San Francisco SPCA Community Cats Program

Community Cats

Community Medicine

Our Community Cats Program partners with the community and volunteers to provide spay and neuter services for unowned, free-roaming, community (feral) cats throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area. Once community cats are altered and returned to their familiar communities, they live out their lives with fewer health issues and no longer contribute to animal overpopulation.

To request an appointment, please email us at or call (415) 554-3084.

Note: All community cats spay/neuter services are available by appointment only.

CalAnimals Webinar

Join CalAnimals on Tuesday, May 21, 10–11:15am for an informative webinar, prepared by the SF SPCA’s Shelter PALS program, on the challenges, particulars, and legalities of community cats programs (CCPs) in California. Learn how you can support these lifesaving, humane programs or shore up the CCP in your community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our organization assists with spaying and neutering free-roaming, unowned cats. Community cats are essentially wild animals and, because they do not typically adjust to a life with human companions, they are not appropriate for shelter intake or adoption. Follow this link to learn more.

Looking to keep cats out of your yard? Follow this link for tips. 

TNR stands for trap, neuter (or spay), and return. Community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a spay/neuter clinic for surgical sterilization, then returned to their original location once they’ve recovered from surgery. Follow this link to learn more. 

The Community Cats Program provides free surgery appointments for TNR (trap/neuter/return) for San Francisco community cats ($50 each for out-of-county community cat). TNR appointments are available Tuesday–Saturday; and drop-off is at 10am and pick-up is at 5pm.

To request an appointment, please email us at or call (415) 554-3084.

Community cats must be brought to the Spay/Neuter Clinic in individual humane cat traps or metal transfer cages. Cats brought in crates, carriers, or boxes will not be accepted.

The cats should remain in their traps throughout the entire TNR process including recovery. There should be no attempt to open the trap for any reason as it may pose a danger to you or the cat. To learn more about post-surgery care for your ferals, follow this link

All community cats must be rereleased to their original locations.

Humane cat trap rentals are available Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–4pm. You can pick up a trap at our Spay/Neuter Clinic at 201 Alabama Street on the second floor.

A trap-rental deposit is required and refunded only when the trap is returned undamaged. Trap rental is subject to availability.

Your trapping should coincide with our clinic schedule and your appointment date. Ideally you should trap the night before or early morning of your appointment date. This way the cats are not in the traps for too long. For additional trapping tips, please follow this link.

Communicating and collaborating with your neighbors may be needed to complete a trapping project successfully. For tips on how to best do this please follow this link.

A community member who is physically unable to complete the trapping and transport can request assistance from the Community Cats Program. A SF SPCA Community Cat volunteer can assist with trapping and transporting within San Francisco County; however, this service is subject to resource availability.

To request assistance, email us at with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your phone number
  • Your home address
  • Address of where the cats we sited (if different from your home address)
  • Approximate number of feral cats at this location without ear tips

San Francisco is home to many cats that live indoors, outdoors, and indoor/outdoor. Most cats you see outside are not in need of intervention and should be left where they are—unless they require assistance. First, determine whether a cat is a community cat in need of TNR, needs immediate attention (such as if they’re sick or injured), or whether they’re a healthy neighborhood cat on their daily stroll. Please visit SFACC’s page to learn how you can help. 

San Francisco County residents should reach out to San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SF ACC) for assistance with kittens found in their community. Please follow this link for more information.

Contact your local animal shelter for cats found outside of the San Francisco city limits.

San Francisco SPCA Cat in Carrier

Interested in Becoming a Community Cat Volunteer?

Our community relies on caring and hardworking volunteers to provide these vital services to the community. Join us for an in-person volunteer meeting.

Community Cats Resources

You can access helpful information and expert guidance here.