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Unlike stray cats, who have once been a companion house cat and was abandoned or become lost, feral cats are born outside and been living their life out there. A feral cat has never lived with a human family and generally form colonies, making their home wherever they can find food, avoiding human contact whenever possible. Tomcats prowl for mates, females become pregnant, and the cycle of reproduction continues.
Feral cats have a home - outdoors. Adult feral cats are part of all landscapes. They usually cannot be socialized and are content living outdoors. Feral kittens can often be tamed and placed in homes, but they must be socialized in their first weeks of life. This is a critical window and if they aren't handled in time, they will remain feral and therefore unadoptable.
Trap, Neuter, and Return or TNR is a program in which stray and feral cats already living outdoors in your city, town, or rural area are humanely trapped, then evaluated, vaccinated, and sterilized by veterinarians. Kittens and tame (stray) cats are adopted into good homes. Healthy adult cats too wild to be adopted are returned to their outdoor home to be cared for by local volunteers for the rest of their lives. This ongoing care creates a safety net for both the cats and the community. No more kittens are born, and the feral cat population is reduced.
Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Works! The breeding stops. Populations are gradually reduced. The annoying behaviors of mating cats, such as yowling or fighting, stop. The cats are vaccinated against disease and they are fed quality foods on a regular schedule.
The Camden County Animal Shelter supports trap-neuter-return. Information on feral cat trapping can be viewed in our ABCs of TNR packet. For more Fact-Sheets on trapping and feral cats please go to www.alleycat.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CCAS has Tru-Catch Humane traps available to rent. A $50 cash deposit is taken at time of rental and returned when the trap is returned. If you are interested in buying cat traps, email us at email@example.com and we would be happy to send you in the right direction.
The Camden County Animal Shelter provides low-cost spay/neuter services to feral cat trappers. Spay/Neuter discounts are available for colonies of 3 or more cats. Please ask about this when making your appointment. Appointments can be made by contacting the Camden County Animal Shelter at (856) 401-1300.
Check out our Spay/Neuter Page for information on all the clinic options we provide.
Eartipping for ferals is available at no additional charge. Eartipping allows residents and animal control officers to easily identify cats that are already sterilized and part of a managed colony. This saves the cat from unnecessary trapping and anesthesia after it has already been fixed, and cat trappers from trapping and spending money on already sterilized cats.
For more information on eartipping, download our Eartipping Information Guide.
Many options are available to help keep out and/or calm feral cats. Check out How to Cope With Feral Cats for ways to keep cats out of your yard.
The best option is still to trap the cats that are in your area, and get them fixed, to calm behaviors such as yowling and marking of their territory, and to prevent more cats from being born.