DIY Winter Cat Shelter
Do you have unowned cats in your nieghborhood?
McKamey's Community Cat Program aims to improve the lives of free-roaming and feral cats in our community by returning spayed/neutered cats to their outdoor homes. Returning spayed/neutered cats is a humane and effective method to control the outdoor cat population by ensuring these cats are not reproducing multiple times a year. Community cats are unowned cats that live outdoors in the community. They may be feral or friendly, may have been born in the wild, or may be lost or abandoned pets.
McKamey provides a variety of services and education to support community cats and ensure they are healthy, safe, and good neighbors to the humans in the community. Click here to jump to: Spay/Neuter programs, Trap-Loan program, TNR instructions, Vaccination Clinic, Food Bank, Contact Information, and Deterrents.
Spay & Neuter Programs
The most important thing you can do for unowned, outdoor cats is to ensure they are spayed and neutered. Returning spayed/neutered cats will stabilize and eventually decrease the population by preventing births and allowing them to guard their territory, which deters unaltered cats from moving in and having more litters.
Admissions Department: McKamey offers free spay/neuter for Community Cats in the Chattanooga, Red Bank, and Lakesite City Limits when surrendered as strays to our Admissions Department (Click here for hours). Surrendering indicates that the finder is relinquishing rights to the animal and will not be given information on the animal's status after they surrender. If a Feline qualifies, it will be spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, given a rabies vaccination, and returned to the address where it was found.
Surgery Clinic: McKamey offers $25 ($15 for each additional cat brought at the same time) spay/neuter services for all feral cats, regardless of where they were trapped. Tuesday-Friday the trapper has to bring the cat(s) in a humane live trap between 8-9am and pick up the cat between 4-5pm on the same day (call 423-305-6500 for availability on Holidays).
Please call 423-305-6500 ext. 410 or 423-305-7142 to see if the Community Cat lives in McKamey's jurisdiction. For information on spay/neuter services for owned pets, click here to learn more.
Humane traps can make it much easier to bring in community cats for spay/neuter surgery. Traps are available through our Admissions department for a user fee + refundable deposit.
CAT TRAP - $50 ($15 User Fee + $35 Refundable Deposit)
If trap is returned in working condition within 10 days, the deposit is refunded.
If trap is not returned within 10 days, $1 per day will be taken out of your deposit.
All trapped cats can either be brought to our Admissions department Tuesday-Saturday as strays (Click here for Admissions hours) or our Surgery Clinic Tuesday-Friday (click here for fees): drop animal off between 8:00 am and 9:00 am and pick up is between 4:00 and 5:00 pm the same day.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Instructions
- Establish a feeding pattern by feeding once a day at the same time for at least 1 week before trapping. Make sure to pick up all leftovers after about 30 minutes.
- Count the number of cats in your area that need to be spayed/neutered. An ear-tip indicates that a cat has already been spayed/neutered and does NOT need to be re-trapped.
- Prepare the trap(s) by using enticing, smelly food and line traps with a material, such as newspaper, to support the cat's feet and absorb urine/feces while the cat is in the trap.
- Set trap(s) close to their feeding area. Make sure to place the trap against a wall, fence, curb, etc., and that the ground is even. Add a trail of bait gravy/treats leading to the opening of the trap.
- Wait for cats to be trapped. Cats can sense your presence and anxiety so make sure not to be too close or stare at them while they are investigating the trap.
- When you catch a cat. If a cat is calm, do not immediately go retrieve them because that may scare the other cats away. If a cat is not calm, quickly cover the trap with a blanket or towel and remove it from the area.
- Housing. After you catch the cats, they need to be kept in a quiet, temperature-controlled place. Line the flooring with a trap or protective material for easy clean up. Make sure they stay covered and have access to water. Use a Trap Fork to safely place a water bowl in the trap.
- Transport. Line your vehicle with appropriate protection. Take them to McKamey for spay/neuter (see above for Spay/Neuter programs).
Low-Cost Vaccination Clinic
If the cats you're caring for have already been fixed but need booster vaccines, we offer a vaccination clinic every Wednesday. Click here for more information!
Food Bank Program
If you need assistance feeding community cats (or your own pets) please call our Admissions department to ask about how our Food Bank program can help!
Community Cat Coordinator:
Tips on Caring for Cats in your Community
Click here for very helpful information on feeding, building shelters, and solving disputes with your neighbors.
See below for handouts on simple ways to build your own shelters for outdoor cats.
Cats in Places They Don't Belong?
Watch this short video for a list of great ideas to keep cats out of places they don't belong, like gardens.
Simple Tips to Deal with Common Annoying Cat Behaviors
Products that Offer Simple Ways to Keep Cats out of Places They Don't Belong
- Topping your beds with decorative garden items like lava rock, pine cones, and bark will help deter cats from digging in your garden.
- Place them point side up in potted plants to keep cats from digging in the dirt
- Place large river rocks in your garden to prevent cats from digging. Rocks have the added benefit of deterring weeds.
- Put pieces of plastic carpet runners, spike-side up, covered lightly in soil in your garden to keep cats from digging in the beds.
- Lay them over your car, spike-side up, to keep cats from lounging on your vehicles.
- Specifically formulated to eliminate tough cat odors and stains, such as urine, feces, and vomit, while discouraging repeat spraying.
- The professional strength formula of our Simple Solution Cat Extreme Stain & Odor Remover breaks down organic cat messes and is safe around children and pets when used as directed.
- Protects gardens, landscaped areas and yards from deer, rabbits, birds and other animal intruders
- Startles pests with sound and startling-but-harmless burst of water, teaching them to avoid protected area in the future
- Protects 1,200 sq. ft. day and night - powered by a single 9-volt battery for up to 6 months
- A humane, chemical-free deterrent to cats digging in the garden
- Prickly plastic teeth irritate cats without harming them
- Use in the garden or in potted plants
- Can be cut to size with scissors
- Instantly scares cats and other animals away with a motion activated blast of ultrasonic sound and strobe lights - does not worry humans
- Dependable, maintenance-free operation on 2 x 9 Volt batteries (sold separately). Optional power adapter also available.
- Eliminate roaming pest animal problems with this aggressive ultrasonic and flashing light animal repeller. Features three (3) ultrasonic frequency settings, plus an optional on/off LED flashing light.
- No messy chemicals or pesticides, no traps, no dead animals. Get rid of all animals through emitting a mixture of ultrasonic sounds and powerful flashing LED strobe lights, frightening the intruding animals and pests to leave the area.
- Solid hard plastic construction for withstanding years of rain, snow, ice and wind. Perfect for yards, patios, driveways, garages, attics, porches, boats, gardens, farms, ponds, etc. / PIR Motion sensor: Detects motion from up to 30 Ft
- Patented all-natural organic formula repels by taste and odor, not offensive to humans. Contains oil of black pepper, peperine and capsaicin
- Effectively repels groundhogs, skunks, dogs, cats, squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks and other nuisance animals
- Unique rain-resistant, OMRI Listed, animal repellent protects up to 300 square feet and provides up to 30 days of protection
- Critter Ridder canister features an adjustable shaker spout to make repellent application easier
- Ideal outdoor use: gardens, lawns, and landscaped areas. Indoor Use: basements, cellars, and storage
- Protects up to 1,900 square feet of gardens, yards and ponds.
- Infrared technology
- Sleek design and four simple sensitivity settings – Low, Medium, High, Off