American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Free-roaming, Abandoned, and Feral Cats Position Statement

2012 Free-roaming, Abandoned, and Feral Cats

Download - Full Position Statement on Free-roaming, Abandoned, and Feral Cats

The AAFP supports the welfare of all cats, and strongly supports public education and efforts to promote responsible care of unowned, abandoned, and feral cats. The numbers of free-roaming, abandoned and feral cats in the United States are estimated to range from 70 to 100 million.1,2 Ignoring this population has implications for the welfare of the cats themselves, public health, wildlife and ecosystems.

The position statement above contains additional information on:

  • Welfare Considerations
  • Public Health
  • Wildlife Ecology and Ecosystem Disruption
  • Positive Efforts Directed at Population Reduction
  • Non-Lethal Strategies
  • Managed Cat Colonies
  • Cooperative Efforts Aimed at Population Reduction

AAFP and AAHA Statement on 2016 Revised AVMA Policy
2007 Feral Cats Position Statement


  1. Robertson SJ. A review of feral cat control.J Feline Med Surg 2008; 10: 366?375.
  2. Levy JK and Crawford PC. Humane strategies for controlling feral cat populations. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004; 225:1354-1360.