San Francisco’s method of handling feral cats might be affected by a recent ruling down in L.A., where Judge Thomas McKnew just suspended the entire county’s Trap-Neuter-Return program. So people can still bring in feral kitties for sterilization at various clinics but the county can’t subsidize or promote any such program now.
Do we have a similar TNR program in San Francisco? Oh yes. If you call the SPCA about a feral cat in your backyard, they’ll help you trap it, they’ll perform the operation and then they’ll release the kitty right back in your backyard.
Judge McKnew didn’t like that fact that there was no CEQA Environmental Impact Report done and then he read up on county reports stating that TNR was ineffectual. I don’t think San Francisco supports TNR the way Los Angeles did, but certainly it works with the SF SPCA on some issues, anyway.
This feral cat in Golden Gate Park has a notched right ear – a sure sign that it’s been through a TNR program – that’s how they mark “graduates.”
This feral kitty from the West End of GGP has yet to be trapped:
Learn more about this issue from the Chinatown Pet News Examiner (yes, the Chinatown Pet News Examiner!) and then bone up on San Francisco’s Feral Fix Program here, and below.
So, Will a Recent State Judge Ruling Affect San Francisco’s Feral Cat Neutering System? I don’t know. Just asking.
Anyway, the system in place now is about as convenient as it could be:
“Free Feral Fix Program (http://www.sfspca.org/veterinary-services/feral-fix)
In most cities, there is no care available for feral cats. But since 1993, The SF/SPCA has teamed up with feral cat caregivers to control, monitor, feed and provide veterinary care to feral cat populations — and even help adopt some into loving homes.
We provide spay/neuter procedures for San Francisco’s feral cats for free on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays — no appointment necessary.
Read the Adoption Pact between The SF/SPCA and ACC.
The new Leanne Roberts Center dramatically increases our capacity to care for and treat feral cats. See the tips below for how you can help.
How Our Feral Fix Program Works
We accept trapped cats Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding major holidays).
Drop off time is between 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Bring a trapped cat to the Leanne Roberts Center Feral Cat Department Entrance at 220 Florida Street. Be sure to cover the trap with a towel or sheet.
No need to park your car! We offer a curbside drop-off service. Simply pull up between 7:30 – 8 a.m., and a staff person will assist you.
You will be offered the option of purchasing a Feline Leukemia Test ($27.50) and/or a one-time treatment of Revolution ($8) or Advantage ($7) for fleas. If interested, please be prepared to pay by credit card or check.
Same-Day Feral Cat Pick-Up Information
Feral cats must be picked up the same day between 4:30 – 5:00 p.m.
We offer curbside pick-up at the Feral Cat Department Entrance, 220 Florida St.
A recently altered feral cat must remain indoors for recovery for two to three days.
If the cat is semi-social, you can use a garage space or bathroom.
For cats that cannot be handled, plan on keeping the cat in the trap. Ask us for advice on cage cleaning and feeding during the recovery period.
If you want to rent a trap from The SF/SPCA, contact us at 415.522.3539.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a feral cat?
A: An unsocialized “community cat” that cannot be safely handled and must be trapped to be transported.
Q: How young can a feral cat be to be spayed/neutered?
A: Feral kittens can be altered at 2 months of age and/or 2 pounds.
Q: What if I have found a feral mother cat and kittens?
A: If possible, trap the mother and kittens and provide in-home care and daily socialization of the kittens until they are eight weeks of age. At that time, the kittens can be surrendered to The SF/SPCA for adoption. The mother cat will be spayed at no charge and returned to you for release.”