Application forms available under the Community Cat Form Tab on this website, or in person at the shelter.

For any questions you may call the shelter at


What is the Community Cat Program?

First, what is a Community Cat?

No matter where you are, community cats probably live among you. Community cats are unowned cats who live outdoors in virtually every landscape on every continent where people live. Like pet cats, they belong to the domestic cat species (Felis catus).

However, community cats, also called feral cats, are generally not socialized—or friendly—to people. They live full, healthy lives with their feline families (called colonies) in their outdoor homes. Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane, effective approach to community cats, and it helps them and the communities where they live.

Community cats can sometimes be held and petted but they do not want to be inside a home or in a kennel – they want to roam free in their habitat.

Why is it Important?

For residents living in Sullivan County, we offer a TNR (trap-neuter-return) called the Community Cat Program.  We offer traps for rent with a refundable deposit of $50. We offer our expert advice on trapping and releasing and set you up with an appointment to drop off your community cats for spay/neuter. There they will be altered, ear tipped, and given a rabies vaccination. You will pick up the cats and release them back in their natural habitat. This program is crucial to keeping our community cats safe and preventing overpopulation. Application forms available under the “Community Cat Form” Tab on this website, or in person at the shelter. For any questions you may call the shelter at 423-279-2741.

**Call us to inquire about elderly/disabled assistance. **

(City of Kingsport and City of Bristol are excluded as they have their own animal control – please call to ask about other possible programs in those areas).

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the humane approach to addressing community cat populations, works. It saves cats’ lives and is effective. TNR improves the lives of cats, addresses community concerns, reduces complaints about cats, and stops the breeding cycle. TNR improves the co-existence between outdoor cats and humans in our shared environment. This is why so many cities are adopting it.

Scientific studies and communities with TNR programs are proof that TNR reduces and stabilizes populations of community cats even more than antiquated trap euthanize programs.

Not all community cats are feral. They were born outside and thrive the best outdoors. Some are feral, some will allow you to pet or even hold them, but they only rarely make the transition to full domestic life making them less than desirable indoor companions.

The Truth About Spaying or Neutering your Cat

An estimated 5 million to 8 million animals are euthanized in shelters across this country every year. Many organizations are working to decrease that number by opening low-cost spay/neuter clinics that will prevent more litters of cats that need homes.

Q: Why should I have my cat spayed or neutered?

Shelter euthanasia is the number one killer of companion animals. Spaying and neutering is the only way to reduce or eliminate that. It is also better for your pet’s health. Having a cat that is spayed or neutered will reduce or eliminate unwanted hormonal cat behavior.

Shouldn’t I let my cat have a litter of kittens before I spay them?

No. It greatly reduces the risk of certain cancers if you have them spayed before the first heat and certainly before they have a litter.

Most places are overrun with kittens. There are millions of cats and kittens that need homes and millions more that are abandoned. There simply are not enough homes for all the cats that get born every kitten season.

Q: Should I let my cat have a heat cycle before I spay them?

It is a myth that animals should have a litter or a heat before they are spayed. There are no health benefits to that at all, and it is a much easier medical procedure if you spay before the first heat. All the benefits you get from spaying or neutering your pet are magnified by spaying or neutering before the animal reaches puberty.

Shelter Animals Count | The National Database