Departments > Code Compliance > Animal Care & Control

Feral Cats

In 2012, the City of Fort Worth passed a Trap Neuter and Release (TNR) Ordinance as a mechanism to stabilize and/or reduce existing free roaming cat populations in Fort Worth. City leadership views TNR/Return to Owner (RTF) as the appropriate way to handle feral and stray cats, and understands the alternative for the vast majority of these cats is to be trapped and euthanized. City leadership views this as unacceptable and in conflict with their belief in TNR/RTF.

The city has reached its capacity for taking care of domestic dogs and cats; thus, excess capacity no longer exists at this time for feral cats. As capacity allows, Fort Worth Animal Care & Control has, and will, provide TNR services for feral cats.

The current cessation of TNR services is related to the capacity of the shelter to provide these services through city funds, not the city's commitment to TNR or to feral and stray cats.

The premise behind the ordinance was that TNR was always meant to be a community run program. Rescue groups are much better equipped at handling these issues as the focus for Fort Worth Animal Care & Control is, and always has been, dogs and cats.

View the partner presentation


Humane Society of North Texas

Texas Coalition for Animal Protection (TCAP)

Spay Neuter Network

Feral Friends Community Cat Alliance

What is a Feral Cat?

Feral cats are domestic cats that have not been socialized to people. When left to themselves, they continue to reproduce kittens that are only socialized to other cats and are afraid of people. According to the ASPCA, the number of feral cats in the U.S. is estimated to be in the tens of millions.

What are the benefits of TNR?

  • Ends the breeding cycle and stabilizes the population
  • Eliminates or minimizes annoying behaviors such as spraying, yowling, and fighting.
  • Helps end the suffering of unwanted, homeless cats.
  • Reduces euthanasia due to the number of kittens flooding our overburdened shelter.

View the Policy

Download the feral cat/TNR policy »