Community Cat
Services & Pricing

This fee helps cover a portion of the cost to provide unowned cats with: 
Spay or neuter surgery 
Rabies vaccination 
FVRCP vaccination 
Mandatory ear tip 
A dose of Bravecto (3 month flea/tick protection in one dose) 
Injected, long-lasting pain medication for postoperative recovery
Before and after care within the clinic 

FACE is a nonprofit provider. We rely on service fees and donations to keep our community cat program operating. Financial assistance may be available based on current funding levels.

Ron & Linda Chinn Community Cat Fund

Special pricing is made possible by donor support. We invite you to give a donation to our community cat program through the Ron and Linda Chinn Community Cat Fund. All donations to this fund are directed to meeting the goals of this program.

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2025 Community Cat Calendar

Community cat information

  • All about community cats

    Some consider stray/feral cats as pests, dangerous, or a nuisance. As a result, these people think it is acceptable to harm them, ignore them by “letting nature take its course” or kill them. Some believe that feral cats lead short, miserable lives and should be killed for their own good and to protect them from any future hardship they may suffer.

    FACE holds these views as cruel, inhumane, and unacceptable. TNR is not an endorsement for abandoning cats. FACE believes that all living creatures, including community cats, have an intrinsic value. They deserve compassion, care, and protection for their entire lives. All living creatures have a basic instinct to live and have the best life they can. We strive to improve their lives and promote ideals that reflect a caring and humane community.

  • The goal

    Our goal is to spay/neuter community cats in order to reduce euthanasia for all cats brought to the city shelter. Feral cats are not socialized to people and are not adoption candidates. They also are not happy living indoors. Before the Community Cat program, the only option was to euthanize them. FACE’s Community Cat Program lets qualifying stray and feral cats to be returned to their outdoor homes. All cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped for identification. Spaying/Neutering the cats not only leads to a smaller population but also reduces the nuisance and mating behaviors that happen with unaltered cats. TNR education and enrollment are offered to people who are trapping and taking cats to Indianapolis Animal Care Services. This is a non-lethal alternative to the trapping and killing of cats.

    What is a Community Cat? Community Cats are cats who live outdoors in our neighborhoods without a particular home or owner. Community cats may be temporarily brought inside a colony caretaker’s residence, for their protection, in the event of severe environmental conditions or medical necessity. If you are feeding outdoor cats in Marion County, Indiana you are required by the city’s TNR ordinance to:

    • Provide spay/neuter and eartip for all cats
    • Provide rabies vaccination
  • Information for caretakers

    Please share these details with other colony caregivers to help us spread the word.

    • Community cats must be scheduled for spay/neuter surgeries. Community cats have to be scheduled by calling us. We do not schedule community cats online and can no longer accept walk-ins.
    • Don’t trap without a plan. First, secure your appointment, then make plans to trap.
    • Drop-off times. Community cats scheduled for appointments must be dropped off at 7 to 8:30 a.m. on their surgery day. Cats arriving after 8:30 a.m. will be referred to another clinic.
    • Pick-up times. If a caretaker has a safe, quiet, climate-controlled space to keep the cat overnight after surgery, they should pick up the same day between 4:30pm-5pm. If necessary, community cats can be picked up the following day between 7am-11am.
    • Effipro preventative is $11 for one dose. If your community cats are friendly, it can be applied monthly for flea and tick prevention.

Community Cat FAQs

  • What is TNR?

    Trap-Neuter-Return (“TNR”) is a program where free-roaming stray and feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered and vaccinated. They are returned to the outdoor location where they were found. TNR is the most humane and effective approach for handing the overpopulation of Community Cats (“Community Cats”, not belonging to a particular person). TNR has been in practice for decades in the US and numerous scientific studies have shown that TNR decreases the size of colonies over time and protects public health and improves the welfare of the cats.

  • What is a community cat?

    FACE defines Community Cats as unowned stray, free-roaming and feral (unsocialized) cats who live outdoors in our neighborhoods without a particular home or owner.

  • What is an eartip? I do not want my cat eartipped!

