About Feral Cats


Also known as a “community” cats, feral cats are born and raised in the wild, or have been abandoned or lost and reverted to wild ways in order to survive.

Feral cats have been living outdoors alongside humans for more than 10,000 years .

While some feral cats tolerate a bit of human contact, most are not socialized to people .

Feral cats typically live in groups called colonies and have strong social bonds with their colony members.

Feral cats make their home wherever they find shelter and a food source , usually near humans.

There are an estimated 200,000 feral cats in Hillsborough County.

Feral cats are a domesticated species and, therefore, are protected under the state’s anti-cruelty laws.


There are many common myths about feral cats. Click Here to learn the truth about this unique species!


Essentially, feral cats belong to the community and it’s the community’s responsibility to ensure their care.

Because feral cats are not socialized and not adoptable, they do not belong in animal pounds or shelters where virtually 100% of them are killed.

Instead, feral cats should be humanely trapped, neutered, vaccinated and returned (TNVR) to their outdoor home. Find our more about TNVR and why it is the most effective, economical and humane means of community cat population control.

In December 2011, Hillsborough County Commissioners passed a resolution recognizing Trap-Neuter-Return to better control community cat populations the practice of TNR.

Although feral cats do not pose a danger to humans or the community, it is understandable that not everyone enjoys having them in their yards. There are simple things you can do to deter cats from taking up residence on your property. Click here to find out more.

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