Community Cat Program

Community cats are free roaming cats or kittens that have no identifiable owners. It is estimated that there are thousands of felines living in our region that have to fend for themselves. These cats are reproducing at an alarming rate, adding to the already heavy burden of pet overpopulation.

Community cats are typically not adoptable. They have a home—outdoors. These cats live and thrive in every landscape, from the inner city to rural farmland. When they enter shelters they drain the already limited resources and take up space. This is very stressful for the cat and costly for the community. By spaying or neutering a free roaming cat, and returning it to the area that it is from, we can begin to sterilize that area and reduce the number of cats entering shelters. TNR – Trap Neuter Return is a proven plan that is effective in reducing the amount of free-roaming cats in our community.

If you need help trapping cats in your area, please give us a call. For a small fee of just $25 for our friends in Allen County we can come out and help you with the trapping and transport of community cats. For those residing outside of Allen County, we may still be able to help at an additional cost, please contact us for more information at 260-440-8893.

Click to Download: Community Cat Care Guidelines and Summary of City Ordinances

Winter Cat Trapping & Care

Contact Community Cats:
Email: hopecommunitycats@hfafw.org
Phone: 260-440-8893

Winter Cat Shelter InstructionsWatch the video from our shelter building day

Community Cat
Walk-In Hours

Monday-Thursday
Drop-Off between 8:00A – 9:00A
Open to the first 10 walk-ins each day.

Community Cat Hotline
260-440-8893

What is an Ear-Tip?
Ear-tipping is a nationally recognized way to identify sterilized and vaccinated cats. It is difficult to get close to some community cats; so the identification must be visible from a distance. Immediate visual identification is necessary to prevent an unnecessary second trapping and surgery. This is done while the cat is under anesthesia. Ear-tipping removes the top 1/3 of the left ear.

Community Cats in Fort Wayne
Through a partnership with Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control, the Allen County SPCA and HOPE for Animals, outdoor cats in Fort Wayne are now safer. All cats brought to Animal Care and Control are evaluated by their staff and determined if they qualify for the Community Cat Program. If the cat is approved for the program, the shelter brings them to HOPE for Animals, where they get fixed, receive a rabies vaccine, microchip and then ear-tipped. After surgery the Allen County SPCA picks them up and transports back to their home where they were found and releases them.

The Vacuum Effect
Catching and killing feral cats is animal control’s traditional approach for feral cats. Catch and kill attempts may temporarily reduce the number of feral cats in a given area, but two things happen: intact survivors continue to breed, and other cats move in to the now-available territory. This is a phenomenon known as the vacuum effect, and it is documented worldwide.

With TNR there are no more kittens; the population stabilizes. And the returned neutered cats’ lives are improved. Behaviors and stresses associated with pregnancy and mating, such as yowling or fighting, stop.

Click here to fill out the Trapping Assistance Form.

We offer trapping assistance for just $15 if you are in the City of Fort Wayne, and $25 for those living outside city limits. Trapping cats can be a lengthy process, and our resources are limited. If you request the assistance of our Community Cat Crew to trap and transport community cats, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines. If we find that the guidelines have not been followed, we will be forced to leave the location, and you will have to begin the process of assistance all over.
If you require assistance trapping a colony, first contact us at 260-440-8893. Once we make contact with you, and schedule a date to trap, we will ask you to follow these guidelines.

1 Feed the cats at the same time every day during the same hour for at least a week prior to trapping. Remove all food outside of your allotted feeding time. (Cats are very smart and adaptable, they will learn quickly when to show up for a meal!)

2 Withhold food 24 hours before the allotted trapping date, this includes food and treats of any kind. Please leave water out.

3 If any food or treats are found while trapping, trappers will not set traps and you will have to call in to re-schedule.

4 Do not mow or cut your grass within 24 hours of scheduled trapping. Please refrain from any loud outdoor activities 24 hours prior to scheduled trapping.

5 During the trapping process, we ask that you leave the traps in place and do not disturb the traps. While cats in the colony may be used to your presence, it is best to stay away from the traps unless specifically asked to do otherwise by the trapping liaison. Keep the area as quiet and undisturbed as possible please!