Frequently Asked Questions


Welcome to Longmont Friends of Feral & Abandon Cats frequently asked questions (FAQs) page. This page offers answers to some of most frequently asked questions we received. Click on any question below to see the answer.

What is a community (feral) cat?

Feral cats are outdoor, free-roaming cats who have never been socialized to humans. Because they have never been socialized, they are usually fearful and distrustful of humans.

Where do community cats come from?

Feral cats are the offspring of lost or abandoned cats that are not spayed/neutered and that are born in the wild.

How can I catch a feral cat?

Click here for a great article from Alley Cat Allies which addresses trapping, spaying/neutering and returning to the original location.

What is a cat colony?

A colony is a location where a group of cats congregate that also includes a source of food and shelter.

What does a colony caretaker do?

Cat colony caretakers are responsible for feeding, providing water and monitoring the cats for health issues. They also ensure that the cats have been spayed/neutered and that any newcomers to the colony are also trapped for TNVR.

What can I do for community cats?

You can provide food and water for the cat(s) on a regular basis. When a feeding schedule has been established in the area, you can then trap the cat(s) and bring them to a low cost spay/neuter clinic for TNVR.

What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

Trap-Neuter-Return is a proven humane, and effective solution to control the homeless cat population.

Why do you ear tip community cats?

Ear tipping identifies spayed/neutered and vaccinated feral cats. It is difficult to get close to feral cats, and therefore the identification must be visible from a distance. This identification prevents unnecessary second trappings and attempted surgery. See this picture for more details.

At what age can a cat start having kittens?

Cats can become pregnant as early as five months of age and then have a litter of kittens about two months later.

Why don't we bring community cats to the local shelter?

Feral cats have never been socialized to humans, so they are deemed unadoptable as indoor cats by shelters. In most shelters they are held for the mandatory stray holding period and then killed. However, some shelters, like the Longmont Humane Society and the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, now have barn cat programs that try to place displaced, feral cats in barns. But, relocating feral, community cats is stressful for the cats and should be seen as a last resort. And, because of the limited space available in shelters and the few number of people seeking barn cats, not all feral cats who are relinquished will be able to enter these programs.

How can I catch a feral cat?

Here is an article from Alley Cat Allies which addresses trapping, spaying/neutering and returning to the original location.

What should I do if I find feral kittens?

Before removing any kittens, please consult Longmont Friends of Feral and Abandoned Cats or your local animal control. It is important to leave kittens with their mothers until they are weaned. At that point, they can be trapped and taken to an animal shelter to be fostered and adopted. Please check to make sure your local shelter is willing to do this before relinquishing them to that shelter. There are many animal rescue groups that will foster and tame feral kittens. Alley Cat Allies has detailed guidelines on things you need to consider before removing kittens.

How do I care for small kittens?

If you have small kittens without a mother, there are some great instructional videos from “Kitten Lady” on YouTube. To watch her videos, click here.

Don't cats spread disease?

Cats can spread disease but, for both feral and pet cats, it is far more common for them to spread disease from cat to cat than from cat to human. Feral cats pose less of a risk than companion cats, because they have minimal human contact. Any contact that does occur is almost always initiated by the person. Protect yourself from cat-related disease by washing your hands after touching cat feces, avoid cat bites and scratches, cleanse the area if bitten or scratched and have cats vaccinated against rabies.  Ally Cat Allies has a very informative article on Feral Cats and the Public.

Don't cats kill birds?

The simple answer to this question is “Yes, cats kill birds.” But, humans also contribute to the decline in bird populations through the use of pesticides, habitat loss and human buildings and other structures that birds fly into. That being said, there is an ongoing debate between those trying to help cats and those trying to help birds.

Are donations to LFFAC tax-deductible?

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group.  Charitable donations are tax deductible.

Do you have other questions that weren’t on our FAQs page?  We’d love to hear from you. Use our contact us form and write your question in the message section.