Community cats exist in multiple neighborhoods across North America. It’s rare to go anywhere and not see a roaming feline lurking around a corner or darting across a street. Tens of thousands of cats live on the streets in New York City alone. In July 2015 the City was awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature for funding to help groups Trap-Neuter-Release otherwise known as TNR. TNR programs aim to reduce the pet population without having to euthanize stray animals. They target feral and homeless cats to spay and neuter, vaccinate, and ear tip. The cats are released back into the neighborhoods for which they were originally trapped.

Community cats have become part of the landscape. Beautiful tabby’s with deep swirls of dark chocolate whisking through their fur, orange tigers with white paws, smoky grey short hairs with piercing green eyes, or the black and white misfits that strut with tails held high. People of varying living circumstances feed and watch after these homeless felines. They know that if the cats are permanently removed the problem of a nuisance animal is gone for the moment before new stray cats begin to move in. It’s called a vacuum effect and it just perpetuates the problem of unwanted cats because now those new residents are not fixed and begin to have litters of kittens.

People are learning to maintain the current residents of the cat communities. They get attached and a cathartic thing happens where they feel compassion for the animals. It’s truly a beautiful thing. When someone shows compassion for a living animal and exhibits that deep sense of caring and love it sends out an energy vibe that co-creates and multiplies. It may not be something that is seen right away, but the residual effects are like a ripple. A drop in the water that sends out a vibrating wave that carries further than we can see.

In Florida a local high school wood working teacher and his class dedicated a project to community cats. Using the model they retrieved from the Alley Cat Allies site, the cat houses are sturdy and built to last through the harshest of weather. In Florida that consists of rain, wind, and salty sea air. It is quite intriguing that a bunch of high school teenagers would want to spend their classroom time building houses for cats they probably will never meet. The cats that receive those shelters will be warm and dry and have a safe haven from inclement weather. Please contact EPIC Animals Outreach if you have further questions / concerns or to share a heartwarming story about your community cat/s.