Maintaining a Neighbourhood Cat Colony

Feral or free-roaming cats often live together in territories or colonies. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, these cats get fed and looked after by Colony Caretakers, who work in cooperation with a TNR program, to help keep the cat population down.

It’s important to note that caretakers for TNR programs do not establish colonies of cats, but take care of already-established colonies that form naturally.

Are you interested in taking care of a colony of cats in your neighbourhood?

Before you get started here are some helpful tips:

  1. Be prepared. Make you sure you learn more about taking care of your colony; AVA has a short tip sheet, Managing Your Cat Colony, that provides you with detailed information and helpful tips. This includes ensuring your neighbours are aware of the colony caretaking.
  2. Ask for help. Colony caretaking can be a massive undertaking, including time and resources. Get in touch with a rescue agency, like AVA, to ensure you have the support and resources to look after your colony. Make sure you have a community network of volunteers to help care for the colony, especially if you will be away.
  3. Know the basics. Always provide fresh water daily for your colony, and have shelter to protect them from inclement weather. Many resources exist about building inexpensive shelters for cats.

Taking care of a colony is often a natural first step in getting involved in a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. Click here to learn more about getting involved in TNR, as well as a sample letter to your neighbours.