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Cat programs

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Found kittens outside? Read this! 

cat peeking from behind fence

Shelter Neuter Return

Marion County implemented a new shelter neuter return (SNR) program in 2019. The purpose of this program is to address the overpopulation issue and reduce unnecessary   euthanasia of cats.

"Community cats" is a term which refers to cats who are free-roaming, with or without a caretaker. These cats may be social or feral. They might be fed by humans or fend for themselves. People may refer to them as strays or feral.

Community cats are humanely trapped, sterilized and ear-tipped. Ear-tipping is an industry-wide identification procedure for sterilization. The tip of the left ear is removed, serving as an indicator that the cat has been spayed or neutered. 

What are the benefits of an SNR program?

  • Reduces mating behaviors such as yowling, fighting, roaming and spraying
  • Significantly reduces euthanasia of cats
  • May improve quality of life
  • It can provide neighborhoods relief to cat overpopulation

Working Whiskers

cat and mouse

"Working" cats and "barn" cats are interchangeable terms. Our Working Whiskers program helps less-social and feral cats as well as business and homeowners. 
Many Working Whiskers do not like to be handled but may not be adverse to lingering around people and their property. Cats in this program are adopted by individuals (at no charge) and for the intent of keeping them at their business, farm, barn, or residence for rodent control. MCAS staff will teach an adopter how to acclimate a Working Whisker to their new home. Adopters are required to provide food, clean water, and shelter from the elements. The acclimation process takes a few weeks. During that time, the cat will learn the sites, sounds, and overall atmosphere of their new home environment.
 Shop owners, barns, factories and agricultural property owners are just a few who may enjoy the services of one of our Working Whiskers. 

What are some benefits of a working cat program?

  • Rodent control 
  • Saves otherwise unadoptable cats
  • May provide companionship to other animals
  • May generate positive feedback from customers

Both of these programs are popular and widely recommended throughout the animal control and sheltering community. These types of programs are quickly becoming industry standards. 

The links below showcase a few successful cat programs. (All communities will differ slightly in policies and procedures.) 

-Barn cat family

-Cats on the job

-Alley Cat Allies

-Operation Catnip

-FAQ's about Trap Neuter Release from the Best Friends Network

If you know of community cats in need of our SNR services or would like to adopt a Working Whisker, please email us or stop by our shelter.