Feral Cats


Are you Feeding Feral Cats?

Are you Registered as a sponsor as required?

Are all of the cats Spayed/Neutered and eartipped?

Are you experiencing

feral cats as a nuisance? 

Contact The Animal Services Unit or

The Galveston Island Humane Society

to discuss the feral colony in question.

We are here to help!

Feral Cats and Safety

The safest place for any cat is indoors. A life on the streets is a short and hard life. Indoor cats can live an average of 20 years feral cats on average live 8 years or less.

The goal of the Galveston Island Community Cat TNR Program is to reduce both the number of feral cats on the streets and reduce the number of feral cats that must be euthanized in the care of the Humane Society for which adoption is not possible.

This is achieved by ensuring humane care for Feral cats and ensuring

that they have been sterilized to prevent further overpopulation.

Galveston Island is home to Coyotes.

Be Coyote Aware

Here are some guidelines to help keep your colony cats safe from coyotes.

1. Do not feed at night. Coyotes are more active when it is easy to get around undetected.

2. Feed only what the cats need. Remove any leftovers after 15 minutes.

3. Provide escape routes to areas that coyotes can't reach.

4. Elevate feeding stations beyond the coyote's but not the cat's reach. Get Creative

5.In treeless or open areas, erect "cat posts"—long pieces of wood (four inches by four inches or corner posts) that stand out of the ground at least ten to twelve feet. These can be climbed by cats but not by coyotes.

6. Complete a Yard Audit .

7. Haze Coyotes when seen in the area and report coyote activity.

8. Speak with an Animal Services Unit Officer regarding your concerns.

Galveston Municipal Code


Definitions. For the purpose of this article, the following terms shall

have the meaning set forth in this section. When not inconsistent with

the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words

in the plural number include the singular, and words in the singular

number include the plural.Feral-Cat-with-ear-tip

Director means the chief of police or designee.

Department herein means the police department of the city.

Domesticated cat means a cat that is socialized to humans and is appropriate as a companion for humans.

Eartipping means straight-line cutting of the tip of the left ear, or V cuts in the ears of a cat while the cat is anesthetized.

Feral cat means a cat that: (1) Is born in the wild or is the offspring of an owned or feral cat and which is not socialized; (2) Is a formerly owned cat that has been abandoned and is no longer socialized.

Nuisance , for purposes of this article, means conduct by stray or feral cats that cause property damage, injury to persons, or disturb the peace. Stray or feral cats may create a nuisance by: (1) Habitually or continually howling, crying, or screaming; (2) Habitually and significantly destroying, desecrating, or soiling property against the wishes of the owner of the property; or (3) Causing significant damage to natural resources.

Sponsor is a person or group approved and authorized by the animal shelter or department that agrees to comply with the requirements of this article for sponsors and provides written notice to the animal shelter or department that it will serve as a sponsor.

Stray cat means a cat that is regularly off the property of the owner, is not under the physical control and restraint of the owner, and is not regularly provided with food by its owner.

Sec. 7-44. - Responsibilities of owners of domesticated cats.

(a) Owners of domesticated cats shall provide appropriate and adequate food, water, and shelter for their cats.

(b) The owner of a domesticated cat shall exercise reasonable care to guard against the cat creating a nuisance.

(c) An owner shall not abandon a domesticated cat.


Sec. 7-45. - Nuisance.

(a) A stray or feral cat causing a nuisance may be impounded.please-do-not-feed-cats

(b) A property owner may take measures to abate a nuisance caused by a

stray or feral cat on the owner's private property in a humane manner.

 Sec. 7-46. - Congregations of unconfined

and unlicensed stray cats and dogs.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to intentionally cause, suffer or permit the maintenance of an attractive environment for the assembly of a congregation of unconfined and unlicensed stray cats or dogs by the placement of dog food or cat food.

For purposes of this section a "congregation of unconfined and unlicensed stray cats or dogs" means any four (4) or more dogs or cats which:

         (1) May, of their own volition, enter or leave the property on which the food is placed;

         (2) Are not wearing valid city license tags issued pursuant to this chapter; and

         (3) Are not part of a trap, neuter, and return program.

(b) For purposes of this section, "cat food" or "dog food" means any commercially prepared cat or dog food or any other food item or product that is subject to consumption by dogs or cats.

(c) It is an affirmative defense that the dogs or cats were free-roaming and that the person placed the food solely for the purpose of apprehending the dogs and cats and:

          (1) Delivering them to the Galveston Island Humane Society;

          (2) Delivering them to an animal humane organization;

          (3) Delivering them to a licensed veterinarian for sterilization as part of a trap, neuter and return program; or as part of an               approved and monitored program to prevent the estrus cycle in free-roaming females until sterilization; or

          (4) Obtaining a rabies vaccination and a current license issued by the city for such animals.


Sec. 7-47. - Trap neuter return (TNR).

Trap, neuter, and return program means a program approved by the director in which feral cats are humanely trapped, evaluated, vaccinated, sterilized, and marked by an identifying notch in the left ear by a veterinarian or other authorized personnel and returned to the trap location or other area approved by the director under the supervision of a sponsor. The animal care and control agency may promote:

(1) The reduction of euthanasia of animals for which medical treatment or adoption is possible; and

(2) The utilization of trap, spay, neuter or other sterilization techniques and return practices as a means of controlling the feral           cat population.


Sec. 7-48. - Enforcement.

(a) The department or its designee, in order to encourage the stabilization of the feral cat population in the city, shall have the following rights, which shall be exercised at its reasonable discretion:

(1) The right to trap in a humane manner and remove any cats that:

          a. Have not been vaccinated against rabies or which are demonstrating signs of the disease;

          b. Are not spayed or neutered; or

          c. Otherwise for public health or public safety concerns.

(2) If no issue of public health or safety exists, or if any issues of public health and safety can be addressed by the removal and relocation of the cat to another area, the department may direct a sponsor to arrange to have the cat spayed or neutered, eartipped, and vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The sponsor may then arrange for the cat to be adopted or released.

(3) If a feral cat is demonstrating: a. Signs of having rabies; b. Has a severe illness or injury; or c. Presents a hazard to public health or to its own person, that cat may be humanely destroyed.

(4) The director or designee has the right to remove or to direct a sponsor to remove a feral cat that is creating a nuisance, if, within ten (10) days, the sponsor failed to adequately resolve a nuisance or to comply with the director's direction with respect to correcting the nuisance. If the sponsor fails to correct the nuisance, the director shall have the right to remove the cat.

(5) No cat shall be released into or adjacent to an established nature preserve or in a habitat where known endangered or listed species reside or breed.

(6) A report will be provided to city council on the effectiveness of this article on the issue of feral cats and making changes, if needed, within two (2) years of adoption of the ordinance from which this article is derived.


Sec. 7-49. - Penalty.

(a) A person who violates a provision of this article shall upon conviction be deemed guilty of a class C misdemeanor and shall           be fined a sum not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each offense.

(b) Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.