Our area has a cat overpopulation problem.
We’ve been working hard on our Feral Cat Program for more than two decades now and have substantially reduced the feral cat population on the Peninsula. We need your help to keep cat populations in check; it doesn’t take long at all to undo all that hard work!
Feral Cat Program
SPCHS endorses Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies.
TNR is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies, and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives.
TNR also involves a colony caretaker who provides food and adequate shelter and monitors the cats’ health. TNR has been shown to be the least costly, as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.
Through TNR, feral cats can live out their lives without adding to the homeless cat population. Feral cats are prolific reproducers. Kittens as young as nine weeks can be spayed/neutered. Nursing females can be spayed when their kittens are eating solid food. If a feral cat survives kittenhood, his average lifespan is less than two years if living on his own. If a cat is lucky enough to be in a colony that has a caretaker, he may reach 10 years.
After being spayed or neutered, cats living in colonies tend to gain weight and live healthier lives. Spayed cats are less likely to develop breast cancer and will not be at risk for ovarian or uterine cancer, while neutered males will not get testicular cancer. By neutering male cats, you also reduce the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a natural instinct to fight with other cats. Spaying also means female cats do not go into heat. That means they attract fewer tom cats to the area, reducing fighting.
Feral cat traps are available at the SPCHS Shelter for a refundable deposit of $20. Check out a trap and give us a call when you’ve captured a cat. We’ll help arrange for it to be altered at Oceanside Animal Clinic for only $7.50 (thanks, sponsors!) and you can then release it where you caught it. Studies show this is the most effective way to control cat populations.
We have a few volunteers willing to help with capture; please give us a call if you have a feral in your neighborhood and need help keeping its number to one.
If you are interested in being a caretaker of a feral colony, please contact Shelter Manager Sara Tokarz: 360-642-1180 or by email.
- Feral Cat Care and TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return): A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Feral Cats
- Alley Cat Allies
- Northwest Spay Neuter Center