Community Cats Need Our Community's Help
Outdoor community cats can be lost or abandoned pets that are friendly or cats born outside that are not socialized to humans (sometimes referred to as "feral" cats). Because they do not have owners, they need our community's help.
Together, we can get these cats sterilized and vaccinated to prevent their population from growing larger, to improve the quality of their lives, and to reduce or eliminate nuisance behaviors such as spraying, yowling and excessive noisemaking, and fighting.
We provide spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations to community cats for FREE.
We need your help in trapping these cats, bringing them to the clinic for surgery, and releasing them back to their outdoor homes!
What is TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most humane and effective method available to stop the overpopulation of community cats and to stop kittens from being born outside just to die a terrible death from disease, exposure or parasites.
HOW IT WORKS:
- A colony ( group of cats living outside together) is identified and targeted.
- The cats in the colony are trapped utilizing a humane, live-release trap.
- We rent traps for a $50 cash deposit, which you get back when the trap is returned.
For more information on TNR and a guide to TNR and Colony Care see Alley Cat Allies.
- The trapped cats are brought to UCAN for spay/neuter surgery and vaccines between 8 and 10 a.m. on Tuesday or Wednesday.
- The left ear of the cat is “tipped” - the universal sign that the cat has been sterilized. Ear-tipping is a safe and swift procedure done while the cat is sedated.
- The cats recover at UCAN from surgery overnight.
- The "fixed" and vaccinated cats are picked up at 7:30 a.m. the day after surgery and returned to their colony to live happier and healthier lives.
- Caregivers feed and care for the cat colony on an ongoing daily basis.
Rules for Trap/Neuter/Return of Community Cats
Please follow each of these rules, as they enable us to best care for cats and keep our staff safe.
- Feral and semi-feral cats MUST be brought in a Tru-Catch, Havahart or other humane trap for the safety of our staff. We DO NOT accept feral cats in carriers, cages, boxes, etc. Please do not use a racoon or small trap for cats - they do not give the cat enough room to safely recover in after surgery.
- If too many trapped cats are brought in on any day, we may need to hold the cat(s) over until the next day for surgery or not accept any more cats that day. Please look at our website or Facebook page before trapping cats to make sure we are accepting them that day.
- Only one cat per trap - no exceptions. It is not safe for two cats to be sedated or to recover from surgery in a trap together.
- If you have a financial hardship and cannot afford the trap rental fee, please let us know and we will help.
- Kittens must be 8 weeks old and weigh at least 2 pounds.
- Only two trapped cats per person per day.
- All trapped cats will be ear-tipped - no exceptions.
- All cats aged 3 months or older will be given a rabies vaccination.
- At no additional charge, trapped cats may be given antibiotics, subcutaneous fluids, tapeworm treatment, or other care recommended by our veterinarian at the time of surgery to help in their recovery and keep them healthy.
- We recommend providing cat shelters for outdoor cats when it is cold outside. While we shave as little as possible to still maintain a sterile surgical area, the cat will still have a shaved area and needs a warm place to recover. Use straw not hay for warmth.
- Pick-up time is 7:30 a.m. the morning after surgery unless you are bringing in more trapped cats that day. If so, pick-up is at 9 a.m. the morning after surgery.
If you choose to have a trapped cat tested for Felv/FIV and it tests positive, we will still perform spay or neuter surgery. There is no option to not have the surgery performed. We will not euthanize a cat solely because of a positive test result.
Please plan ahead for these dates that we will NOT be accepting trapped cats for surgery:
- July 4
- November 22
- December 26 and 27
If you have any questions regarding these regulations, please call before bringing in a cat.
Winter Community Cat Surgery Protocol
For their safety, we do not accept outdoor cats in traps for surgery if it is 35 degrees or below on the day you trap OR it is forecasted to be 35 degrees or below during the 2 – 3 days after surgery. We take the safety of all pets very seriously. If cats with shaved bellies recovering from surgery are put back outside in frigid temperatures, they can die of hypothermia or other complications. A cat's energy should go into recovery after surgery, not trying to stay warm.
The only exception is if you have a safe, heated environment in which the cat can recover for 2 - 3 days after surgery, where it will have access to food and water (i.e., a temperature-controlled garage, barn, basement, etc.).
To ensure cats have a safe and healthy recovery when trapping in cold weather, you should make sure they have a warm, dry shelter that they are using before trapping so they can stay warm during recovery. You can make or purchase shelters specifically designed for outdoor cats. Always use straw for warmth, not hay which soaks up moisture, becomes moldy and can cause allergic reactions in cats.
Thank you for helping community cats!
PLEASE do not leave traps unattended or out overnight. People may hurt the cats, steal the traps or the cats could overheat in the hot weather or freeze in the cold weather. To learn more about feral cats and proper trap-neuter-return procedures, visit the Alley Cat Allies website at alleycat.org
UCAN reserves the right to refuse to perform surgery on any cat that is determined by our veterinarians to be unfit for surgery or any cat brought in without compliance with these rules.