The ASPCA uses the term "community cats" to encompass any unowned cat. Included under this umbrella are feral cats, those who have been lost or abandoned, and cats who might receive food and intermittent care from one or more residents in a community. Feral cats are cats who are too poorly socialized to be placed as a typical pet.
The ASPCA supports the management of community cat colonies primarily through TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) and scanning for the presence of a microchip, vaccination, sterilization, ear tipping and, when feasible, microchipping.
Shelter & Rescue Group Resources
Download: The Special S/N Needs of Community Cats
This beautifully illustrated, full-color guide covers everything you need to know about spaying and neutering community cats – from trap handling through exams, ear tipping, surgery, tattooing, recovery and release.
Webinar: Infection Control in Home-Based Programs
Discover a systematic approach to infection control that focuses on keeping animals healthy, especially in home-based operations and foster care.
Forms & Samples: Feral Cat Room Sign
A sample sign you can use to label your feral cat room and explain it to visitors.
Tips: Housing Feral Cats Separately
A separate housing area in your shelter will benefit both the ferals and other cats in your care.
How To: How to Teach Community TNR Workshops
These training materials include a workbook, workshop script, slideshow and videos to give you the tools you need to implement – or improve – this humane and effective practice.
Tips: How to Talk TNR
These four tips can help you win over TNR resisters, whether they are pet lovers or not.
Webinar: High Quality, High Volume Spay/Neuter
This webinar recording provides recommendations and implementation tips related to preoperative care, anesthesia, surgery and postoperative care.
Webinar: Starting a TNR Program in Your Community
This provides a basic overview of trap-neuter-return, along with examples of different program models.
How-to: Mass Trapping for Feral Cats
New York City caregivers trap and alter an entire colony at one time to achieve the highest impact on the population.
How-to: A Mobile Clinic for Feral Cats
The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon's mobile hospital provides s/n and veterinary care in seven counties.
How-to: Voucher Program for Feral Cat Sterilizations
Operation Catnip has local vets perform feral cat sterilizations in their clinics for a greatly reduced fee.
How-to: Creating a Community Program to Manage Feral and Free-Roaming Cats
Read how a volunteer networks provides the tools individual caregivers need to help their colonies.
Forms & Samples: ASPCA TNR Postcard
A sample postcard you can customize to help educate your community about TNR.
Forms & Samples: Criteria for Hosting a Spay/Neuter Event
A sample sheet you can use to document criteria and requirements for a community hosting a spay/neuter clinic.
Tips: Caring for Ferals in Winter
Top 10 tips to help get your colonies through the cold months.
How-to: Urban Kitty Housing
Volunteers construct housing for various cat colonies coping with a harsh winter.