Feral Cat Program


Pre & Post- Surgical Instructions for Feral and Stray Cats

THANK YOU for helping to reduce the overpopulation of feral and stray cats in our community! 

The following information is based on the Feral Cat Coalitions Instructions about Pre-Surgery and Post-Surgery.  Find out more at Feralcat.com

HSVC accepts feral cats for TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Release) surgeries on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 7 am to 8:30 am.  If you know in advance you will be bringing a cat in for surgery, please call 805-646-6505 to make an appointment, however, appointments are NOT required.




Surgery and treatment costs are subsidized through the Herman Bennet Foundation.  This includes sterilization, FVRCP vaccination, Rabies vaccination, Flea treatment and Ear Tipping (not optional).  If you do NOT wish for your cat to be ear-tipped, costs and treatments will be the financial responsibility of the trapper.



Pre-Surgical Instructions

Trapping and Holding Cats

  • Traps only. Each cat must arrive in a humane live trap (covered with a towel to calm the cat).  Pet carriers are NOT permitted (cardboard, plastic, cloth, etc).  ONE CAT PER TRAP
  • Choose a holding area. Choose a place where the cat will be safe in its trap overnight.  This should be a warm, dry, well-ventilated area.
  • Safety first. Always follow humane trapping guidelines.  Never attempt to handle a feral cat, and keep children and pets away from traps. 
  • Keep the cat calm and covered. Covering the trap with a towel will allow the cat to remain quiet and comfortable
  • Food and water. Water should be made available at all times while cats are contained.  Kittens younger than 4 months of age may be fed one teaspoon of wet food at 6:00 am on the morning of surgery.  Cats older than 4 months of age should have fasted for 4 hours before surgery. 
  • Monitor. Check on the cats throughout the night and in the morning. 

Surgery Day

  • Transport safely. Never transport cats in an open truck bed or in a closed, unventilated car or truck.
  • Arrive on time. Be prepared to provide your full name, address and phone number, and the address where the cat was trapped. 
  • No Pets. Pets are not permitted.  Cats wearing collars will not be considered Feral. 
  • Be available during the day. Answer phone calls during the day in the event of an emergency.
  • Please note. There is always a risk involved when an animal undergoes anesthesia.  Caretakers are required to sign a release that holds the Humane Society of Ventura County, its staff, and its facility harmless should a cat experience complications or death due to surgery.  Any cat deemed to have a serious, untreatable medical condition that would make it inhumane to release back to its colony, may be humanely euthanized at the discretion of the veterinarian on duty.  All pregnancies will be terminated.   

After Surgery

  • Return to the shelter between 2:30-3:30 to pick up. If you will be later than 4 pm please call the shelter at 805-646-6505.
  • Keep cats safe and warm. Cats should be housed in a comfortable, temperature-regulated environment.  Anesthesia lowers a cat’s body temperature.  Make sure cats are not too hot or too cold.  Elevate traps with wood blocks and place newspapers on the ground underneath to catch falling waste.
  • Monitor cats after surgery. Check on cats throughout the night and before release.  Anesthesia and pain medication may make the cat seem disoriented or act strangely for up to 12 hours following surgery.   Check the surgical site, if possible, and watch for steady breathing.  In the rare occurrence of an adverse reaction, call 805-646-6505. 
  • Food and water. Wait until cats are fully awake before offering food or water.  Open trap door just enough to slide in a tuna-sized can of food and water.  Wet food is preferable. 
  • Sutures do not require removal. Sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed.
  • Release cats the morning after surgery. Keeping them longer than one night can result in unnecessary stress.  Lactating females should be released the night of surgery so they can return to and nurse their kittens as soon as possible.  A staff member will inform you if your cat is lactating.  Always release cats in the area where they were caught.  Point the front of the trap away from you so that it opens to an area as free of obstructions as possible, not facing a busy street. 
  • Safety first. Be cautious when handling traps.  Never attempt to handle a feral cat.  Keep children and pets away from traps.  If you are bitten, seek immediate medical attention and quarantine the cat.


What to Expect:

Normal Recovery:                                 Abnormal Recovery:

             *Lethargy                                *Vomiting       

            *Unsteadiness                         *Continued bleeding or discharge from the surgery site

                                                              *Shivering the next morning

Please call the Humane Society of Ventura County at 805-646-6505 with any questions or concerns or if you need to borrow a trap.  We do our best to return phone messages within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.  The clinic is not staffed on weekends. 


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Shelter & Adoption Location:
402 Bryant Street in Ojai