Aggie Feral Cat Alliance of Texas
What, exactly, is a "feral" cat?
A feral cat can be defined as any cat too wild or unsocialized
to be kept in a typical pet home. These cats are often born in the
Have you seen feral cats on campus?
At Texas A&M University, colonies of feral or un-owned cats
live on campus property. While the exact numbers are not known, the
population is estimated to be in the hundreds. Physical Plant
reports feral/un-owned cat colonies in the vicinities of the Kyle
Field football stadium, the campus power plant, Physical Plant
parking lot, Sbisa Dining Center, North Area Dormitories and in and
around trash dumpsters which people frequently leave open.
Many of the feral cats at Texas A&M were originally "owned"
pets of students and neighbors of the university. These well
intentioned owners were probably not prepared for the many
responsibilities of pet ownership, including the cost of food and
supplies, veterinary care, and the time commitment. Other cats are
the result of generations of breeding among the campus' existing
feral cat population.
Typically, cats in College Station's warm climate can be
expected to have two to three litters of four to eight kittens per
year. Because many of these cats are not socialized or tame, they
cannot be caught and placed in homes. They are just too wild for
close contact with humans.
What is AFCAT?
The Aggie Feral Cat Alliance of Texas (AFCAT) is a volunteer
group of students, staff, and faculty from the TAMU campus. AFCAT's
main goal is to work closely with the university in order to
provide care and long-term management of feral cats on campus. In
addition, AFCAT tries to decrease one potential source of feral
cats - local strays - by providing educational information on the
costs and commitment of responsible pet ownership. To join AFCAT,
the only requirement is an interest in helping!
The AFCAT program has the following 5 key parts:
- Humane capture of feral cats on campus, identification, testing
for infectious diseases, vaccination, spay/neuter, and re-release
to their capture location for care and maintenance by designated
- Establishment and maintenance of feeding locations where AFCAT
volunteers provide regular meals and observe the feral cats
- Foster care and rehabilitation of kittens and socialized adult
cats. These "Aggie Cats" will be adopted out to carefully screened
- Understanding the feral cat lifestyle and providing better care
by monitoring their behavior using radio telemetry collars.
- Community information on the local pet overpopulation problem
and education on the costs and commitment of responsible pet
This joint effort is modeled after Stanford University's highly
successful and humane program to control and manage feral cat
populations on their campus. A similar program is in place at the
University of Texas. A small-scale version was initially
implemented successfully at Texas A&M University's dairy barns,
effectively controlling the dairy barn cat population while
preserving the all-natural rodent management services of the
For your information:
- Traps for this program will be identified by AFCAT
- Cats in this program will receive the best and most humane care
available. They will be identified by painless ear notches.
- Remember these cats are wild - if you try to
touch them they will bite!
- AFCAT feeding stations are being established around campus.
Please do not feed cats outside these areas. If you are currently
feeding cats, we would like you to join us - we will provide free
Purina cat food for the feral cats.
- Personal pets are not allowed on campus or in dormitories per
How you can help:
- If you are feeding cats on campus, let us know. We are
interested in the number and condition of cats at your location,
and we can provide you with cat food.
- If you are interested in becoming a campus cat
feeder/caretaker, contact us.
- Please notify us if there are cats living in your area of
campus. We would like to enroll them in our program.
- If you are a TAMU student, staff, or faculty member, you can
become an AFCAT volunteer.
- Persons living off campus can apply to adopt an Aggie kitten of
- Counsel your friends and family on the responsibilities of pet
ownership. Many people underestimate the costs and time commitment
an animal requires.
How to contact AFCAT:
Phone: (979) 862-4569 or (979) 450-5467
Mail: Department of Veterinary Integrative
College Station, TX 77843-4458
New community partnership:
Due to the cooperation received from campus volunteers, senior
veterinary students, and a long list of supporters, the AFCAT
program has been largely successful in controlling the number of
cats on the A&M campus. However, the A&M campus is not the
only home to feral cat colonies. The success of AFCAT sparked the
interest of several Bryan/College Station community members who
recognized the need for a feral cat management program in the
Brazos County area. In order to promote the non-lethal control of
feral cat populations in the Bryan/College Station area, these
community members decided to form a similar organization called Brazos Feral Cat Allies.