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The most commonly asked questions about our organization, spay/neuter clinics, adoption programs, how to foster, lost/found felines, and more. If you do not see your question/answer, please call our office (707) 576-7999 during business hours Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm to speak to someone in person. 

  • What are your office hours?
    Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Our Spay/Neuter Clinics generally are held every Monday and Wednesday with an occasional Thursday clinic some months.
  • How much do you charge to spay/neuter a cat?
    We ask for a donation of $50 per wild cat that you must trap and bring to us. We are happy to loan you a trap and we'll give you detailed instructions on how to operate it. If we send one of our trappers to the location to trap the cat, we ask for a donation of $100 per cat. Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns about pricing. These donations are not even a fraction of what the procedures cost us but we appreciate the help.
  • I found a sick or injured cat/kitten. Can I bring it to you?
    No. We are not a pet hospital. We are not a shelter. We are not a rescue. Please bring the injured or sick feline to your nearest emergency animal/pet hospital immediately for care. We do not have veterinarians onsite so we cannot assist with a sick or injured cats here.
  • Why does Forgotten Felines focus primarily on “unowned cats” ?
    Unowned/unhomed/stray/wild/colony cats– by whatever name you refer to them– are not people’s pets and therefore do not reliably get access to life-saving medical care. This includes alteration (spay/neuter), vaccinations, flea treatments, microchips, and routine wellness check. For many cats who come through our doors, this may be the only time they ever get this medical attention.
  • I would like to volunteer at Forgotten Felines and/or Pick of the Litter. What is first step?
    Please visit our website page on Volunteering to complete a volunteer application and get started. Our biggest need right now for volunteer help is in Trapping and Fostering. Both come with training so don’t be afraid to reach out and learn more!
  • Can I donate cash or check to you? How?
    Financial Donations: Yes, we do accept cash, check, or credit card donations. -Cash can be dropped off at our office during business hours of Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. -Checks can be mailed to the office (address below). -Debit/Credit card donations are done via our website (not in our office). Please visit to give a financial gift. In-Kind Donation: We ALWAYS need cat food and supplies. For dry food, our preference is Purina Kitten Chow Kibble, and Purina Cat Chow Complete Kibble. For wet food, our #1 cat-approved food is Friskies Pate in poultry flavors. And we can always use litter too. Donating online is easy. View our Wish List options for Chewy, Amazon, Walmart, and Costco. Shipping/Delivery Address for donations: Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County 1820 Empire Industrial Court Suite E Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (707) 576-7999
  • Besides money, what else can I donate to Forgotten Felines?
    Glad you asked, we always appreciate in-kind donations. - Towels: Nice towels should be donated to our thrift store, Pick of the Litter. -Cat toys, cat trees, litter boxes (new only), cat furniture/beds: These items are used at the clinic/office, sent home with fosters, saved for fundraising prizes, or sold at Pick of the Litter. No matter the outcome, those donated pieces will be used to help cats. -Cat medicine/medical supplies: We can take these at the office/clinic. We cannot utilize human diabetes supplies. Please donate those to human causes.
  • What is your address?
    Our office is located at 1820 Empire Industrial Court, Suite E, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. This is our mailing and ship-to address. If you are sending item(s) to use from a Wish List, please use this address with attention to Front Office. Our Spay/Neuter Clinic is located across the courtyard from our office at 1814 Empire Industrial Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
  • I need to move, or someone has died...can I give you my cat?
    As we are not a rescue or a shelter, we cannot accept a cat for rehoming. There are several grassroots organizations throughout Sonoma County and beyond that work tirelessly at matching cats for rehoming with new families. You'll find these groups on social media and by asking local shelters, vets, and pet hospitals for recommendations. Ask everyone you know as well as individuals in organizations you belong to if they can adopt the cat. Keep in mind, it is very stressful for the feline to leave its familiar people and surroundings and rehoming/relocating cats is not always successful. Before making the decision to rehome, exhaust all alternatives with people and places the cat is already familiar with to ensure the cat receives the best placement possible to thrive.
  • I have lost my cat, can you help me find it?
    We are not a shelter or rescue. We are a spay/neuter clinic. Unfortunately, we don't have the volunteer manpower to put out flyers or assist in the search for your feline. We can however make a courtesy post on our NextDoor page alerting the public of your lost cat. >Reach out to shelters and rescues > Add your cat to PawBoost >Put out flyers in your neighborhood >Call for your cat at dawn and dusk. Rattle a plastic container with dry food to help get his/her attention For a full list of action items that may help find your cat, download our
  • I found some stray/abandoned kittens, can I bring them to you?