    Eartipping is a universally accepted method to identify a spayed or neutered and vaccinated community cat. Eartipping shows the cat belongs to a managed colony. It prevents the cat from being transported for surgery a second time. It prevents Animal Control from taking the cat to the shelter (other than if severely injured). It is often difficult to get close to a Community Cat, so the eartip helps to identify the cat from a distance. At FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic, the eartip is mandatory for any Community Cat entering the program. The eartip is done while the cat is sedated for spay/neuter surgery and is completely safe and painless. See visual of an eartip here.

  • I am feeding stray cats. What are the laws?

    If you are feeding outdoor cats (stray or feral) in Marion County, Indiana you are required by the city’s TNR ordinance to:

  • I have a mother with kittens. Can you fix the mother and adopt out the kittens?

    FACE is a high-volume spay/neuter clinic and unfortunately, we do not have the capability to take kittens. The kittens should ideally stay with mom until they are 6 to 8 weeks old and eating on their own. We can spay the mother when the kittens are at least 3 weeks old and then she can continue nursing. We can spay or neuter the kittens once they are 12 weeks old and weigh 3 lbs. (the 12-week requirement allows us to provide their rabies vaccine at the time of surgery).  If you decide you want to foster the kittens and rehome them, we can provide you a list of organizations that can help place them for adoption, once they are old enough.

  • I have found kittens. What should I do?

    If you come across a litter of kittens outdoors, it is natural to want to scoop them up and try to care for them yourself or take them to a shelter. However, both of those options may actually place them in more danger. To give newborn kittens the best chance of survival, follow these steps:

    1. Leave the kittens alone and try to see if their mom is still around. Observe them from a distance every couple of hours for 8 to 12 hours. If the kittens seem content and are not fussy, there is a good chance their mom is coming back.
    2. If the kittens are in danger due to their location, move them to a safer spot nearby so the mom can easily find them when she returns.
    3. If the kittens are dirty or appear sick, underweight or dehydrated, contact a local rescue organization or Indianapolis Animal Care Services. They can help you determine if the kittens are at risk and if you should intervene.
    4. If you see mom, leave the kittens alone. When the kittens are approximately 3 weeks old, you can trap mom and have her spayed. She can continue nursing, even after spay, and the kittens can be trapped and spayed/neutered, once they are 12 weeks old. After the cats are fixed, release them at the location where you found them. TNR is the most humane method of preventing cats and kittens from entering the shelter system.
  • The kittens are orphaned / I do not see mom. What should I do?

    If you find orphaned kittens outdoors, keeping them warm is your first priority! Kittens can easily become chilled and can actually die from being cold within a short time. Be sure that from the moment you find them, you keep the kittens constantly warm. Keep an eye out for signs of chilling (i.e., kittens are listless and feel cool to the touch). If you have nothing else on hand, use your own body heat to warm up a cold kitten, and rub gently to aid circulation. Kittens cannot control their own body temperature until they are at least three weeks old. Never attempt to feed a cold kitten. Do not bottle-feed until kittens have warmed up completely. Learn more about caring for neonatal kittens.

  • How do I socialize kittens to become pets?

    To become pets, kittens need to be socialized and taught to be comfortable around people. If the kittens are eight weeks or younger, usually just about anyone can socialize them by following some simple steps. Kittens between two months (eight weeks) and fourth months of age often take more time and skill to socialize. Socializing kittens is a big commitment. Learn more about socializing kittens.

  • Can I surrender kittens to FACE?

    No, FACE is not a shelter. We are unable to take cats from the public, please take the cats to Indianapolis Animal Care Services or another area shelter.

  • Why is FACE not taking kittens?

    Our mission at FACE is to provide affordable spay/neuter, vaccination, and wellness services for the Indianapolis community to prevent the unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats. By focusing on our mission we are able to help the city and its residents by reducing the number of stray and unwanted kittens that are entering the shelter system.

  • A cat is stuck in a tree. What do I do?

    We generally think of cats as natural tree climbers. A common belief is that if the cat can get up a tree, it can get down; this is not necessarily true. When cats becomes stuck in a tree, it is important to get them down as soon as possible. In as little as a day, a stuck cat can get dehydrated and weak.

    Try these tips to get the cat down yourself:

    1) Make sure there are no dogs in the area. Put your dogs inside and have neighbors put their dogs inside so the cat is comfortable enough to come down and not stressed by the dogs.

