Frequently Asked Questions
Curiosity won't hurt the cats. Just click on the + next to each question to reveal answers.
1) What is a feral cat?
A feral cat is just like a house cat but it has been born outside and has had little to no human contact.
Our coalition also addresses homeless cats or street cats – these are cats that may have once lived in a home but are now lost or abandoned to live on the streets.
2) What is TNR (Trap/ Neuter/ Return)?
TNR is the only humane and effective way to reduce homeless cat overpopulation. TNR involves trapping, sterilizing, vaccinating, ear tipping and returning cats to their colony – kittens and socialized cats are adopted and a caretaker feeds and monitors the colony daily.
TNR is proven to be the only humane and effective way to manage the feral cat overpopulation crisis and has been practiced for over 20 years in the UK, South Africa and Denmark. After 1-3 years of TNR colony sizes decrease by 16-32% (Natoli 2006). TNR is an effective long term strategy to stabilize or modestly reduce the size of feral cat colonies as well as improve the health of these cats (Levy, 2003)
TNR is supported by almost all major animal welfare organizations including local animal rescue organizations in Toronto.
Need Help with TNR in Toronto? If you need help, fill out the the following on-line form. A member of the Toronto Feral Cat TNR Coalition will be in touch with you (please be patient as we are a small group of volunteers with limited time and resources).
3) Why is TNR so important?
Euthanasia due to homelessness is the largest cause of death in cats. There are likely at least 100,000 homeless cats in Toronto and approximately 400 kittens are born on our streets everyday during the spring and summer.
Cats are very efficient reproducers. Kittens as young as 5 months can become pregnant. Cats can have 2.2 litters/year (about 15 kittens). Queens can become pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth.
4) I Have A Feral Cat(s) In My Neighbourhood. Who Should I Contact For Guidance/Advice?
Visit our “Coalition Member Groups” page to learn more or, if you email us with more specific questions, we can put you in touch with the appropriate group.
5) What Can I Do?
6) I Am A Feral Colony Caretaker, How Can I Access The Free Spay/Neuter Clinics?
at Toronto Street Cats: In order to access the free feral spay/neuter clinic through Toronto Street Cats, please ensure the cats in your colony meet TSC clinic criteria. Click here to read the criteria and request an appointment. PLEASE NOTE: You must complete the colony caretaker training workshop through Community Cats Toronto before bringing cats to the clinic.
at the Toronto Humane Society: If order to access the free feral spay/neuter clinic at the THS, please ensure the cats in your colony meet THS clinic criteria. PLEASE NOTE: You must complete the colony caretaker training workshop through Community Cats Toronto before bringing cats to the clinic.
at Toronto Animal Services: In order to access the TAS Feral Cat Clinic located @ 821 Progress Ave (401/Markham Rd) you must complete the training workshop and register your colony through Community Cats Toronto. Once these requirements are met, TAS will contact you to arrange a colony site visit. Surgery dates will be booked after the colony visit. Feral cat traps and trap dividers may be borrowed and returned from our location at 1300 Sheppard Avenue West.
Information on upcoming workshops can be found on the Community Cats Toronto website.
7) How Can I Register For The Next TNR Workshop?
For information on dates and registration (offered by Community Cats Toronto), click here.
8) How Can I Get Feral Cat Winter Shelters?
Toronto Street Cats has held several shelter building workshops. For information on attending the next build, or if you need shelters but cannot attend, click here for information.
**NOTE: once you’ve been advised a shelter is ready for you, the email will include details about pick up.
If you can’t attend but want to build your own shelters, click here.
9) How Can I Help Feral Cats In Winter?
Alley Cat Allies has some great tips here, on caring for feral cats in winter.