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community cats

trap – neuter – return

Statistics show that Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)  efforts are much more successful at reducing outdoor cat populations than simply removing/relocating these cats. TNR involves trapping outdoor cats, spaying/neutering them, vaccinating them, and returning them to the territories they know. Programs like this ensure that outdoor cats are not spreading diseases, are not able to reproduce and contribute to the overpopulation of cats.

commonly asked questions

what is a community cat?

Community cats are cats who live outside for a majority of their lives and are not owned by a person. (They’re often referred to as feral cats, stray cats, or outdoor cats, as well.) This is usually because they have not been socialized to humans and prefer to keep their distance from people. They can sometimes be friendly but often have a preference of living outside. These are cats that would likely not do well in a home environment, therefore their best option is to live outdoors where someone can provide a shelter and regular feeding. These cats are usually identified by an ear tip, which indicates to other people that the cat has already been spayed or neutered and is performed at the time of the surgery.

why can’t we remove them?

Community cats are generally found where there are resources (such as someone feeding them) and end up adapting and bonding to their territories. They know where the food is and where the best places to sleep and hide are, so moving these cats is incredibly stressful for them. Additionally, removing them simply makes room for new cats to move in and claim the resources. TNR ensures that these cats will defend their territories and make it less likely that new cats will come in and begin breeding.

Harming community cats is a crime. If you think a community cat is in danger, please contact the Mayor’s Action Center.

how can I help them?

  • Provide daily food and water
  • Provide insulated shelters in the winter
  • Get them TNR’d: contact Indy Neighborhood Cats to request help!
  • If you are interested in adopting an outdoor cat or working cat for your barn, warehouse, or farm, please fill out an application for the working cat program at Indianapolis Animal Care Services.

what kind of shelters can I provide?

There are many options for providing shelters! Visit the Alley Cat Allies website for examples. Contact Indy Neighborhood Cats to request a shelter.

how do I keep community cats out of my yard?

There are some helpful tips on the Alley Cat Allies website – check it out here!

what should I do if my neighbors are hurting community cats?

Report animal cruelty to the Mayor’s Action Center.

there is an injured community cat in my neighborhood – what do I do?

For urgent situations, contact non-emergency police at 317-327-3811 to dispatch Animal Control.

what should I do if I find kittens?

First, wait! Moms often leave their kittens in search of food. If mom doesn’t return after 8 hours or the kittens appear unhealthy, then you can contact our foster team. Read more details here!