Community Cats (Feral)

Thank you for helping feral cats in our community. A feral cat is an unsocialized outdoor cat who has never had any physical contact with humans and is more like a wild animal than a house pet. Most feral cats are fearful of people and are not likely to ever become socialized or enjoy living indoors. Animal Friends Rescue offers multiple resources to assist with humanely reducing the number of feral cats in our community.

Free Feral Spay and Neuter

AFRP offers free spay and neuter services for feral cats in Monterey County. There are options for feral cat caretakers:

Feral cat surgeries include the cat’s spay/neuter surgery, rabies vaccination, FVRCP vaccine, flea meds and ear tip. All cats will be ready for pick up that same day. All feral cats must be in a humane feral cat trap. If you need a humane cat trap to help trap a feral cat, we can offer one for rent.

If you find healthy kittens, please leave them where they are; if the mother is not with her litter, she is likely close by. Mothers are the best at raising their babies - watch from afar and bring them to a shelter or rescue when they are between 6-8 weeks of age. Learn how to tell how old a kitten is and why kittens are safer with their mothers. 

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

We ask those trapping feral cats to please participate in a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. TNR is a program in which feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal sign that a feral cat has been part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes. If you have a feral cat you would like to TNR, please see the information above about how to do so through our free feral spay/neuter program.

AFRP is not able to accept healthy feral cats into our adoption program. Instead, they will be a part of a TNR Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How Does TNR Help Cats?

A. TNR keeps wild cats out of shelters. Feral cats are not socialized (or friendly) to people so they can’t live indoors. TNR stabilizes feral cat populations. Because cats are spayed and neutered, the breeding cycle stops, and no new kittens are born. TNR relieves cats of the constant stresses of mating and pregnancy. This helps cats and people co-exist peacefully. Neutering cats curbs behavior associated with mating, like roaming, yowling, or fighting. Feral cats can live healthy lives in their outdoor homes with the help of TNR programs. Hundreds of communities, shelters, and municipalities around the nation and the world support and practice TNR because they’ve seen it work firsthand.

Q. What If I Don’t Want the Cat?

A. If you do not want neighborhood cats in your yard, garden, or elsewhere, there are humane deterrents that are easy and effective. Alley Cat Allies offer this information, and more tips can be found here. A healthy feral cat often has a caregiver, or several, who provide regular food and shelter. With TNR, cats in the neighborhood will no longer mate or yowl, and fighting will be diminished. Removing cats from your neighborhood will not work. When cats are removed from an area, it causes a well-documented phenomenon called the Vacuum Effect. That’s when new cats move into the space to take advantage of resources and breed back to capacity. TNR is the only humane and effective approach to address and stabilize feral cat populations. When cats are spayed and neutered, no new kittens will be born, and the population will naturally decrease. Rest assured you are doing the most humane thing possible for this cat by returning him (spayed, neutered, and vaccinated) to his original location. You cared enough to bring him to us (or call us about him), and we thank you for your kindness and understanding that this is the best possible outcome for him to live a happy life.

Q. Why Can’t This Cat Be Adopted into a Home?

A. A feral cat is an unsocialized outdoor cat who has never had any physical contact with humans and is more like a wild animal than a house pet. Most feral cats are fearful of people and are not likely to ever become socialized or enjoy living indoors.

Q. I found young kittens, can you help?

A. If you find healthy kittens, please leave them where they are; if the mother is not with her litter, she is likely close by. Mothers are the best at raising their babies - watch from afar and bring them to a shelter or rescue when they are between 6-8 weeks of age.

Other Local Resources:

Best Life TNR & Rescue, Inc: www.bestliferescue.org

    • Trapping, training, support

Community Cat Allies: www.communitycatallies.org

    • Trapping, training, support

SPCA for Monterey County: www.spcamc.org

    • Free spay/neuter for feral cats

Project Purr in Santa Cruz: www.projectpurr.org

    • Trapping, training, support

Online Resources:

Alley Cat Allies: alleycat.org

Best Friends Animal Society: www.bestfriends.org/resources/feral-cats-and-tnr

Jackson Galaxy Project www.thejacksongalaxyproject.org/Resources/TNR-Resources

YouTube.com offers a wealth of videos about trapping feral cats. Our favorite is Jackson Galaxy’s “How to Trap Feral Cats-TNR”

Animal Sponsorships

Help us change their futures
Sponsor an AFRP Animal

Sponsor an AFRP Animal

In memory or in honor of a loved one, or even yourself!l
Enrichment
$10

Enrichment

Provide enrichment items such as toys and treats to help our animals
Vaccinations
$15

Vaccinations

Help protect animals against highly contagious and serious diseases
Transport
$30

Transport

Helps provide fuel for an animal rescue vehicle providing freedom rides
Spay/Neuter
$100

Spay/Neuter

Helps provide free spay/neuter surgery for a homeless or at-risk animal
Cat Clinics
$2,100

Cat Clinics

Sponsor a TNVR clinic for our most vulnerable animals-community cats
Medical
$3,000

Medical

Helps provide treatment or surgery to life-threatening emergencies such as Parvovirus or injuries sustained from being hit by a car