The City of London manages two programs aimed at controlling the growing cat population in our city:
Feral cats, or community cats, are the wild offspring of domestic cats that are primarily the result of pet owners’ abandonment, failure to confine or failure to spay or neuter their animals allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Feral cat colonies can be found in either rural or urban type areas. Feral cats are prolific breeders, they are elusive and do not trust humans. One female cat can have up to three litters per year, with up to five kittens per litter which in turn can start breeding in six months.
Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program
What is TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane and effective approach for managing feral cats. TNR has been practiced all over the world for decades and is grounded in science. Since feral cats are not adoptable and do not want to live inside, returning them to where they were trapped is the best way to improve their lives, improve their relationships with the people who live near them, and decrease the size of colonies over time.
What is the TNR program?
A community-based Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program has been developed to assist neighbourhoods within the geographic boundaries of the City of London cope with the increasing number of feral or community cats.
This program is only for unowned cats that are living outdoors and who will be returned outside where they were trapped. Each cat will receive no charge spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, parasite treatment, microchip, long-acting pain medication, and an ear-tip.
Hours and eligibility
Currently we are running the TNR drop-off program during the week (Monday to Friday) for residents to bring in feral cats found within the City of London.
A maximum of 2 cats per day (per trapping location) can be dropped off in carriers or traps at the London Animal Shelter Services (3-1021 Wonderland Road South) between 9 and 10 a.m. and are picked up the same day between 3 and 3:15 p.m.
For larger colonies, we can work with caretakers or trappers to arrange TNR spay/neuter appointments. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renting humane live traps
Humane live-traps for the purpose of trapping feral cats are available to rent for 2 weeks for a refundable deposit of $80.
This can be arranged through email@example.com or by calling 519-661-2489 x 7368.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about feral cats
What is a feral cat colony?
Feral cats are not solitary in nature. They usually live as a group. Within this group there may be three to four generations of the same family. The size of the colony is dependant on the amount of the food source available to sustain the colony.
Where do feral cats live?
Feral cats live in both the city and in rural areas. Colonies are found anywhere there is a source of food, water and shelter be it in a dumpster, in an alley or under a porch
Can feral cats be domesticated?
Feral kittens can make good house cats if removed from the colony early enough and socialized with humans. Older feral cats can sometimes adapt but they generally resist domestication and are reluctant to trust humans.
What is the difference between a stray cat and a feral cat?
Stray cats were once pets. They are tame, friendly and will allow you to get close and pet them. Stray cats can be rescued and adopted to a home. They are sometimes vocal.
Feral cats were never tamed or socialized. They avoid humans and usually run away. Feral cats are very untrusting - so much so, they will wait to go to food if humans are in sight.
Why should we care about feral cats?
Feral cat colonies are a result of human neglect and therefore, the care of the feral cat population should be managed in a humane way.
Why not just end the life of a feral cat?
Trapping and euthanizing feral cats has been used for decades by municipalities across North America. This method has been shown to be ineffective, as the food source usually remains (dumpsters, rodents, etc.) and any remaining cats in the area will quickly repopulate or other colonies will move in and breed to capacity.
Is there a more humane and effective way for managing feral cats?
Yes. The Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of feral cats and managing colonies is an emerging program that is growing in popularity mainly throughout the United States, Europe and is now gaining momentum in Canada.
Are feral cats really a problem in London?
Feral cats are a growing concern in the city because of their ability to reproduce and if this is not dealt with, the situation in London will not improve and it will become worse as the city grows. There are no estimates on the number of feral or stray cats in London. Limited information is available from other jurisdictions. Based on the reproductive cycle of a cat, the number could be quite significant.
Pet cats and dogs
Spaying or neutering pet cats and dogs stops breeding and offers numerous health benefits; prevents or reduces spraying or urine marking, reduces urine odor, reduces fighting and roaming, and prevents diseases such as mammary tumors and uterine infections.
Our incentive program is intended to ease the financial burden some London households face when considering veterinary services.
Please note: This years’ subsidized spay/neuter program is full, and we are not accepting applications at this time. We will update our website when the program reopens. For other spay/neuter resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Subsidized Spay/Neuter Program
To determine your eligibility and apply for the Subsidized Spay/Neuter Program, please email email@example.com.
Requirement for licence
To be eligible, the pet must be licensed in the City of London. If the pet is not already licensed, one can be purchased the morning of surgery.
Who is eligible?
A person or family unit living within the geographic boundaries of London who is:
- on Ontario Works (OW), Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or is receiving Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)
- a person or family unit residing in subsidized housing
- their combined family gross income is less than the Low Income level threshold maximum threshold for that family size
Fees and Charges 2023 – London Animal Shelter Services
If your pet has been deemed eligible for our spay/neuter program, the following additional services are also available to be included during the surgery appointment.
These services are not offered without spay/neuter - please contact your regular veterinary clinic.
Treatment fees and charges:
Spay/Neuter - $25
Rabies vaccine - $6
FVRCP vaccine - $5
Full spectrum deworming - $15
Flea treatment/deworming combo - $15
Flea treatment - two applications to go home - $10
Flea treatment - seven applications to go home - $25
Microchip - $20
This years’ dog spay/neuter program is full, and we are not accepting applications at this time. We will update our website when the program reopens. For other spay/neuter resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The fee structure above will be implemented at London Animal Shelter Services to recover the costs of veterinary supplies and medicines, with only a slight above-cost rate to off-set any supplier increases that are projected to take place. This is in conjunction with the City of London Subsidized Spay/Neuter Program and is to off-set medical inventory costs.
Additionally London Animal Services works closely with City of London Approved Fostering Organizations who are self-funded rescue groups with the goal of finding TNR kittens and strayed cats a home through adoption programs. This service is only offered to City of London Approved Fostering Organizations, and only when all municipal shelter animals are first cared for and prepared for adoption.
London Animal Shelter Services
Address: 1021 Wonderland Rd. South, Unit 3 (north of Southdale Rd.)
Hours of Operation (by appointment only):
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: 519-661-CITY (2489), ext. 7368