What is a free-roaming cat?

A free-roaming cat is any cat that is not confined in a house or other type of enclosure. This includes pets, strays and ferals.

What is a feral cat?

A feral cat is an untamed cat. Some may refer to the cat as wild. The cat was either abandoned and has reverted to a more wild state, or the cat was born outdoors to a feral or stray mother and has had little or no human contact. Feral cats are frightened of people and avoid contact whenever possible. Feral kittens can often be tamed, but adult feral cats sometimes take more patience and effort with potential that they may not be able to be socialized.

What is a stray cat?

A stray cat is a cat who has strayed from home, often in search of a mate, and has become lost, or was abandoned. Stray cats may be friendly or may have become wary of people. Their offspring may be feral. Because they have had human contact, they may be less frightened of people than feral cats and can usually be socialized and adopted into a home.

Have you seen a free-roaming cat?

Don’t look away. Contact your neighbors and post signs in your neighborhood to see if the cat has a home. If no home is located you may consider taking responsibility for the cat, placing the cat on your own, or taking the cat to a local animal shelter.  If the cat is feral, provide food and water and shelter if needed. If s/he is eating the food and still hanging around after a couple of weeks, contact the Feral  Cat Coalition of Oregon about bringing the cat in to be spayed/neutered. Feral cats face many challenges, and you can improve their lives by feeding them and getting them spayed or neutered. 

How do I keep cats out of my garden?

1. Install motion-sensor sprinklers.
2. Scatter orange and lemon peels or spray with citrus-scented spray.
3. Spread other smells that discourage cats: coffee grounds, pipe tobacco and citronella oil.
4. Push wooden chopsticks or 10-inch plant stakes into flowerbeds every eight inches to discourage digging and scratching.
5. Cover exposed ground in flowerbeds with large river rocks.
6. Build a sandbox away from your plants that will attract the cats.