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Community Cats

LifeLine’s Community Cat Program is metro Atlanta’s first and largest Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) assistance program. And, it is dedicated to humanely managing community cat colonies using TNR.

Community cats are free-roaming cats who can be feral from lack of human interaction. Before LifeLine brought TNR to Atlanta, community cats were routinely picked up, taken to county shelters and euthanized. Now, thanks to TNR, cats are trapped, neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped (to identify them as neutered) and returned back to their neighborhoods. 

Ear tipped cat enjoying a catio at the Community Animal Center


TNR is the only effective method to humanely and dramatically decrease the number of cats. Trapping and removing the cats doesn’t work because new cats will move into the area and breed up to capacity. This is well-documented and called the “vacuum effect.” 

Additionally, relocating cats to a different area is animal abandonment, which falls under animal cruelty crimes in the state of Georgia. Less than 50% of relocated cats survive because they don’t know the dangers in the area and succumb to predators, car tires, starvation, etc.


Community cats help control the rat and snake population


Because cats are spayed or neutered and vaccinated, there is less fighting over mates, howling, marking and disease spread


TNR saves taxpayers over $3.5 million by keeping cats out of greater Atlanta shelters

Community cats have been spayed or neutered through our program
Georgia counties benefit from our Community Cat Program
Monthly average number of requests


Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR) is a protocol based on shelter practices and proven research. When healthy, friendly or feral outdoor adult cats are brought into LifeLine’s county shelters, either by residents or by Animal Enforcement, the cats are vaccinated, spayed or neutered and ear-tipped. After recovering from surgery, the cats are returned to the location where they were originally found.

Returning healthy free-roaming cats to the areas they were found increases their chances of finding their families. This gives them a 10-50 times greater success rate of returning home than cats at the shelter.

Read more about our SNR policies, procedures and exceptions.

Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics in Atlanta

Community Cat Resources
Community Cats

Hero for Community Cats

Eliana is a hero for community cats! This dedicated young woman has inspired a whole community of TNR volunteers with her efforts to help cats and kittens in DeKalb County.



The Community Cat Program assists neighborhoods by:

  • Loaning humane traps and providing easy trapping instructions for TNR
  • Providing education to caretakers and the public about proper cat colony management
  • Offering affordable spay/neuter services at the LifeLine Spay & Neuter Clinics
  • Referring clients to other low-cost and free clinic services
  • Maintaining data on more than 1,000 cat colonies in greater Atlanta

Our Community Cat Program is a resource, not a rescue. We will not remove cats from your property, but we provide the tools to help you humanely manage the cats. For more information on pricing and policy, please refer to our pet care page

cute orange kitten looking at the camera


To perform such a large volume of spay/neuter surgeries and provide community cats with the medical care they need, we rely on generous donations from our community. 

Please consider making a donation today!

You can make a difference and help save lives!


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