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COUNTY OF MONTEREY

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

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Published on May 13, 2020. Last modified on May 13, 2020

Canva - Close-Up Photography of Tabby Cats Laying

Animal Services understands the impact that cats have in our communities. We are committed to humane and proven programs, such as Shelter-Neuter_Return (SNR) to reduce the number of cats within those communities.  There are simply not enough homes for them. SNR programs have been proven as humane as effective ways to reduce the community cat population by spaying/neutering, vaccinating and ear tipping healthy feral cats that come in to the shelter and then releasing them back to their community. There, they continue to utilize resources while not contributing to the cat overpopulation.  It is much more effective than simply removing cats and euthanizing them.

 

What is a community cat?

Any free-roaming, unowned cat is considered a community cat.  They may be friendly or unsocialized, truly feral or anywhere in between.  Some live in managed colonies but others thrive by finding alternative sources of food from neighbors, trash or hunting.

 

What do I do if there is a community cat in my neighborhood that is not spayed/neutered?

We recommend that, if the cat is healthy, it be humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian or low cost spay/neuter clinic where it can be altered, vaccinated and ear tipped. It can then be released back to it it's community. If it is unhealthy or sick, you can bring it to Animal Services depending on it's location.  

Can I bring a feral cat to you?

At this time, Animal Services is only accepting sick, injured and orphaned under-age cats (under 8 weeks, less than 2 pounds).  Healthy, obviously thriving cats should be left in their community so that they can return to their home. Feral cats with an ear tip that are healthy should be released back to their community to continue to do their part to keep the population low.

What if I find a healthy, friendly cat?

If you found a friendly, healthy cat, we ask that you come in, so we can scan the cat for a microchip or take it to a local Veterinarian to scan it. Often, friendly neighbor cats are indoor/outdoor cats and not lost at all, simply roaming, which is perfectly legal in the City of Salinas and Monterey County and something cats love to do. A cat’s chance of ever getting back home when entering a shelter is dramatically reduced. We may encourage you to return the cat to the location at which it was found, again, most cats don’t roam more than 6-7 houses from where they live. It is always best to knock on the doors on your street to see if anyone knows the cat.

What about your S-N-R program?

Animal Services does have a limited Shelter-Neuter-Return program for feral cats that do end up in the shelter.  Only healthy cats will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and ear tipped.  Depending on the situation, either the person that brought in or a volunteer will release it back to its community. Our veterinarian retains the option to test cats for FIV/FeLV depending on symptoms of the cat and will make the final decision of the outcome for the cat. This program is not for owned cats, feral or friendly.  Please call us at (831) 769-8850 for further information.

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A BABY KITTEN

 

 

Flow Chart Stray Kittens What To Do Alleycat Organization

If you find stray kittens and wish to surrender them to the shelter, we would greatly appreciate it if they are brought to the shelter BEFORE 4:00 pm.  Please call us at 831-769-8850 to set up a time for drop off.  Bringing the kittens to the shelter earlier in the day helps to ensure that the shelter’s staff has enough time to process the stray kittens AND to contact appropriate foster care providers or rescue who can provide short-term support for the kittens in their homes. We do not have staff 24/7 and underage kittens cannot be left alone in the shelter overnight.

SPAYING OR NEUTERING A FERAL CATear tipped cat

Big Fix: www.bigfixmc.org

SPCA for Monterey County: www.spcamc.org

SNIP Bus: www.snipbus.org

Community Cat Allies: www.communitycatallies.org
 

SURRENDERING YOUR CAT

If you own a cat that you wish to surrender, please contact the SPCA for Monterey County at (831) 373-2631 or (831) 422-4721. An appointment is required, and there may be a fee for surrendering your cat. For more info, go to www.spcamc.org

 

ONLINE RESOURCES

SPCA Barn Cat Program – www.spcamc.org

Alley Cat Allies – www.alleycat.org

Cat Deterrents: www.neighborhoodcats.org/how-to-tnr/colony-care/keeping-cats-out-of-gardens-and-yards-2

Kitten care resources: www.kittenlady.org/kitten-care 

Kitten Coalition: www.kittencoalition.org/resouces 

UW Shelter Medicine Program: www.uwsheltermedicine.com/library/guidebooks/guide-to-raising-underage-kittens/caring-for-kittens-from-birth-to-eight-weeks

 

DOWNLOADABLE PDF

How-To-Live-With-Cats

Keeping-Out-of-Yard

Feral-Cat-Deterrents

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