    We are not a shelter or rescue. We are a spay/neuter clinic. We do not accept abandoned, stray, or found kittens at our clinic. Please reach out to a local shelter or rescue who can best assist in this situation. A list of local animal services can be found downloaded here.
  • How do I socialize untame kittens just in from the wild?
    Most of the techniques used for adult unowned felines are applicable for kittens. Many of the factors that govern the rate of socialization for adults also apply to kittens. Some kittens will socialize very quickly. Others will take much more time and patience on your part. However, the majority of kittens can be socialized and are good candidates for adoption. Download our complete Kitten Guides here.
  • When are the clinics held?
    We hold spay/neuter clinics by appointment (no walk-in's) every Monday and Wednesday and the occasional Thursday. Visit to book your appointment.
  • How much do you charge to spay/neuter a cat?
    We ask for a donation of $50 per wild cat that you must trap and bring to us. We are happy to loan you a trap and we'll give you detailed instructions on how to operate it. If we send one of our trappers to the location to trap the cat, we ask for a donation of $100 per cat. Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns about pricing. These donations are not even a fraction of what the procedures cost us but we appreciate the help.
  • Are there free or low cost clinics available?
    The “owned" pet appointments are clinics held one or two Thursdays a month. They fill up quickly so book your appointment early. We ask for a $100 donation per cat. Please call our office for future "owned" pet clinic dates. Alternatively, several county agencies have low cost and free programs for altering a pet cat. Please visit our Local Animal Services page where you can download a list of area providers.
  • Do cats get vaccinated at Clinics?
    Yes, the rabies and FVRCP vaccines. (FVRCP covers 3 different nasty viruses)
  • How many cats have you fixed?
    Over 45,000 since 1990. For year ending 2023: 4045 felines.
  • What is an Ear Tip?
    The ear tip is a universal symbol and visual cue to let humans know a cat has been altered. We remove a tiny portion of the tip of the ear while the cat is already under anesthesia for the spay/neuter. Tipping doesn’t affect hearing or damage the cat. Tipped cats are still beautiful.
  • Will you remove a homeless cat from my back yard if I don’t want it to stay there?
    In most cases, NO. Forgotten Felines is not a rescue, shelter, or sanctuary. Removing a cat from its established territory is not what we do. Ask yourself the following questions before having a cat in your yard removed: Is this "homeless" cat truly without a home? Could it be an owned neighborhood cat who likes to visit different yards as part of its daily routine? Did it escape from its home? Are the owners looking for the cat? Did you see any fliers in the neighborhood for a lost cat? Are the owners on vacation? Is it not able to find food/water/shelter while the owners are away? Did neighbors move recently and lose or abandon the feline? Does it have a collar or tag? Does it appear to be in good condition? Does it look like a family pet? Is it tame? Can you touch/pet the cat safely? If you answered YES to any of the above questions, humanely trap the cat and bring it to a rescue or shelter for a microchip scan. Hopefully, the cat is chipped and can be reunited with its owner. If it is not chipped and the owner cannot be found, make an appointment at our spay/neuter clinic to have it altered before its returned to its outdoor location/your yard. Generally, a feline (especially intact tom cats) demonstrate much better behavior after alteration. Please contact us for more information on this topic at (707) 576-7999.
  • How do you know if a cat has been fixed?
    Eartipping is the most effective way to identify altered community cats from a distance and to ensure they are not trapped a second time. We use the word “eartip” to describe when a small portion of the tip of a community/unhomed/unowned cat’s ear is removed during surgery. Eartipping is done while the cat is anesthetized and is not painful for the cat. Reminder: eartipping has nothing to do with the temperament of the cat, meaning an eartip does NOT define the feline as a "feral" or "untame" cat. It simply means the cat has been spayed (female) or neutered (male).
  • What is T-N-R?
    The practice of Trap-Neuter-Return is the most safe and humane way of catching a feline that will be altered (spayed for female and neutered for males) then returned to its original location of capture without the ability to breed and contribute to the feline overpopulation in our county.  Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County is the nation's longest-running T-N-R organization and was founded in 1990.
  • What is the difference between a community cat and a wild cat?
    Community cats are most often tame. They have had close human contact at some point in their life. They will be talking, blinking, rubbing on the sides of the trap, and anxious or panicked when inside of the trap. Wild cats have had very little to no human contact. They will hide out until you are well away from the food and dart when approached. There is no vocal communication or blinking. They are extremely calm in a trap but when cover is lifted, they will dart at you and hiss. There are truly wild cats out there that have only lived off the land. You will probably never see them during daylight hours.
