter efforts. So whether you’re working the intake desk at your local shelter or operating a TNR program, you need to know the facts about this disease.

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  • 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. It offers proactive approaches and collaborative efforts that local communities can use to humanely reduce the unowned cat population.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Cats

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    Return-to-Field Handbook

    Return to field handbook cover

    A collaboration between the Humane Society of the United States, Neighborhood Cats and Alley Cat Advocates

    This Return-to-Field Handbook was developed as a practical guide to help shelter staff develop the processes and protocols needed to provide positive outcomes for healthy stray cats. Detailed chapters cover everything from how to gather important information at intake to managing returns and everything in between. Whether you are just starting out or looking for ways to improve your existing program, this handbook is for you!

    This complete handbook is also available for free download online.

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  • Guide

    Return-to-Field Handbook

    Modern animal sheltering has realized that our shelters are not necessarily the best place for cats, especially cats used to living outdoors. For most healthy impounded stray cats, sterilizing, vaccinating, ear-tipping and returning them to where they were found is a better tactic. This practice, known as return-to-field or shelter-neuter-return, is based on the idea that if these community cats were doing well before entering the shelter, they will do will if they are returned, finding food and support from people in that neighborhood.

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  • Guide

    What are animal shelters are doing to protect wildlife from cats?

    There are many things animal shelters, rescue groups and animal control agencies do to keep local wildlife safe from cats. Shelters may not even think of these actions as being helpful to wildlife, yet it is important to note the value in this work for a broad range of species.

    Here are some things local organizations may do to help both cats and wildlife:

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