Austin is home to thousands of free roaming cats in Austin, called ‘community cats’. Community cats can be friendly, semi-friendly, or not socialized to people.

The Community Cats Program helps community cats and their caregivers to keep them healthy and in the home that they know best. Resources include free spay/neuter services and non-urgent medical care for sick and injured community cats.

Whether you feed 1 unowned outdoor cat or care for 20, read on to see how we can work together!


Free Spay/Neuter

If you look out for a community cat’s wellbeing but never let it inside, you may be a cat caregiver! The best thing you can do for a community cat is to get it fixed. 

Spaying and neutering cats allows cats to lead healthier and easier lives. Cats will have less health issues, will be less likely to fight, and kittens will not be born homeless and have to suffer.

We offer free spay/neuter through two programs: Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR) [Spanish] for Good Samaritans looking out for around 1-2 cats, and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) [Spanish] for cat colonies trapped by Austin Animal Center volunteers in the community. Both programs are offered in partnership with Austin Humane Society. Cats must reside in Austin or unincorporated Travis County to be eligible for services. 

Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR)

Through SNR, cats receive free spay/neuter, a rabies vaccine, and eartip (the universal sign that a cat has been fixed). Good Samaritans can drop off cats during open hours below. You do not need an appointment but please allow up to one hour for your visit. 

Cats will be transferred to Austin Humane Society for surgery. Once the cat is fixed and ready for return, you can pick up the cat directly from AHS or AHS will release the cat back to the location where it was trapped from. Both AHS and AAC recognize the importance of a cat’s home territory to its safety and wellbeing. Cats must reside in Austin and unincorporated Travis County to be eligible for services.

AAC SNR hours 

SNR intake is currently paused as of July 2, 2024. 

*Cats must arrive in humane traps or hard-sided travel carriers. For the safety of the cats and staff, do not bring cats in a wire dog crate or dog kennel. 

For more information on the process how to trap a cat (it’s easier than you think!) view this guide [Spanish]. Never trap without a plan.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

Trap-Neuter-Return refers to the process of trapping a cat for spay/neuter and returning it to exactly where it was trapped from (aka home). Volunteer trappers meet cats where they are by trapping, transporting, and returning cats within the community. 

The Community Cats TNR program is a partnership between Austin Animal Center & Austin Humane Society. AAC is proud to offer this program for free to residents of Austin and unincorporated Travis County!

Here’s how the program works:

  • AAC volunteers trap and transport cats to our Community Cat Recovery Unit (aka the Cattyshack)
  • AHS picks the cats up for spay/neuter, vaccination, and an ear tip. AHS returns the cats to the Cattyshack after recovery.
  • AAC volunteer trappers pick the cats up from the Cattyshack and return the cats to the exact location where they were trapped from. The Community Cats TNR program does not remove or rehome healthy, free-roaming cats. 
  • Fixed cats go on to live a healthier, easier life! When a cat has gone through TNR it has what’s called an “ear tip”, where a small portion of the tip of the cat’s left ear is surgically removed. This is the universal sign that a cat has already been fixed.

Email to submit a trapping request. 

For more information, view this guide [Spanish].


Sick/Injured Cats and Kittens

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), call 311 for Animal Protection.

Community Cat Medical Voucher Program

In an effort to improve the lives of community cats and support their caregivers, AAC is proud to offer a voucher program to help provide financial assistance for sick and injured unowned, free-roaming cats. This program is for community cats residing in Austin and unincorporated Travis County who are not urgently sick or injured.  

If a found cat is facing a life-threatening medical emergency and cannot wait for medical care, please call 311.

For more information on the medical voucher program, email

We do not offer vouchers for vaccines and general wellness, but please email for information on other resources available to you.


View this guide [Spanish] for information on what to do if you’ve found kittens. Remember, there couldn’t be kittens were it not for a mama cat. And don’t forget to end the cycle of suffering by getting her spayed! See free spay/neuter options above. 


Get Involved


Keeping Austin TNR’d wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous dedication of our volunteers. If you’d like to help your neighborhood through TNR, let us know by emailing


Want to show our volunteer trappers some love? Donate much needed items through our Amazon Wishlist. All items will be shared directly with the trappers for use in the field. Thank you for your support! 


Other Resources