Find Help with Feral Cats
We do not respond to most calls pertaining to cats and will not remove cats from residential properties. Kansas City, Kansas is home to many wild-born cats. They reside in every neighborhood in the city. Some citizens consider them a nuisance, while others treat them as pets. However, we would like to provide you with resources and information about how to deal with stray or feral cats.
A feral cat is an unsocialized outdoor cat who has either never had any physical contact with humans, or very limited contact. Most feral cats are fearful of people and are not likely to ever become a family pet. Feral cats live in our neighborhoods and make their homes wherever they can find food and shelter. This can become problematic because they dig in gardens, yowl at night, and spray smelly urine. Removing the cats will not solve these problems because new cats will move in to take their place.
Sometimes well-intended residents will start feeding feral cats not realizing that providing that type of care establishes them as the pet's owner and thus makes them liable for the animal.
That being said, should you choose to take ownership of a feral by caring for it, please be aware that you also are accepting responsibility for the cat just like any other pet. For ease of reference here is the specific City ordinance related to the ownership of cats:
(7) Cat control. All cats must be under the control of their owner, keeper or harborer at all times. For the purpose of this section, a cat shall be considered not under control and in violation of this section in the following situations:
(i) If a neighbor complains orally or in writing to the owner, keeper or harborer of a cat that the cat is entering upon the neighbor's property, then the cat's presence on the neighbor's property at any time subsequent to the neighbor's complaint shall constitute a violation of this section;
(ii) If a cat causes injury to persons or animals;
(iii) If a cat causes damage to property other than its owner's, keeper's or harborer's property, including, but not limited to, breaking, bruising, tearing up, digging up, crushing or injuring any lawn, garden, glower bed, plant, shrub or tree in any manner or defecating or urinating upon any private property.
(iv) This section does not apply to unowned ear-tipped feral cats.
The most effective and humane way to address the issue is through trap-neuter-return (TNR). This helps effectively reduce the number of community cats and also reduce nuisance behaviors. In a TNR program, cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and then returned to their neighborhood to live out their lives. Those cats are easily identified because, while under anesthesia, a small portion of the left ear tip is removed. Ear-tipping is the universally accepted way to tell whether a feral cat has been neutered or spayed. Because they have been fixed and can no longer breed, the number of cats is reduced over time.
If you are interested in TNR Animal Services can provide you with a humane trap. While there is no charge to use the traps, we do require a $50 security deposit which is refunded upon return of the trap.
The following are organizations in our area which provide neutering/spaying and other services for feral cats: