Help Spay, Neuter Feral Community Cats

The Humane Rescue Alliance Offers DC a Free Service

Community cats. (Photo: Humane Rescue Alliance)

Living in a city means living with animals that may need help or live on the streets — including feral cats. Among its many services, the Washington Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) helps spay or neuter and vaccinate the cats on the streets.

HRA offers its CatNiPP service for DC, which helps prevent the breeding of cats and the spread of diseases like rabies. Treated cats are released back onto the streets with a nicked or tipped ear so that people can identify those that have received the care.

HRA gives the service free of charge for DC residents, and charges $45 for cats outside of the area. People must make an appointment and bring the cat in a trap, which the HRA loans out with a $60 deposit.

Street cats can act social with humans, but are often not a good fit for adoption, according to the HRA. It’s recommended that community members who want to keep the cats out of trashcans and out of the way of the residents, provide food and some shelter for the cats (not necessarily as a pet, though).

“If you feed community cats, it is vital that you ensure the cats are spayed and neutered,” the HRA states. “Two well-fed cats can quickly turn into 20.”

To help a cat in your neighborhood, call 202-726-2556 ext. 313 to schedule an appointment or learn more. Or email Here’s a schedule of the Sunday CatNiPP services. Those interested in volunteering to the HRA with the community cat program can visit their website here.