Community Cat Services

Community Cat Services

What is a community cat?

Any free-roaming cat seen outdoors could be considered a community cat. Some may have owners that allow them to wander outdoors, but many appear to be un-owned, either stray or feral. Some community cats are friendly, but truly feral cats are unable to adjust to living indoors.

Benefits to the community

  • Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most effective way to reduce the number of cats living outdoors
  • These altered cats do not multiply and over time the population is reduced due to natural attrition
  • Outdoor cats provide natural rodent control
  • The overall local cat population is healthier
  • Cats are vaccinated against rabies
  • Spay/neuter reduces nuisance complaints such as fighting, smelly urine, and unwanted kittens
  • TNR saves taxpayer money by preventing animal control efforts.

How shelters benefit

  • Animal Control resources are able to focus on animals in immediate danger or need, not diverted to collecting healthy cats.
  • Returning community cats to their outdoor homes, lets resources (time, effort, and money) be spent on pets that truly need help.
  • Owned cats that spend time outdoors are not accidentally added to the shelter population.

How you can help?
Call or email us to get more information about Trap-Neuter-Return at 704-333-4130 or email spayneuter@humanecharlotte.org 

  • If you have questions about our TNR services or need to borrow a trap, please stop by the shelter during normal business hours.
    • Trap Rentals are available Monday through Wednesday between the hours of 9:30AM-3:30PM beginning Monday, June 20th.
      • Please note, with all the services we provide to the community, we are unable to provide traps outside of these hours.
    • A Trap Rental Fee of $10 per trap for 14 days will be collected at the time of rental. Rental fees do not offset spay/neuter costs and are non-refundable, but instead allow us to continue and maintain the Trap Bank.
      • To rent a trap, we will require a physical credit card to be presented to complete the Rental Agreement, however the rental fee may be paid with cash.
      • If the trap is not returned by the agreed-upon date, a trap replacement fee of $80 will be applied to the card on file.
  • Before attempting to trap, check for an ear-tip. Community Cats that have already been spayed or neutered are likely to be ear-tipped and do not need to be caught a second time.
  • Thank you for supporting Charlotte animals through TNR!

Tips for caretakers

  • Keep feeding area clean
  • Provide only as much food as cats can eat at one sitting
  • Remove trash, food, and bowls within 30 minutes
  • Be respectful of neighbors
  • Communicate your efforts to your neighbors – they may be willing to help
  • Track & monitor your colony for new members or signs/symptoms of serious illness


Humane Deterrents

Many deterrents are free or low-cost. Options vary according to the complaint. For example, cats digging in a garden are often humanely stopped with leftover coffee grounds because cats do not like the scent of coffee.

Some humane deterrents, such as motion-activated sprinklers or audible devices, are available for loan from Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control at 8315 Byrum Drive, Charlotte, NC 28217. You can also purchase similar devices from online retailers such as Amazon.