  • How do I trap a hard-to-catch cat?
    99% of the time these case are when a female that has given birth and has seen most of her colony get trapped. It can be done, but you need patience. If the cat has never been trapped, we recommend a regular box trap and the string trap method. - We offer free loaner traps when booking a spay/neuter appointment - Reference our complete Trapping Guide here.
  • How can I trap not only a savvy cat but multiple cats?
    Use a drop trap. It’s a three-foot by three-foot footprint that you prop up with a full, plastic water bottle or stick. Same exact concept of string trapping. For more details, download our complete Trapping Guide here.
  • There are many stray cats in our neighborhood but no one feeds them?How do we catch them to get them fixed?
    This might be the most common question of them all. It is likely someone, or multiple people, are feeding them otherwise they wouldn't be staying in that area. Cats will not gather or hang around if food is not involved. Until you find the food source, you’ll have a very difficult time catching the cats. - Look where the cats are coming from? Is it the same backyard, or neighborhood park each day? - Talk with fellow neighbors to see if they know any details about the cat's home or living situation. - Call Sonoma County Animal Control who will humanely trap the cat and get it to a safe location to help find its home.
  • If you only take care of "unowned" cats, then why do you have an adoption program?
    That's a great question. A true “feral” cat is NOT adoptable. Its only option is to be an outdoor cat. However, sometimes there are tame unowned, homeless, or stray cats who have been abandoned or lost and find their way into established colonies. These tame cats or community cats which would otherwise be forgotten are removed from the colonies when possible, and placed into our adoption program. Sometimes females from the colonies where we are trapping have kittens before we can capture and alter them. The kittens are then removed from the colony and transferred to trained foster parents who will care, feed, and socialize them until they are medically sound and deemed suitable for adoption to a forever home. Or, they will enter our Relocation Program and become barn/garden cats who primarily live outside but under the watchful eye of a trusted caretaker who provides food, water, and shelter.
  • Will you take other previously owned cats into your adoption program?
    No. We are not a shelter, rescue, or sanctuary. We do not take surrendered pets. If you can no longer take care of your own cat, please rehome him/her with friends, family members as a first option. If you are still unsuccessful, then contact the animal shelter that serves your jurisdiction or the Sonoma Humane Society for assistance.
  • What is your adoption fee?
    $100 for one kitten/cat. $150 for two kittens or cats.
  • What is included in the adoption fee?
    Our requested donation is $100 per cat or $150 for two cats. This donation helps to offset the expensive procedures below. • Spay/Neuter surgery • Initial round of FVRCP vaccinations • Rabies vaccine (if over 4 months old) • Deworming and flea prevention treatment • Microchip implant • No-cost 10-day post-adoption health services • Post-adoption behavior support
  • I would like to adopt a cat/kitten? What do I do?
    Thank you for choosing to #AdoptNotShop and adopt a feline from our adoption program. We are not a shelter or a rescue. Steps to adoption: We practice foster-based adoptions. Before meeting a feline: > Complete an Adoption Application. > If you are interested in a particular cat, please note its name on your application. > Please allow five (5) business days for application review. > Once reviewed, our Adoption Coordinator will reach out to you to schedule an in-person meet & greet with a cat(s). ​ If you are looking to adopt felines as barn or garden cats, please visit our Barn & Garden Cat page.
  • How do I meet the cats that are up for adoption?
    Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County is a spay/neuter clinic, not a rescue or a shelter. We are 100% foster-based meaning all of our animals are placed in foster homes until they are adopted. The cats available for adoption can be viewed on the our website under the Adoption tab. To meet one of the cats in our program, the first step is to complete the online adoption application.
  • How do I become a foster parent?
    -The first step to becoming a foster parent is to complete the Volunteer Application on the FFSC website. - Our Volunteer Coordinator will invite you to attend a new volunteer orientation. -Once that is completed, you will attend a Foster Training and then you’ll be ready to start! Please visit our Foster page for all details and instructions on becoming a feline foster parent/family.
  • What does it mean to "foster" kittens or cats?
    The purpose of the Forgotten Felines Foster Program is to give adoptable kittens and cats a safe and caring temporary home until they are ready for adoption. The length of the fostering period varies depending on the age, health, and socialization of your foster kittens/cats, but the average time commitment is 2 months.
