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Feral Cats

The Solution

TNR is a comprehensive plan where entire feral colonies are humanely trapped, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Kittens and cats that are tame enough are put up for adoption. Adult cats are returned to their familiar habitat to live out their lives.

TNR works. Cat populations are gradually reduced. Nuisance behaviors associated with breeding are virtually eliminated. Disease and malnutrition are greatly reduced. The cats live healthy, safe, and peaceful lives in their territories.

AFRP advocates Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the preferred method of feral cat population control as opposed to trap and euthanize.

How to Trap Feral Cats

  • Bait trap with a small amount of canned cat food on a plastic lid, small paper plate, or anything light and non-breakable. This is for the safety of the cat while in the trap. There should not be any ceramic plates or hard objects that could harm the cat.
  • Do not line inside of trap with any newspaper or cloth. This makes it difficult for vet to sedate the cat.
  • Never leave your trap unattended.
  • Once door slams shut, immediately cover trap with an old towel or sheet to keep the cat calm and quiet.
  • For transport, place traps on newspaper, or old towels, because cats can urinate from nervousness.
  • Cats will be returned to you back inside the trap. The Vet will usually place the sedated cat on the towel or sheet you used to cover the trap, so be sure to bring extra sheets, towels, old blankets to cover the trap again. As cats start to wake up they can hurt themselves flopping around in the trap if they can see you.
  • Cats need to stay in the trap overnight to recover. They need to be kept well covered and inside, out of the elements to keep as warm as possible. A garage is the perfect place.
  • Return and release the cats to the same area you trapped them as soon as possible the next morning.
  • Leave food and fresh water out for them.

Where to Go for Help

Community Cat Allies is a great resource. Go to for more info.

To obtain a spay/neuter voucher to alter a feral cat, contact AFRP at (831)333-0722 or email us at You may also want to contact the SPCA of Monterey County and ask about their low cost spay/neuter program for ferals 373-2631 x218.

For more information on low cost and free spay/neuter resources, please visit our SpayPal site.

How You Can Help Us Help Feral Cats

We are always looking for safe havens for ferals cats - a barn, greenhouse, art studio. A safe place to release even one or two feral cats is extremely helpful. If you have property with a small shelter the cats can use and would be amenable to having feral cats released in your safe location, please contact AFRP.

For more information on helping feral cats please visit these websites:

SPCA for Monterey County
The SPCA offers spay and neuter surgeries for feral cats on an appointment-only basis. Call their spay/neuter clinic for information: 831-264-5400.

Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies, is a national nonprofit clearinghouse for information on feral and stray cats. For more than a decade Alley Cat Allies has advocated trap-neuter-return (TNR) - the most humane and effective method to reduce feral cat populations. Their website is a wealth of information and resources.

Humane Society of the United States
The HSUS supports trap-neuter-return. If you are interested in helping feral cats but don't know where to begin, check out their resources page filled with links to handbooks, online workshops, articles and more.

Project Purr
Project Purr is a Santa Cruz, CA based nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to feral cats and kittens. Their goal is to alleviate the suffering of feral cats by decreasing cat overpopulation and controlling the spread of disease through a humane no-kill Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program in Santa Cruz county.

If there is anything else you would like to know about Animal Friends Rescue Project, please email us at or call us at (831) 333-0722. Also, let us know if you are interested in joining our mailing list.

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