What is a Feral Cat?

A feral cat is a cat that is untamed and was born in the wild. A feral cat can be distinguished from a stray cat by the way it acts towards humans. Stray cats were pets at one point and were either lost or abandoned so they tend to be friendly towards humans.  Feral cats live in the wild and do not appear to be friendly when approached.

Feral cats are the “wild” offspring of domestic cats and are primarily the result of pet owners’ abandonment or failure to spay and neuter their animals, allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Feral cat “colonies” can be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, and rural areas. They are elusive and do not trust humans.

Many people assume their animals will survive when they move away and leave them behind. Contrary to popular belief, domestic animals do not automatically return to their “natural” instincts and cannot fend for themselves!

Feral cats multiply quickly, and it is difficult to control their populations. TCAP offers a feral cat program to help control the feral cat population in the North Texas area.

In order to be eligible for TCAP’s feral program, feral cats must:

  • Be in a live trap
  • Have his/her ear tipped at time of sterilization
  • Receive a rabies vaccine

No appointment is necessary, but caretakers should call ahead to ensure sterilizations are being done as TCAP does close its operations from time to time for staff development. Surgical admission at TCAP spay clinics is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.  Pick-up is same day and is established that morning. TCAP does not provide feral cat spays and neuters on the last Wednesday of each month.

No more than four (4) feral cats can be brought in at a time by each caretaker without an appointment. Additional cats may be declined for service to allow TCAP time to service other pets in our care if an appointment has not been scheduled. Similarly, if TCAP receives more than 12 unscheduled feral cats per surgery day, additional feral cats may be declined for service to ensure the veterinary team has time for scheduled surgeries.

Extra charges will apply if the cat is in heat, pregnant, or a cryptorchid.

TCAP does not offer surgeries on the last Wednesday of each month.

Policy for Ear Tipped Cats

Cats that have an ear tip will be considered feral (unfriendly, not able to be safely handled).  For the safety of the cat and our staff, TCAP will not be able to vaccinate, recheck, or provide wellness services for cats with an ear tip without sedation at an additional cost and the qualifying factors for sedation being met (such as age, health, etc).