Community Cat Defined
Waco is a Community Cat friendly/humane City. Our local, legal definition of a Community Cat is any free-roaming cat, regardless of socialization or sociability, cared for by one or more known or unknown residents of the immediate area. Community Cats may be friendly, unsocial, or any variation of in between. Community Cats may be ear-tipped or they may not yet have an ear-tip. They often live in close proximity to their feline family members. Most importantly, outdoors IS their home. The Waco Regional Shelter is not legally allowed to accept Community Cats unless they are ill or injured.
These cats can be friendly or unsocial. Ear-tipped cats are already spayed/neutered/rabies vaccinated and play an important role in their neighborhood by offering pest control and keeping other unvaccinated, unfixed cats from moving in. Ear-tipped cats are sometimes “indoor/outdoor” cats who live in the area, and they can be expected to make their way back to their main caretaker/residence soon. Unless injured or ill, ear-tipped cats should never be taken to the shelter.
2. LESS SOCIAL or UNSOCIAL cats who are not ear-tipped.
These cats are also likely Community Cats and should not be taken to the shelter unless injured or ill. Instead, these cats are a candidate for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). If you are in McLennan County, contact the Animal Birth Control Clinic for information. Surgery for Waco Community Cats is FREE if you have a Waco Water Bill. Contact the Animal Birth Control Clinic for details. The Animal Birth Control Clinic will also scan any cats brought in for TNR for a microchip to ensure the cat does not have an owner on record.
3. FRIENDLY cats living outdoors who are not ear-tipped/no identification.
These cats are also likely Community Cats and should not be taken to the shelter unless injured or ill. A neighbor is likely caring for this animal and either outdoors IS its home or it is an indoor/outdoor cat. These cats are also candidates for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).