Community Cat Initiative
Our Community Cat Initiative is a catch-and-release spay/neuter program designed to reduce the number of outdoor cats humanely. Outdoor cats—collectively known as “community cats”—comprise unidentified stray (aloof to friendly) and feral (wild and unfriendly) cats.
Spread the word about the Community Cat Initiative. Please consider offering your time to help in the trapping and transport of community cats and assisting in educating the public about both community cats and this initiative.
To participate in the Community Cat Initiative, contact Chris Banks, Community Cat Initiative program coordinator, at 937/262-5933, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Euthanasia does not help control population. Cat populations will rebound and grow as long as there is adequate food-supply. Cats must be sterilized so that new cats cannot be produced.
This program reduces the number of free-roaming community cats through sterilization rather than by euthanasia.
- We accept unowned, unidentified stray or feral cats from city residents, city employees or volunteers, as long as we have space available. Cats without identification (collar, tag, tattoo, etc.) are considered “unowned.”
- We will examine each cat for identification, health, age and claw status.
- We will vaccinate (rabies), treat for fleas, spay/neuter, and surgically “tip” the left ear of every cat to be returned. The ear tip is a universal sign that the cat has been spayed or neutered.
- We will make efforts to find the owners of cats brought to us that have identification.
- We will put stray, adoptable cats into our adoption program whenever there is space available.
We will not euthanize stray, healthy, unidentified cats when our adoption program is full. Stray, unidentified cats that come from cities that are contracted with the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center will be directed to that facility.
Other stray, unidentified cats that are wild (feral) or friendly will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped, treated for fleas and released back to the community that they know, provided that:
- They have their claws.
- They are not kittens.
- They are not injured or sick.
- They are not senior cats who may struggle to survive.
- They are healthy and have a body mass indicating that they have a food source.
Our goal is to end the senseless euthanasia of healthy cats and control cat overpopulation through education and spay/neuter initiatives like the Community Cat Initiative.
To safely catch a stray, free-roaming cat, please use a live trap. Live traps are available for a small rental fee at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.
Benefits of spaying/neutering
- Reduction of unwanted litters
- Reduction of wandering, aggressiveness, and territorial behaviors
- Reduction of incidences of infection and tumors
- Elimination of heat cycles
How you can help
Please consider a monetary donation to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humane organization, so donations are tax-deductible. Your in-kind donation of any of the following items would also be appreciated:
- Pet carriers
- Havahart® live cat traps
- Disposable dishes
- Gently used linens
- Canned cat food
More about the stray cat solution
- There are an estimated 50,000 free-roaming community cats in Montgomery County, Ohio.
- It is estimated that only 2.5 percent of those cats are spayed or neutered. This means that 48,750 outdoor cats in Montgomery County are not spayed or neutered and can reproduce.
- The cat population (like other outdoor-animal populations) rises to the level of a food source. That means that if there is more than enough food outside (mice, rats, birds, people feeding outdoor cats, etc.), cats increase their numbers. If there is not enough food, then the population decreases. The cat population—roughly 50,000 in Montgomery County—seeks a balance with the amount of food available.
- If cats are taken off the streets (via adoption or euthanasia), there is an “unclaimed” food source available. This is called the “vacuum effect.” With so many cats able to reproduce very quickly (two litters per year, with four to six kittens per litter), their population number rebounds every breeding season.
- The only effective way to decrease the outdoor cat population responsibly is through sterilization (spays/neuters) of outdoor cats so that outdoor kittens are not born.