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Community cats have their homes within urban neighborhoods rather than in individual households. Some community cats are routinely fed by one or more community members, while others survive without human intervention. This term includes what is commonly known as feral and stray cats.

"Feral cat" is often used to refer to domestic cats that have never been sufficiently exposed to humans to become socialized. While some can learn to live as indoors cats, they require an experienced guardian and are almost always unsuitable for placement through a shelter or rescue program.

"Stray cats" were a fully socialized house cat at some point in their life, but have to live at large. Most stray cats are abandoned, rather than lost pets. Some strays are easily adoptable into a home, some find they way back to their owners, others may lose their bond to humans when they have to fend for themselves.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs help control the community cat population by preventing them from reproducing. TNR also contributes to healthier conditions through a medical check and especially through a rabies vaccination.

A colony is a group of feral cats that live in the same area.

A caregiver is someone who feeds and provides continuing care for community cats, as well as ongoing TNR for the colony.

A trapper is someone who humanely catches community cats and returns them back to their home colony after they are spayed/neutered and vaccinated.