Community Cats

Helping Cats in Our Community!

Lakes Animal Friendship Society participated in a new and innovative partnership with the BC SPCA and the Burns Lake Veterinary Clinic.

We tackled the issue of cat overpopulation in “community cat” colonies around the Burns Lake area. These colonies arise when abandoned, lost or even owned cats that are not spayed or neutered continually multiply. Most of these cats live very short and brutal lives, and our project aims to break that cycle. We hope the project will provide a model for other communities!

LAFS volunteers have worked with the superheroes at the Burns Lake Veterinary Clinic to help 474 community cats to date. Volunteers caught the cats one by one and took them to the veterinary clinic. At the clinic, the vet checked their health, and spayed or neutered the cats. They were vaccinated against diseases as well.


Community Cat Terms

Community Cats in snow

Feral Cat: a cat that has had little or no contact with humans since it was born

Stray Cat: a cat that has been abandoned or has ‘strayed’ from home and become lost. These cats can often be rehomed when someone is willing to take the time to re-socialize them

Community Cat Colony: a group of cats living in one place in the outdoors—a colony can include feral and stray cats

Caregiver: a person who looks after an outdoor feral cat colony and provides
regular food, water and shelter

Neuter: the surgery done by a veterinarian to a male cat so he can no longer

Spay: the surgery done by a veterinarian to a female cat so she can no
longer reproduce

Ear-tip or Tipped Ear: a universal symbol where the tip of the left ear of a community cat is removed during the cat’s spay or neuter surgery. This helps people see from a distance if a cat is spayed or neutered and vaccinated

Socialize or Tame: the process of teaching a cat how to be comfortable and happy to live with humans in an indoor home

TNR: “Trap, Neuter, Return” community cats are safely caught, spayed or neutered to prevent more litters, vaccinated and ear-tipped—then returned to their original location where caregivers can provide food, water and shelter for the cat colonies and monitor their health

Vaccinations: injections that help prevent diseases

Veterinarian or Vet: a doctor for animals