Community cats

Community cats live outdoors because they’re lost, abandoned or born feral.

Only socialized cats or kittens are adoptable. Most feral cats are afraid of people and won’t adapt to being a pet or living in a shelter.

Trap, neuter, return management program

This is the only proven solution to reduce community cat populations in an effective and humane way.

How it works

Community cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated for rabies.

They’re released back to their cat colony with the tip of one ear removed. This is a universal sign for cats that are spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Cats that could live as pets go into adoption programs.


  • Community cat population declines over time
  • Reduces euthanasia rates
  • Reduces breeding behaviours such as scent or urine marking, roaming, vocalizing and fighting
  • Improves quality of life for cats and the community

Tips to keep community cats away

You can keep community cats away from your property by:

  • Removing food
  • Installing motion activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices
  • Using scent repellents like coffee grounds or lemon
  • Soaking garden soil with water
  • Using physical deterrents like rocks, plastic garden protection, or mulch
  • Covering sandboxes when not in use

Register as a cat colony operator

Most community cats live in groups called colonies. A cat colony operator provides basic care and record-keeping for a colony.

If you are a cat colony operator in Mississauga, you must register and apply for approval with the City.

Approved cat colony operators are exempt from specific Animal Care and Control by-laws and receive support such as:

  • Training in community cat care and humane trapping
  • Transporting trapped cats to veterinary clinics
  • Foster care, socialization and adoption programs for kittens and cats
  • Food bank resources
  • Education and outreach to the community
  • Spay/neuter services for community cats