Alley Cat Allies Assistance Form
For local information, the best resource is Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Network. Our network is made up of volunteers who have offered to help people like you, in their community. They can help you find someplace to borrow a trap, provide a list of local veterinary resources, walk you through humanely trapping a cat, and more. So don’t be shy! Request a list of Feral Friends–they are here to help!
For other inquiries, or to get additional information now, please use the form below. Answer the first question to get started!
Note: Click on underlined text to open related information in a separate browser tab.
Spaying and neutering is very important for the health of your cat! There are many options for low-cost spay/neuter providers:
Be sure to call your local animal welfare or rescue groups personally to ask about any funding assistance that may be available. From time to time, some organizations receive grants that allow them to provide surgeries for a lower cost than usual.
Emergency Care for Illness or Injury
Emergency care for an ill or injured companion cat can be costly, and financial concerns can lend added stress to an already difficult time.
We encourage you to visit our list of Financial Resources for Cat Care for a list of organizations that may offer financial assistance with veterinary care, and for other ideas for getting help. Note that each organization has its own application process, so please review the information carefully to learn whether you qualify.
Please note that Alley Cat Allies is not a grant-making organization and cannot provide financial assistance for veterinary bills. We hope this information allows you to access affordable options for the veterinary care that your companion animal needs.
There are times when pet owners are forced with a difficult decision to give up a loving pet cat. Naturally, people will think that the best idea is to bring the cat to an animal shelter. The sad truth is that there is a high probability that a cat brought into a shelter will be killed. In fact, 70% of cats that enter shelters are killed. This number rises to nearly 100% for feral cats and kittens.
However, if you really think an animal shelter is your only option, just be sure to ask them about their adoption procedures, the typical duration of stay, and (most importantly) their euthanasia policy. Remember, it will always be the shelter’s discretion to euthanize a cat for any reason, so please think it through before taking your cat there. You can read more about shelters in our Cat Fatalities page.
Giving up your cat is tough enough and the last thing you want to worry about is whether it will end up in a good home. The best way to ensure it does is by searching for a new home through private adoption. This way, you have peace of mind that your cat is going into a loving new home. We have some great tips to make this a reality through our Finding Homes for Socialized guide. You will find all the steps you need to successfully promote your cat for adoption, including talking to friends, neighbors and co-workers, or even tapping into your social media contacts and connections. Most people adopt their pets through personal connections, so it’s worth asking. Be sure to use photos and personal stories about the cat to highlight its unique personality. Not only will this make your request more fun and engaging, but it will help you to truly find the best match for your cat.
If you have found yourself in a situation where your housing has changed and you are not able to keep your cat until you find it a new home, you should try reaching out to friend and family to see if they would be willing to help foster for you. We have a wealth of information if you do find yourself facing foreclosure or need help finding pet-friendly housing in our guide for Financial Resources for Cat Care.
Have you exhausted all of your options and don’t know where else to turn? You can always try and search for no-kill shelters in your area through No Paws Left Behind. Of course, you should still make sure you are aware of the euthanasia policies of any “no-kill” shelter. Just because they call themselves a “no-kill” shelter does not necessarily mean they do not kill at all. This is why we consider “no-kill” shelters to be a last resort option, and then only if their euthanasia policies have been clearly discussed with you beforehand.
If your companion cat is not using the litter box, don’t give up on your beloved pet! Though frustrating, this behavior is often indicative of something — your cat is likely trying to tell you something. Use these tips to identify what that is.
Emergency situations like extreme weather and natural disasters can happen without warning. If you are currently under threat by an extreme weather event, we hope your family — including pets and feral cat colonies — are safe. The best response is to be prepared: make sure you’ve got a plan in place for your family, companion animals, and feral cat colonies in case of an unexpected emergency.
There are things you can do to prepare when harsh weather is forecast or predicted:
If you do need to evacuate, bring your pets with you, but do not try to trap and contain unsocialized feral cats. Have a safe place to go ahead of time, and be sure to bring your emergency supply kits.
Find details and more information at: http://www.alleycat.org/DisasterTips
It is truly sad and frightening to know that anyone would ever go out of their way to harm a cat. However, all is not lost! There are steps that you can take to ensure the safety of the cats you care for. These important tips will better prepare you for responding to situations where cats have been harmed or
For this information and more, please visit the Troubleshoot with Community Members section of our Community Relations Resource Center. This will have great information to help you reach out to community members and find a humane solution to help cats and people coexist. In particular, the information on Responding to Violent Threats will build on what we have shared here and can help you keep cats safe in your community.
Emergency situations like extreme weather and natural disasters can happen without warning. If you are currently under threat by an extreme weather event, we hope your family—including pets and feral cat colonies—are safe. The best response is to be prepared: make sure you’ve got a plan in place for your family, companion animals, and feral cat colonies in case of an unexpected emergency.
