Life Savers Animal Rescue
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Life Savers Animal Rescue

Feral Cat Information

Preface: Below is information from Alley Cat Allies however we urge to read our “Barn Buddies” page for new and improved information on “community cats”.

The primary focus of the Program is to educate the public on the humane treatment and management of feral/wild cats. We advocate and promote the Alley Cat Allies (see their web site at:  ) philosophy of managing feral/wild cats by Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR).

We believe these animals, a byproduct of human failure to spay and neuter their domestic pets, deserve a chance to live. We believe the old method of managing feral/wild cats by trapping and killing them does not work. We believe TNR better reflects the moral values and ethics of the community we live in.


What is a feral/wild cat?

A feral cat is one that has either lived its whole life with little or no human contact and is not socialized, or is a stray cat that was lost or abandoned and his lived away from human contact long enough to revert to a wild or feral state. Feral cats avoid human contact and cannot be touched by strangers.

Is "feral cat" another term for "stray cat"? What is the difference?

"Feral" is not another word for "stray." A stray cat is a domestic cat that has been abandoned or has wandered away from home and become lost. A stray cat may be skittish in your presence, but because stray cats once knew human companionship, they can usually be re-socialized and placed in homes.

Adult feral cats can rarely be socialized and are most content living outside. Feral kittens up to 8 – 10 weeks of age, on the other hand, can almost always be tamed and placed in homes.

How can I tell if a cat is stray or feral?

Observe the cat's appearance and behavior. A stray cat will often approach you, although usually will not get close enough for you touch it. If you put food down, a stray cat will likely start to eat right away. A stray cat is often vocal, sometimes talking insistently, and may look disheveled, as if unaccustomed to dealing with conditions on the street. A stray cat is apt to be seen at all hours of the day.

A feral cat is silent, will not approach humans, and generally will be seen only from dusk to dawn, unless extraordinarily hungry and foraging for food. A feral cat has adapted to outside conditions and is likely to look well groomed. If you put food down for a feral cat, he will wait until you move away from the area before approaching it to eat.

I would like to find a good home for a feral cat I have been feeding. Is this possible?

Generally, no. Adult feral cats usually cannot be socialized and will not adjust to living indoors. A great deal of time and effort can go into attempting to tame an adult feral cat, with no assurance of success. This time and effort is far better spent sterilizing feral cats to break the cycle of reproduction, and then allowing them to remain in their environment.

I discovered some cats outside. Who can I call to come and get them?

The first step is to determine if the cats are tame or wild. If the cats are tame (come up to you or don't streak off or appear to be docile), they most likely belong to people living in the neighborhood. You should knock on some doors and post "found cat" flyers throughout the neighborhood. After a few days, if you get no response and you decide they are lost or abandoned, you can register the cats online at in the Found Pet section. You can also call the local animal shelter to see if they will accept them, but be aware that if it is not a "no kill" shelter they could be euthanized as shelters are chronically overcrowded.

If the cats are obviously feral, animal control or the municipality (partially funded by tax dollars) is the only agency that MAY come and get them, and the cats will almost certainly be killed. Even no-kill shelters and rescue groups find that adult feral cats are virtually impossible to adopt out.



Feral cats live in colonies and congregate near food sources. These colonies can be managed in a humane, compassionate manner called trap-neuter-return, in which cats are humanely and painlessly trapped in a live-trap, spayed or neutered, and returned to their colony site where a volunteer caretaker (such as you) provides food, water, and shelter, as well as monitors them for ill health and injury. They are not just returned to the wild to fend for themselves.

TNR involves assessing each cat (sickly or injured cats are humanely euthanasized), neutering them, giving them rabies vaccinations, and ear-tipping (universal sign of neutered feral cats). And contrary to popular belief, feral cats can be re-trapped as the need arises.

TNR is the ONLY CHANCE feral cats have of living safe, healthy lives without reproducing. But TNR is a hands-on project requiring commitment from one or more volunteer caretakers, often with help from feral cat advocates living in the area.

Please... Become part of the solution and help solve the problem of cat overpopulation!

We urge you to check out Alley Cat Allies at: 

...a National Feral Cat Resource Center and the leaders in humane management of feral cats.

The members of Life Savers Animal Rescue extend appreciation to Alley Cat Allies for allowing us to use their literature in an effort to educate people in our area on the humane treatment and management of feral cats.

