About Community Cats
What is a community cat?
A community cat is either a stray, homeless or feral cat. It is a term that describes the many different cats living outdoors and not having an owner. There are an estimated 10-15,000 community cats living where we live, work and play AND an estimated 5,000 more in inaccessible wilderness areas (over 200,000 acres), equaling a total of 15-20,000 stray, abandoned or feral cats on Kauai.
About Colony Management
Responsible management of existing community cat colonies includes: humane trapping; spay and neuter of colony cats; daily monitoring and treatment for illness or injury; removal of kittens for socialization to make them adoptable; removal of friendly dumped or abandoned adults for adoption; euthanasia of cats whose suffering cannot be alleviated; ear-tipping and microchipping cats following spay or neuter; returning cats to the location from which they were trapped (provided they do not face imminent risks); and providing daily care that includes food and water, as well as monitoring for arrival of new animals. The goal of any community cat management program is to maximize the quality of the lives of colony cats while decreasing and gradually eliminating the colony over time through attrition.
Community Cat FAQs
A feral cat is one who has either never had contact with humans, or whose contact with humans has diminished over time. A feral cat is not socialized to people and survives on its own outdoors. The vast majority of feral cats are not likely to ever be indoor pets. A feral cat’s kittens CAN be socialized to humans if they are removed from the mother at an early age and put into foster care for adoption into homes.
Kittens born in the wild to feral cats that are removed at 4 – 6 weeks of age can be socialized and become pets. However, Alley Cat Allies cautions that kittens more than 12 weeks old may never socialize completely or at all. In fact, Alley Cat Allies recommends against attempting to socialize feral cats older than 12 weeks, noting that it is both dangerous and stressful for the cat and the human involved.