We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers for your convenience. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch and we’ll respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY CAT?
A community cat is a cat who has spent the entirety or majority of their life outside. You will also hear the term 'feral' cats, but a community cat does not have to be completely wild. Outdoor cats live in communities and often have feeders or caregivers who take care of them outside. Most community cats are not interested in being brought inside to be friends with humans; they will generally find this life unappealing. They like their life exactly as it is in their outdoor home!
WHY CAN'T YOU ADOPT OUT THE COMMUNITY CATS?
Cats who have had very little to no human interaction don't trust humans and don't thrive in a home environment. Being kept indoors is very stressful for them. They will either hide or show signs of aggression due to extreme fear and discomfort. High stress levels can also cause them to become ill. Therefore it is recommended that community cats are cared for in their outdoor home. While statistically outdoor cats do not live as long as indoor cats, these cats would not thrive in an indoor environment and therefore should not be kept inside. Occasionally there are friendly community cats, who were either dumped by previous owners or handled frequently by their feeder at a young age. These cats can be eligible for adoption.
WHY DO THE CATS GET AN EAR TIP?
An ear tip is an international sign a community cat has been spayed or neutered. When an ear tipped cat gets trapped, the trappers know to release them immediately. They do not need to stress the cat out by keeping them in the trap and transporting to an unnecessary appointment. Using microchip implantation as a way to distinguish if a community cat has been spayed/neutered is not recommended since it is oftentimes not possible to get close enough to scan them. In addition, not every trapper will microchip their community cats or have access to a microchip scanner. While a tattoo is effective for house pets, it is not helpful to a trapper who cannot handle the community cat.
CAN I ADOPT AN EAR TIPPED CAT?
Ear tipped cats who are friendly are eligible for adoption! The ear tip is a sign the cat was at one point living outdoors, but if the cat is friendly, they can be adopted out.
WHY NOT TAKE THE CATS TO THE SHELTER?
Most community cats are not considered adoptable due to behavior, so the shelter would be forced to euthanize. Even if the cat is friendly, 25% of friendly cats are euthanized in the shelter due to space. If they are healthy, their outdoor home is safer for them.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GETTING THEM SPAYED/NEUTERED?
The main goal for TNR is to reduce the overall cat population. By getting them fixed, you are taking away their ability to reproduce. This will result in a lower cat population, leading toward lower euthanasia rates. Spaying/neutering also benefits each cat's individual life by improving their overall health. Female cats who are spayed are less likely to develop certain cancers, Pyometra (infection of the uterus), and die during birth. Male cats who are neutered are less likely to engage in fights with other males which will prevent wounds, abscesses, and the likelihood of contracting FIV. In addition, fixing cats will benefit your community by reducing spraying odors and reducing cat mating/fighting sounds.