Denver launches program to trap, spay or neuter and return homeless feral cats

DENVER - Feral cats in Denver are being targeted by a city Animal Care and Control program that intends to stabilize and eventually reduce the feral cat population.

Denver's program will trap the cats and bring them to a facility to be vaccinated and spayed or neutered, according to a statement from spokeswoman Kerra Jones. The tips of the cats' left ears will also be removed to indicate the animals have been captured by the program.

After a recovery period, Jones said the program will return the cats to the outdoors, where trained caretakers will provide food and shelter.

"TNR (trap-neuter-release) ends the reproduction cycle and behaviors and stresses associated with mating – such as yowling, spraying and fighting – stop, which are major complaints from citizens," Jones wrote.

Anyone who spots a feral cat whose ear is not tipped can contact these partners of the TNR program for assistance:

Anyone who brings a cat to the Denver Animal Shelter on their own will be required to provide an address for where the cat came from.

"If a litter of kittens is found, leave them alone as the mom will come back for them," Jones wrote.

Animal Care and Control also provided these suggestions for keeping feral cats off your property:

  • Keep trash can lids tight.
  • Physically block or seal the location where cats are entering with chicken wire or lattice.
  • Cover exposed ground in flower beds with large attractive river rocks to prevent cats from digging.
  • Scatter fragrances that deter cats: fresh orange and lemon peels, coffee grounds, vinegar, or scented oils (lavender, lemongrass, citronella or eucalyptus).
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