Contact Us


Please note that LSAR does not have a building. All pets are in volunteer foster homes; please check individual listings for contact information. If you are interested in helping us save lives by becoming a foster volunteer, please contact us at (406) 676-4200 ; lsar@lsar

Life Savers Animal Rescue

Who We Are

Life Savers Animal Rescue (LSAR) consists of a dedicated and caring group of individuals working to rescue animals.  Our goal is to enrich the lives of the animals and the people who adopt them. 

To compassionately shelter lost, abandoned and surrendered pets and rehome those animals into a caring environment, thereby enriching lives through adoption. 

  • To build animal-friendly communities by encouraging respect and compassion for all animals.
  • To promote kindness to animals through education and by example.
  • To advocate responsible pet ownership.
  • To educate the public on the merits of Trap/Neuter/Return of feral cats.
  • To support spay/neuter of domestic pets, thereby reducing pet over-population.
  • To assist in finding responsible caretakers for homeless pets.
  • To work to eliminate the need to ever kill homeless pets.
  • To develop a network of supporters and volunteers who endorse our Mission and support our goals.
  • To work in alliance with local animal shelters, rescue groups, pounds, and humane society organizations to ensure these forgotten animals are taken care of.

If LSAR does not have the "lifetime buddy" you are looking for, we will help you find it. We also urge you to contact local shelters, rescue groups and animal control facilities in your area.


Because we want to ensure all of our animals are placed in environments where they can thrive for the balance of their lives, we reserve the right to screen our prospective adoptive owners and to terminate the adoption process at any point. In order to affect a successful and problem-free placement, our adoption process takes into account the temperament, age and condition of the animal and the environment it will be placed in. Family members' ages and long-term expectations of the prospective home will also be considered. We have only the best interests of the animals and the new pet owners at heart and we seek to avoid misplacements which will end in heartache for everyone. We appreciate your understanding in the event we feel you and a chosen animal are not the right match.

Life Savers Animal Rescue

Consider donating to LSAR


As a group, we collectively use the following:
1. Canidae dog food - all stages and all flavors
2. Blue Buffalo Adult and Puppy food
3. Dr. Elsey's cat litter
4. Blue Buffalo adult chicken cat food (dry)
5. Fancy Feast canned cat food.
6. Puppy Potty Pads

We use Patented Kuranda Dog Beds because they are durable, chew proof and easy to clean. Kuranda makes beds for dogs and cats; either would be put to good use. If you would like to donate a bed to us, click here..

If you wish to make a donation in memory of a loved one, to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special event, we will be pleased to send a card to the recipient of your choice. Please include their name and address.

If you wish to donate items, rather than cash, check "our needs" page or contact us to see if we have an immediate need for items that might not be listed.

If you would like to sponsor a pet (spay, neuter or adoption donation), we will apply your donation as directed and (if you wish) credit you on the website.

We are a private, publicly supported 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
All members of LSAR are volunteers and do not receive any financial compensation for their tireless efforts. All donations made to LSAR go directly to the care of the animals in our program.

Life Savers Animal Rescue
Life Savers Animal Rescue
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Life Savers Animal Rescue

Our Needs

Foster Homes: Of course foster homes are what we need more than anything else. We can only help as many animals as we can house and without a "facility" we're limited.  We rely on our foster homes to provide loving in-home care to the animals while we provide all the necessary supplies including food, toys, litterboxes, medication, etc.  Getting to know the animals and helping find the right forever home for them is one of the most rewarding things about rescue.

Food and Cat Litter: Costco brand dog and cat food is always needed; foster volunteers may use different brands of food and/or litter, so don't hesitate to check with us first. 

We always need printer cartridges. We print all of our photos ourselves to place on the posters around town for everyone to see. Printer cartridges needed are: Brother LC20E black and color.

Misc., A Few Other Things Needed: Dog and puppy food; Cat and kitten food, dry and canned; Cat scratching post; Cat climber; Pet crates (carriers), any size; Live Animal traps, cat and kitten size

Money:  We will never turn down a donation of cash.  Without that our spay/neuter assistance program would not be able to help low-income pet owners in Lake County.  Donations can be mailed to:  LSAR, P. O. Box 643, Polson, MT 59860. 

Life Savers Animal Rescue

Please note that LSAR does not have a building. All pets are in volunteer foster homes; please check individual listings for contact information.

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