Community Cat Programs

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Sadly, tens of thousands of stray kittens and cats are killed every year in Australian pounds and shelters.

Community Cat programs have dramatic effect in saving cats’ lives, and benefit shelter and pound staff and dogs in their care.

They also decrease wildlife predation. However, they are currently illegal in most of Australia. With your help we can change that!

Read a detailed overview of our Community Cat Program here

Read our factsheet on starting a Community Cat Program here

Listen to our Executive Director Emeritus Professor Jacquie Rand talk at Science Week 2022 on “Do veterinary staff still need to kill healthy cats and kittens for population control?”, or alternatively you can download and read the presentation slides via PDF.

In Community Cat Programs, urban stray cats are captured, desexed, vaccinated, microchipped and treated for parasites.  Socialised cats and kittens are then adopted whenever possible, while unsocialised but healthy cats are returned to their home location.

Listen to talk on Community Cat programs presented by our Executive Director Emeritus Professor Jacquie Rand (40 minutes) at the 2017 G2Z Conference, followed by a video (8 minutes) describing the powerful positive impact of Community Cat programs involving trap, neuter and return (TNR) and cat diversion; or alternatively download and read Presentation Notes.

This describes the powerful positive impact of Community Cat programs involving trap, neuter and return (TNR) and cat diversion.  County Animal Control staff speak about the dramatic effect in saving cats’ lives, and the benefit to staff and dogs in their care.

This hallmark study of trap, neuter and return from Australia is by our Chief Scientist, Emeritus Professor Jacquie Rand.

Click the button on the left to view books, courses, and videos on Community Cat Programs including trap, neuter, and return (TNR) and return to field (RTF).

In many states of Australia, feeding, removing (eg. for adoption) or returning a stray cat to its home location (releasing) is illegal without a permit under several pieces of legislation.

For example in Queensland, feeding and removing for adoption without a permit are illegal under the Biosecurity Act 2014, and the Land Protection Pest and Stock Route Management Act 2002

The returning or releasing a desexed cat is illegal under the above two Acts, as well as the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

For other states, check the wording of legislation for similar Acts and particularly the definition of a feral cat. In Queensland, cats are only defined as owned or feral, and so all urban stray cats are subject to legislation relating to feral cats. Click the button for a summary of Queensland legislation relating to urban stray cats

We understand your unwavering commitment to helping these vulnerable animals. As carers, it is easy to feel like you are up against the world. Following best practice will allow you to help these animals in a more effective, conflict-free way.

If you are a cat feeder or carer, or you know someone who is, please take the time to read and understand the following best practice methods , as they are the best shot you have of making a positive impact on the cats that you care so deeply for.


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