FREE and Further Reduced Fee Spay/Neuter Services available to those who qualify. To learn more, please see our Special Programs page. Free Animal Shuttle Service for pets being altered at our clinic now being added at locations near you! Find out more on our Animal Shuttle page.

Feral/Free-Roaming Cats

What is a feral/free-roaming cat?

Feral cats are cats that are unable to be handled and demonstrate unsocial behavior toward people. Free-roaming cats include lost, abandoned, loosely-owned and stray cats in addition to feral cats.

Why should we care about feral/free-roaming cats that aren’t pets?

People enjoy relationships with many types of wildlife, including animals that are not considered pets. Many people bond with free-roaming cats and find great satisfaction in helping them lead healthy lives. All feral/free-roaming cats originated from tame cats. The cats haven’t chosen their owners or their social skills. Feral cats can even benefit the local community by keeping rodent populations in check. Northwest Spay & Neuter Center believes that all cats, whether tame or feral/free-roaming, should receive spay or neuter surgery.

What services are available to feral/free-roaming cats at Northwest Spay & Neuter Center?

Northwest Spay & Neuter Center offers a special package for feral/free-roaming cats called “Project Catnip.” The “Project Catnip” package includes spay or neuter surgery, rabies vaccine, tattoo, ear tip (mandatory) and ear mite treatment. “Project Catnip” is FREE until further notice. Donations for these services are greatly appreciated. Cats taking advantage of “Project Catnip” must be brought to the clinic in a humane live trap. Traps are available to loan from our clinic. Feral/free-roaming cats are accepted for surgery Monday–Thursday at 8:30am. While an appointment is not required, we do appreciate a phone call or message letting us know when you’ll be bringing a feral/free-roaming cat to our clinic for surgery.

Why should we spay or neuter feral/free-roaming cats?

Research has shown that about 85% of pet cats are altered, while only 2% of feral/free-roaming cats are altered. It’s estimated that 33 million kittens per year come from pet cats, and 147 million come from feral/free-roaming cats. All unaltered cats contribute to the pool of unwanted cats euthanized in shelters every day.

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Domestic Feral Cats

Graphic courtesy of Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project

What Is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

Since feral/free roaming cats cannot be handled, they are humanely Trapped, Neutered and Returned (TNR) to their outdoor homes. With the help of a caregiver, a person(s) who provides shelter, food and overall monitoring of the cats, the birth of unwanted kittens decreases. TNR has been proven to be the most cost effective and humane method to decrease cat overpopulation in free roaming cats. For more information, please see our TNR page.

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