Community Cats (Feral Cats)

Assistance with Community Cats (Feral Cats)

What are community cats?

Community cats are different from social pet cats. They’re feral (wild) and have had little to no contact with humans during their lifetime. They can’t be adopted into homes as family pets. Instead, they live outdoors freely and independently.

The most humane way to improve the quality of life for feral cats, while reducing their numbers within the community where they live, is to limit their ability to reproduce, which helps them live healthy lives, and reduce nuisance behaviors. Organizations can help with this through Trap-Neuter-Return services, which involves spaying/neutering, vaccinating, and ear-tipping these cats to be returned to where they were originally found so they may live out their lives without continuing to reproduce. 

Organizations in Adams County that can assist with TNR:

  • The Feline Fix
  • Riverdale Animal Shelter (RAS can provide TNR services on a limited basis. Please call us at 720.523.7387 for more information.

How does TNR solve common complaints about community cats?

  • When community cats are spayed/neutered and returned to where they live, they no longer reproduce.
  • Behaviors associated with mating – pregnancy, yowling, spraying and fighting – stop.
  • Neutered community cats roam less and become less visible.
  • Foul odor from male cats is reduced because neutered cats no longer produce testosterone, which otherwise mixes with their urine and causes a strong, pungent smell.
  • When the colony is monitored by someone in the neighborhood who removes and/or TNRs/SNRs any newly arrived cats, the population stabilizes and gradually declines over time.
  • Colony sizes decrease over time by an average of 66%.

Quick Facts about Community Cats

  • Young kittens who can still be socialized, as well as friendly adults, can often be adopted to good homes.
  • Community cats can help control rodent populations.
  • Removing community cats won’t eliminate the problem. New cats move in to take advantage of the resources the previous cats were using.  These cats will not be spayed or neutered and will breed, increasing the population.
  • Community cats are extremely resourceful animals. When they are no longer being fed in the community where they live, they will simply look for another food source.

Tips to Keep Community Cats Off Your Property

  • Keep tight lids on your trash cans.
  • Block gaps in the foundation of sheds and porches where cats may seek shelter. Chicken wire or lattice are effective materials.
  • Cover exposed ground in flower beds with large attractive river rocks to prevent cats from digging.
  • Scatter fragrances that deter cats: fresh orange and lemon peels, coffee grounds, vinegar, and scented oil (lavender, lemongrass, citronella or eucalyptus).
  • Use motion-sensing sprinklers to keep them out of the yard.