Community Cats

Community Cats

Is there a stray cat in your area and you’re not sure if it needs assistance?

Everett Animal Shelter follows the ASPCA’s statement on Community Cats. The term Community Cat can refer to cats living either full-time or part-time outside and either feral, semi-feral or under-socialized. The important part to keep in mind is that even cats with families may not allow strangers to approach or interact with them. If the cat appears healthy and thriving, it is usually in the animal's best interest to leave them alone. 

If you think there is a stray cat in your neighborhood there are a few things to consider before attempting to trap the cat and bring it to a shelter. If the cat appears sick, injured or in distress please first confirm EAS is the correct shelter for your area by consulting the list below. If the cat is one of these areas, and you are able to catch it, please first call our shelter to set up an appointment to bring it in.

EverettGranite FallsLynnwoodSnohomish
BothellIndexMarysvilleStanwood
BrierKirklandMill CreekTulalip
Gold BarLake StevensMonroeUnincorporated Snohomish County

If the cat does not appear sick or injured it may be in the cat’s best interest to leave it alone. For most cats that have lived on their own for the majority of their life, the shelter is a very stressful environment and can cause many cats to shut down. Before bringing an apparently healthy community cat to EAS, please consider reaching out to one of our partners who specialize in community cats and Trap-Neuter-Return programs:

Community Cat Coalition: https://communitycatcoalitionwa.org/

Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project: http://www.feralcatproject.org/

These programs are highly beneficial as they allow the cat to receive services without admission to a shelter, which increases stress and potential exposure to disease. 

Return-To-Field (RTF)

If a healthy, but under-socialized, community cat arrives at our shelter, it is our goal to provide it with the most stress-free experience possible. Because cats that are not used to being around people are usually stressed in a shelter environment we aim to make their stay as short as possible. This also usually means it is not in the cat’s best interest to enter a home adoption program.

If it is determined that the cat is unowned, unlikely to be successful in an adoption program, able to returned to the location found and appears to have been thriving, EAS may qualify the cat for our RTF program. The cat will be vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped and ear-tipped. Ear-tipping is a humane and safe way to notify the public that the cat has been spayed/neutered. Noting and reporting exact and detailed locations are critical if attempting to trap a community cat that may be returned. Every attempt to find an owner will be made prior to qualifying a cat into our RTF program.

If you have questions about a community cat in your area, please contact our shelter at 425-257-6000 / eas@everettwa.gov, or contact the animal control agency for your area before attempting to capture them.