By: Daiva Paskauskaite

Feral Cat Assistance Program Coordinator, CAP (

You have probably encountered feral cats at some point in your life. You might come across

them in your neighborhood alleys, your own backyard, or parks. Feral cats are the offspring of

lost or abandoned, unaltered pet cats or other feral cats. These cats flee if you try to pet them or

approach them too closely. The majority of feral cats are scared of people and are unlikely to

ever become pet cats or ever enjoy living inside.

Houston, as well as its outlying neighborhoods, is home to a large number of stray and feral

cats.While some cats have adapted to living outside after being lost or abandoned, others have

done so for generations. If left to their own devices, these cats will breed.

One of the most humane and efficient ways to reduce the number of feral cats in a community is

to use the TNR (trap-neuter-return) method. The feral cats are humanely trapped, vaccinated,

sterilized and released after 24 hours back to their original habitat where they can continue

living in their outdoor home. Neutering also significantly reduces fighting, yowling, and spraying

to mark one’s territory.

The problem can’t be resolved by removing cats, as such action just creates a vacuum effect.

Unfixed cats soon fill the vacant habitat, reproducing more rapidly to fill the gap. The area swiftly

repopulates to capacity, appearing as though the cats were never ever removed. Basically, it’s a

waste of time and taxpayer money.

The feral cat population can be reduced with the support of TNR organizations, low-cost clinics,

and the general public. Fortunately, there are many kind individuals striving to help the

neighborhood cats. Working together we can achieve significant results.

Citizens for Animal Protection launched its Feral Cat Assistance Program in 2000, which was

among the first pioneering programs in the State.

The Feral Cat Assistance Program (FCAP) offers and finances spay and neuter surgeries,

vaccinations for feral cats, and the rental of traps to facilitate Trap-Neuter-Return services. One

of Texas’s original organizations to help feral cats, CAP is still at the forefront of the movement.

If you think you have found feral cats close to your home and would like to help them, first

determine whether the cats are actually feral and not the neighbors’ outdoor pets. Citizens for

Animal Protection is prepared to help you by lending traps and coordinating free feral cat spay

and neuter procedures. It’s important to have surgery arrangements before trapping the cats.

Citizens for Animal Protection was founded in 1972.

Since that time, CAP has blossomed into a significant player in the care and adoption of

animals, with a focus on humane education that encourages responsible pet ownership. In

addition to housing and adopting animals, the state-of-the-art facility on I-10 and Barker Cypress

provides educational activities for kids, volunteering opportunities, foster care programs for

animals in need, a low-cost vaccination clinic, Cats and Coffee events, and the Feral Cat

Assistance Program.

More information about CAP’s FCAP program can be found at or by

contacting FCAP coordinator at