Community Cat FAQs
Any unowned free roaming cat with no identifiable owner that has been evaluated and sterilized by a licensed veterinarian, ear tipped, vaccinated for rabies, microchipped, documented with Animal Care & Control and released back into the area from which it was captured.
The best protection is to keep your cats inside and use proper identification in the form of a city pet registration tag and a pet microchip. Make sure you keep your pet’s identification current to the address where you reside. Should you move, contact Fort Wayne Animal Care & Comtrol to update your information. Should you give your pet away, transfer the microchip and registration information to the new owner of the animal. A cat that is found with proper identification will be held at the shelter for the normal 3-day hold period. During this time Animal Care and Control will trace the identification and make every effort to notify the owner that the lost pet has been found. City ordinance still restricts you from owning a free roaming cat.
A person who provides food, water, shelter or otherwise cares for Community Cats and complies with Administrative Rules for Community Cat Providers. A person so identified shall not be considered the Owner or Harborer of a Community Cat.
The straight-line cutting of the top 1/3 of the left ear. It is performed while the cat is anesthetized in order to identify the cat as a Community Cat. Some Community Cats are not trusting of humans. Therefore the ear-tip must be significant enough to be able to see from a good distance.
Any cat not restrained and without acceptable identification.
Free roaming cats without acceptable identification which have been impounded or trapped in the community may be deemed a potential Community Cat by the Department of Animal Care & Control. This determination is based on age, health, and behavior. Such cats may be transferred to Humane Fort Wayne for services and then reintegrated back into the community or placed in a barn cat program. A cat identified as an existing Community Cat may be immediately returned to the community and exempt from the legal hold period.
Animal Care & Control may impound Community Cats which are public nuisances, diseased, or not thriving due to loss of resources. The Department shall coordinate with partnering Animal Welfare Organizations and/or veterinarians to offer resource information for establishing opportunities for Community Cats, Community Cat Providers, humane deterrents, and advice regarding Community Cat nuisances.
Yes! We accept Community Cat walk-ins.
No, for two different reasons. The first one being that the cost to do the actual test costs almost as much as the surgery. The second being that most cats live in colonies, and if one cat already has FELV or FIV most likely the other ones in that colony also already have it. Once cats are fixed, it reduces fighting in that colony and disease is less likely to spread due to blood not being exchanged.
There isn’t an application process, but you must comply with Administrative Rules for Community Cat Providers to prevent nuisance problems that could be reported for enforcement action.
- Confine free roaming cats and arrange for surgical sterilization, vaccination for rabies, ear-tipping and microchipping. Once cats are contained, call Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control for evaluation and transport to HFW.
- Seek veterinary care, at your own expense, for a Community Cat which appears to require medical attention for serious illness or injury; Coordinate with an Animal Welfare Organization or ACC to arrange for impound of the sick or injured cat for euthanasia.
- Make a reasonable effort to work with Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control or designated Animal Welfare Organization to resolve nuisance complaints using humane deterrents and/or removal of Community Cats identified as a public nuisance.
- Community Cat Providers found to be in violation, or managing an excess number of Community Cats as determined by Animal Care & Control, may have their Community Cat Provider designation revoked at the discretion of the Department.
It shall be unlawful to provide food, water, or shelter to free roaming cats in excess of thirty (30) days unless the provider presents acceptable documentation showing implementation of the requirements of a Community Cat Provider.