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Feral cat protocols

Resources for veterinary clinics working with feral cats

For a veterinarian and veterinary clinic, spay/neuter of feral cats presents unique challenges. A feral's temperment may require special handling techniques to avoid injury to staff and the patient. Often with TNR projects, large numbers of cats will be fixed during the same clinic, requiring protocols suitable for high volume surgery. Resources created by highly regarded practitioners and clinics who have recorded their methods are listed below.

General

Special Considerations for Community Cats at Spay/Neuter Clinics: Best Practices for Medical and Management Protocols (ASPCA  2014)
This illustrated, full-color guide covers best practices in medical and management protocols, including trapping, physical exams, patient selection and identification, anesthesia and analgesia, eartipping, surgery and recovery, tattooing and discharge and release. Free download.

Returning Healthy Feral Cats: Tips for veterinary care during trap-neuter-return by Dr. Brenda Griffin, DVM (Animal Sheltering Magazine 2013)

Caring for Feral Cats in the Clinic by Nancy Peterson, RVT (Veterinary Technician 2006)

Suture Options in Feline OVH by Dr. Gordon Stull, VMD (2014)

See Eartipping and FIV/FeLV testing on this site.

High Volume Spay/Neuter Clinics for Community Cats

Operation Catnip mass spay/neuter clinic

Operation Catnip
Using all volunteers, including veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians and cat lovers, Operation Catnip in Gainesville, FL, has sterilized more than 46,000 community cats since 1998. Directed by veterinarians, including Dr. Julie Levy, DVM, of the University of Florida, they regularly hold weekend spay/neuter clinics for community cats averaging between 200 to 300 surgeries each. Their website offers a complete A to Z guide on how they do it. Click on Our TNR Clinic Model, Clinic Operations and Clinic Stations for details, including videos, protocols and downloadable forms.

High volume spay/neuter clinics for cats and dogs

Humane Alliance (a program of the ASPCA)
Humane Alliance, based in Asheville, NC, is the premier training resource for high quality, high volume spay/neuter for cats and dogs. They offer training for veterinarians and veterinary technicians and support for organizations looking to open their own clinics. Their website provides e-learning resources as well, both medical and administrative.