At Multnomah County Animal Services, we are dedicated to seeking a humane solution for “too many cats.” We believe in Trap/Neuter/Return as a humane and more effective solution for stray and feral cats (also called "community cats") in neighborhoods, as opposed to traditional trap and remove methods.
Trap and removal efforts often lead to "vacuums" that new cats eagerly move into to take advantage of territory and resources. This in turn brings more fights for territory and breeding mates and the accompanying screaming and vocalizing that goes with such activities.
Trap/neuter/return programs help solve this issue by trapping, fixing and vaccinating intact males and females, then returning the newly spayed and neutered cats back to their territory. Once fixed, a cat's urge to fight and mark territory greatly diminishes, which means quieter neighborhoods and, over time, fewer community cats roaming due to natural attrition.
Multnomah County Animal Services offers limited assistance to individuals with single or small numbers of community cats they wish to TNR. For TNR surgery requests involving multiple cats, or colonies of cats, please refer to the following organization:
Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO)
- Phone: (503) 797-2606
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mailing address: PO Box 82734, Portland, OR 97282
- Clinic address: 4522 SW Water Ave, Portland, OR 97239
FCCO lends out traps, provides detailed instructions and how-to videos on the entire trapping, transport, and aftercare process, and can offer volunteer trapping assistance on a limited basis. Visit their website for a complete list of their services and how-to guides.
Further Resources for TNR Information
Find more information, including How-Tos, Colony Care, and Assistance with Trapping and/or Transportation
Facebook - In Groups
- Portland Area Community Cat Caregivers (https://www.facebook.com/groups/PortlandFeralCats/): A group with a good mix of seasoned trappers and caregivers, along with newcomers to the TNR world who need guidance, and everyone in-between! (Closed Group, but requests are approved quickly)
- Willamette Valley Trap/Neuter/Return Advocates (https://www.facebook.com/groups/970453283063549/): Like the group above, but geared more toward areas south of Portland. This is a good option for those who live on the west side of Multnomah County (Also closed Group, but requests are approved quickly)
A type of "Facebook" for individual and surrounding neighborhoods, NextDoor can be an invaluable resource, as your neighbors have a range of skills that many are happy to share. It's a great way for neighbors interested in TNR to pool resources and know-how and work as a team to get stray and feral cats in your community spayed and neutered!
Also see our webpage for Low cost spay/neuter services for owned cats.
National Advocacy Groups
- Alley Cat Allies - alleycat.org
- Best Friends - https://resources.bestfriends.org/advocacy-community-cats/trap-neuter-return-tnr
- ASPCA - https://www.aspcapro.org/feral
Is My Neighborhood Cat Stray Or Feral?
Have a neighborhood cat you think might be scared but social under that fearful stare? This is where MCAS shines! Call (503) 988-7387 for information on how to safely contain the cat and bring to the shelter. We will hold for a minimum of 72-hours to give potential owners a chance to claim. In the meantime we will evaluate the cat for social behavior and health, get them up-to-date on vaccines and spay/neuter, and microchip them. If deemed social, the cat can be placed up for adoption through the shelter. If the cat is determined to be unsocial, the cat can be returned to the caregiver and the location s/he feels at home and has the best chance to thrive.
Managing Outdoor Cats
- Learn about the Cats Safe at Home program to keep cats and wildlife safe.
- To keep owned, stray cats off your property, read 10 Tips for keeping cats out of yards and gardens.
From The Humane Society of the United States
- Home sweet home: bringing an outside cat in
- Peaceable backyard kingdom: protecting pets and wildlife
From the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
From the Portland Audubon Society
The Action Cat Team (ACT)
From 2013 to January 2018, Multnomah County Animal Services provided The Action Cat Team (ACT) as an innovative program to address the cat overpopulation in our community. The program staff and volunteers worked with owners and caregivers to provide spay/neuter services to their cats. The ACT program served over 1800 community cats and their caretakers with Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR), spay & neuter services, and managing outdoor cats and nuisance complaints in the community. The program was discontinued in January 2018 due to budgetary restrictions.