Operation Catnip

Operation Catnip spay/neuter program for community catsOperation Catnip of Gainesville is a nonprofit organization offering free spay/neuter and vaccines for unowned free-roaming community cats from Alachua County, Florida since 1998. Our clinics are run entirely by volunteers (veterinarians, vet technicians and other trained volunteers) and are capable of sterilizing over 200 cats in a matter of hours. All cats have the tip of their left ear cropped which identifies the cat as sterilized.

Operation Catnip will:

  • Sterilize unowned stray or feral cats from Alachua County
  • Provide routine vaccinations at the time of surgery
  • Permanently crop the left ears of sterilized cats
  • Lend out humane traps free of charge for safe capture and transportation of cats to the clinic

Operation Catnip will not:

  • Sterilize owned pets or strays that are for adoption
  • Sterilize cats that will be placed in sanctuaries or shelters
  • Accept cats for adoption
  • Relocate cats
  • Participate in cat trapping for euthanasia
  • Participate in cat trapping for release to animal shelters

What are Feral Cats?

Feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned household pets. Raised without human contact, they quickly revert to a wild nature and form groups where food and shelter are available. Feral cats make up a large portion of the cats euthanized at animal shelters.


The plight of feral cats has captured the hearts of animal lovers for many years, but only recently has a non-lethal option for their control become available. Called a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, this humane alternative involves spaying or neutering feral cats, then returning them to their groups were they are looked after and fed by caretakers. This solution successfully decreases the population, reduces birth rates and improves the overall health of the group. Performed on a large scale, the success of such programs is felt at animal shelters where fewer cats are admitted for euthanasia.

Spay and Neuter Clinic

Operation Catnip holds monthly spay-neuter clinics, where a team of over seventy-five volunteers, comprised of veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and others sterilize up to two hundred and fifty cats in a few hours. All cats also receive a vaccination against rabies, feline leukemia, feline distemper, and  FVRCP. Operation Catnip permanently crops the left ear of all cats altered in the no-cost clinic. The cropped left ear identifies each cat as stray and sterile.

Upcoming Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic Dates

All cats that come to the clinic must be in an approved and weighed humane live trap which Operation Catnip provides free of charge and must have a reservation made with Operation Catnip in advance in order to participate.

More Information

Visit operationcatnip.org to learn more about this program. Please contact Operation Catnip for scheduling or to volunteer at 352-380-0940 or info@ocgainesville.org.

And be sure to visit Operation Catnip on Facebook and Operation Catnip on Instagram for additional news and updates.

2020 Operation Catnip Clinic Dates

  • February 1

If you cannot make it to a Catnip Sunday clinic, space may also be available through Operation Catnip’s partner clinic. Please contact Operation Catnip for details.

Major funding for Operation Catnip has been provided by PetSmart Charities and the National Humane Education Society.

Florida Animal Friend License Plate - Support Spay & Neuter

For information about how to support spay & neuter programs through the purchase of a license plate, visit Florida Animal Friend’s website.

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