Happy Stripes likes to operate in a completely transparent way and we invite you to review our procedures below.
We are always learning and growing, attending seminars frequently, and following the guidance of leaders in the field. As you read through our procedures, we'll provide links to helpful resources along the way. Please feel free to read these other resources as well.
There are varying levels of differing opinions on several subjects surrounding cat rescue. Because of this, we find it helpful to lay out our stance on certain things and we always invite open, respectful, and constructive conversations. Remember that everyone involved in cat rescue is doing it because of their love for cats and we should always be encouraged to continuously improve based on new information.
The services we offer:
- For injured or abandoned adoptable [stray] cats, we provide medical care, socialization, and adoption services
- For Community Cats, we provide TNR services
We do not accept pet surrenders. If you are no longer able to care for your cat(s), we recommend you review the options available through the Cleveland APL.
For friendly cats that come into our care, our goal is to provide them basic medical care and get them adopted into a loving, permanent home.
See our Adoption Process page for more information about what these cats receive prior to adoption.
Unsocialized Community Cats / TNR Services:
For those concerned about the safety and health of Community Cats in their area, Happy Stripes offers TNR services. We work with you throughout this process and you are expected to play an active role. We do request a $50 donation for each cat that we help you TNR, or you can opt to pay for TNR appointment(s) yourself. You will likely be asked to assist with the transport and after-care of the cats as well, and of course, you'll be providing ongoing food and shelter to the cats after their return.
We follow the guidance of Neighborhood Cats, Alley Cat Allies, and ASPCA Pro, when it comes to TNR procedures. The full guide from Neighborhood Cats is here, and the guide from ASPCA Pro is here.
TNR involves trapping Community Cats, providing them with vaccines, deworming, flea treatment, and spaying/neutering, and then returning them to their outdoor home. The cats are then provided ongoing shelter and food by their designated caregiver(s).
This process has many benefits to the community as a whole, as well as the cats themselves. Community Cats thrive outdoors, and once they are fixed and vaccinated, they live healthier, less stressed lives. These cats do not want to live indoors and there should be no guilt associated with returning them to their outdoor home. They are indeed happy there!
We do not test Community Cats for FIV or FeLV unless they are visibly ill. Testing is used as a diagnostic tool, not for proactive management of symptom-free disease. This Neighborhood Cats article explains the reasons for this.
At Happy Stripes, we opt to euthanize cats only if they are actively ill, suffering, and terminal. We do not opt to euthanize cats for cost, time, or space reasons.
Other Resources and Information:
Feline Retrovirus Testing and Management Guidelines
Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland Resources
Recommended Supplies and Expectations for TNR:
If you are interested in trapping cats yourself in your neighborhood, use the resources above to familiarize yourself with the process and what to expect and start obtaining helpful supplies such as:
Bitebuster Gloves may be useful to have handy; however, you typically shouldn't be handling a feral cat
Blankets / sheets to cover the traps
High value food, and maybe even bait paste
A temperature controlled location to keep the cat(s) temporarily (cats will remain in the traps while under your care but should be kept safe and warm)
This pamphlet will help you communicate with neighbors about what you are doing and why TNR is the best option for Community Cats and the neighborhood
Before trapping, always have a plan for the cat. You should take the cat to get spayed/neutered within a day or at most two days of trapping the cat. Happy Stripes uses the Cleveland APL's TNR Program (appointment required) and PetFix. There are other low cost options here.