What is a Community Cat?

Community cats are unowned cats that live outdoors in virtually every landscape on every continent where people live. They thrive in their outdoor homes, and do not require any special care or feeding. Community cats can be friendly, feral, adults, kittens, healthy or sick. They can also be altered and/or unaltered. The caretaker of a community cat keeps an eye on them to make sure they have food and water as well as shelter from the elements in order for the cat to remain happy and healthy outside.

Community cats provide natural pest control by removing mice and rats from outdoor areas. They can also help balance the ecosystem since they keep their prey numbers in check. These backyard helpers make sure that there is always something for other animals to eat, which helps preserve our environment. Cats stick close to home, so most of them are not at risk of getting lost.

Yet, there are still hazards for community cats to face. The most common being cars–unintentional harm from a car can cause serious injuries or death. Other dangers include getting caught in animal traps, poisonous plants, birdshot and diseases such as rabies that they may pick up while roaming outdoors where other animals roam.

Community cats are still very much loved by their neighborhood caretakers. They help keep the colony in balance and they offer a sense of protection to the other animals who live there with them. These self-sufficient felines thrive outdoors, but we can all do our part to make it safer for community cats. Remember that these loving creatures need our help and attention.

The caretaker should keep an eye on the cats, provide food, water and shelter, spaying/neutering and emergency medical care to those who need it. The best way for a community cat colony to thrive is by making sure the population size remains manageable. This will not only increase their quality of life but also the safety of all the other animals who live there with them.

Community cats should not be moved unless it’s an emergency (such as a flood or fire). If you find community cats in your yard, please resist taking matters into your own hands. Instead, contact your local animal control agency or humane society for help and follow their guidelines.

Do not use harmful methods to keep the population down such as poison bait, traps, shooting guns into the air if they are a source of irritation in an apartment complex, trapping them without finding out what is wrong with them first before helping them, or declawing them.

There are humane ways for keeping the population down without harming these cats and as a responsible cat owner you should be aware of what those methods are in order to avoid hurting them. Spaying/neutering them is the next step in getting this population down as well.  

Lastly, you could contact your local animal control agency or humane society for help and follow their guidelines on how to keep these cats from reproducing so that they will not have a negative impact on an area where people live.