Feral and Free-Ranging Cat Working Group


Committee Charge

Formed by AFWA in March 2016, this interdisciplinary Work Group is furthering AFWA Resolution 1997-05-08 “Control and Management of Feral and Free-ranging Cats.” The Bird Conservation Committee and Fish and Wildlife Health Committee play leadership roles in this Work Group, and representatives from AFWA’s Amphibians and Reptile Conservation, Education/Outreach/Diversity, Invasive Species, Law Enforcement, Legal, and Wildlife Resource Policy Committees participate. Specifically, the Work Group was charged with the following tasks:

  1. Review regulatory language and identify current restrictions on release, feeding, and/or maintaining feral and free-ranging cats on state lands managed for native wildlife conservation purposes;
  2. Identify existing regulations for domestic animals that may encompass feral and free-ranging cats;
  3. Propose responses by state agencies lacking regulations making it unlawful to maintain, release, and/or feed feral and free-ranging cats;
  4. Provide examples of successful methods state agencies are using to remove feral and free-ranging cats from conservation lands;
  5. Provide examples of successful partnerships between wildlife advocates and cat advocates to help state agencies develop outreach strategies;

In September 2017, the charge of this Work Group was extended to include:

  1. Analyze compilation of state laws and administrative rules pertaining to feral and free-ranging cats;
  2. Distribute a survey, which can be answered anonymously, asking states about feral cat challenges and methods of addressing feral cats on state lands; and
  3. Develop Best Management Practices for addressing feral and free-ranging cat issues on state lands managed for wildlife.