Black, white, and brown community cat lying on the ground in the shade

Community Cats

Whether you are looking to implement a new community cat programs (CCP) or improve your existing one, it’s important to understand the pieces that make a strong program. Learn this, as well as how to rally support for a CCP in these educational resources.


  • Module 1: Community Cat Programming- In this module you will gain an overview of comprehensive community cat program components, including targeted return-to -field (RTF) and targeted trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR). These programs are proven lifesaving strategies that shelters can utilize to increase the lifesaving of cats in their care.
  • Module 2: Community Engagement- By engaging and working with your community, cats and kittens stay out of your shelter and in the community where they belong. Recognizing that people are the solution rather than the problem allows organizations to implement innovative programs and solve long-standing cat-related complaints
  • Module 3: Adoptions and Fostering- In this module you will learn to create, advocate for, market and implement lifesaving adoption, working cat and foster programs for cats in the shelter. 
  • Module 4: Cats in Shelters- To ensure that every cat’s time in a shelter is as safe and stress free as possible, it’s important to know how to safely use cat handling equipment, provide enrichment and decompression and incorporate cleaning protocols into the shelter's daily tasks.
  • Module 5: Shelter Medicine- Review medical guidelines to help build programming that will best route and expedite the cats in your shelter toward positive outcomes.
  • Module 6: Kittens- The care of underage kittens can be a daunting endeavor for many organizations. This module will help you create programming that can swiftly and effectively care for the neonatal kittens in your community.
  • Module 7: Leading Change- Data is a critical tool to help identify gaps in programming. Once gaps are identified, you can review steps for making changes and launching new programming, get stakeholder buy-in, communicate change and empower others to become agents of change.


  • Alternative Outcomes Playbook- Shelters and animal organizations around the country are exploring new ways to save more lives every day by collaborating with each other and engaging their communities to create strategic partnerships and programs that are critical to achieving and maintaining no-kill status. These innovative programs create live outcomes for animals that are alternatives to traditional adoption and transfer programs and have become standard proven lifesaving strategies for shelters. This playbook will provide examples of successful alternative outcome programs.
  • Community Cat Programs Handbook- This revised version of the Community Cat Programs Handbook is fully updated with the latest research and effective practices to start or enhance a CCP. Community cats are widely accepted as members of the community and there is growing public support for lifesaving programs, such as trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR, also known as trap-neuter-return or TNR). Organized into 28 chapters that may be viewed individually or collectively, the handbook acknowledges the unique relationships between free-roaming cats and residents, and demonstrates how CCPs benefit everyone.
  • Community Cat Programs Training Playbook- Community cat programs (CCPs) are a critical lifesaving option. Many community cats aren’t socialized to humans and therefore are unlikely to be adopted. CCPs are effective at reducing the numbers of these cats, reducing shelter admissions and therefore shelter deaths, saving taxpayers money and providing a public health benefit to the community. In such programs, unowned, free-roaming cats deemed healthy enough to qualify for the program are sterilized, vaccinated and returned to their original location.

You can find more information on community cats here