Community Cats

Do you ever see cats outside where you live?

No matter where you are, community cats probably live among you. Community cats are unowned cats who live outdoors in virtually every landscape on every continent where people live. Like pet cats, they belong to the domestic cat species (Felis catus). Like humans, behaviors vary greatly among community cats. Some are more friendly than others. Cats who are unsocialized with humans are called feral cats. Feral cats will actively avoid humans but they are still part of our community. Community is where they live. Feral describes their behavior.

Community cats live full, healthy lives with their feline families (called colonies) in their outdoor homes. Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR for short, is the only humane, effective approach to control community cat populations.

Community Cats are at Home Outdoors

Cats living outdoors is nothing new. For most of their natural history, cats have lived outside alongside people. Evidence shows cats began living near people over 10,000 years ago, before the pyramids were built! It wasn’t until very recently, with the invention of kitty litter in the 1940s, that so many cats began living indoors only. Community cats are truly at home outdoors, just as countless cats have been for thousands of years.

Why are some cats FERAL?

Watch this short video to learn about feral cat behavior, why some cats are feral and how we can help community cats through Trap-Neuter-Return.

Trap-Neuter-Return Helps Cats and the Community

In a Trap-Neuter-Return (or TNR) program, community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal sign that a cat has been part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes. TNR helps community cats by relieving them of the stresses of mating and breeding, and protecting them from diseases. Communities benefit from TNR because it reduces and stabilizes community cat populations, saves tax-payers’ dollars, helps shelters focus on adoptions, and provides a humane and collaborative way to address concerns and coexist with cats.

TNR in New York City

New York City is truly the best city in the world. Even more so if you are a feral cat! We are so lucky to have an amazing TNR program in NYC. Learn more about TNR in NYC here.

For community cat "Stubby" in Flushing Queens, life is good after TNR.