Community Cats

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Do you have unowned cats in your neighborhood?

McKamey's Communty 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.

Spay & Neuter Programs

The most important thing you can do for unowned outdoor cats is to ensure they are spayed and neutered. This will stabilize and eventually decrease the population by preventing births and returning them to their environment keeps new cats from moving in and having more litters. McKamey offers free spay/neuter for Community Cats in the Chattanooga City Limits when surrendered as strays to our Admissions department. All trapped cats can either be brought to our Admissions department Tuesday-Saturday as strays (Click here for Admissions hours) or our Surgery Clinic (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. 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.

Trap-Loan Program

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 $15 user fee + refundable deposit for residents of the city of Chattanooga.

CAT TRAP - $50 ($15 User Fee + $35 Refundable Deposit)

Trap returned in working condition within 10 days: 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 (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 the TNR-friendly shelter/vet for spay/neuter or admission.

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!

Contact Information

Community Cat Coordinator:

Mary Howard

423-305-7142

chattcats@mckameyanimalcenter.org

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

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Products that Offer Simple Ways to Keep Cats out of Places They Don't Belong

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Decorative Garden Items like Lava Rock, Pine Cones or Bark

  • Topping your beds with decorative garden items like lava rock, pine cones, and bark will help deter cats from digging in your garden.
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Bamboo Chopsticks

  • Place them point side up in potted plants to keep cats from digging in the dirt
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Large River Rocks

  • Place large river rocks in your garden to prevent cats from digging. Rocks have the added benefit of deterring weeds.
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Plastic Carpet Runner

  • 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.
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Simple Solution Cat Stain and Odor Remover

  • 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.
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ScareCrow Motion Activated Animal Repellent

  • 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
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Cat Scat Mat

  • 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
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PestAway Ultrasonic Outdoor Repeller with Motion Sensor

  • 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.
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Hoont Solar-Powered Ultrasonic Outdoor Animal Repeller

  • 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
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Havahart Critter Ridder Animal Repellent Granular Shaker

  • 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
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Havahart Spray Away Motion Activated Sprinkler

  • 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