Ferals & Strays


Clinic PhotoAt WMSNC, we know that we cannot solve the cat overpopulation problem by only spaying and neutering owned cats. Most kittens who end up in shelters are the offspring of feral or stray cats. We invite you to join our dedicated group of “trapper troopers”! We can lend you traps, give you advice on how to trap feral cats, and we may have financial assistance for you when you bring us cats you have live trapped.


I am aware of a stray cat in my neighborhood that keeps on having litter after litter of unwanted kittens, many of them dying. Can you help me?

Yes, we can help! Trying feeding this cat at the same time every day, either in early morning or at twilight. Put an open trap out by the food so the cat gets used to seeing the trap. Then, don’t feed the cat for 24 hours. After a day of no food, put some stinky wet food in the trap at the feeding time you have established. Hopefully you will trap the cat. Immediately cover the trap with a sheet so the feral cat will feel safe and settle down. Then bring the cat to WMSNC to be spayed or neutered. After the surgery, return the cat to the place where you trapped it.

Do I need to call you before I can bring in a trapped cat?

Clinic PhotoYes, you need to call us to schedule an appointment. We may be able to help you trap. You will need to trap on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday if you want to bring the cat to us within 24 hours. We are not open for surgeries on Mondays or Fridays. We understand that you may not get a cat in the trap you set every time, but we need to know that there is a possibility that you will be bringing us a trapped cat. To view our TNR information, please go to our “Learn More” tab, or click here.

How many trapped cats can I bring in?

You may bring us as many cats as you can trap, but you may only bring in two trapped cats on any one day.

Do I have to leave the cat in the live trap to bring it to WMSNC?

Yes, absolutely. Our staff cannot safely anesthetize and handle a feral cat unless it is in a live trap. You also need to bring us an empty cat carrier for every cat you bring us in a trap. After the feral cat’s surgery, our staff will put the cat into a regular cat carrier to recover.

Clinic PhotoDo you do anything to the trapped cat I bring to WMSNC in addition to the spay/neuter surgery?

Yes, we give every feral or stray cat a free Rabies shot. We will give the cat a green “tattoo” on its belly to show that it has been fixed. We also “tip” the top of the left ear of the cat so that others will know that it has been fixed from a safe distance. No one else will trap the cat a second time, not realizing that it has already been spayed of neutered.

How will I know how to care for the feral cat after the surgery?

You will get after care instructions about how long you need to keep the cat in a safe, climate controlled area, and any symptoms to watch for.

Why do I have to take the cat back to the place where I trapped it after the surgery? Clinic Photo

You must agree to return the cat to the area where you trapped it after the surgery. The cat has learned where to find food and shelter in that area. It has learned about the other animals and places in the area that are safe and not safe. You are not helping the feral cat live a better life if you do not return it to the place where you trapped it. Never take a feral cat to a shelter or rescue, as it cannot become someone’s pet and will be euthanized.

How will fixing a feral or stray cat make life for the cat and my community better?

Feral cats live longer, healthier lives when they have been spayed or neutered. Male cats are less of a nuisance to the community, as they will not get into fights over unfixed female cats. Female cats will not experience the health risks of multiple pregnancies, and will not be at risk for being in fights over mating. Managed cat colonies where all the members have been fixed can lead happy, healthy lives, and the numbers of the colony will stabilize and eventually go down.

Can I get help with managing the group of cats that I’m trying to help?

Yes, you can. We understand that paying full price to fix cats that are not your own pets is very difficult. We may have financial help available, and can lend you traps. We can also advise you about ways to build cheap, basic shelters for the winter for feral and stray cats.

Clinic Photo

Call us at 231-366-7067, to speak with one of our friendly staff members who can help you get started.
We also have live traps that can be loaned out if you do not have your own.

For more photos and information, Find us on Facebook.

If you would like information on how to donate to the
West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic, click here:
*** DONATE ***