Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-5-2023


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Environmental Science and Management (ESM)

Committee Chair

Neil E Brown

Committee Member

John F Stolz

Committee Member

Sarah MacMillen

Committee Member

Becky Morrow


free-roaming cat, invasive species, feral cat, cat population management, TNR, Trap-Neuter-Return, resident priorities, resident survey, human-cat interactions, municipal cat management policy


The popularity and mismanagement of free-roaming cats has resulted in invasive populations responsible for over-predation of birds and small mammals and increased disease transmission to humans and animals (Bies, 2014; Crowley et al., 2020). Management effectiveness fluctuates between communities due to varying opinions of free-roaming cats by governments and the public, which can influence management development and success (Deak et al., 2019). This research assesses the relationship between community perspectives of free-roaming cats and management. A survey of residents in a small Pennsylvania municipality was conducted with questions pertaining to free-roaming cats and management preferences in the community. Over 50% of respondents held negative views of free-roaming cats, with wildlife harm and property damage common drivers of negative perceptions. Over half of respondents supported management, with 58.8% preferring TNR over other strategies. Concerns surrounding management included cat welfare and increased rodents. These findings show that resident input is essential for successful free-roaming cat management programs and policies in communities.