Nearly 70% of the animals being killed in shelters are cats. Of those, most are stray cats, or as we like to call them, community cats.

The goal of Best Friends' cat initiatives is to keep cats safe and out of shelters. The most humane and effective way to do that, as well as to control the number of community cats, is with trap-neuter-vaccinate return (TNVR) programs. 

Making a difference for community cats

When you care for community cats through trap-neuter-vaccinate-return, you’re making a world of difference for both the cats and your community. 

Trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) has proven to be the only long-term solution to humanely control community cat populations. Implementing TNVR programs and relocating at-risk community cats helps to keep cats out of the shelter system and allows them to be returned to their outdoor homes.  

TNVR also minimizes nuisance behaviors, such as spraying, fighting, howling and roaming. This keeps the cats happy and healthy and, as a result, keeps other pets in the neighborhood healthy. It also may help to keep your neighbors happy. 

Three cat silhouttes

Taking care of community cats 

Caring people like you help to ensure that community cats throughout the United States receive food, water, shelter and (where practical) veterinary care. 

Looking for more ways to help?

Here are some more ways to help cats in communities near you.

Community cat caregivers releasing cats as part of trap-neuter-return

Support a local campaign 

Start or join a campaign to help advocate for TNVR in your community. 
Kitten sitting next to bags of cat food

Get your community involved 

Fill out the following shopping list with items you need to care for community cats, and then distribute supplies to community members.
Kitten outside in the grass

Help kittens found outside 

If you find kittens outdoors, bringing them to a local shelter is not always the best option.

Creating a caregiver contingency plan

Even the best community cat care plan isn’t useful if you’re the only one who knows about it.

Anybody you've identified as your backup caregiver should have a copy of the plan. Consider sharing it with other people you trust as well. You might also keep a printed copy handy in a location where it can easily be found in case of emergency (e.g., on an entry table). 

Alley Cat Allies has developed a detailed checklist of information to give your backup community cat caregiver(s).

Person caring for a cat outdoors

The complete guide to care for community cats.

Questions about public policy and community cats?   

Community cat programs are better for cats and better for communities, but sometimes they can be challenged by opponents.  

Navigating community opposition »