Giving all cats the best life possible

Population estimates vary widely, but outdoor cats are found in almost every neighborhood across the U.S. These cats include community cats—friendly stray or abandoned cats as well as feral (unsocialized) cats—and owned cats let outside to roam and reproduce. Tens of millions of unowned cats live outdoors and usually rely on people to provide them with food and shelter. Understanding the complex and emotional issues relating to outdoor cats is essential to combatting cat overpopulation and keeping cats and wildlife safe and healthy.

Misconceptions about outdoor cats

Cats roam outside in most neighborhoods in the United States. Some are pets whose owners let or put them outside, but many are community cats who may be feral or one-time pets now stray, lost or abandoned. The more we understand outdoor cats and the complicated issues related to them, the more effectively we can help them, reduce cat overpopulation and protect wildlife. 

Common ground for cats and wildlife

With determination, innovation and collaboration, cat-wildlife conflicts can be humanely resolved by implementing and sustaining effective programs. The ultimate goal is to dramatically and humanely reduce the number of cats outdoors, leading to much less risk and harm to the cats, no predation of birds and wildlife and the elimination of potential public health concerns and nuisance-related issues.

Outdoor Cats FAQ

Scared yellow dog left out in the rain and mud

For every animal saved, countless others are still suffering. By stepping up for them, you can create a future where animals no longer have to suffer in puppy mills, factory farms, testing labs or other heartbreaking situations. Start saving lives today!

Kathy Milani / The HSUS