Document Type


Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



Free-roaming domestic cats (i.e., cats that are owned or unowned and are considered ‘at large’) are globally distributed non-native species that have marked impacts on biodiversity and human health. Despite clear scientific evidence of these impacts, free-roaming cats are either unmanaged or managed using scientifically unsupported and ineffective approaches (e.g., trap-neuter-release [TNR]) in many jurisdictions around the world. A critical first initiative for effective, science-driven management of cats must be broader political and legislative recognition of free-roaming cats as a non-native, invasive species. Designating cats as invasive is important for developing and implementing science-based management plans, which should include efforts to prevent cats from becoming free-roaming, policies focused on responsible pet ownership and banning outdoor cat feeding, and better enforcement of existing laws.

Using a science-based approach is necessary for responding effectively to the politically charged and increasingly urgent issue of managing free-roaming cat populations.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.