Feral Friday

With kitten season fast approaching, now is more important than ever to get involved with our TNR program. Let’s come together to decrease the number of overcrowded shelters, euthanasia rates and overpopulation!!

On one Friday each month, Richland County Residents will have the opportunity to receive free spay/neuter surgeries for feral cats in their area.

Spaces are limited, so be sure to call us at 803-783-1267 or email at info@humanesc.org to reserve your spot. Please include full name, address, how many ferals you will be bringing and an estimate whether the cats are male or female. No more than three cats per household.

Ferals must be brought in a cat trap and returned in a hard plastic carrier. Both can be loaned to you from The Humane Society with a deposit fee that will be refunded when you return them.
The cats must be at least 3 lbs and 3 months old in order to qualify for surgery. We are unable to accept any cats that are still nursing kittens.

Please aim to trap the cats Tuesday – Thursday before the Feral Friday date. Ferals can be dropped off at The Humane Society the Thursday before Feral Friday or brought to us Friday Morning. If you bring the cats on Thursday, PLEASE bring a can of WET cat food with you so they can be fed one last time before surgery. Make sure there is no food in the trap when you bring them in.
For more information, call us at 803-783-1267 or email at info@humanesc.org. We are located at 405 Greenlawn Dr. Columbia, SC 29209

Urban Cats

The Humane Society initiated the Urban Cats Program in 2007 in an effort designed to advocate for a more humane solution for our region’s stray and feral cat population. There are a number of myths about feral cats, and unfortunately, our region’s feral cats have a great deal going against them. The Urban Cat Program seeks to change that by introducing “Trap-Neuter-Return” (TNR) as a better long term solution to feral cat populations. The idea of TNR is not a new one and has been implemented successfully on a national level by organizations such as Neighborhood Cats and Alley Cat Allies. Since its inception, our Urban Cats Program has changed and evolved to better address the issues inherent when dealing with Feral Cat Colonies.

Feral cats present several problems, not the least of which, is as avid contributors to our already overcrowded shelters. Properly implemented TNR is growing in popularity and is fast becoming the method of choice for managing colonies in communities across the nation. As a process, TNR has demonstrated advantages over more traditional methods of animal control, including:

  • Permanent reduction of feral and stray cat populations.
  • Cost savings to animal control agencies and the elimination of nuisance behaviors like spraying and fighting.

In addition, by returning the ferals to their territory, TNR allows the neutered and vaccinated cats to provide the public health benefits of rat abatement and protection against rabies transmission from wildlife species. The lower feral population also helps to lower any predation on birds and wildlife by the cats.

Unlike any other method known, “Trap-Neuter-Return” holds out the realistic possibility of a permanent, long-term solution to feral and stray cat overpopulation and all its associated ills.

In an effort to help control the population of feral cats, The Humane Society, through its Urban Cats Program, can offer both financial and physical assistance to feral cat caregivers and feral cat enthusiasts seeking to sterilize feral cat colonies. Individuals interested in assistance from the Urban Cats Program must meet certain requirements and are encouraged to contact The Humane Society for more information.

“The mission of Urban Cats is to promote a humane method of treatment for existing feral cats, while permanently reducing the local feral cat population.”

In order to achieve our mission, Urban Cats promotes the humane treatment and sterilization of feral cats and seeks to:

  • Maximize caretaker participation.
  • Maximize community awareness.
  • Partner with like-minded organizations.

Prior to participating in the Urban Cats Program, we ask all potential colony caregivers to review and agree to the Best Practices document shared below and fill out the downloadable application and bring it with you to your appointment.

Urban Cats Program Contract

Best Practices

There are numerous resources on the Internet for individuals seeking help with feral cats. The list below is several popular sites that are informative and useful for individuals seeking help.

Neighborhood Cats
NYC based group that has gone beyond “Trap-Neuter-Return” and has created a wealth of resources and education materials.

Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies has been doing “Trap-Neuter-Return” for some time. Needless to say, they’re setting the standards.

Stanford Cat Network
One of the original feral cat projects based at Stanford University.

Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project
West Coast approach to feral cats.

LifeLine Animal Project: Catlanta
Another example of a feral cat program coming to an urban area. This one is based in Atlanta.

Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society offers a great deal of information on all sorts of subjects, including feral cats. Like many organizations, they provide some very relevant, factual information on feral cats and feral cat legislation.