Donate Crypto Donate today

Ask Your Vet

Veterinary protocols for community cats


To help with the current shortage of spay/neuter, Neighborhood Cats offers our Ask Your Vet subsidy program for community cats. If you are a colony caretaker, trapper or rescuer working on your own in New York City, please download the program guidelines and application form. If you are a participating veterinarian, below you'll find resources on treating community cats. And thank you for helping out!  Ask Your Vet is generously supported by the Community Cats Podcast.

An eartipped cat

Eartipping

The universal mark of a neutered community cat is a straight line cut of 1 centimeter off the tip of the left ear. By identifying the cat as having already been spayed or neutered (and rabies vaccinated), an eartip prevents unnecessary re-trapping and promotes effective management of community cat colonies. Go to Eartipping for a detailed medical protocol, sample photo of a correct eartip, and sample video of the procedure.

Caring for cats in traps

Caring for cats in traps

Neighborhood Cats strongly recommends community cats, if they are feral, remain housed in their traps while at the clinic. For the safety of staff and the cats, do not attempt to transfer them in and out of cages. Instead, keep and care for them in their traps except when they are sedated. For a detailed protocol and video on how to do so, go to Caring for cats in traps. Contact us if you need a pair of dividers or purchase them at Tomahawk Live Trap.

Community cat veterinary protocols

Veterinary protocols for community cats

Learn from the experts!  For how to best manage and treat community cats, see Community cat protocols for a detailed guide from the ASPCA as well as articles from other veterinary professionals.

FIV/FeLV testing of community cats

FIV/FeLV testing

For the vast majority of TNR programs, testing for FIV and FeLV is not standard procedure. Testing is considered appropriate only when a cat is symptomatic and the veterinarian believes it will assist with diagnosis and treatment. For a discussion of why tests are not usually performed, go to FIV/FeLV testing.