THAN A CATNAP?
A CAT FACT!
YOU WOULDN'T BRING A WILD
SQUIRREL INTO YOUR HOME…
Right? We know: they're small, they're fuzzy and they do look like a good time. But bringing a cute little squirrel indoors is frightening for them no matter how inviting your home is. Feral cats and other community cats act in the same way. When you bring a feral cat into a home, you’re doing more harm than good—for the cat and your home. Not only will your home likely look like a war zone from the cat's forceful attempts to escape, but the cat also will become increasingly anxious and may be a danger to himself. That’s why it's vital we respect nature and let community cats live outside where they are comfortable and thrive as healthy, resourceful, independent animals. Pet cats are socialized to be with humans in our homes. Community cats live outside in the only home most have ever known. Same species, starkly different needs.
COMMUNITY CATS AREN'T
Perhaps your first instinct is to scoop up a little cat sauntering down the sidewalk. You might think, "Poor little guy. We need to find you a home!" But you’d be mistaken. Cats have lived outdoors for thousands of years. Some cats are socialized to humans, and some aren't. Many of the cats you see outside weren’t abandoned; they were born outside. Of the owned cats who were abandoned, you’ll see a noticeable difference: A socialized cat may look disheveled and be in distress outside. A community cat will look comfortable as he thrives outside. Socialized cats who were once pets, and young kittens, can be re-homed. Unsocialized cats will only be happy in their outdoor home. The more people realize that bringing unsocialized cats into shelters is almost always a death sentence for them, the better.
LOCAL LAWS DON'T ALWAYS
Local animals control laws often don't consider that the only safe home for a community cat is the outdoors. In fact, many ordinances fine compassionate caregivers who help community cats thrive outside. They know that cats who aren’t socialized to humans will be unadoptable in a shelter. Together, we can change local laws that punish dedicated cat lovers who help community cats.
NO OWNER, NO RIGHTS
While it's against the law to intentionally kill cats in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in some states that protection only covers cats with owners or guardians. All animals have the same capacity for stress, fear, and pain, and deserve to be protected from human cruelty. Alley Cat Allies is working to extend anti-cruelty laws to all cats in every state.
OUTDATED ANIMAL CONTROL
In many areas, catching and killing outdoor cats is still a core part of animal control policies. This approach is more than 100 years old and is as ineffective as it is cruel. Community cats make their homes near food sources and shelters. Once a colony is removed, another will likely take its place soon after – this is known as the vacuum effect. With your help, we can continue to fight for effective ways to manage cat populations.
POLICIES WITH COMPASSION
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the gold standard of cat population control. It's the only humane and effective method proven to stabilize and reduce cat populations. Under TNR, cats living outside are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, eartipped, and then returned to their outdoor home.
Working Together for Progress
To date, more than 650 municipalities have implemented TNR ordinances and policies. Over the past 15 years, the number has increased tenfold, and continues to grow. Thanks to the advocacy work of people like you, communities are embracing the only humane and effective approach to community cats. Want your community to embrace compassionate cat management, too? We’d love your help!