Stray Cat Information

Stray Animal Intake

Helpful Links


  • Every year, 3,000-4,000 cats come into Multnomah County Animal Services.
  • The majority of these cats come in during the warmer months of the year, also known as kitten season.
  • In order to be able to save as many cats as possible, we are asking the public to help.
cat in the garden

How Can You Help?

If you have a stray cat in your neighborhood, don’t assume it's homeless

Cats are allowed to be “at large” according to the Multnomah County ordinance. However, if a cat is on your property, there are things you can do to discourage it.

Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR)

If there are a number of stray cats in your neighborhood, consider a trap/neuter/return (TNR) program. This humane program has proven results nationwide in alleviating many of the problems associated with stray and/or feral cats.

Consider keeping stray kittens (and their mothers) until the kittens weigh at least 2.5 lbs

At 2.5 lbs, the kittens can be safely spayed/neutered and adopted into loving homes. Unweaned kittens without mothers are often called bottle-fed babies. A few organizations may be able to accept bottle fed kittens, or give you guidance on how to bottle feed kittens. To learn more about what to do if you find kittens, please see our "If You Find Kittens" web page.

Be an advocate!

If you bring in a stray, get his/her animal number and call back to check on the cat’s progress. Be willing to foster, adopt or market your cat if space, stress or health become an issue preventing the cat from being adopted.

Keep your "Cats Safe at Home"

Cats Safe at Home is a campaign to encourage cat owners to keep their cats safely contained. Indoor cats can enjoy the outdoors in an outside enclosure or you can train them to walk on a leash. Not allowing your cat to roam free will prevent it from being exposed to hazards, disease, wildlife predation or becoming lost. It will also help reduce the impacts of cats on local wildlife. More than 40 percent of the animals treated at the Portland Audubon Wildlife Care Center have cat-related injuries. Keeping cats inside is especially important during spring when young birds are learning to fly and are extremely vulnerable. For more information about cats and wildlife, visit the Audubon Society of Portland. HSUS has guidelines for how to bring your outdoor cat inside permanently.

Spay and neuter your own pets and get others to do the same

The Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP) has determined that an additional 10,000 cats per year will need to be spayed/neutered for five years to simply get the population under control. Please don’t hesitate! See our spay/neuter resource page!

License your dogs and cats

These fees go to help homeless, stray animals in the community.

Never abandon your cat

If you can no longer care for your cat, learn about options for rehoming.

Abandoning a cat is illegal and inhumane. It is never an acceptable solution. Please don't contribute to the stray cat population.