Stray & Feral Cats

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Its kitten season!  If you have found kittens, please consult the infographic below and follow the link for more information on how to figure out the approximate age of the kitten.   

1. Determine age

Source: Alley Cat Allies

2. Pet, Stray or Feral


Pet cats are socialized to interact with humans and currently owned.  Owned cats are allowed to free-roam within the City and we cannot respond to calls about loose cats.  

We strongly recommend that owned cats be spayed or neutered.  Especially if they are outdoors.  Contact River City Cat Rescue or the Sacramento Area Animal Coalition to request a free voucher.  See our Resources and Information page for more resources.


A stray cat is not afraid of humans and was probably a pet at one time.  It may have been abandoned or lost at one time.   Strays and Free-roaming pets can be VERY difficult to tell apart.  


Feral cats are unsocialized and afraid of people.  They live much like wild animals and many of them were born into this lifestyle.  Feral cats can not be adopted and would not make good pets.  TNR programs are the best way to control the feral cat population and provide them with the best quality of life possible.

If you have a feral cat colony in your area, please report it to us online using either the RequestTracker System or an Online Form, by email at or by calling 916.725.PETS

PetSmart Charities_4C_US

Due to generous grants from PetSmart Charities®, Citrus Heights Animal Services and our partners have spayed and neutered over 2,500 cats since 2013!

Community Cat Links/Resources

SSPCA Community Cat Programs

Sacramento Feral Resources - a website containing links to many local organizations and rescues

Coalition for Community Cats - a local non profit group

Alley Cat Allies - a national feral cat group with extensive information on TNR and feral cats.

Trap-Neuter-Release/Return aka: TNR

The primary goal of TNR programs is to reduce the free-roaming cat population and improve public health by providing vaccinations and surgeries to free-roaming cats.  TNR also reduces over-crowding in shelters and euthanasia of healthy cats.


  1. Proven effective control of the feral or community cat population

  2. Reduction in nuisance behaviors such as spraying, yowling and fighting

  3. Public health benefits from vaccinations administered during capture

  4. Less roaming when the urge to find a mate is eliminated

  5. Cats minimize rodent and nuisance wildlife populations

  6. Fewer cats over time due to inability to reproduce

Why not Relocate? 

Relocation is difficult to coordinate and execute, animals often don't stay in their new location, and removal of the colony leaves a void that is often filled by the arrival of a new colony.  In short, relocation of animals usually fails and we do NOT relocate community cats or other wildlife.


Start by talking to your cat-owning neighbors about your frustrations and concerns.  For tips on how to talk to your neighbors read Neighborhood Toolbox. And give them some time to solve the problem.