Community Cats

Ca in field

Outdoor Community Cat Program

Are you seeing outdoor cats in your neighborhood? We can help! Stanislaus Animal Services Agency Community Cat Program is the humane, effective way to reduce the number of cats living on our streets. Community cats are the unowned stray or feral cats who live outdoors in our neighborhoods.

Stanislaus Animal Services Agency is proud to work with citizens, volunteers, and TNR groups to help control the community cat population through spay and neuter. Cats in the Stanislaus Community Cat Program receive spay or neuter surgery, left ear tip*, vaccines, wellness exam, and food during their stay.

*A left ear tip indicates that a cat has been spayed/neutered, providing an easy to recognize, visual reference*

Free Public Services of the Community Cat Program

  • Humane trapping of stray and feral cats, followed by spaying or neutering, vaccination and return of the cats to their home area. Overtime, their numbers are reduced.
  • Ear-tipping of spayed or neutered cats. A painless procedure, and ear-tip is the universal symbol of a spayed or neutered outdoor cat.

Benefits of Spaying/Neutering

  • Prevents unwanted litters
  • Saves taxpayer dollars by keeping cats out of municipal shelters
  • Decreases the number of cats needlessly dying in shelters
  • Helps improve the health of outdoor cats
  • Reduces nuisance behaviors like spraying, fighting, howling, and roaming

Solutions to Cat Related Issues- The Value of TNR

Whether you love or loathe community cats, trap/neuter/return (TNR) is the most effective and humane way to reduce the number of community cats and reduce nuisance behaviors. Male cats are no longer competing or fighting with each other, spraying urine or roaming blocks away from their neighborhood. Females no longer yowl to seek a mate and no longer have kittens, of course. These behaviors are typically reduced immediately and eliminated only a month after the surgery. Additionally, TNR provides vaccines, so the cats are healthier and do not pose a threat to public health.

The Vacuum Effect

The traditional approach to feral cats, “catch and kill”, won’t keep an area free of cats for long. Catch and kill is inhumane and creates a vacuum, as do attempts to “relocate” cats. Once the cats are removed from a territory, other cats move in to take advantage of the newly available resources and breed, forming a new colony. Known as the vacuum effect, this is a documented phenomenon in a variety of animals throughout the world. Catch and kill is an endless and costly cycle.

Need Trapping Assistance?

Did you know that Stanislaus Animal Services Agency offers rentals of humane cat traps? These are used to safely trap stray and feral cats that need spay and neuter services. We provide traps and instructions on how to operate the traps.

Please call 209-501-3005 or email to get started with trap loans or the voucher program.

Humane Deterrents

Scare Crow: This motion activated sprinkler has an infrared sensor that releases a three-second blast of water. The sprinkler “fires” 1,000 times on one 9-volt battery and covers an area of 35 feet by 45 feet. It’s available at

CatStop: This motion activated, ultrasonic alarm emits a high frequency sound that repels cats but can’t be heard by humans. A 9-volt battery can operate up to 9 months, depending on usage. It’s available at

Contact 209-501-3005 or email to get deterrents.

For more information on how to live with cats in your neighborhood go to: