Position Statement

Cat Colonies

American Humane supports properly managed programs such as trap, neuter and release programs for colony cats.

American Humane supports the reduction in the number of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats in a humane and ethical manner. Currently there are millions of free roaming abandoned and feral cats in the United States. Most of these cats will suffer premature mortality from disease, starvation, weather extremes, trauma or euthanasia. Free roaming abandoned and feral cats are non-native predators and cause significant wildlife destruction and ecosystem disruption. Currently there is no single solution that effectively addresses all aspects of the problem. Interventions to manage the problem should be well thought out, with consideration given to the welfare of the cats, wildlife and ecosystem. 

American Humane recognizes that managed colonies are controversial. Effectively managed programs, however, such as trap, neuter and release programs can improve quality of life for these cats. Whenever possible, homes should be found for colony cats who can be successfully socialized to live in a good home. The goal of colony management should be continual reduction and eventual elimination of the colony through attrition.