    2) Use treats to coax the cat down. If it is your cat, use the treat they like best. If you do not know the cat, use a strong smelling treat, such as tuna. Leave a bowl of food at the base of the tree and then walk way. Let the cat come down for the food when it feels comfortable.

    3) Use a laser pointer to lure the cat down. If the cat likes to play with the dot from the laser pointer, you may be able to trick it into coming down to chase it.

    4) Keep an eye on the cat but give it time to come down on its own. Cats often come down, given time and space. The cat may just need space, quiet and reassurance that no other animals or people are going to harm it.

    For more tips check out this site:

    If you are unable to get the cat down on your own, it important to know who to call for assistance.

    Please do NOT call your local fire department – their mission is to save human lives and property. They do not rescue cats. The Humane Society of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) also do not rescue cats from trees.

    DO contact a local tree company – they will have the training and expertise to safely climb a tree and retrieve a frightened cat if you cannot get the cat down yourself.  In Indianapolis we recommend

    Indiana Tree Service, Inc. (Cat friendly)
    Phone: 317-372-1297 South/West     317-844-0500 North/East
    24-Hour Emergency Service Available

  • How do you trap cats or a colony of several cats?

    Feed the cats consistently before trapping. We suggest feeding for several weeks twice per day at the same time. Pick up the food after feeding for an hour. Do not feed cats at night because it attracts wildlife. After the cats are on a consistent feeding schedule, the trapping may begin.

  • How can I drop off several cats if I only have one carrier?

    For the safety of the cats and the FACE staff, each cat should be in its own carrier or live trap.  If the cat is friendly, you can purchase cardboard carriers for $8 at our front desk or we can lend you plastic carriers to bring cats to the clinic.  If you are unable to get the cat into a carrier, a live trap is suggested (see below).


    Trap Recommendation

    A Safeguard 30x11x12 trap is a recommended trap.

  • Can I spay a nursing mother cat, pregnant cat, or cat in heat?

    Cats in heat are safe to spay! It is important to prevent litters from being born.

    Cats can become pregnant while nursing! Therefore, it is important to spay as soon as possible, even while mom is nursing. Mom will continue to nurse her kittens, even after spay. As long as the kittens are at least three weeks old, it is safe to spay mom.

    We spay pregnant cats. Shelters cannot save and support the HUGE number of accidental litters, stray and family cats brought to their doors every day. Spaying a pregnant cat is safe and the right thing to do.

  • How much does the community cat package cost and what does it cover?

    Our community cat package costs $60 per cat/kitten. This includes spay/neuter, vaccines, pain medication administered in clinic, and a mandatory ear tip to show this cat has received community cat services.

    If the $60 fee poses an issue, please let us know. We may be able to provide limited financial assistance depending on availability. Payment is expected at the time of drop off. FACE accepts cash, debit card, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

  • How can I get flea medication for my community cat?

    Yes. We carry an over-the-counter option priced at $11/dose. Medication can be purchased at the FACE front desk during regular clinic hours Monday through Saturday. Limit 20 doses.

  • Can I get my community cats FIV/FeLV tested?

    We do not FIV/FeLV test community cats because our primary purpose is sterilization to reduce population, which secondarily prevents nuisance behaviors, disease spread, sickness and euthanasia. The way to stop the spread of disease is stopping the mating, fighting, procreating, and malnutrition. Although there are health risks, recent studies now show FIV does not shorten a cat’s lifespan compared to non-FIV cats.

  • Can FACE do dental cleaning or extractions for my community cats?

    Not at this time.  Please contact a full service clinic such as West Michigan Street Veterinary Clinic at 3811 W. Michigan St. Indianapolis, IN 46222, 317-757-5694 or All Pet Health Care by Noah’s at 3825 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN  46241, 317-481-1738.

  • How do I get winter shelters for my community cats?

    When there is a supply of shelters, they will be stored in three locations: Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) at 2600 S. Harding St. FACE Lost-Cost Animal Clinic at 1505 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46201. Fido (Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside) at 1505 N. Sherman Drive, Indianapolis 46201. You can pick up a shelter by submitting a request to Indy Neighborhood Cats.

  • How do I build my own shelter?

