An ear notch or a missing ear tip on a cat is what identifies a Community Cat that has been spayed or neutered. It also lets officers know that the cat is not an owned pet. “Ear-tipping” is performed by a veterinarian while a cat is under anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery.
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Community Cats, also called feral cats, are members of the domestic cat species that are usually not socialized to people and therefore not adoptable to live in homes. Coralville City Ordinance defines a “Community Cat” as a cat that is not owned, has been assessed by a veterinarian, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and has been ear clipped.
Community Cats are not owned by any person or organization. Also, Community Cats are neither owned by the City, nor a liability of the City. City ordinance allows residents to trap Community Cats, have them spayed or neutered, and then release them to where they were found. The approach is commonly known as trap-neuter-return, or TNR. Community Cats are sometimes provided continuing care by public volunteers.
No. All pets, regardless of age, must be leashed at all times unless they are confined within the owner’s property. Animals found to be at large, other than those deemed to be a Community Cat, can be impounded and the owner can be cited for having an animal at large.
Pet cats that are allowed to roam away from the owner’s property are considered "at large" and may be impounded. Community Cats that create a nuisance as outlined in Ordinance 55.10 as determined by the Chief of Police or designee, may be captured and impounded. If you need help with a nuisance feral cat, or cat at large, contact Animal Control at 319.248.1800.
The City ordinance allows residents to trap feral cats, have them spayed or neutered, and then release them to where they were found. The City will not be responsible for catching or returning Community Cats. A feral cat may be returned to the community if determines no one else owns it, it has been deemed healthy, and if it has been ear-tipped, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. For more information, visit https://iowahumanealliance.org.