Stray & Feral Cats

We need your help to reduce the number of stray and feral cats brought into the Shelter so that we can provide longer holding times, appropriate care, and help prevent the spread of illness for the cats in the Shelter.

There are alternatives to trapping cats in the community and bringing them to the Shelter, since less than 5% of cats brought to the Shelter are reunited with owners. The following information may be helpful:

1. If you have a stray cat in your neighborhood, don’t automatically assume it is homeless. Cats are allowed to be “at large” in Jackson County and should not be relocated to another area. However, if a cat is trespassing on your property, there are things you can do to discourage this. See “Tips for Keeping Cats out of Yards & Gardens" on this page.

2. If you learn that the cat is owned, please try to resolve the situation with the owner. We discourage people from bringing owned cats to the Shelter because we need to prioritize and dedicate resources to animals that need our services the most. Also, it is important to know that it is unlawful to keep, abandon (e.g., drop the cat off out in the woods), or dispose of a cat that has a known owner. Harboring, abandoning, or disposing of a cat that has an owner could result in a charge of theft against you.

3. If there are a number of stray cats in your neighborhood, consider a Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program. Just about every neighborhood, parking lot, alley and field has stray or feral cats trying to scratch out a living. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to make to make them disappear. Decades of removing or relocating stray or feral cats has not worked, because others move in to take their place. The best we can do for these community cats is to stop the population from growing by fixing them. Spay/Neuter Your Pet (SNYP) provides programs to do just that, even for feral cats you cannot touch or handle. Feral cat colonies are best managed by practicing a TNR program, which is supported and recommended by the major animal welfare organizations in the nation, including the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States. For more information about this, please contact SNYP in Jackson County at 541-858- 3325 to get vouchers, make vet arrangements, and learn how to humanely trap cats.

4. Consider being a Good Samaritan and adopting the stray, but remember, get it fixed! Call SNYP at 541-858-3325 for low cost spay and neuter options.

5. If you decide to trap cats for TNR through SNYP or to bring to the Shelter, please notify your neighbors at least 48 hours prior to trapping and use humane methods.

feral-cat6. Please call the Shelter to make an appointment to bring a stray or feral cat to us. Please note there are times we are not accepting cats due to limited space. All stray cat will be held for 72 hours, in case an owner is looking for it, and then evaluated for suitability as a companion animal. Depending on the outcome of the evaluation, the cat will then either be placed into one of our adoption rooms, where it will be kept until it finds a home or barn, or euthanized.

Tips for Keeping Cats out of Yards & GardensHere are some helpful suggestions for neighbors who wish to keep cats out of their yards and gardens.

1. Try battery-operated cat repellents with motion detectors. These can be found at pet stores, or by searching the Internet.

2. Push wooden chopsticks or 10-inch plant stakes into flowerbeds every eight inches to discourage digging and scratching.

3. Cats dislike citrus smells. Scatter orange and lemon peels or spray with citrus-scented spray. You can also scatter citrus-scented pet bedding.

4. Coffee grounds and pipe tobacco also work to repel cats. Some people have also suggested lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil and mustard oil.

5. Spray cat repellent (available at pet supply stores) around the edges of the yard, the top of fences, and on any favorite digging areas or plants.

6. Cover exposed ground in flowerbeds with large attractive river rocks to prevent cats from digging (they have the added benefit of deterring weeds).

7. Plant the herb “rue” to repel cats, or sprinkle the dried herb over the garden.

8. Use a motion-activated sprinkler. Any cat coming into the yard will be sprayed but unharmed and it is good for the lawn.

9. Consider using cat garden repellents. These can be found at pet stores, or by searching the Internet.

10. There are also cat repellent mats available. These can be found at pet stores, or by searching the Internet.

(Information adapted from