  • What kind of felines need temporary foster care?
    We have various opportunities to become a foster. • Weaned kittens 5-12 weeks old • Bottle babies • Mothers with nursing kittens • Tame adults
  • What does it mean to be a Forever Foster?
    A “Forever Foster” cat is a hard to adopt cat due to age, health condition, or temperament. The Forever Foster volunteer caregiver will take the cat home and care for it for the duration of the cat’s life. They will provide food, shelter, and a loving supportive home environment either inside their home (tame cats) or in an outdoor enclosure (outdoor cats). Medical care and decisions about the course of treatment (or non-treatment), will be provided by Forgotten Felines. 
  • Can I foster-to-adopt a cat? Meaning do a trial run with a particular cat in my home before deciding to adopt it?
    Unfortunately, not. Our Fostering program isn’t a trial adoption. It’s for those who want to care for and nurture our special felines (although some foster parents do fall in love with their charges and end up adopting).
  • What are the basic requirements of a foster parent?
    Here are the basic requirements to be a Foster Parent with Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County: -Must be 18 years old and have the approval of homeowner and/or landlord to foster animals in the home -Must have a safe, separate room inside your home to isolate fosters from resident pets -Be able to get to Forgotten Felines facility within 30 minutes of an emergency. -Must have transportation and be able to commit to regular appointments-usually every two weeks but as often as once per week -Be able to spend quality time –at least 2 hours per day–with the cats to help with their socialization and tend to their routine care, feeding, etc in your home
  • Are wild cats aggressive?
    No. The cats that come into the barn cat program usually are under socialized. There's a difference between "aggressive" and "under socialized". If a cat feels threatened, they will of course defend themselves (it's only natural) and that could be considered aggressive behavior. An under socialized cat may not have been cared for by people before so the feline is not initially drawn to people and might be scared of them. The best way to bond (and socialize with them) is let the cat set all the boundaries. They will approach you if interested in contact. Over time as they learn to trust you, they might get closer and closer. They might not though and that could just be their temperament and early experience. If a cat is cornered though and feels threatened, they might lash out. It is always important to read their body language especially when they are trapped in a cage or cornered.
  • Do I need to feed my barn and garden cat?
    Yes. Food is the glue to keep the cats around. A well-fed cat is a healthy cat and a healthy cat is the best hunter. Cats have a natural instinct to hunt. If they're healthy they can fulfill this; if they are hungry, they are likely to become weak, and are prone to illness, leading short lives. Daily, full meals are essential along with a fresh water source and of course, a caretaker to keep an eye and socialize with them as much as the feline will allow.
  • If I adopt a barn/garden cat, do I need to live on-site full time?
    Yes. The cats need a consistent and dedicated feeder and care giver. Someone who will look after them to check for injuries and illness. Also, they are more likely to stay around when they have bonded to someone.
  • Are automatic feeders okay to use for barn/garden cats?
    No, and for a number of reasons. It's important to feed your cats personally so they get familiar with you, and you will be able to check on them. Even if you don't see the cats often, you will know if they are present, and if they are eating and are well. Also, racoons can easily destroy automatic feeders, even the racoon proof designs, so if you're not there, your cats may go hungry, and/or leave...or worse.
  • I have a dog(s). Is it ok to get a barn/garden cat?
    It's important that dogs have a fenced area where they can be separated from the cats. While some dogs may be familiar with cats, most barn cats are already frightened by having to move to a new situation and the mere presence of a dog, no matter how friendly, can be frightening enough for a cat to leave as soon as it's released. One chase from a dog can also cause a cat to leave the property, leaving you without a cat, and putting the cat's life in danger. It's important to be extremely attentive and cautious when rehoming a cat on a property with one or more dogs.
  • What is FIV?
    Feline Immunodeficiency Virus > FIV is a virus that affects a cat’s immune system over a period of years. > FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other animals. > FIV-positive cats may live long, healthy, normal lives with little or no symptoms. > FIV is not easily passed between cats. It cannot be spread casually, as in sharing litter boxes, food and water bowls, a scratch with a claw, or when snuggling or playing. It is rarely spread from a mother to her kittens. > The FIV virus can only be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, or serious penetrating bite wounds (saliva to blood). Bite wounds of this kind are rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered tomcats. > FIV-positive cats should be kept as healthy as possible. Keeping them indoors-only (if possible – not imperative) and free from stress goes a long way to help keep a cat symptom-free. Feed a high-quality diet, and treat any secondary problems as soon as they appear. > The presence of the FIV virus should NOT be an adoption deterrent. However, extra thought should be given to the cat’s potential feline companions.
