Community Cat Program
Working towards making The Midlands a no-kill community.
What is a community cat?
Community Cat – A cat that is domesticated which lives indoors and outdoors (sometimes called free roaming) and/or a feral cat, which means a cat that is unsocialized or unaccustomed to human interaction. Domesticated cats referred to in this section may or may not be owned by a custodial party.
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
Trap-Neuter-Return, commonly referred to as “TNR”, is humane and is the most effective method for controlling the cat population growth.
TNR benefits the cats and the community. Using this technique, community cats living outside are trapped, neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped (the universal symbol for a
sterlized cat), and then returned to their outdoor home.
Why not trap and remove?
If you begin to trap and remove, other cats will move into the territory and will fill the space left behind by the removed cats. This is called the “Vacuum Effect.”
The new cats integrate into the area and produce more kittens. This leads to
renewed calls for trapping and removal and the cycle continues to repeat.
TNR stops the cycle!
Why should I TNR?
Whether you love or loathe community cats, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the answer to effectively reducing the number of these cats. TNR reduces most cat-related nuisances and is a benefit to public health and safety.
Who qualifies as a community cat?
Owned, unwanted, or abandoned cats living outdoors in Lexington County. The cat may be friendly or, in some cases, not socialized with people.
Kittens should weigh at least 2 pounds and be healthy enough to undergo spay/neuter surgery.
What should I do if I find kittens?
The best place for kittens younger than eight weeks old is with their mother, if at all possible.
Community kittens weighing at least 2 pounds should be trapped, spayed/
neutered, and returned to their home territory.
You can find friendly kittens loving homes after they are altered.
By helping community cats in need, you will be part of the solution to the
overpopulation crisis. You will also lessen the burden on overcrowded shelters and rescue groups.
What should I do if...?CATS ARE SLEEPING UNDER MY PORCH, SHED, ETC.
Reason: They are looking for a dry, warm shelter.
•Block open areas with lattice or chicken wire (be sure to search for anyone hiding first).
•Provide a shelter, like a small dog house, hidden away.
I SMELL CAT URINE
Reason: Tomcats spray to mark their territory.
•Practice TNR! Neutered cats have less of an urge to mark and their urine is less pungent.
•Spray problem areas with white vinegar or products like Natures Miracle, or Simple
Solution. Adding pinecones or large bark mulch to garden areas will also deter cats from spraying.
FEEDING CATS ATTRACTS WILDLIFE AND INSECTS
Reason: Food is left out too long or at inappropriate times.
•Keep the cat feeding area neat to avoid
•Feed cats once a day at a designated time and area. Remaining food should be taken in before twilight.
CATS ARE YOWLING, FIGHTING, AND HAVING KITTENS
Reason: Yowling and fighting are breeding behaviors. Cats that are not spayed/neutered breed frequently.
•Practice TNR! Spaying/neutering will reduce hormones causing these behaviors - male cats will stop competing and more kittens will not be born.
Advantages of TNR:
•It immediately stabilizes the size of the colony by eliminating new litters.
•The nuisance behavior often associated with feral cats is dramatically reduced; including the yowling and fighting that comes with mating activity and the odor of unneutered males spraying to mark their territory.
•The returned colony guards its territory, preventing unsterilized cats from moving in, reproducing, and problem behavior.
•Diminishing the number of kittens and cats flowing into local shelters. This results in
lower euthanasia rates and the increased adoption of cats already in the shelters.
Want to Help?
- Must be a cat enthusiast!
- Must be a Lexington County Resident
- Must be a good communicator
- Must be organized
- Must be patient
- Must be able to lift 25 + lbs
- Must have reliable transportation
American Bar Association Approved