Community cats, sometimes called free-roaming or feral cats, are common in Pinellas County. In order work towards a no kill Pinellas, we work with MEOW Now and community caregivers to get these cats spayed/neutered and returned to the location at which they were found.
This program is called “Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return” or “TNVR” for short. Whether you want to help outdoor cats or find them a nuisance, TNVR is the solution. This involves using a humane trap to trap the cat, bring it to a clinic, have it spayed or neutered, and then return the cat to where they were trapped. The cat will receive an “ear tip” to indicate it has been fixed. If you see a cat with an ear tip, leave it where it is. Having fixed cats in the area prevents the birth of unwanted kittens and will stop other unfixed cats from entering the area.
Do you have community cats in your neighborhood in need of TNVR service? Email [email protected] to rent a trap and schedule a surgery date!
Frequently Asked Questions about Community Cats and TNVR:
What is the difference between a community cat and a pet cat? Pet cats are animals who are socialized with humans. They traditionally have an owner and live indoors, outdoor, or a combination of the two. Community cats, or feral cats, are unsocialized cats and are free-roaming outdoor cats. They often live in a colony with other community cats and have one or more caretakers who feed them.
It is important to remember that many cats have homes and are indoor/outdoor cats. The shelter is not the best place for these animals – less than 1% of cats are ever reclaimed by their owner after entering a shelter system nationwide. If you see a cat, please speak to your neighbors. Chances are the cat lives nearby. The best way to help a cat you find outdoors is to get them spayed or neutered.
How can I tell if a cat is a community cat or if it has been spayed/neutered? Look for a missing tip on the cat’s ear. The “eartip” is a universal sign that a cat has been altered. It can be either ear. It is the humane removal of the tip of a cat’s ear to indicate is has been spayed or neutered.
How can I help community cats? The best thing you can do for a community cat is get him or her fixed via a Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return program. After the cat is fixed, you can continue feeding on a regular basis. We strongly recommend speaking to property owners before you begin feeding a community cat.
How do I trap a cat? Alley Cat Allies has great tips for trapping.
Learn more about community cats: