Feral Cat FAQ
Feral cats are cats that people typically can’t touch (not tame). They usually live outdoors in groups known as feral colonies. Many kind people feed feral cats but it is also important to get them spayed or neutered since they will reproduce and their numbers will grow quickly. The most humane method is called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) since the cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered and then returned to where they were living. The following is information for those who want to help feral cats in our community:
Where can I find low-cost spay/neuter for feral cats?
1. SAAC Feral Cat Coupon Program, $10 per cat or free for colonies covered by Sacramento County Department of Animal Care and Regulation (unincorporated areas of Sacramento County including Galt and Isleton). Apply online.
2. Sunday clinics at SSPCA (1st and 3rd Sundays), $15 per cat.
- Sign up with Coalition for Community Cats at www.coalition4cats.org (click on “Clinics”) or via Sacramento SPCA at email@example.com or (916) 504-2818
3. Vouchers from Coalition for Community Cats, $15 per cat (2 clinic options)
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Sacramento SPCA, weekday walk-ins, $45 (female or $30 (male)
- Limit one cat per person with no appointment; drop off between 7:15-8 a.m.
5. Other low-cost spay/neuter resources for feral cats.
Where can I get advice on how to trap the cats and how the TNR process works?
The Community Cats Program is composed of several “work teams” that have been trained to assist residents with trapping, transport, education, and resources.
Where can I get traps to catch the cats?
•Sac SPCA loans traps (at no fee) with an $80 deposit - http://www.sspca.org/program-services/feralcommunity-cat-program/trap-loan-program/
•Western Feed Stores, $3 per day (plus $65 refundable deposit)
• Bradshaw Feed & Pet Supplies, $3 per day (plus $75 refundable deposit)
• Yolo County Animal Services Shelter, $3 per day ($68 refundable deposit)
• More information about renting or buying traps
Where can I get assistance to help trap the cats?
There is no agency or group in the Sacramento area that routinely provides trapping assistance. However, the following are some ways to ask for help:
• The Community Cats Program is composed of several “work teams” that have been trained to assist residents with trapping, transport, education, and resources.
• SAAC has an e-mail list serve with about 300 animal rescuers and advocates as subscribers, including feral cat caregivers. You can subscribe to this list, and then ask for help and advice by sending an email to email@example.com.
• Coalition for Community Cats is a network of Sacramento area feral cat caregivers and also has an email discussion group. To subscribe to their list and ask for help and advice, go to their Web site.
• For assistance with mass trapping in the Sacramento area, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I get advice on feral cats and the TNR process?
•SAAC’s Web site has information about feral cats and trapping tips.
• For assistance with low-cost food for ferals, contact email@example.com.
What should I do with any kittens I find in a feral colony?
If feral kittens are found and caught young enough, they can usually be tamed and socialized. Get information on socializing feral kittens on the following Web sites:
Finding homes for kittens from a feral colony
• Ask family, friends and co-workers if they are looking to adopt a kitten. Sacramento area shelters and rescue groups are already struggling to find homes for the numerous cats and kittens they take in so this may be the best option.
- If you adopt out the kittens, make sure they are spayed and neutered. Low-cost spay/neuter resources for tame cats and kittens can be found on the SAAC Web site.
• Contact Sacramento area rescue groups directly.
• Read SAAC’s tips on finding a home for an animal.
• Take the kittens to a local animal shelter (although the kittens may be at risk of euthanasia depending on their condition and the number of cats already at the shelter)
What are the options for tame adult cats that I find in a feral colony?
• Sometimes a stray or lost tame cat will wander into a feral colony. Unfortunately, sometimes tame cats are also dumped in colonies by irresponsible individuals. This can be very stressful for the cats, since they are in an unknown environment and may not be accepted by the other cats. The best option is to find them a home. See above for suggestions on finding a home for a cat or a kitten from a feral colony.
Can I move the cats if the area is unsafe or people who don’t want them there?
• It is very difficult to relocate a feral colony. This involves finding a place that will accept them (usually a barn home) and going through the relocation process (which involves significant resources and time). And even with careful planning, there is no guarantee the cats will stay at their new home.
• It is always preferable to get the cats spayed and neutered and return them to where they were living (TNR). If feral cats are removed and taken to a shelter, they are almost always euthanized. And other cats will usually arrive to live in the area (this is known as the vacuum effect).