How to live with cats in your neighborhood

There is a large stray and feral cat population throughout Lane County.  Eugene Animal Services responds to calls for service regarding free roaming cats who are very sick or injured.  Additionally, we partner with Greenhill Humane Society to help stabilize the current population and stop the reproduction of future cats, through the Cat Program and Trap Neuter Return.   

Trap Neuter Return (TNR). This nationally recognized model has been shown to be the most effective, humane and collaborative way for communities to coexist with cats.  Cats are humanely trapped, sterilized, ear-tipped (the universal sign that a cat is a part of a TNR program) and then returned to the same area.  Greenhill Humane Society’s TNR program is offered free to any feral, stray or free-roaming cat in Lane County.  For more  information visit this link or call 541.689.1503 ext. 140 to make an appointment.   

It is illegal to trap and relocate unwanted cats, nor does it solve the problem.  Not only is it cruel, it only creates opportunity for other cats from the area to appear, creating a viscous cycle also know as the "vacuum effect".  The TNR model stabilizes current cat colonies and prevents them from reproducing.  It is also known to lessen or stop nuisance behavior such as spraying or aggression towards other animals.  


Tips on living with cats in your neighborhood 

Put out fragrances that deter cats.  Scatter fresh orange or lemon peels, wet coffee gourds or metal pans filled with vinegar to deter cats.  Talk to your lawn and garden store about other humane options to deter unwanted animals from your yard.  

Get a Cat Scat Mat. A non chemical cat deterrent consisting of plastic mats that are cut into smaller pieces and pressed into the soil.  The mats are flexible plastic spikes that are harmless to cats and other animals but discourage digging.

Get motion-activated sprinklers.

Keep trash secure with a tight lid.  Exposed trash will attract cats, as well as wildlife.  Also, do not leave food outside for your pets, it will attract cats and wildlife.  

Block gaps in the foundation of your home, sheds and any outbuilding.  

Talk to your neighbors.  You may determine the cat is a pet and talk to their owner about the issues you’re having.  


For more information on feral cats and the effectiveness of the Trap Neuter Return model, visit the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon.




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1. What is the cities ordinance for barking dogs?
2. How to live with cats in your neighborhood
3. What can I do about injured or nuisance wildlife?
4. What am I required to do if I find a dog?
5. What animals are approved inside city limits?
6. What should I do if my pet is missing?
7. Where do I report an animal bite?