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Community Cats

When Cat Guardians was founded in 1988, very little was being done to help “community cats”, the stray, feral and free-roaming cats who lived outdoors. Often these cats were viewed as a nuisance to be eliminated, rather than as valued members of the local community. In a time of very few options for these kitties, Kathy Blackwell opened Cat Guardians to help community cats find loving homes and safety from the streets.

Fast forward to today, and the landscape is changing for community cats thanks to a concept called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). According to Alley Cat Allies:

Scientific studies show that TNR effectively addresses the community cat population by ending the breeding cycle, meaning no new kittens are born to a community cat colony. As sound public policy, TNR addresses community concerns, reduces shelter intake and killing, and reduces calls to animal services, all of which save cats’ lives and taxpayer dollars.

When cats are free from the burdens of mating and reproducing, their relationships improve with the people who live near them (think: no more kittens outdoors or yowling, roaming, fighting, or spraying). Additionally, many diseases associated with reproduction, like certain cancers, are prevented.

Cat Guardians was an early supporter of TNR and advocated for changes to local laws that opened the door for TNR in DuPage county. With local TNR programs in place, the landscape is truly improving for community cats! But there is still more that we can do to help!

How to help a “stray” cat

If you find a cat outdoors, it’s not always best for the cat to bring it to a shelter. In fact, the best option for that cat may be to leave them where they are. It all depends on the cat. Here are some reliable sources of information to help you assess the situation (including specific guidance on what to do if you find kittens):

Local TNR Organizations

If you do find a community cat without an eartip, the following local organizations may be able to help through their Trap-Neuter-Release programs. Please note, Cat Guardians is in no way affiliated with any of the following organizations, so you will need to contact them directly for information on their programs and their policies.

Maywood — 708-829-6013

Feral Feline Project
Wheeling — 847-800-0095

Downers Grove — 630-375-7017

Triple R Pets
Western Springs — Phone 708-738-1438

Fixin’ Feral Felines
DeKalb — 815-751-8227

Feral Fixers
Lombard — 630-881-3977

Spay and Stay
Grayslake — 847-289-4557

Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Clinics

Treehouse Feral Friends Program
Chicago — 773-784-5488 ext. 234

PAWS Chicago
Chicago — 773-521-7729

Anti-Cruelty Society
Chicago — 312-644-8338

Chicago Animal Care and Control
Chicago — 773-747-1406

Animal Welfare League
Chicago Ridge — 708-636-8586

Anderson Animal Shelter
South Elgin — 847-697-2880 EXT 28

Animal Care League
Oak Park — 708-848-8155

P.A.W.S. (People’s Animal Welfare Society)
Tinley Park — 815-464-7298

South Suburban Humane Society
Chicago Heights — 708-755-7387

River Wood Pet Clinic
Lincolnshire – 847-634-0022

Lake County Animal Control
Mundelein — 847-377-8029

NAWS (National Animal Welfare Society)
Mokena — (708) 478-5102