Two Basic Types of Stray Cats

Abandoned Pets

Pets who have been abandoned by their owners are not well equipped to care for themselves in the wild. They are accustomed to being fed on a schedule and do not know instinctively how to fend for themselves any better than the average suburban human. These cats are often accidentally caught in traps set for true feral cats because the food in the trap is an easy target. We gladly take in these cats whenever we have room to give them an opportunity to find new forever homes.

If you know of a lovable stray in your neighborhood, you can contact our adoption team for help at 703-819-5240 or

Feral Cats

Feral cats are born and raised outside in the wild and have never been exposed to human contact. They really are wild animals and should be treated with the same caution as a raccoon or skunk.

True ferals can never be domesticated, and because they make terrible pets, taking them to the pound means certain death.

Whereas Tails High specializes in pets, Alley Cat Allies is an organization that specializes in the humane care of outdoor cats.

You can improve the lives of outdoor cats with Trap-Neuter-Return, the humane and effective approach for feral cats. To successfully trap, neuter, vaccinate, eartip, and return feral cats, you need a plan. These guidelines for humane trapping from Alley Cat Allies, the organization that helped introduce TNR to the United States, will get you on your way!