Cats and Shelters


Every year, approximately 7.6 million companion animals arrive at one of 13,600 community animal shelters nationwide—and nearly 3 million don’t make it out.  


Due to these overwhelming intake rates, shelters often struggle to adopt out all—or even most—of the animals who come through their doors.(from




Based on the statistics, about TWICE as many animals who come into shelters were "Stray" compared to "Owner Surrendered" and almost HALF of all of the cats entering shelters are euthanized due to lack of homes.


How we can respond to this crisis? 


  • Spaying and Neutering Community Cats (those without indoor homes/"owners") and placing them back in their outdoor home is critical to stopping the overabundance of cats entering shelters.  


  • This needs to be done on a region by region, colony by colony (TARGETED Trap-Neuter-Return), because cats can otherwise reproduce faster than we can spay/neuter them.  


  • Fewer cats will enter the shelter, and fewer cats will be euthanized.


  • Targeted TNR will help decrease the number of cats born and there will be fewer cats taken to the shelter.


  • Community Cats doing well in their outdoor homes will go back and not enter the shelter (as long as there is someone feeding them and providing shelter).


  • IMPORTANT - in no way does this mean that a cat who is not doing well outside, an ill cat, or a cat who is in danger in that environment should go back out.  If an indoor home or necessary treatment is not available for that cat, euthanasia is a kinder option that prolonged suffering and death.


  • If a cat IS doing well outside, TNR and placing the cat back out holds a lower risk of death (since 42% of cats entering shelters are euthanized).


It is up to us to educate others about this crisis - we need to "Turn off the Faucet" through Targeted TNR of Community cats!