It's important to know that feral cats are resourceful. The outdoors is their home, so they know how to deal with weather. Many times animals can "sense" when bad weather is coming, and in the case of hurricanes, they often move to higher ground and safe places instinctually.
However, there are things you can do to prepare when harsh weather is forecast or predicted:
After the disaster has passed and it is safe to return, begin cleaning up the colony area, check feeding stations, and look for the cats in your colony. Don’t panic if the cats aren’t waiting when you get back — they can hide for days after severe weather. If any are missing, contact your local shelters and determine which agencies, if any, are on the ground in your area assisting animals.
If you come across a sick or injured outdoor cat, seek immediate medical attention. But since the cat is likely feral (and therefore fearful of people), you need a plan that will keep her safe and calm. We recommend you take the following course of action:
Thank you for caring for ill or injured cats. We hope this information helps you decide what course of action is in the cat's best interest.
If neighbors, property management, animal control, etc. have threatened to trap or prevent you from caring for outdoor cats, follow these steps to protect the cats and resolve the conflict:
As you move through these steps, keep in mind that local caregivers and organizations are the most effective voices for cats in their community. Many people feel that the influence of nationwide organizations or the spot light of the media may be the most effective tool but the voices of actually community members tend to resonate the loudest and these steps were designed to help you become stellar advocates for outdoor cats in their community.
For more information on resolving conflicts about cats, please visit the Troubleshooting with Community Members section of our Community Relations Resource Center.
One of the first things we would recommend is determining whether these cats are socialized or feral cats. You can visit our Stray or Feral Guide to help you distinguish the difference. Understanding the cat's temperament will help you determine the best way to help
Feral cats live and thrive in the outdoors and the best way to help feral cats is to have them trapped, neutered, and returned to their outdoor home. Not only does this prevent future litters, but it also improves the cats' lives and health—and makes them "better neighbors" by eliminating spraying, roaming, and fighting behaviors. Learn more at www.alleycat.org/casefortnr.
We have lots of resources to empower individuals to become Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) experts, including our How to TNR Guide and our Helping Cats in the Community Webinar. You can also get great advice and guidance from experts in your community with Alley Cat Allies' Feral Friends Network. Click here to Request a list of Feral Friends.
If the cats are socialized strays, consider following our Socialized Cat Guide which outlines how to help find homes for friendly cats. Unfortunately, over 70% of socialized cats and nearly 100% of feral cats taken to shelters are killed so the best way to find homes for socialized cats is to promote the cats yourself, and directly seek adoptive homes. Neutering the cats is still strongly recommended, as it will prevent future litters and might make the cats easier to adopt out. If you do not have the resources to find individual homes, these socialized cats can be part of a TNR program and be returned to their colony to continue living a full and healthy life outdoors.
Thank you for your interest in helping the cats and people in your community through Trap-Neuter-Return!
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only humane and effective way to stabilize feral cat populations. Through TNR, cats are humanely trapped, neutered and vaccinated, and then returned to their home outdoors. Not only does this prevent future litters, but it improves the life and health of the cats. It can even make the cats"better neighbors" since neutering eliminates behaviors such as spraying, roaming, fighting, and yowling associated with mating. Take a look at TNR in action by watching our video What is Trap-Neuter-Return?
Here are three ways to quickly get educated about how to conduct TNR:
Finding Local TNR Support ResourcesNext, let's take a look at local resources that may be able to help you. Alley Cat Allies maintains a network of individuals and organizations across the country, called our Feral Friends Network, that are able to provide local advice, guidance, or veterinary services to help you implement Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats in your area. Request a list of Feral Friends.
Deterrents: Learn how to deter cats from certain areasWhen you engage in TNR, it's important to understand outdoor cat behaviors and what draws cats to certain areas so that you can ensure the cats' safety and acceptance in your neighborhood. We have simple solutions to divert outdoor cats away from places they are not wanted! Learn how to carry out these solutions in How to Live with Cats in Your Neighborhood or order this resource as a full-color brochure at www.alleycat.org/Shop. You can also visit the Helping Cats and People to Co-exist section of our Colony Care Guide for more information on how you can help cats be good neighbors in their community
Taking it Further: Engaging in Community RelationsAn important part of caring for a feral cat colony is educating neighboring residents or businesses. A little education can go a long way toward preventing future conflicts that could affect the cats' well-being. Alley Cat Allies' Community Relations Resource Center will help you educate your neighbors, prevent conflicts, troubleshoot with community members, and campaign on behalf of cats.
This comprehensive resource includes:
Thank you for your interest in caring for stray and feral cats! You’ve come to the right placeAlley Cat Allies has more than 20 years of experience in caring for cats, which we’ve developed into an extensive how-to library of cat care resources.
