Laurel Cats is a community effort to find and implement ways for feral "community" cats to live harmoniously alongside people, their homes, and their businesses throughout Laurel, Maryland while humanely reducing their numbers. The recent housing crisis resulted in a large number of evicted homeowners and tenants leaving unsterilized cats behind to fend for themselves and breed. Several generations later, this has resulted in a huge number of unsocialized community cats throughout Laurel. While it is the goal of most people to reduce this community cat population, traditional trap-and-remove programs have been shown repeatedly to be expensive, ineffective, and invariably result in the death of the cats. Prince George's County alone euthanizes 4,000 cats per year with no noticeable reduction in the feral cat population.
Fortunately, there are effective, humane, and cost efficient solutions available. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), where cats are humanely trapped, sterilized, vaccinated, ear-tipped and released where they were found, has been proven to be part of a successful method of managing and reducing feral cat populations. It is a win-win solution for cat lovers and property managers alike - the health of the cats greatly improves through spay/neuter, vaccinations, and on-going
colony care and cat problems associated with mating including yowling, spraying, fighting, and rampant kittens are reduced or eliminated while the colony steadily declines in numbers. As such, cities across the country, including locally Baltimore, Washington DC, Fairfax, Greenbelt, and most recently, Laurel, are rapidly adopting TNR programs.
It is the goal of Laurel Cats to bring neighbors from throughout our community together to:
1. Stabilize, reduce, and eventually bring the feral cat population in Laurel to zero through TNR and natural attrition.
2. Assist colony caretakers, property owners, and property managers in finding ways for community cats to live harmoniously alongside homes and businesses throughout Laurel.
3. Support colony caretakers by teaching and assisting them with best management practices so that all community cats are sterilized and have access to food, clean water, shelter, and veterinary services while the rights and concerns of property owners and managers are observed.
4. Promote low-cost spay and neuter, responsible adoption, and other practices that will end the epidemic of dumped, unsterilized cats which perpetuates the feral cat cycle.
The feral cat problem in Laurel is a community problem. Community problems require community solutions. By working together we can not only eliminate problems created by community cats but reduce their numbers, and see to it that existing populations of community cats receive the care they need.