Giving all community cats—feral, friendly and in-between—the best life possible

Outdoor cats are found in nearly every neighborhood in the U.S. Some are owned pets allowed to roam outside, some are lost pets whose owners are searching for them and some are “community cats,” who live outdoors and don’t have a clear owner. Whether you’re trying to help the cats in your neighborhood or looking for ways to keep cats out of your yard or away from your bird feeder, it’s important to understand the issues surrounding outdoor cats and the various ways their lives intersect with ours.

Outdoor Cats FAQ

Finding help for community cats

In recent years, many municipalities have adopted trap-neuter-return  as their official approach to managing outdoor cat populations, reducing complaints and threats to wildlife, and halting the flow of cats and kittens into shelters.

The number of nonprofits that facilitate TNR has likewise grown. Many animal shelters and rescue organizations now have programs to facilitate spay/neuter for community cats, and some also provide other forms of assistance, such as finding homes for young kittens, enlisting volunteers to build winter cat shelters or providing cat food to caregivers. Workshops and webinars teach laypeople the basics, while websites, social media groups and listservs provide advice on everything from advanced trapping techniques to caretaking for outdoor cats

To find help for community cats in your region, check with your local animal shelter or search online. If TNR assistance isn’t available in your community, you may still be able to find veterinarians who are willing to provide low-cost services for community cats. Some programs that help people care for their pets will also provide help for community cats. In other words, it’s never been easier to help your community’s cats! 

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