A feral cat is an outdoor cat that lives within a colony in a specified area due to having a resource; usually that resource is a source of food (someone is leaving food out or there is an abundance of prey) or shelter from the elements (an abandoned building, home, garage, or outbuilding). A feral cat is unsocialized to humans. A feral cat becomes a “community cat” as defined by our ordinance once it has gone through the trap, neuter, vaccinate, return process.
Under our city code, a community cat means a cat that is unsocialized to humans, has a temperament of extreme fear or resistance to contact with humans, and exhibits a straight-line cutting of the tip of its ear to indicate that it has been sterilized. (ref. City Code Sec. 3-102)
The primary purpose for the change in law is to reduce the number of feral cats in our community and to further reduce the number of cats impounded at the LHS. The change was made to allow for the trapping, then spaying/neutering and vaccinating, and returning the cats to the colony in which they came a legal practice. This also was done to allow residents to trap cat colonies for vetting in order to assist in controlling the population.