FERAL AND FREE-ROAMING CATS
ONE UN-SPAYED CAT CAN LEAD TO THOUSANDS!
Northwest Spay & Neuter Center offers spay and neuter services to help support the feral cat communities and TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs. We are passionate about decreasing the overpopulation of cats and strive to give these cats the most stress-free experience possible while in our care. We require feral/free-roaming cats to come in live, humane traps to minimize the handling of these cats. Handling these cats is often unsafe, and can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety for the cat. When the cats arrive, we ask that they be brought into the clinic covered by a sheet or blanket. The cats are visually checked for an existing ear tip before being brought back to our feral cat room where they safely remain in their covered trap.
Once admitted, a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) will visually inspect these cats for any signs of obvious disease and will attempt to scan them for a microchip through the bars of the trap. This sometimes allows us to find previously microchipped cats that have already been spayed or neutered, thus preventing unnecessary anesthesia. The LVT will then estimate the weight of the cat for anesthesia purposes. The cats are anesthetized while inside their traps by injecting them via a small needle through the bars of the trap. Once anesthetized, the cat is then removed from the trap, weighed, and brought to a designated surgical preparation area. No handling of the cats occurs prior to them being anesthetized. The cats are then examined briefly by a veterinarian for any signs of serious, debilitating disease, and if they appear healthy enough to be re-released are then moved into surgery. After surgery these cats remain in recovery until they are awake enough to be placed back in their traps. Their recovery continues in their traps where they can be visually monitored until they are alert and moving. The cats remain safely housed in their trap for the remainder of their time in our care.
It is important that feral cats be in live, humane traps to make this process as safe, stress-free, and efficient for the cats and our staff as possible. Large cages or too large of traps (coyote traps) gives the cat too much room to move around where we may be unable to inject the cat through the carrier sides. We do not handle these cats without anesthetic, and therefore we need to be able to visually examine and anesthetize them through the trap. Carriers make it extremely difficult to visually assess the cat and offer no way to be able to anesthetize the cat without opening the carrier. Carriers can also be unsafe when recovering feral cats. If an emergency situation arises, injections or other therapies cannot be given through the sides of a carrier. In addition, too small of traps are uncomfortable for the cat and can create a similar environment as a carrier resulting in the cat not having enough air circulation for recovery. Having multiple cats in a trap can also be unsafe as cats react differently to anesthesia. One cat may become anesthetized faster than the other and the cat that is not anesthetized may lie on top of and suffocate the anesthetized cat. This situation is dangerous for the cats and can also make it impossible for staff to safely remove the anesthetized cat. It is imperative that feral cats are trapped in a live, humane trap versus transferring the cat from a carrier to a trap inside the clinic. This creates more stress and anxiety for the already stressed cat, and is unsafe for the cat, staff, and caretaker/client.
As per our policy, no transfers from carriers to traps will be allowed in your car, our parking lot, or in our building. We offer trap rentals at no charge for those in need. If you need to rent a trap, please visit our clinic Monday – Friday from 10 am – 4 pm prior to bringing any feral cats in carriers.
We at Northwest Spay & Neuter Center want to provide the safest and most stress-free experience we can for the feral/free-roaming cats brought to us. Live, appropriately sized, humane traps, with one cat per trap, is the best way to accomplish this goal.
A true feral cat is an un-owned domestic cat that lives outdoors and avoids all human contact. It does not allow itself to be touched or handled and typically remains hidden from humans. Feral cats often live in colonies and can reproduce at a rapid rate. Trap-neuter-return is the humane and effective approach for managing feral cats and reducing their numbers.
Northwest Spay & Neuter Center offers a package which includes the spay or neuter, core vaccines, flea treatment if needed and an ear tip for easy visibility of sterilization so that they can return to their colonies without the risk of overpopulating. This package is solely funded by donations. As a non-profit organization, we humbly rely on donations to fund many of our programs. Without this funding, we could not provide these services. Although we would love for these funds to be never-ending, the funds are limited. Therefore, it is crucial that the funds be appropriately used so that true feral cats, who are most in need, are being helped.
What cats qualify for this program:
- A true, feral cat
- An outdoor only, un-owned cat
- A barn cat that is a true barn cat and not a pet
What cats do not qualify for this package:
- Your own person pet cat or kitten
- Your neighbor/friend/acquaintance’s pet cat or kitten
- A cat or kitten that is to be adopted or rehomed (regardless of charging a fee or not)
- A barn cat that is also a pet cat
- A mother cat and her kittens that are going to be adopted or rehomed (regardless of charging a fee or not)
- An outdoor only pet cat
- A stray cat or kitten that you are planning on keeping and making a pet
Purchase a trap
Purchase a trap by following the link in the button below.
Traps for loan
Please contact us via email at email@example.com.
For more information on Trap-Neuter-Return, please visit alleycat.org.
Return to field handbook
Download our Return To Field Handbook
FIX-A-BULL and Chi-WOW
“These great breeds make up an overwhelmingly large percentage of the spaces in shelters. Help us reduce this number and bring your pitbull or Chihuahuas in today! Special funds available for this program are used until exhausted.”