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Community Cats

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The Washington Humane Society's Community Cat Programs are aimed at addressing the needs of the thousands of community cats living in the District and of the people who co-exist with them. Our main focus is to humanely reduce the population of community cats through spaying and neutering and through the socialization of young kittens so that they may be adopted into indoor homes. We offer resources and guidance for best practices in caring for community cats as well as for deterring unwanted cats from your yard.

The Cat Neighborhood Partnership Program (CatNiPP) works with residents and volunteers to Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) cats in order to get to the root of the problem – reproduction. TNR is the most humane, practical and effective long-term strategy and its use is promoted by the DC government (D.C. Code §8-1802). We depend on the participation of community members, as WHS does not currently have the resources to trap all of the cats in need on our own. Please see how you can help.

CatNiPP Vision: WHS envisions a day when every cat lives happily in an indoor home. To help realize that vision, we encourage people to spay and neuter and to keep their cats indoors.


Join us on February 21 for a Cozy Cottage Building Workshop. Learn more here.

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CatNiPP Services & Policies

The Washington Humane Society's National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center offers a CatNiPP service package for community cats: spay or neuter surgery, FVRCP and rabies vaccinations, and an ear-tip. This is FREE for cats residing within the District of Columbia. For cats living outside the District we offer the services for the low cost of $45 per cat. Appointments are required and all cats must arrive at the clinic in a trap. We loan out traps with a $60 deposit.

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Community Cats: Neighbor Helping Neighbor

Community cats live in our neighborhoods and have no particular home or owner. They have the skills and support from residents to live successfully outdoors. While many of these cats are social with people, they may not be good candidates for adoption. Providing food and shelter for the cats helps keep them happy and healthy. It also deters cats from foraging in trashcans and setting up homes where they are not wanted. The best community cat caretakers are community members. WHS encourages caretakers to feed and shelter cats in a way that reduces conflicts with neighbors who may not want the cats on their property and to be proactive in reducing conflicts when they arise. If you feed community cats, it is vital that you ensure the cats are spayed and neutered. Two well-fed cats can quickly turn into twenty!

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Managing Conflicts

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While Community Cats are a reality in our area, and many neighbors enjoy having them around, other residents would prefer that they stay away. Part of being a responsible community cat caretaker is to help your neighbors live in harmony with the cats. Steps can be taken to deter cats from where they are not wanted as well as to encourage them to spend more time where they are welcomed. Following responsible feeding practices, providing suitable shelter, and establishing a litter box in your yard can go a long way to preventing conflicts with less-than-cat-loving neighbors.

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Get Involved!

Volunteer to be a CatNiPPer
New WHS Volunteers: Fill out Volunteer Application online!
Existing WHS Volunteers: Email to get started.

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    Trapping Cats
    – Learn how to trap a colony of community cats from an experienced trapper; then take on some colonies in need on your own.
  • Transportation – Help out those who don’t have transportation get cats and traps to and from our clinic as well as deliver cat shelters to caregivers.
  • Community Outreach – Help us spread the word about our Community Cat Programs
  • Clinic Support – Join our Sunday clinic team. We need help preparing cats for surgery, assisting with post-surgical care and recovery and with the administrative work (data entry, check-in, check-out). Volunteer Veterinarians are also needed to perform spay and neuter surgeries.
  • Feral Kitten Fostering – Socialize a litter of feral kittens so that they can be adopted into indoor homes. Click here to foster

Build Cat Shelters
Making kitty cottages is an easy and fun activity that helps to keep community cats safe and warm. They can be built in a variety of shapes and sizes and are not expensive to make. Click here for step-by-step directions.

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Support Community Cats 
Your donation enables WHS to continue spaying and neutering the District’s community cats for free and those from outside the District at a greatly reduced cost. Support CatNiPP here!

Contact CatNiPP 
202-608-1356 x101 or 202-88-ALTER