Community Cats - Living with them in peace.
Like all animals, community cats will make their home in a place that they can find food and shelter, which is usually with or around people. Don't want them in your yard? Don't call animal control! There are ways around that! Want them to stay? There's ways for that too! The best thing that you could do to help the cats in your neighborhood is a process called Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR for short.
Community cats are usually feral, meaning they are not socialized enough and are not adoptable. Because of this, an animal shelter is NOT where they should be. Just about 100% of feral cats and kittens brought into shelters are euthanized every day. It's not fair to be killed for being scared, is it? Please don't do that to them.
Instead, TNR the cats in your community, or contact and TNR group or rescue for help! TNR will ensure that each cat in your neighborhood is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, then returned to their outdoor comfort zone. Hissy kittens and friendly adults will usually be put into a foster home for full socialization, then off to adoption! Healthy, feral adult cats will be returned to their colony and taken care of by a colony feeder. TNR is the best thing to do. There are no more kittens. Colony populations decrease over time and the cats are more healthy. Behaviors related to stress, such as yowling and fighting, will stop.
Animal control has one approach when dealing with feral community cats - catch and kill. This approach will not free an area of cats for long...in fact, it can cause more cats to show up! Catch and kill, as well as attempts to relocate cats, is cruel and inhumane and will create what's called The Vacuum Effect. When cats form a colony, they become one big, not always happy family. So when cats are removed from their colony, new cats will take advantage of the supplies and resources and will move in to the empty spot and breed. This is how new colonies are formed. So, TNR is the best and most humane way to deal with your community cats.
Some people do not want community cats around their home because of how some behave. Here are some solutions to a few unwanted cat behaviors:
Cats getting in your trash. - Cats are scavengers, so it is in their nature to search for food wherever they can. If there is no food made available for them, they will look for food anywhere and everywhere. Here are some solutions:
I keep finding paw prints on my car. - Cats are born to be hunters and for hundreds of years, love to be up on high ground. This is because they can get a better view of their prey while remaining unseen. They are happier in high places. Here are ways to help with this:
Easy! When a cat is properly TNR'd, they will have what's called an ear tip.
This is when the tip of the community cats' ear is cut to let others know that this cat is already altered so that the cat will not get re-trapped and taken to the vet. This would add unnecessary additional stress to the cat which can cause health issues for cats.
If you are going to TNR your neighborhood cats, don't forget to get them ear tipped and vaccinated!
How do I know if a cat is already spayed or neutered?
Cats are good for your community!
The Little Lion
Let's take a minute to talk about community cats. Don't know what that is? Let me explain...
A community cat is any unowned cat or kitten that lives outdoors. Yes, some cats in your neighborhood may be owned by an irresponsible pet parent who lets their kitty go outside to 'explore', but most of the outdoor cat you see when out and about are not owned by anyone. Many cat colonies are made up of these unclaimed fur babies, including feral cats, lost and abandoned cats.
the little lion foundation