Found a Cat or Kitten Outdoors? Here’s What to Do!


Here in Texas, kitten seasons is typically at its height between April and October. During these months, you’re more likely to find free-roaming kittens and adult cats. Depending on the age, temperament and health of the cat or kitten, Austin Animal Center has different options to help. Here’s your definitive guide to helping felines found in Austin and Travis County.

Kittens from birth to six weeks: Kittens do best when raised by their mothers and although there are programs in Austin to help orphaned kittens, if you find a litter of healthy, young kittens that are in a safe location like in a yard, the best thing you can do is leave them alone. If they’re healthy, it means mom is nearby and will soon return to care for them.

If you find a litter of kittens without a mother cat present, please do not assume they are abandoned. Mothers frequently have to leave their litter to find food (or she may be temporarily frightened away from the nest), and can be gone for hours at a time. 

Kittens six to 12 weeks: If you find kittens that are six to 12 weeks old, you can come to the shelter to receive a spay/neuter and rabies vaccine voucher. These kittens can also be brought to AAC, but because we operate at capacity for most of the summer, keeping kittens in this age group out of the shelter is truly lifesaving.

Kittens and Cats 12 weeks to adult: You may request assistance through our Community Cats program. Community Cats is a partnership between Austin Animal Center and the Austin Humane Society to assist communities in the City of Austin and Travis County. Community Cats uses a method called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR provides free spay/neuter, rabies vaccinations and a place for the cats to recover after surgery. The TNR-ing is done by AAC Volunteer Trappers.

To request assistance with TNR of free roaming cats without identifiable owners found within the City of Austin or Travis County, please email or call 512-978-0504.

If you find a free roaming cat or kitten that is friendly, you may also bring it to Austin Animal Center where they will be spayed or neutered through our Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR) program and put back where it was found.

*Cats must be found within Austin or Travis County to qualify for SNR or TNR through Austin Animal Center

Sick and injured cats and kittens of any age, geriatric cats or cats in immediate danger: If you see a cat that is sick or injured (lethargic, limping badly, appears dehydrated or emaciated, has been hit by a car or has open wounds or sores), bring them to Austin Animal Center seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you find a sick or injured cat or kitten outside these hours, you can contact 311 to find out how to get it immediate help.

How to become a Community Cat Volunteer

  1. Submit the completed SOC and Trapper Volunteer Application to Austin Animal Center.  Email the application to or mail to 7201 Levander Loop, Austin, 78702, ATTN: Community Cats Program
  2. Once approved, sign up for a brief orientation at the Community Cats facility.
  3. Set up traps in your community.
  4. Bring in trapped cats to be spayed, neutered, and vaccinated.
  5. After recovery, pick up the cats and return them to where they were found.

For more information, email or call (512) 978-0504.