Community Cat Program

Community Cat Program

The Kenton County Animal Shelter cares about the health and safety of pets and the community, which is why we have chosen to participate in a Community Cat Program.

Community cats are defined as any free roaming cat that may be cared for by one or more residents of the immediate area.  A community cat may or may not be feral and are distinguished from other cats by being sterilized and ear-tipped. 

Community cats that have been ear-tipped, sterilized, and vaccinated under the Trap-Neuter-Return Program are exempt from licensing, stray, and at-large provisions of this ordinance.

The purpose of this program is to create safer communities and promote public health by reducing the number of unvaccinated cats.  Sterilizing community cats reduces or even eliminates the behaviors that can lead to nuisance complaints.

  • Neutered males are no longer compelled to maintain a large territory or fight over mates. 
  • Females are no longer forced to endure the physical and mental demands of giving birth and fending for their young.

Through attrition and sterilization efforts, fewer cats will be breeding and contributing to the population growth.

Animal Control’s traditional approach to community cats-catch and euthanize- won’t keep an area free of cats for long.  Catch and euthanize is cruel, inhumane, and creates a vacuum, as do attempts to “relocate” cats.  Once the cats are removed from a territory, other cats move in to take advantage of the newly available resources and breed, forming a new colony.  Known as the vacuum effect, this is a documented phenomenon in a variety of animals throughout the world.  Catch and euthanize is an endless and costly cycle. Learn more from Alley Cat Allies on their website:

If you have a community cat in your area, please go to any of the following participating veterinarians to receive FREE spay or neutering.

  • Bach Veterinary Clinic
  • UCAN
  • OAR
  • Carroll County Animal Clinic
  • Heineke Veterinary Hospital
  • Humane Society of Oldham County
  • Veterinary Medical Center of Independence


The Shelter has a limited number of traps to borrow Monday through Friday, or you can purchase your own humane “Have a Heart” trap at a local retailer.

If you know of areas within Kenton County that have large populations of community cats, please call the Shelter at (859) 356-7400. If you are able to assist in trapping and/or transporting the cats in your area, please let us know. There are many cats in need of sterilization in Kenton County and the Shelter would welcome assistance from the community to decrease the free roaming cat population.

If you are having issues with community cats in your area, here is a list of ways to deter them from the Alley Cat Allies:

1. Talk to your neighbors.  Determine whether the cat is a pet, stray, or feral, and, if he has been neutered.  If not, get it done!
2. Apply nontoxic deterrents around your yard.
  • Fresh orange & lemon peels or spray citrus scented fragrances.
  • Coffee grounds, vinegar, pipe tobacco, or oil of lavender, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus also deter cats.
  • Plant the herb rue to repel cats, or sprinkle dried rue over the garden.
 3. Put a tight lid on your trash can.
 4. Block gaps in the foundation of all sheds and outbuildings.
 5. Use a car cover.

*Please go to for more information about community cats*