McKamey Animal Center is beginning a program for feral cats. (Photo: Ferdinand Stöhr, StockSnap)

In an attempt to reduce the population of feral cats in Chattanooga, McKamey Animal Center is offering free spay/neuter services to caretakers who trap and care for feral cats within the city limits. 

The goal of this program—called Trap-Neuter-Return—is to improve the lives of feral cats in the city by stabilizing the population and ending behaviors associated with mating. Those behaviors include yowling, roaming and fighting.

According to Jamie McAloon, executive director of the animal center, McKamey took in 2,457 cats from the city and spayed/neutered hundreds more last year. 

"We would love to see our veterinary clinic full of cats awaiting spay/neuter," McAloon said. "From May until October, our shelter as well as others are full to capacity with litters of kittens arriving by the minute. Our hope is to see some relief from those box loads and baskets full of kittens arriving daily in an already-full shelter."

Feral cats can be brought to McKamey Animal Center between 8 and 9 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. They may be picked up between 4 and 5 p.m. the same day. Cats must be in a safe trap to reduce the risk of bites and scratches. 

The cats will also receive a free rabies vaccination and will have their ears tipped to identify them as fixed. 

More information can be found at McKameyAnimalCenter.org. Click here for more information on humanely trapping feral cats.