  • What is the Fvrcp vaccine?
    The FVRCP vaccine is an extremely effective way to protect your kitty against three highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases -Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (that's the FVR part of the vaccine name) - Feline Calicivirus (represented by the C) - Feline Panleukopenia (the P at the end of the vaccine name) This vaccine is administered to all felines before they are adopted from us and go to their forever home.
  • How can I donate items to Pick of the Litter?
    Our donation hours: Monday-Saturday 10-6PM. Sundays 11-4. When do you take donations: During store hours 7 days a week. What sort of items do you take? Gently used clothing, shoes, household items, vintage/antiques, art, working small home electronics, books, purses, jewelry, linens, pet/animal items, and more. What do you not take? We have a comprehensive list on our website of items we can and cannot accept. Visit Call before arriving: We highly suggest you call us at the store before you load up your car. Sometimes what we can take in changes seasonally as well. Please always call about furniture items since space in our store is limited. (707) 570-2590
  • How is Pick of the Litter Thrift Store related to the Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County organization?
    Pick of the Litter Thrift and Gift is one of our main revenue sources for the organization and provides financial support for all our programs. Shopping and donating gently used good to the store is a major way to support the organization.
  • Why does your thrift store charge sales tax?
    Our thrift store, Pick of the Litter, is mandated by the State of California to charge local county sales tax on all merchandise. There is an exception for certain food items sold in the store where sales tax is waived.
  • Once I place an order, how long does it take to arrive?
    If you order is in-stock, it will typically ship out within 24-48 hours. Depending on the carrier our fulfillment partners use, it may take up to 21 days for certain items. If you selected the option to "track your order" during checkout, you will have received a tracking number which will give you up-to-date tracking and carrier information.
  • How do I track my online order?
    Select "track my order" at the time of order checkout.
  • If my item isn't the right size or color, where can I exchange it?
    Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to offer exchanges or returns on items purchased in the online shop. They are made-to-order for your specific purchase. For clothing: We encourage shoppers to view the size chart and fitting notes on each garment's page to ensure you are selecting the best fit/size at the time you are placing your order.
  • What is your return policy for the online shop?
    For our online shop: Once an order is placed, your item is made/printed/shipped to-order. Unfortunately, there are no returns or exchanges on items from our online shop. For our thift store, Pick of the Litter: No returns or exchanges, all sales are final. An exception is made for electronics and media which are tagged with a "tested" sticker. Those items are allowed to be exchanged or returned within seven (7) days from purchase and the receipt must accompany the return.
  • What is a colony?
    A colony is a group of cats that congregate in a specific location, and it can consist of one or more cats. Unowned/homeless/stray felines cluster in a specific location due to a consistent source of food/water or shelter...or both. Dumpsters behind a restaurant, a barn/field full of mice, a dairy farm with barns and outbuilding, a natural body of water, etc., are general colony locations.
  • What is a colony caretaker?
    The caretaker is the person who takes responsibility for the daily feeding, providing clean water, monitoring the cats for health problems and making certain that any newcomers to the colony are altered promptly so the colony doesn’t grow in size due to reproduction. Forgotten Felines no longer has the manpower to manage new colonies unfortunately but we do offer a guide for self management. However, if you are managing an existing colony, or have found a new colony, please feel free to share that exact location with us (include cross streets, gps pin drop, and identifying markers) so that this particular site is on our radar for future trapping assignments. The more cats we can trap and get into our clinic for a spay/neuter procedure, the fewer cats will be born into homeless and dangerous circumstances.
  • Is there a difference between a colony in my backyard and a colony in a commercial or public area?
    No, but where the colony is located could make a different as to how you manage the colony. Whether the colony of cats is in a residential neighborhood, on rural property, or near a business, the same basic guidelines apply: If you want to trap-neuter-release (TNR) cats to prevent overpopulation, you should either trap exclusively on your own property, or with the property owner’s permission. If the colony is residing on someone else’s property it is best to get their participation and/or agreement with your trapping arrangements. Keep in mind: the smaller the property, the more chance that the cats will roam outside the property boundary. This could have a negative effect on neighboring residences or businesses with the cats considered a "nuisance." The more cats there are, the more chances unwanted births and deaths will occur. Controlling the population by spaying and neutering makes for good neighbor relations and saves felines from a life of disease, overpopulation, danger or death.
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