A Humane approach

Community Cats

Many cats live freely in our communities. These cats range from friendly cats that roam door to door, adopting multiple families, to those that are truly feral (not socialized to people at all). If you find a cat, your first instinct may be to catch it and bring it to the shelter, but most cats do not benefit from this approach.

Why Cats Should NOT Come to the Shelter

  • Despite our best efforts, cats often become highly stressed when faced with confinement and an unfamiliar setting. New sights, sounds, smells can create fear in cats which leads to illness and disease.
  • They are more likely to find their way home. Often, well-meaning cat lovers assume that a cat has been abandoned when it shows up on their doorstep meowing. Chances are the cat lives nearby and is scouting for a sympathetic neighbor willing to offer an extra meal. Cats are clever and not exactly loyal. It is not uncommon for several people in a neighborhood to claim a free-roaming cat as their own. What we do know is that reclaim statistics for cats are dire and  that less than 2% of cats entering the shelter system are found by their family. 
  • Shelter systems take in far more cats than there are families looking to adopt. This leased to overcrowding and long stays for cats that were likely doing well in the environment they were taken from.
  • Needlessly housing and caring for cats that are not not in need of sheltering diverts valuable resources from those animals that truly need our help.

For these reasons, the County of Santa Clara Animal Services Center does not house healthy, free-roaming cats. 

When to Bring a Cat to our Center 

Cats that need to come to the shelter for help are those that are sick or injured. 

How you Can Work with us to Help Community Cats

By neutering community cats, we create a healthier outdoor cat population with the added benefit of mitigating concerns that may arise associated with reproducing and mating cats. You can help by participating in Trap-Neuter-Return. Our shelter Clinic offer FREE spay/neuter of unowned, free-roaming cats from our service area every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, excluding County holidays. Drop-off is at 8:00 am and no appointment in necessary. Please bring cats in a humane cats trap.

We accept cats for neuter from unincorporated Santa Clara County, San Martin, Stanford, Morgan Hill and Gilroy ONLY. Similar services may be found at other area shelters for those outside of our service area. 

All Content Copyright © 2021, County of Santa Clara, CA