Free-roaming cat spay/neuter grants

Community cat who has been spayed

You can help reduce the number of free-roaming cats in your community with a PetSmart Charities® Free-roaming Cat spay/neuter grant. These grants provide funding for trap-neuter-return (TNR) projects that aim to spay/neuter a substantial percentage of the cats in a certain area.

By sterilizing most of the free-roaming cats in a targeted area, you can gradually lower their numbers. The result: fewer cats and kittens brought off the streets to local shelters — and fewer calls to animal control and your organization.

Grants are available for up to $100,000 a year for 1 or 2 years.  This means the maximum grant is $200,000 over 2 years.  501(c)(3) nonprofits, government agencies, tribal entities and First Nations are eligible.  (If you are a government agency, tribal entity or First Nation, please see the special instructions for municipalities at the bottom of this page).

What we fund

Our Free-roaming Cat spay/neuter grants fund projects that are:

High impact
We're looking for projects that will make a big difference to your community. If your target area has an estimated feral and stray cat population of 1,000, for instance, you might plan to sterilize at least half of them.

Geographically targeted
You might target your town, city, county, census tract or ZIP code. Or, choose a neighborhood, city park, mobile home park or landfill.

Focused on free-roaming cats
Any cat that is outdoors and free-roaming can be included, whether considered a feral, stray or community cat.   As part of the project, you can also spay/neuter pet cats provided you expect they will make up less than 50% of the surgeries you will perform.

If you expect pet cats to make up more than 50% of your surgeries, apply for a targeted spay/neuter grant instead.

Directed primarily at spay/neuter expenses
You can also request funds for rabies vaccinations, traps, transportation expenses, marketing materials, personnel costs or other items directly related to your TNR project.  Any personnel costs would need to be for adding hours to existing staff or hiring someone new.  Our grants do not fund salaries for current full-time employees.

Please contact us if you have questions about covered expenses.

Measurable results
The measure of success for this grant is not only the number of surgeries you complete. Success also means making a difference in the size of the free-roaming cat population in your target area.

Grantees must report before and after metrics, such as cat intake or cat euthanasia at local shelters or the number of complaint calls or requests for assistance with free-roaming cats received by animal control or your organization.

If you’re having trouble finding an appropriate metric, contact us and we'll work with you to adequately measure the impact of your proposed project.

What we DON'T fund through free-roaming spay/neuter grants

Our free-roaming spay/neuter grants do NOT fund projects that target:

  • Pets rather than free-roaming cats. Pets can comprise no more than 50 percent of the surgeries you expect to perform. If your project focuses on pets, see separate information on our targeted spay/neuter grants.
  • Shelter or foster cats before they're adopted.

How to apply

Our grant application cycle is currently closed and is expected to re-open in early 2015.

To prepare for your free-roaming spay/neuter grant application:

  • Watch our webinar on High Impact Spay/Neuter Grant Guidelines.  Click on Learn in the top menu bar to register in our Learning Management System and access all webinars.
  • Sign up for our email notifications. You may apply for a targeted spay/neuter grant during 2 open grant periods a year. Our email alerts will let you know when the time is right.
  • Update your GuideStar profile. We'll pull some information for your application from GuideStar.
  • Decide which grant is right for you. You may apply for only 1 spay/neuter grant at a time: the free-roaming spay/neuter grant OR the targeted spay/neuter grant.
  • Be thorough. We review and approve grant applications throughout the open application period. To avoid delays, please make sure you've completed your application and included all attachments when you submit your proposal.

Municipalities applying for the first time:   All U.S. governmental entities applying online to PetSmart Charities for the first time are required to supply us with a copy of their Federal letter from the IRS.  If your finance office does not have the original letter you will need to contact the IRS at 1-877-829-5500 for a copy of your “Governmental Information letter” free of charge.

Canadian municipalities are required to supply us with a copy of your GST Sales tax form and a letter from your finance office that provides legal name, address and business number.

Once you have this information click on the following link to open a “Support request for Municipality access.”

Returning Municipalities:  If you’re a governmental entity you may need to supply us with a copy of your IRS Federal letter (US), or GST sales tax form (Canada) before you can be registered.  If you believe your organization has already supplied this documentation, please click on the following link and our Tech Support Team will assist you with registration.


“The cat overpopulation crisis in our area has caused too many animals to face a life of homelessness, starvation, cruelty, disease and unimaginable suffering. The success of the Zero-Population-Growth/Trap-Neuter-Return (ZPG-TNR) project will greatly impact this needless tragedy.”

— Sue Gerlach, president, Heartland Pet Welfare; Northbrook, Ill.