    There are websites online that take you through the steps of building outdoor cat shelters.  Some things to keep in mind:

    • How many shelters do I need? Unless you operate a managed colony, do not underestimate the number of cats in your area. You may only see one or two cats, but there are probably more. Try to provide more shelter space than you imagine needing.
    • What bedding should I use? Thick straw bedding allows the cats to “nest” and curl up into heat-conserving positions with the bedding providing a windbreak and insulator. In some cases, tacking strips of cloth over the shelter openings can provide additional protection from drafts, but it may make cats less likely to enter.  In very harsh conditions, caretakers may wish to provide weatherproof doghouse heating pads. These are constructed of sealed, heavy plastic with damage-resistant cords. (Only use these if you can safely run power to the unit using a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). The GFCI will disconnect the power in the event of a short circuit or damage to the cord.) When plugging a heater cord into an extension cord, make sure the connection does not lay on the ground where it might be prone to water. Special waterproof extension cords are available at hardware stores.

    Where should I put the cat shelter(s)?  Locating the shelter is also an important topic. Neutral and earth tones to blend with the environment. Shelters should be located away from areas of vehicle & foot traffic. Locating it in a wooded area or in the margin of a wooded area is ideal. This provides cover from the elements and makes the shelter less obvious. In urban areas, locate the shelter behind buildings or bushes. Cats will avoid a shelter if they are disturbed there regularly. Position the cat shelter to block the entrances from receiving direct wind and rain/snow. In central Indiana, the prevailing winds are usually from the south and the west. It may also be helpful to place sturdy building materials adjacent to the entrance to provide additional wind protection (about 12″ from the entrance). Make sure that if you place anything over or around the shelter that it is anchored firmly and will not blow or fall over in front of the entrance.

  • My neighbor is threatening me because I feed cats. What can I do?

    In Marion County, it is legal to feed cats as long as the caretaker is getting the cats fixed and preventing the cats from being a nuisance.

    Animal cruelty and neglect are against the law! If you witness any type of animal abuse, please contact your local police department or animal control organization. If you are in Marion County, please submit an online request for an Animal Control Officer through the Mayor’s Action Center.

  • My neighbor hates cats. How do I get along with my neighbor?

    Staying on good terms with your neighbors may be a concern when you have a cat colony. If cats are causing problems in your neighbors’ yards, gardens or bird feeders, this may create tension between you and your neighbors.

    We find it is helpful to respect their opinions and offer to work with them to keep the cats out. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective solutions to these problems. First, talk to your neighbor! Find out if the cat is a pet or stray and if it has been neutered. If it is not neutered, you can take care of that with the help of FACE Low Cost Animal Clinic.

    Here are some common complaints you may near from neighbors and some solutions:

    Cats are digging in my garden! Your neighbor can use deterrents in the garden: scatter fresh orange/lemon peels, citrus-scented sprays, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, vinegar, pipe tobacco, lavender oil, peppermint oil, lemon grass, citronella and eucalyptus, all deter cats! In the garden, place chicken wire, plastic sheets or plastic carpet runners spike-side up, covered lightly with soil. You can remove these later, after cats stop visiting.

    Cats are sleeping under my porch or in my shed! Refer to the list above of natural repellents Apply these fragrances liberally around the edges of the porch or shed. Place physical barriers such as chicken wire or lattice. Be sure to check for kittens first! Provide an alternative shelter such as a plastic bin or doghouse and place it in a secluded area away from porches and sheds.

    Cats are getting into my trashcans! Hungry cats are looking for food. Place trash bags inside cans, not sitting outside to be torn open by dogs or raccoons. Make sure lids fit tightly on cans. Feed cats yourself if no one is feeding them. If they have enough food to eat, they will leave trash alone.

    My car has paw prints on it! Make sure you move your feeding stations and shelters away from driveways and parking areas.

    Cats are fighting, yowling, spraying, roaming and having kittens! These are mating behaviors that are typical of cats that have not been altered. These problems stop once the cats are spayed and neutered. Contact FACE to get started (link to appointment request page). For urine odors, spray the area with white vinegar or products that have natural enzymes such as Nature’s Miracle or PDZ Horse Stall Refresher. All are available at local pet supply or feed supply stores.

    Cats are attracting wildlife such as raccoons! Do not leave food out at night! Only feed during the day and pick up excess food so you do not attract other animals.

