Trap, Neuter & Release, or Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), is the most humane and effective approach to addressing community cat populations. It improves the lives of cats, addresses community concerns, reduces complaints about cats, and stops the reproduction cycle.

TNR improves the co-existence between outdoor cats and humans in our shared environment. The Stockton Animal Shelter provides TNR services based upon availability and resources. Some of the benefits include:

  • Relieves cats of the constant stresses of mating and pregnancy; they stop reproducing

  • Mating behaviors cease, such as roaming, yowling, spraying and fighting;

  • Physical health of the cats improves, due to spaying and neutering; and 

  • Cats are vaccinated against rabies. 

Due to the limited space at the Stockton Animal Shelter for community cats, the shelter will only intake as many cats as we can provide humane care to. The shelter will take community cats based upon our surgical availability. Please call ahead to verify that we are accepting community cats before bringing them to the shelter.

Community cats entering the shelter may be adopted or transferred to another shelter or rescue organization. If you want to be guaranteed that the cat is returned to your neighborhood, we ask that you use other resources available to you, such as many of the low-cost spay/neuter programs offered for community cats. If you would like resources to deter community cats from your property, please review our Living with Neighborhood Cats document.   


The TNR services provided by the shelter require pre-registration.

Dates and details are announced via our Facebook page, which you can access by clicking here or calling us at 209-937-7445 and pressing 0.”


Barn Cats

The Stockton Animal Shelter regularly has cats that are feral that do not qualify to be part of the TNR program. These cats may be coming from hoarding situations that are not tame, cats that have not  been provided a regular food source in the community, or cats with unknown backgrounds that are not tame. These cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped (an indication they have been spayed or neutered) and provided a rabies vaccination.

Barn cats are an excellent provider of rodent control for farms, small ranches, or other large properties and may or may not need a regular food source in addition to the rodent control they provide.

Barn cats do not have adoption fees and volunteers are available to deliver to your property. 

You do not need to live in the City of Stockton or San Joaquin County to adopt a barn cat.

Please call Stockton Animal Services or email us at to inquire about our available barn cats. If we do not currently have barn cats, we will place your name on a waiting list and contact you when these cats are available.  *Please note, this program is not for pet cats, and we do not accept owned cats into this program.*