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Feral and Community Cats


A community cat refers to a cat that lives outdoors, is unowned and free-roaming and may be feral or friendly. Colony cats that survive kittenhood have an average lifespan of 2 years without a caretaker, though they may live up to 10 years if a caretaker is present.

Ear-Tipping is essential to colony cats as it is the most widely accepted way of marking a fixed and cared for community cat. Ear-tipping is the humane method of surgically removing the tip of the left ear by a veterinarian at time of their spay/neuter surgery.


How to Help if You Find a Cat Outside    Most cats are best left where they are.  Cats wandering outside are usually not far from their homes and are unlikely to be lost. Research shows that cats are over 13 times more likely to be reunited with their owners if left in place rather than taken to a shelter. A cat that looks healthy with good body condition and coat is very rarely lost. We might not know where that cat lives, but good body condition tells us the cat likely knows where home is. A cat that is not injured, ill or in imminent danger is unlikely to need assistance.  Click here for more information.


I Found a Kitten – Now What?  When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to jump in and help. Thankfully, human intervention is typically not required. If the kittens are not ill, injured, or in immediate danger, the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Mother cats may leave their litters for several hours while looking for food or avoiding humans. Mom will likely return shortly, and it’s critical that the kittens remain in her care as she offers the best chance for their survival.  Click here for more information.



Resources for Community Caretakers:

Top Ten Tips for Caring for Ferals in the Winter


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