Frequently asked questions
1. How did the program get started?
Increased sightings of cats, and particularly kittens, drew our attention.
3. What is a feral cat?
The term "feral" is sometimes used to refer to a cat that does not appear friendly when approached by humans, but the term can apply to any domesticated animal without human contact. Feral cats are the "wild" offspring of domestic cats and are primarily the result of pet owners' abandonment or failure to spay and neuter their animals, allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Feral cat "colonies" can be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, and rural areas. They are elusive, do not trust humans and truly feral cats cannot be "tamed" and converted to house pets.
Cats that are born and living outdoors, without any human contact or care, have been shown to be adoptable and can be tamed by humans, provided they are removed from a wild environment in the early weeks of life before irreversibly feral behaviors are established.
4. What is TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane and effective approach for stray and feral cats. Cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be neutered and vaccinated. After recovery, the cats, who, being wild, cannot be converted to pets, are returned to their home—their colony—outdoors. Every effort is made to work with kitens and cats who are friendly and able to be socialized to people in order to have them adopted into indoor only homes. Grounded in science, TNR stops the breeding cycle of cats and therefore improves their lives while preventing reproduction. Trap-Neuter-Return quickly stabilizes feral cat populations by instantly ending reproduction and by removing socialized cats from the colony.
5. How often do you trap on campus?
We try to get out and trap anytime we become aware of new kittens/cats on campus. We also trap regularly throughout the year when the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) holds their low cost clinics.
6. How many cats are on the Google Mountain View campus?
It’s hard to say exactly how many cats are in around our area. However, it’s important to understand the breadth of the issue overall. There are approximately 125,000 homeless cats in Santa Clara County alone.
7. How many colony stations do we have on campus?
The number and location of feeding stations locations are not publicly disclosed. This is for the safety and welfare of both the cats and colony maintenance volunteers.
8. Where are the colony stations on campus?
The number and location of colony stations locations are not publicly disclosed. This is for the safety and welfare of both the cats and colony maintenance volunteers.
9. What should I do if I see a cat or kitten on campus?
Alert a volunteer. We’ll want to know where you saw it, what it looks like, how old you think it might be, how many times you’ve seen it there, and if possible, a picture of the kitten or cat. It may end up being one the cats we know, but it may be a new one that we need to TNR.
10. How can I adopt one of the GCats?
Please see the adoption gallery on our website and, and fill out an online application there if you find a cat you fancy. We’ll do our best to get in touch within 48 hours of receiving your application.
11. How often do you have adoption fairs?
Fair events take place when we have multiple cats/kittens ready and waiting to be adopted. Our adoptable cats/kittens are always posted on our website as well.
12. How do I get involved?
There are many different ways to be of service. Help is needed in all areas - trapping, fostering, colony maintenance, event support, donations (food, bedding, towels, toys), and of course, adopting is the ultimate way to support GCat efforts. Express interest in volunteering by submitting a volunteer form.
13. What are the requirements to become a foster parent for our gCats?
GCat does not maintain a shelter. All of the cats that we work with are cared for in foster homes where they are treated as members of the family. Foster volunteers must be able to provide a clean, safe, nurturing indoor home for a cat(s) waiting to be adopted. In addition to feeding and socializing, care includes transporting to routine veterinary visits, giving medication (if needed), receiving visits from potential adoptive families, photographing and providing biographical updates, and chaperoning the foster cat at adoption fairs. A cat could be in your care for as little as a week and for as long as several months. If you are only willing to able to foster for a very short period of time, fostering probably isn’t for you. If, however, this sounds like it's up your alley, please submit a volunteer form.