Community Cats Program (Las Vegas)
In an effort to manage the overwhelming number of free-roaming or feral cats in our community, The Animal Foundation, in partnership with Best Friends Animal Society, has launched a pilot program called Community Cats.
As part of the program, community cats are trapped, brought to the shelter, spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped for identification, then returned to the community from which they came. Negative behaviors like howling, fighting and marking territory will likely stop or decrease after sterilization. The cats are also vaccinated against rabies to prevent the spread of disease.
The mission of the Community Cats Program is to control the local cat population with no new litters or kittens. As a result, the homeless cat population will decrease, fewer feral cats will come to the shelter, and more lives will be saved.
What is a community cat?
A community cat is one that is un-owned, lives outdoors and is either free roaming or feral. Although some community cats may tolerate some human contact, most are very fearful and cannot be adopted. Community cats often live in groups, and these groups are called a cat colony. Community cats and cat colonies take refuge wherever there is a food source.
What is the difference between a stray cat and a community cat?
Stray cats have owners, but are lost or abandoned, whereas community cats are primarily wild-raised or have adapted to community life.
How does the Community Cats Program work?
A trapper from The Animal Foundation or from the local animal control agency traps a community cat and brings it to Animal Foundation campus to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped for identification. The cat is then returned to where it was found. If you have knowledge of a homeless cat community or a homeless mother cat and/or kittens, please call them at 702.907.1867. They can provide you with traps or send someone out to set traps to safely capture, treat and release the cats. Do not separate nursing kittens from their mother. Kittens are typically young enough to adjust to domesticated life and be adopted.
Why return feral cats to the community?
Feral cats do not make happy or suitable pets and generally cannot be put up for adoption. Humanely euthanizing feral cats does not solve the cat overpopulation problem. Instead, it encourages cat populations to grow by opening up a food source. The cats treated as part of the Community Cats Program will be returned to their food source without the ability to reproduce. This maintains a balance within the cat community and will lead to a decrease in the cat population over time. It will significantly cut down on the number of cat euthanizations and help The Animal Foundation get closer to its mission of saving all healthy and treatable animals in the Las Vegas valley.
How will the cat survive once it’s released back into the community?
The Community Cats Program returns healthy cats back into the community. If a cat is healthy, it has found food and shelter and will be able to survive on its own.
What is the impact of the Community Cats Program?
Since the launch of the program in June of 2015, The Animal Foundation has successfully spayed and neutered over 7,000 cats. To illustrate the impact of this, a conservative calculation estimates that an average female cat can have three litters with a total of 12 kittens per year (this number factors in survival/mortality rates) or 60 kittens in just five years! Kittens usually go into heat for the first time when they are four to six months old and, unlike humans, cats do not go through menopause and can give birth throughout their lifespan.
Has this program been proven to be effective?
The Community Cats Program has seen much success in other cities, including Albuquerque, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and others.
What should I do to get community cats off my property?
–Make sure trash and other food sources are secure
–Cover exposed ground where cats can dig
–Scatter fragrances that deter cats like fresh orange and lemon peels
For more information on trapping and the FREE spay/neuter services available for community cats in the Las Vegas area, call 702-384-3333 x905.
What is TNR
TNR involves humanely trapping community/feral cats living in cities, towns and rural areas and transporting them to a veterinary clinic where they are spayed or neutered. They may also receive a health check, vaccinations, and can be treated for routine medical conditions. All sterilized cats will have a tipped ear*. After surgery, the cat recuperates for a day or two and is then returned back to his colony habitat where caring individuals provide food, water and shelter. (Kittens and tame cats are moved into foster homes where they are loved and nurtured until they are well enough to be adopted.)
Why Tip Ears
If you’ve noticed an outdoor cat with a part of his ear missing – just the top of the left or right ear—that’s the sign of a cat who is healthy and cared for! An eartip is the universally recognized symbol of a cat who has been spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Eartipping is a standard part of most Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, because it’s simply the best method to let everyone know at a glance that a cat has gone through a TNR program. Because cats are eartipped while they’re under anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery, everything is safe, clean, and painless. The top 3/8 inch of the ear is removed. The ear heals quickly and no further attention is needed. You might be worried about the cat looking different, but the eartip doesn’t hurt her, and it could actually save her life.
–Humanely reduces the overpopulation of community/ feral and stray cats
–Allows spayed/neutered, vaccinated & ear-tipped cats to be returned to their outdoor area to live out their lives
–Reduces the need to euthanize healthy free roaming cats by keeping these cats out of municipal shelters
–Reduces or eliminates the behaviors people find annoying such as fighting, yowling, spraying and roaming
–Improves the health and provides a better life for the community/ feral cats
–Improves community relations
—Click here to check out resources for helping community cats and solutions to cat-related issues.
–Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
–To volunteer with these programs, check out the opportunities available.
TNR in Las Vegas
For help with stray cats in your neighborhood, contact a program near you:
Alley Cat Allies is the global engine of change for cats. They protect and improve cats’ lives through their innovative, cutting-edge programs. They are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. They work toward a world where every cat is valued and protected and every community and shelter has policies and programs to save their lives.