Visit our Colony Care Guide for detailed instructions on:
The very best way to care for cats is with Trap-Neuter-Return—learn more in our How to Conduct Trap-Neuter-Return Guide!
Looking for Financial Assistance?
As an educational and advocacy organization, Alley Cat Allies is not able to provide financial grants or funding assistance. Please visit our Financial Resources for Cat Care guide for a list of resources we have compiled to assist caregivers facing financial hardships. This includes tips for finding help with veterinary care, and for locating free or affordable sources of cat food.
If you are seeking assistance with cat food, please also visit our Feeding Guidelines for tips that can keep food bills low by ensuring no food goes to waste! Please note that stabilizing the population through Trap-Neuter-Return is an important step in preventing food costs from growing. There are often low-cost options for spay/neuter, and the cost of surgery will be worth it — by providing health benefits to the cat, and by preventing food bills from growing with each new litter of kittens! Our Feral Friends Network may be able to help you find low-cost spay/neuter options in your area and may know of additional local resource for help with cat care. Request a list of Feral Friends.
Alley Cat Allies' international network of individuals and organizations working in local communities is called our Feral Friends Network.
Feral Friends have agreed to provide practical advice, advocacy assistance, guidance and/or veterinary services to others working to implement Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats in their area. Please do not expect members of the Feral Friends Network to trap cats for you. Request a list of Feral Friends.
You can also link with other like-minded individuals by joining the Alley Cat Allies conversation online:
Alley Cat Allies: http://www.facebook.com/AlleyCatAlliesBecky Robinson: http://www.facebook.com/ACAPresident
TwitterAlley Cat Allies: http://www.twitter.com/AlleyCatAlliesBecky Robinson: http://www.twitter.com/FeralBecky
Did you come across some adorable kittens that you want to help out? While many people may assume that the local shelter is the best resource for kittens they have found outside, this is not the case. Many shelters lack the time and resources to care for young kittens and, unfortunately, over 70% of cats that enter shelters are killed there and for feral cats that number is closer to 100%. Instead, head over to our Kitten Guide to learn how to best help outdoor kittens.
Here are some things to consider when you first find kittens outdoors:
Don't forget about our Feral Friends if you need additional guidance or support when you have found kittens outside! Our Feral Friends Network members will have valuable information and referrals for everything from trapping to finding veterinary care.
Request a list of Feral Friends.
We have resources that can help you effectively address the feral cat population in your community.
Removing outdoor cats from the area where they live is actually not an effective approach for a variety of reasons. There are other approaches that are better for you, your community, and the cats.
Cats have been living outdoors for over 10,000 years. Feral cats are not socialized and are therefore not adoptable, so removing them and taking them to a shelter will almost always result in the cats being killed. And relocating the cats should be avoided, because the cats are bonded to the location they inhabit and will try to return to it. A food source exists in the area and the cats are acclimated to local conditions.
Plus, if cats are removed from their outdoor location, this creates a "void" in the environment that more cats move into, and breed to fill. This is a well-documented phenomenon known as the vacuum effect. Please see The Vacuum Effect: Why Catch and Kill Doesn’t Work for more information.
A far better approach is to resolve the issue that is causing you to want to remove the cats. Many issues you may be having can be resolved through Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR. Trap-Neuter-Return involves trapping the cats, having them spayed/neutered and vaccinated, then returning them to the location where they were trapped. Trap-Neuter-Return stabilizes the population by preventing any new litters, and it ends undesirable behaviors associated with mating, including yowling, fighting, and roaming. It also prevents other cats from seeing the area as “open territory” and moving in to live and breed. To learn more about how and why TNR works, please read The Case for TNR.
If you simply want the cats to stay out of your garden or yard, consider using deterrents—products that can humanely deter cats from areas where they are not wanted. For a list of deterrents and other solutions, please visit Easy Solutions to Common Cat Behaviors.
Have you discovered an existing law in your town that is negatively impacting cats? Or maybe you are interested in advocating for new policies toward feral cats in your local shelter. We have great resources that can help you make your community a better place for cats.
Our Ordinances Help resource has all the information you need when it comes to learning about how local laws affect cats. One of the best things about TNR is that it is not necessary to pass a law to do it! As long as your community does not have an ordinance in place that negatively impacts cats, you can get started with TNR right now! Use our Change Your Community guide for tips on educating the community, mediating neighbor concerns, networking with other cat advocates, working with your local shelter, and organizing TNR efforts in your town.
Here are some topics to consider:
If you are an advocate who is working to make your community a better place for cats, we would love to hear from you! Please complete the following questions. We know that community advocates are the most effective tool in creating positive change for cats and are happy to provide guidance to support you in your efforts.
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