Cats are the least reclaimed animals at shelters. To have an impact on city-wide intake and kill rates, we must reduce the free-roaming cat population.
Did you know? 92% of all kittens born in the U.S. are born to free-roaming cats. Most of the animals killed at shelters are cats.
Helping our neighbors fix their pets
The issue: There are clinics offering low-cost surgeries, but many communities can’t access them. Language, finances, trust in the system prevent a community-wide impact. In addition, the lack of coordinated, focused effort made it difficult to stabilize an area and measure results.
Our approach: We went into the most underserved neighborhoods and walked door to door. We talked to residents and offered free services—including transport and trapping. House by house, surgery by surgery, colony by colony, and zip code by zip code. We tracked the results to measure our impact.
We called it Fix Houston™.
Through April 19, 2019, we have completed more than 5,500 cat spay/neuter surgeries. That prevented more than 110,000 cat births.
What started in 2013 with a generous grant from a longtime TNR advocate Carolyn Levy, has quickly become a trailblazer. We teamed up with the City of Houston – creating the first-ever public/private partnership of its kind. Together, we bring free spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations to dogs and cats in underserved sections of Houston.
TNR is the only proven effective method for reducing the free-roaming cat population. Friends For Life traps, neuters and returns free-roaming cats in targeted sections of Houston. As we spend time block-walking each neighborhood we serve, we develop positive relationships with the residents who have been waiting so long for this kind of help. The residents not only give us access to trap cats but also help identify “hot spots” in which we may find cat colonies.
When healthy free-roaming cats are trapped, neutered and returned to their communities, the intake and euthanasia rates for neighboring shelters go down, the cat populations stabilize in the targeted areas, and the health of the free-roaming colonies is enhanced. This not only saves lives but also saves both private and public funds.
Community Cat Resources + Information
A step-by-step guide on how to preform TNR in your neighborhood
Catch and kill attempts may temporarily reduce the number of feral cats in a given area, but two things happen…
Each year, we build and distribute #ProjectWARM houses, designed to keep free-roaming cats safe and warm through the winter.
You can download a complete list of rescue resources by clicking here, but we’ve also linked to their websites below for easy access. Click here to download.
Friends For Life’s barn cat program helps place outdoor cats in safe environments where they employ their hunting skills to provide rodent/vermin control.
When, and how, to relocate feral cats if it becomes absolutely necessary.
Nathan Winograd shares his experiences leading the San Francisco SPCA’s feral cat program, dealing with the issue of FIV+ feral cats.
Learn what to do to care for orphaned kittens
Reducing shelter euthanasia rate with targeted, strategic TNR
- $65 will spay/neuter and vaccinate one cat
- $2,500 will cover a full day of surgeries
These funds help buy:
- Gas for transporting cats to surgery
- Cleaning supplies
- Feral cat traps
- Food for our feral food bank
- Project Warm houses
Friends For Life is proud to have a group of dedicated volunteers who help locate cat colonies by walking neighborhoods and talking to residents. They set up traps and catch cats, transport them to be vaccinated and spayed/neutered, help them recover from surgery and drive them back to their home territories.
Friends For Life will teach you the basics and loan you traps. We will direct you to low-cost, sometimes free, options for vaccinations and surgeries. Caregivers who need support after TNR can get food from our feral food bank.