Laurel Cats is a community based, all volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to finding and implementing ways for free-roaming "community" cats to live harmoniously alongside people, their homes, and their businesses throughout Laurel, Maryland while humanely reducing their numbers.
When unfixed pet cats are abandoned in our community, their kittens are raised outdoors without human contact and become unsocialized, free-roaming cats. The recent housing crisis in addition to poverty and other factors resulted in a large number of cats being left behind to breed and a growing free-roaming cat population throughout Laurel. While it is the goal of most people to reduce this community cat population, traditional trap-and-remove programs have been shown repeatedly to be expensive, ineffective, and invariably result in the death of the cats. Prince George's County alone euthanizes 4,000 cats per year with no noticeable reduction in the free-roaming cat population.
Fortunately, there are effective, humane, and cost efficient solutions available. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), where cats are humanely trapped, sterilized, vaccinated, ear-tipped and released where they were found, has been proven to be part of a successful method of managing and reducing free-roaming cat populations. It is a win-win solution for cat lovers and property managers alike - the health of the cats greatly improves through spay/neuter, vaccinations, and on-going colony care and cat problems associated with mating including yowling, spraying, fighting, and rampant kittens are reduced or eliminated while the colony steadily declines in numbers. As such, cities across the country, including locally Baltimore, Washington DC, Fairfax, Greenbelt, Laurel and most recently, Bowie, are rapidly adopting TNR programs.
It is the goal of Laurel Cats to bring neighbors from throughout our community together to:
1. Stabilize, reduce, and eventually bring the free-roaming cat population in Laurel to zero through TNR and natural attrition.
2. Assist colony caretakers, property owners, and property managers in finding ways for community cats to live harmoniously alongside homes and businesses throughout Laurel.
3. Support colony caretakers by teaching and assisting them with best management practices so that all community cats are sterilized and have access to food, clean water, shelter, and veterinary services while the rights and concerns of property owners and managers are observed.
4. Promote low-cost and free spay and neuter, responsible adoption, and other practices that will end the epidemic of dumped, unsterilized cats which perpetuates the free-roaming cat cycle.
The free-roaming cat problem in Laurel is a community problem. Community problems require community solutions. By working together we can not only eliminate problems created by community cats but reduce their numbers, and see to it that existing populations of community cats receive the care they need.