Community Cats

Community Cats

Find a stray cat and are wondering what you should do?

Everett Animal Shelter follows the ASPCA’s statement on Community Cats. The term Community Cat can refer to pet cats who spend time outdoors as well as outdoor feral or under-socialized cats. If a 'stray' cat appears healthy and thriving, it is usually best to leave it alone or if friendly, check its collar for an id tag. Unless it's sick or injured, bringing a cat to a shelter may not be in its best interest. For most cats, even the most well-run shelter is a frightening, stressful environment. Most outdoor cats have an owner or caretaker and aren't lost.  

If a cat is missing the tip of one ear, this means the cat is likely an unowned spayed/neutered and vaccinated community cat. Ear-tipping is a humane and safe way to notify the public that the cat has been altered. In most cases EAS will not accept healthy appearing ear-tipped cats. Please contact the Community Cat Coalition for more information. 

If a stray cat appears sick or injured, please first determine if EAS is the correct shelter for your area by consulting the list below. If the cat is from one of these areas, and you can catch or trap it, please first submit an online found report to set up an appointment to bring it in. For urgent situations, please call 425-257-6000 and press 0 to reach a staff member.

EverettGranite FallsLynnwoodSnohomish
BothellIndexMarysvilleStanwood
BrierKirklandMill CreekTulalip
Gold BarLake StevensMonroeUnincorporated Snohomish County


What if the cat is unaltered and is breeding? 

Consider reaching out to our partner organizations who can help. The Community Cat Coalition provides resources for Trap-Neuter-Return and caring for community cats. The Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project operates a free or low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Lynnwood. 

These programs are highly beneficial as they allow the cat to receive services without having to be admitted to a shelter. 

Return-To-Field (RTF)

If a healthy, but under-socialized or feral cat arrives at EAS, it is our goal to provide it with the most stress-free experience possible. These cats are usually very frightened in a shelter environment, and we aim to make their stay as short as possible. They are also often not suitable for our adoption program.

If a healthy unowned cat is not eligible for our adoption program, EAS may qualify the cat for our RTF program. If this is the case it will be vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped and ear-tipped, then released back to the location it was found. Every attempt to find an owner will be made prior to qualifying a cat into our RTF program.

If you have any questions, please call 425-257-6000 or contact us by email