Managing Cats in our Community

Community or feral cats live in groups called colonies and live near food sources. These colonies can be managed through a non-lethal method called Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR), in which cats are humanely (and painlessly) trapped, spayed or neutered, and returned to their colony site where volunteer caretakers provide them with food, water and shelter for the duration of their lives. TNVR is the only method that has been proven to effectively manage colonies of feral cats and reducing their population.

TNVR is the only chance these cats have of living safe, healthy lives without reproducing.

TNVR helps the community by stabilizing the population of the feral colony and, over time, reducing it. At the same time, nuisance behaviors such as spraying, loud noise and fighting are largely eliminated and no more kittens are born. Yet, the benefit of natural rodent control is continued.

What are “Community Cats”?

Community cats, also known as feral cats, are born and raised in the wild, or have been abandoned or lost and reverted to wild ways in order to survive. Many times abandoned pets join these cats in our communities.

  • Feral cats have been living outdoors alongside humans for more than 10,000 years.

  • While some feral cats tolerate a bit of human contact, most are not socialized to people.

  • Feral cats typically live in groups called colonies and have strong social bonds with their colony members.

  • Feral cats make their home wherever they find shelter and a food source, usually near humans.

  • Feral cats are a domesticated species and, therefore, are protected under the state’s anti-cruelty laws.


TNVR Resources


| Hillsborough County Animal Coalition of Tampa |

Hillsborough County ACT holds monthly spay & neuter event for feral cats called “Spay Day” on the second Monday of every month. Fees for spay and/or neuter during the monthly “Spay Day” are a $10 donation per cat.

| Humane Society of
Tampa Bay |

Humane Society of Tampa Bay offers low cost spay and neuter services on “Feral Cat Monday” for only $25. This includes surgery, rabies and distemper vaccines and an ear-tip (the universal sign that the cat has been sterilized. 

| Pasco County SPay & Neuter
Program |

Pasco County is subsidizing TNVR for feral, unowned cats. Cats will be spayed/neutered at participating veterinary hospitals by appointment for a low cost, which includes their rabies vaccination and ear tipping.

Have TNVR questions or want to help provide TNVR services in your area? Email