Homeless Cats

The Rescue Train is dedicated to helping cats. We rescue and rehome cats from our local shelters and provide services for the stray and feral cats of Los Angeles. Many people ask us what the difference is between a stray and a feral cat.

Stray cats are former pets that have either been abandoned or “strayed” from home and gotten lost. These cats used to be cared for by an owner but are now trying to survive on their own on the streets. Stray cats are generally tame, friendly and handleable, although they still may be skittish or frightened and run away from people. Generally, though, stray cats exhibit temperaments similar to pet cats, can be picked up and touched easily.

A feral cat is an outdoor, free-roaming cat that has never been socialized by humans and is living in a “wild” state. This is a cat who was born on the streets and has never had any positive contact or interaction with humans.

Los Angeles has a very large feral cat population. Cats’ strong survival capabilities and prolific breeding steadily increases the population and will lead to more cats living in unmanaged colonies (a group of feral cats, generally related to one another, is known as a colony), a decrease in public tolerance, and an increase in pressure on the environment, animal control and our society as a whole. It is estimated there are three million feral cats living on the streets in Los Angeles. That’s almost as many cats as people.

TNR ... What is it?

Trap–neuter–return, commonly known as TNR, is a humane method of managing feral cat overpopulation. Cats are trapped (the only way to catch them), sterilized, ear-tipped for identification, vaccinated and released where they were trapped.

In the past, unwanted feral cats were caught the feral cats and exterminated. This approach is not only inhumane, but it is also costly. And it only temporarily reduces the population and does not solve the problem. It actually creates a “vacuum” effect: cats sense the population loss, so they breed even more rapidly to fill the gap. On the other hand, TRN programs are a very successful method of decreasing the feral cat population. The programs succeed at the lowest cost to the public and the best possible life for the homeless cats.

Cat Caretakers

Important reminder: while providing food, water and shelter for an outdoor cat is important, it’s also essential to make sure the cats are spayed and neutered. Cats can get pregnant as young as four months old and can have three litters per year. Your colony can quadruple in size in a very short period. Spaying and neutering will not only stop the breeding cycle but will eliminate fighting, howling, spraying and other problematic behaviors.

Feral Fix

The Rescue Train provides a free monthly mobile spay/neuter clinic for feral and stray cats in the greater Los Angeles Area. No personal pets. Services we provide:

  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Physical exam
  • Vaccines
  • Parasite control - Revolution or Cat Advantage II
  • Antibiotic – Convenia
  • Ear Tipping

Rescue Train Promo

If you are interested in getting your feral fixed, please:

Another great resource for fixing feral cats in Los Angeles is www.fixnation.org