Community Cat Program
What is Community Cat Program?
The Community Cat Initiative began in 2015– with passing updates to city ordinance (click here for the updated to define what it means to be a community cat, and allows individuals or organizations to legally perform trapping, sterilization (spay or neuter) and other veterinary care, and returning community cats to our community. This practice has been shown to be an effective way to control cat populations without relying on euthanasia.
This initiative opened up the Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s Feral Cat Program from being a small, limited service, to a broader audience. This program offered low cost neutering and veterinary care to cat caretakers for a nominal fee. This program works great for people who have barn cats, or a known cat colony; who have the ability to trap the cats themselves.
In 2018, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter officially started its Community Cat Program– focusing on 3 main areas– continuing our Feral Cat Program, providing resources for community cat caretakers to help manage their colonies (Community Cat Program), and helping return cats entering the shelter to the homes they originally came from (Shelter, Neuter, Release) or relocate to new barn cat homes (Barn Cat Program). With start up grant money from Best Friends Animal Society, and assistance from Friends of Ferals based out of Fort Collins, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter could now offer assistance trapping cats and help cover the cost of each cat’s care. We also worked to start offering some education on the Community Cat Initiative through free workshops to the community. For 2021, our Feral Cat Program will change once more, and take on the official name of Community Cat Program to refer to all 3 of these initiatives.
Over the last 2 years, these programs have helped to prevent almost 1000 cats from being euthanized in the shelter and have helped almost 50 individual caretakers in Laramie County get cats trapped, neutered, vaccinated, and fed.
How much does is cost?
This program takes about $20,000 per year to keep running. Besides the initial start up funding from Best Friends Animal Society, as well as fees paid by most of the cat caretakers, this program stays funded through private donations. The demand for services still often outpaces the funding available; even so, the impact we have had so far is amazing. Not only have we managed to increase the shelter’s live release rate from 76% in 2018 to just 92% in 2019, but we have positively impacted Community Cat Caretakers as well.
The baseline cost for Community Cat Caretakers is only $40.00 per cat!
How can I help?
Please consider making a donation today to help continue this life saving program.
Consider volunteering your time– either helping in our veterinary clinic, helping with community outreach, or helping with the trapping and transportation of cats for caretakers in need.
Consider donations of supplies (see attached wish list).
If you have an interest in helping or are in need of assistance, please email our Community Cat Coordinator at [email protected] or call 307-271-5964 to leave a message. Phone calls are usually returned with in 72hrs.
How to Sign up Your Cats
Cats must be at least 3 months old, and over 3lbs to qualify for the reduced price services.
Cats will receive their core vaccinations (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia virus and the Rabies vaccine). They will be spayed or neutered, and they will be marked with a left ear tip. Additional services may be available upon request.
Surgeries are scheduled twice a month– the first Monday of the month, and the last Friday of the month.
Cats need to be brought in a trap or in a hard sided carrier– preferably only 1 cat per container to allow for safe handling.
Call ahead to schedule your colony and ensure you have a spot saved. Slots fill up fast! You can also pre-fill out your consent form ahead of time by clicking here!
Barn Cat Program
Looking to add cat to your barn, garage, shed for pest control? Barn cats are adult cats who come into the shelter under-socialized, feral, or otherwise unsuitable for house-cat living. For a substantially reduced adoption fee, (as of now, these felines are free) these cats may be adopted to be put to work in shops, barns, etc. These cats are all vaccinated, micro-chipped, spayed/neutered, and ear-tipped prior to going to their new place of employment. Please visit our adoptable animals page and submit an application. We will get you matched!
People who adopt barn cats are still expected to provide adequate food, water, and shelter.