Community Cat Survey Seeks Citizen Reporters

Have you heard of the Christmas Bird Count? That is a count that is repeated in exactly the same way every year at exactly the same time of year so that year-to-year comparisons of population counts can be compared, and over time, long-term trends can be distinguished. In the same way, the Annual Community Cat Survey is a standardized method for counting Community Cats (cats that are unowned and live exclusively outdoors, including so-called barn, feral and stray cats). This survey will be conducted during the same time each year. Conducting the survey at the same time every year will allow year-to-year comparisons to be made so that populations of unowned cats and their spay-neuter status can be tracked over time.

The reason it is important to track Community Cat populations over time and to map these is to initially provide information on where spay-neuter work has been done and where large groups of unsterilized cats still occur. Second, over a year’s time this survey will determine if and when spay-neuter work is working to reduce colony size.

Already, the Community Cat Survey is helping us identify where spay-neuter is needed most. In 2014, Community Spay-Neuter Clinic conducted the first Annual Community Cat Count. Using reports from Citizen Scientists and others, we counted 5,682 cats in 767 different locations. Using this information, Community Spay-Neuter Clinic has raised funds to sterilize cat populations that were identified in several regions of Maine.  

Please contribute this information for cats you know or have heard of. Again, we do not ask that you provide any identifiable location information.

The survey may be found online by going to and following the link on the front page. The survey will be accessible until January 15th, 2018.