I found a  

now what do I do? 

The cat I found is FERAL

The best thing you can do for a feral cat is TNR. TNR is the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return and is when a cat is caught using a humane trap, taken to a vet to be spayed/neutered and then returned to their original location (as long as the location is safe).

There are several local groups that can provide information and/or assistance with feral cats. These groups can explain how to do TNR, some will loan out traps, and some may be able to come out to help you. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • It's not my cat, why should I have it fixed?
  • First, it is the right thing to do. Over 30,000 cats and dogs are euthanized in Greater Cincinnati alone each year. Un-neutered cats contribute to this horrifying number. A cat can have her first litter at the age of 6 months and can have multiple litters of kittens each year. It doesn't take long for a situation of 1 or 2 cats to get out of control.

    Spaying/Neutering the cat will help prevent some nuisance behaviors between feral cats such as yowling and fighting for mates. It can also reduce a male cat's tendency to spray. 

    There are many low cost spay/neuter options available. It only takes a little effort to get the cat fixed and it will make a big difference in the future.

  • Is there a chance that the cat is already fixed?
  • It is possible that the cat has previously been fixed. A widely used protocol for feral cats is called ear-tipping. It is the removal of the distal one-quarter of a cat’s left ear, which is approximately 3/8 inch, or 1 cm, in an adult and proportionally smaller in a kitten. This procedure is performed under sterile conditions while the cat is already anesthetized for spay or neuter surgery. It allows for easy identification from a distance that a feral cat is part of a managed colony and has been spayed/neutered.

    Also some clinics will put a small tattoo in the cat's ear and/or on their belly. This tells another vet that the cat has already been fixed and saves the cat from an unnecessary surgery. If you don't know, it is better to assume it has not been fixed and follow TNR.

  • What if I can't afford it?
  • Most areas have low-cost spay/neuter clinics for just that reason. In the long run, it is much less costly to spend a little to have the cat fixed then end up with a huge number of cats in the future. There are also rescue groups and other animal organizations that may be able to assist you financially or provide discount vouchers to local clinics. Your local animal shelter may also offer discount or free services for feral cats, so ask around!
  • Why can't I just call animal control or take the cat to a shelter?
  • Adult feral cats are not adoptable and face certain death when taken to a shelter or when animal control picks them up. There is no reason for this needless killing when a proven solution is available- TNR. 
  • What if the area isn't safe for the cat?
  • If possible, it is always better to return the cat to his established outside homes after sterilization, to be watched over by caregivers. Cats bond with their territories and with other cats in their colony. Relocation is difficult, time-consuming, and often costly, and comes with no guarantee that the cats will stay in their new location. Alley Cat Allies strongly recommends that all measures be taken to correct problems connected with keeping cats in their territories. If, however, compelling difficulties force the relocation of a feral cat colony, ACA provides relocation guidelines that, when followed carefully and completely, offer the greatest chance of relocation success.
    Local Groups
    League For Animal Welfare (Clermont County)    www.lfaw.org

    ~         Rent traps for $40 cash deposit- fully refundable when the trap is returned

    ~         Spay/Neuter assistance program

    Cat Connection of Cincinnati      www.catconnectionofcinti.org/index.html

    PO Box 1654, West Chester, OH 45071                                                                                                          (513) 723-5161

    ~         Limited # of traps to loan

    Save Our Strays            www.soscats.org/info/contact.php

    PO Box 62083, Cincinnati, OH 45262                                                                                                              (513) 768-3600

    ~         Traps to loan and general help with feral cats

    O’Bryonville Animal Rescue       www.theanimalrescue.com 

    PO Box 9206, Cincinnati, OH 45209                                                                                                                 (513) 871-PAWS

    ~         Loan traps, carriers and cages- each item requires a deposit (refundable).

    ~         Provide assistance to people who are caretakers of feral cats and feral cat colonies

    Neighborhood Cat Helpers         http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/OH601.html

                ~         provide the general public with tips on finding homes and information regarding low cost spay/neuter options

    Pet Alliance (Spay Ohio Program)          http://www.petalliance.org/         http://www.spayohio.org/

                Cincinnati, OH                                                                           (513) 753-3270 or toll free 877-644-6446

    ~         Assist the Community with their Animal Needs

    Purrfect Friends Cat Rescue       http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/OH487.html

    Cincinnati, OH                                                                                                                                                    (513) 557-2107

    ~         Limited number of traps to loan when available and provide general guidance related to feral cats

    Spay/Neuter Clinics

    ·     UCAN   http://ucanclinic.org      

    1230 West Eighth Street, Cincinnati, OH  45203                                                                                           (513) 721-7387

    ~         Ferals must be in a humane trap. If the cat is friendly enough to be in a carrier, then an appointment is needed.

    ~         Ferals do not need an appointment and can be dropped off M-Th 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. However, please let us know ahead of time if you are doing large-scale trapping (3+ cats).

    ~         $30/cat for spay/neuter and other services are available.

    ·     Animal Friends Humane Society   http://www.animalfriendshs.org/

    5225 Trenton Road, Trenton, OH 45067                                                                                                         (513) 867-5727

    ~         Spay/Neuter feral cats on Wednesdays and Friday by appointment, $25.

    ·     St Martin Spay Neuter Clinic      

    2300 E Kemper Rd # 1, Cincinnati, OH 45241                                                                                    (513) 772-1091

    ~         Spay/Neuter and other services for feral cats. Call for an appointment.

    ·     Towne Square Animal Clinic

    9401 Towne Square Avenue, Blue Ash, OH 45242                                                                                       (513) 793-1875

    ~         Spay/Neuter and other services for feral cats. Call for more information.


    Deer Park-Silverton Firehouse
    7050 Blue Ash Road
    (513) 561-MASH appointment required

    Neuter Scooter

    Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic. Check their website for upcoming dates.


    Do you want to learn more about feral cats? Visit the sites below for further information.
    Alley Cat Allies
    Indy Feral
    Spay and Stay
    Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project
    Feral Cat Coalition

    Back to the beginning


    Purrfect Friends Home Page