  • Can someone help me feed my colony?

    Do you have a plan for your Community Cats when you are unable to take care of them? Finding a substitute caretaker is important for life’s unexpected challenges, from becoming ill to leaving on vacation. If you are the sole caretaker of your community cats, do not hesitate to start searching for a substitute.

    Start with people who know about your cats and may be willing to volunteer. Ask neighbors, friends, and family. Find others in your area who are caring for cats and see if they might be willing to help.

    Give the substitute caretaker a photo of each cat and the medical history. Let them know the details of your feeding schedule and ongoing care.

    Decide on a caretaking arrangement. If the substitute caretaker cannot help financially, you might need to stock up on food, medicine, etc. You will need to decide which vet to use and whether this will be at your expense or the substitute caretaker’s.

    Do everything you can to avoid having the cats relocated! Relocating is only an option in an extreme situation, such as when their lives might be in danger. It is hard on the cats and rarely successful.

    You may feel that no one can fill your shoes when it comes to your Community Cats care, but finding a substitute you trust will give you extra assurance that the cats have the proper care.

  • Can someone help me relocate my colony?

    We do not relocate cats. The Marion County ordinance allows for community cats and does not require that a cat have a known owner or a caretaker.  Feral cats are not adoption candidates and do not belong in the shelter.

    Relocation is a process of moving a stray or feral cat from its current outdoor home to a new place. It is a labor-intensive process and often has a low success rate. Cats are territorial and remaining in their current habitat is optimal for their health and safety. There are things that can go wrong when people try to relocate a colony of cats. Cats often disappear in a new location, or they die trying to return to the old location.

    The following situations may warrant relocation:

    • The lives of the cats are being threatened in a way that cannot be legally remedied
    • The colony is located on public or private property that will not allow the colony to be maintained
    • Their home or shelter is being destroyed and it is impossible to provide an alternative shelter at their current habitat or migration of the cats within a reasonable distance is not possible.
    • There is no identified caretaker

    Rationale: Stray and feral cats become well adapted to their territory and can live safely and contentedly in alleyways, parking lots, vacant lots, backyards and other locations – urban, suburban and rural. The present home of a feral colony is the best place for the cats since they likely have been living there for their entire life. It is the only home they know. Colony cats develop very strong bonds with each other, their present territory and caretaker. Moving them to a new location is like tearing a family apart. This results in stress, loneliness, fear and depression.

    The following cats have the lowest chance of relocation success:

    • Cats that are very feral
    • Moving too few cats together from the same colony
    • Cats relocated by themselves
    • Kittens under 6 months relocated without a mother

    If it is determined relocation is necessary, following these guidelines may increase the chance of success:

    • Find a safe and permanent home site with a caretaker committed to providing life-long feeding, watering, medical care and monitoring of the cats.
    • Identify a room or secure area that is clean, quiet, temperature controlled and protects the cats from the elements as much as possible. Be sure there is adequate air and light available.
    • Other items needed will include a wire dog crate (minimum size of 2 ft x 3 ft.) litter, litter pans, food and water bowls, a small carrier for the cat to hide in and sheets to cover the crate to help reduce the cats stress.
    • Cats should be confined where they can see and smell their new surroundings (especially other cats, the caretaker and the feeding station)
    • Cats must be confined in their crate for a minimum of 2 weeks at the new site to acclimate and identify with its new location and caretaker before release
    • Cats must receive daily care, food, water and litter box cleaning
    • Cats relocate best when paired with another cat. House them together in one large crate.
    • During the first day or two, the cats may struggle to find a way out (especially at night). They will calm down in a day or two after they realize that they will not be harmed
    • Feed on a regular schedule preferably twice a day (wet and dry)
    • Keep the relocation crate covered with a sheet to reduce stress
    • Rattle the food in a box or bowl each time you feed so the cats associate the sound with food
    • Make frequent (minimum twice daily) verbal attempts to bond with the cats
    • If a cat escapes during the confinement period, leave food and water out, and sprinkle their used litter around the area (for scent). Cats often hide for a period, but will stay close. Leave food and water to prevent them from leaving in search of food
    • When the cats are ready for release, continue feeding in the same area and on the same schedule as before.
    • Typically cats will run and hide after initial release