Animal Shuttle Service for pets being altered at our clinic now being added at locations near you!
Find out more on our Animal Shuttle page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a feral/free-roaming cat?
Feral cats are cats that are unable to be handled and demonstrate unsocial behavior toward people. Free-roaming cats include lost, abandoned, loosely-owned and stray cats in addition to feral cats. These cats spend 100% of their time outdoors.
What services are available to feral/free-roaming cats at Northwest Spay & Neuter Center?
Northwest Spay & Neuter Center offers a special package for feral/free-roaming cats called “Project Catnip.” The “Project Catnip” package includes spay or neuter surgery, rabies vaccine, distemper vaccine, tattoo, and ear tip (mandatory). As of January 1st, 2015, the fee for “Project Catnip” is $10 per cat. Donations for these services are greatly appreciated. Feral cats taking advantage of “Project Catnip” must be brought to the clinic in a humane live trap. Feral cats (cats that cannot be handled) in traps are accepted for surgery Tuesday–Saturday at 8:30am without an appointment, however we do appreciate a phone call or message letting us know when you’ll be bringing a feral/free-roaming cat to our clinic for surgery.
What is ear tipping?
Feral Cat Ear Tip

Ear tipping is the removal of the distal one-third of the ear — 1cm in an adult and proportionally smaller in a kitten. Ear tipping is a safe procedure performed under anesthesia and does not significantly alter the appearance or beauty of the cat. Ear tipping is the most effective way to identify feral cats that have been altered. Because you can see the ear tip from a distance, it reduces the likelihood that the cat will go through the stress of being re-trapped unnecessarily.

What about tame, stray, free roaming cats — can they go without the ear tip?

All cats that receive “Project Catnip” (tame or feral) will be eartipped — no exception. However, a tame cat may be served by the clinic as a pet cat and receive our services individually at a higher cost.

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Does Northwest Spay & Neuter Center rehome or relocate cats or kittens?
What about a mom and kittens?
A nursing mother should ideally stay with her kittens until the kittens are weaned (usually 6–12 weeks). However, during “kitten season,” a mother cat can go into heat and become pregnant within two weeks of giving birth. If the mother cannot be contained while she weans her babies, it may be determined to be best to alter the mom and re-release her to her kittens once they are big enough to survive a night alone.
How do I get a trap?

Traps can be obtained at the front desk at our clinic. There is no charge for the traps, however, a refundable $40 deposit is required, and the loan period is one week. We accept cash, credit, and certified checks (no personal checks please). When you use one of our traps, we ask that you bring an extra carrier for the cat to be woken up and sent home in.

Traps are also available to rent from the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County and Next to Nature, or you may wish to purchase your own trap through Heart of the Earth Animal Equipment or your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

How do I use a trap?
You will be given instructions and shown how to use the trap when you come to pick it up.

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