The SMU Feral Cat Program

Two CatsThe SMU Feral Cat Program works in conjunction with KittiCo Cat Rescue to help the homeless cats on the SMU campus. It’s important to distinguish between feral cats and strays; Strays are domesticated cats who have lost their way, but respond to humans; ferals are not domesticated and usually avoid getting too close to humans. Our volunteers consist of faculty, staff, students, emeritus, alumni, and community members who monitor, evaluate, and provide humane care for the campus feral cats. SMU joins universities across the country in using the veterinarian-approved TNR system for managing the cat population. About 60 feral cats populate 13 established colonies on the SMU campus and university property. Find out more about the program.

How did the cats get here?


Campus settings are ripe for the proliferation of feral cats. Un-sterilized family pets are sometimes abandoned and left to reproduce in the wild. Feral cats, generation after generation, are the offspring of these orphaned pets. When abandoned or mistreated, or born outdoors and not socialized, a cat may become "feral" or unapproachable by people. Although they may look relaxed, they suffer through extremes of temperature, harsh living environments, dangerous traffic conditions, and the constant threat of predators.

One important fact to keep in mind is that our cats do benefit the campus. Most obviously is rodent control. While the surrounding neighborhoods battle rodent issues, you won't see a rat on campus! Whether you love cats or hate cats, trust me, you'd rather see a cat than a rat. Find out more about the campus cats.

How you can help:

  • Drive slowly through campus streets and driveways. Critter crossing!
  • Keep your distance from the cats; feral cat behavior is unpredictable.
  • Do not disturb feeding stations or humane traps displaying The Feral Cat Program labels.
  • Become a volunteer in The Feral Cat Program.
  • Donate.

More Information

If you have information about a cat needing attention, please contact campus police at (214) 768-3388. We work closely with campus police, and they can contact us quickly.
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