Seeing outoor cats in your neighborhood? Outdoor cats fall into one of three categories:
Download: Identifying Stray Cats; Identifying Fixed Pets (PDF)
Here are the basic things to know if you plan to bring community cats to Humane Ohio for spay/neuter this year:
Again, all trappers need to schedule appointments ahead of time and bring cats only on days they have an appointment. Do NOT trap cats to bring in until you have an appointment set up and it is within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment.
Animal care and safety is our number one priority, and taking in unlimited numbers of cats does not allow us to provide a safe, comfortable place for the cats or provide the diligent care we pride ourselves on. Please be understanding of the rules so that we can continue to serve as many cats as possible.
If the cat is friendly, take him to a veterinarian to scan for a microchip and try to find the owner in case he's a lost pet. If no owner is found, try to place the cat in a home by using social media and reaching out to friends, family and co-workers. You can also try to place the cat with a rescue group, although most groups work from a waiting list.
Feral cats are generally euthanized when taken to a shelter because they are not considered adoptable. Many animal shelters lack volunteers and resources to bottle-feed and socialize kittens, making them at high risk for euthanasia, too.
If you cannot find a home or a rescue group for the friendly cat and must leave him outside, or if the cat is feral, the most effective and humane approach is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).
The safest place for pet cats is indoors, but the only environment suitable for feral cats is outside.
Trap-Neuter-Return humanely reduces the number of outdoor community cats by preventing new litters. Cats are trapped, spayed/neutered, ear-tipped and returned to the area where they were found. Cats are territorial animals and form strong bonds with the location they call home. Humane Ohio does NOT recommend relocation; it should only be done under extreme circumstances when the cats' lives are in danger. Moving a colony of feral cats - and convincing them to stay - is a complex process.
Ear-tipping is a visual way to identify outdoor community cats that have been spayed or neutered. It's a standard practice used nationwide.
Removing or killing cats doesn't work. When you remove cats from their outdoor homes, new cats on the outskirts will move in because whatever drew the cats there originally has not changed (garbage cans, dumpsters, shelter). We've received calls from communities asking us for help after they removed cats and saw the numbers return after a year.
Humane Ohio takes the lead locally helping people care for outdoor community cats. We provide low-cost spay/neuter; lend traps; sell cat shelters, have useful Fact Sheets on our website and offer humane solutions to people who don't like cats.
Humane Ohio community cat life saving is supported by the Petco Foundation.